Zhong Xing Tan, ‘The prospects for pluralism in contract theory’

This paper explores the promise of pluralism in the realm of contract law. I begin by identifying and rejecting conceptual strategies adopted by monistic and dualistic approaches. Turning towards pluralism, I evaluate three versions in contemporary literature: pluralism across contracting spheres and types, pluralism through consensus and convergence, and pluralism through localised values-balancing and practical reasoning. I suggest embracing some pluralism about contract pluralism, by using these models to construct a framework of ‘meta-pluralism’, where at the macro-level, we are concerned with plural spheres of contracting activity; at the meso-level, a variety of trans-substantive interpretive concepts that receive some measure of juristic consensus; and at the micro-level, practical reasoning through particularistic analysis of case-specific considerations. I illustrate the meta-pluralistic framework through a case study on the varieties of specific performance, and explain how the proposed pluralistic framework enriches our understanding of the nature of contract.

Zhong Xing Tan, The prospects for pluralism in contract theory, Legal Studies, https://doi.org/10.1017/lst.2021.14. Published online by Cambridge University Press: 12 April 2021.

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