This book traces the emergence and transformations of asbestos compensation to explore the wider issue of to what extent legal systems have converged in the era of globalization. Examining the mechanism by which asbestos compensation is delivered in Belgium, England, Italy and the United States, as well as the cultural forces and actors which contribute to its emergence and transformations, the book advances our understanding of how law operates within cultural norms, routines, and institutional relations of capitalist societies. With material gathered from 50 interviews and from primary and secondary sources, the author considers law as a cultural phenomenon, national styles of legal culture and the convergence and divergence of legal cultures, and law as a form of institutionalized power.
'This impressive study shows the devastating effects of asbestos exposure refracted through the lenses of four quite different legal cultures. Andrea Boggio has much to tell us about the capacity and the limits of law in response to human suffering and corporate power.' David Engel, SUNY Buffalo Law School, USA 'Compensating Asbestos Victims offers an in-depth description of how four countries and three international corporations have responded to the epidemic of asbestos-related diseases ... It is richly detailed and nuanced ... Given its comparative, multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary focus, the book should be read by a broad audience, including public policy scholars interested in the asbestos crisis, comparative legal scholars interested in different national legal and regulatory styles, welfare state scholars interested in how existing policies shape the framing of new claims, and anyone interested in meaningfully integrating law, courts and legal practices into the study of politics and policy-making processes.' Jeb Barnes, University of Southern California, USA