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The Persisting Ideal of Agreement in an Age of Boilerplate

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Abstract:

This essay argues that the treatment of boilerplate as a distinct phenomenon in some contract scholarship sheds light on the way we imagine our social relations. In Omri Ben-Shahar's 2007 compilation, Boilerplate: The Foundation of Market Contracts, aspects of the traditional meeting-of-the-minds model persist, notwithstanding the move away from this framework indicated by the differentiation of boilerplate from traditional contract. Much boilerplate scholarship is informed by a narrative of agreement as an ideal involving agency, autonomy, and meaningful choice. Thus, in an age in which form language pervades American life, a narrative of genuine agreement continues to frame a conception of contractual relations.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-4469.2010.01202.x

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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