Esmeir’s essay considers the mission statement of the Journal of the Society of Comparative Legislation (1896-97) alongside the 2013 mission statement of Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Joining them, Esmeir contends, is the reference to the method of comparison, and separating them are the details of the comparative practice, its ends and its powers. More specifically, the main difference between the two journals concerns the fate of the world covered on their pages: the first engages in comparative destruction, the second in comparative construction. The essay makes an argument for the value of research projects that examine these two relationships to the world.

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