Monday, October 20, 2014

Comparative Law - French Governance

I'm teaching a class in Comparative Law over here.  One of my favorite parts of teaching comparative law is it helps put the strengths and weaknesses of your own system into perspective.  It also helps us to realize that much of what we take for granted as obvious or built in features of our experience are in fact pretty different around the world.  It reminds me of the David Foster Wallace joke: "There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, 'Morning, boys, how's the water?' And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, 'What the hell is water?'"  Basically comparative law helps me keep an eye on the water around me.

As part of the class I usually spend a little time doing a very quick and dirty overview of the political and judicial systems of various countries around the world, just so we can get a flavor for how differently even very similar countries handle governance.  Last week I did France and I ran across this graphic explaining French governance:
It made me laugh out loud.  Whenever you're worried that our political system is hopelessly gridlocked, just take a look at this graphic.

1 comment:

  1. Mary-Claire BartonOctober 27, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    Everyone in Michigan loved this entry. Connie and Heidi commented on entries on all 3 family blogs and AK said she tried to figure out the above graph and gave up! Keep these entries coming!