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Selecting an appropriate balance in the law between autonomy and paternalism is an important and difficult task, requiring a careful consideration of moral, political and economic values.
This collection deals with the task at both general and specific levels, locating itself within the broader context of the relationship between law and market forces. Concepts are defined and analysed, in particular the distinction between the coercive approach of “hard paternalism” in the law, and the 'nudge' approach of “soft paternalism”.
Attention is then focused on how the tensions between the concepts are resolved in the law of contract, where deficient information and mistakes can justify an interventionist approach. Besides overviews of the issues within the general law of contract, and historical studies of the relevant principles in the common law and Roman law, the book also includes studies of specific areas, notably insurance contracts and consumer bankruptcy.