About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

1997 Utah L. Rev. 259 (1997)
Stranger than Paradise: Identity & Politics in Comparative Law

handle is hein.journals/utahlr1997 and id is 269 raw text is: Stranger than Paradise: Identity & Politics
in Comparative Law
Giinter Frankenberg
Nothing compares, nothing compares to you, Sin6ad O'Connor
nostalgically exclaims.' Indeed, Albania is likely to qualify as a
place stranger than paradise, stranger than Cleveland or, for that
matter, Utah. Jammed into a rough and narrow space between the
Mediterranean and former Yugoslavia, at the periphery of the pe-
riphery of Europe, and sliced up by several mountain ridges, Alba-
nia never promised easy access or riches. Despite its geographic
xenophobia, Albania's history is stamped by invasions. To this very
day, some 400,000 bunkers bizarrify the austere scenery and ironi-
cally testify to the paranoia and ideological exceptionalism of a
Stalinist-Maoist regime in constant fear of infiltration from without.
After the demise of Enver Hoxha's incompetent cadres that
drove the country beyond the point of bankruptcy, a still impover-
ished Albania has recently joined the post-socialist societies in
transition to the happy life in an environment where everything is
marketable and gained or lost under the rule of law. Happiness, at
least new irrigation systems, more productive milking machines,
spiritual redemption, and legal codes-this is what the motley
bunch of developers, self-declared modernizers all of them, who
now freely infiltrate the country, are presently importing. No small
number of them motivated by a merely strategic interest in their
project, and many secretly or openly wishing they were located in
other-less marginal or more exotic-countries such as Georgia,
* Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law, Johann Wolfgang
Goethe-Universitit Frankfurt am Main. I am very grateful to Dean Teitelbaum and
the organizers of the conference-Karen Engle, Mitch Lasser, Ileana Porras, and
Tony Anghie-for inviting me to this inspiring meeting of the minds I am indebted
to the organizing group as well as to Marie-Claire Belleau, Nathaniel Berman, Jorge
Esquirol, David Kennedy, and Duncan Kennedy for having included me over the past
years in the project of looking for New Approaches to Comparative & International
Law. To Rolf Knieper I owe many insights into the pitfalls and pleasures of legal
consulting. Last, but definitely not least, I would like to thank Michael Blecher for
his on-site support and his untiringly cooperative spirit.
1. SINBAD O'CONNOR, Nothing Compares 2 U, on I Do NOT WANT WHAT I
HAVEN'T GOT (Ensign Records 1990).


What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing thousands of academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.

Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline.

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most