Diffusion of Legal Innovations

Christoph Engel, Keren Weinshall

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The law is permanently under construction. Most legal change is intentional. A legislator, a court, or one of the law's subjects hopes to better achieve a purpose by switching from one rule, one interpretation, or one remedy to the next. Yet empirically, legal innovation tends to be a process that takes time. At the macro level, the diffusion path is often S shaped: It does not start immediately and levels off after a while. This article links legal innovation to diffusion research and discusses micro processes that have the potential to generate the observed diffusion paths.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)139-153
Number of pages15
JournalAnnual Review of Law and Social Science
StatePublished - 2022

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  • diffusion
  • doctrinal innovation
  • legal innovation
  • legal transplant
  • network analysis


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