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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.