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Texas Wesleyan Law Review




If, as it has sometimes been argued, changes in contract rules and theory are strongly affected by changes in economic conditions, we should note that the world has changed a good deal since the early 1960s when relational contract theory began to bloom. The economic world of 2004 is very different from the world of 1964. Modern relational contract theory was born about the same time as its great theoretical competitor, the rational choice approach of the legal economists. It came before the vast changes wrought by the information revolution and the increased globalization of the economy. What has relational theory taught us over the past forty years? How has it changed and adapted in light of those great economic changes? Where is it going in the future?

Those were the general topics at a panel discussion which took place June 8, 2004, at the Oxstalls campus of the University of Gloucestershire in Gloucester, England. It was part of a conference entitled, "The Common Law of Contracts as a World Force in Two Ages of Revolution," which marked the 150th anniversary of one of the most famous contracts cases of all time, Hadley v. Baxendale, and is the theme of the present Symposium. The Conference's object was to explore how the common law adapts to and influences the kind of revolutionary changes that have swept over our society in the past forty years, and which swept over England in the forty years before Hadley v. Baxendale.

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Texas Wesleyan University School of Law

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