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This paper aims to develop an analytic comparative law approach to the global spread of "consumerist" law. It expresses dismay at the failure of comparative law to offer any contribution to global debates over the sort of consumerism associated with the practices of firms like Wal-Mart, and proposes that scholars should revive the distinction between "consumerism" and "producerism" that was common in the 1930s. Focusing on questions of competition law, the law of retail and labor law, as well as on Wal-Mart's recent failure to penetrate German markets, it rejects the claim that consumerism is inevitably bound to triumph in the world at large, and in western Europe in particular.

Date of Authorship for this Version

August 2006