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Sunday, November 27, 2011

ISO Model Introductions to Edited Volumes

I am editing a book under contract for Oxford University Press (hopefully out late next year or early 2013) on legal and ethical issues surrounding the globalization of health care. It stems from a conference I organized for the Petrie-Flom Center.  Besides for contributing a chapter, editing the other chapters, and coordinating the whole project, I will write an introduction to the edited volume. 

This is my first book. I have to confess I rarely read the introductions of edited volumes. Instead I usually grab them for a paper or two or a section of essays. I am thus curious whether any blog readers have suggestions of really good edited volume introductions that I can read to get ideas of the genre as successfully executed. My sense is that a good introduction to a volume will (1) Briefly outline the individual chapters, (2) indicate why they fit together in such a way that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and (3) also gesture towards bigger questions raised by or themes from the volume.

That's easy to state in the abstract, but I'd love to read a few choice examples to get a better feel. So, dear readers, do you have any favorite introductions to legal edited volumes?

Posted by Glenn Cohen on November 27, 2011 at 10:31 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Be careful with (1), as you don't want to provide so much information that the reader will no longer deem it necessary to actually read the material!

I like the introduction written by the editors, Samantha Besson and John Tasioulas, to OUP's The Philosophy of International Law (2010). The last section (they tackle nos. 2 & 3 first) of the introduction is a "preview" to the chapters and is roughly five pages (out of 27: the length here in part owing to the rarity of this sort of volume and the need to introduce, topically and historically, the field to the reader) in length, saying just enough to whet one's appetite.

Posted by: Patrick S. O'Donnell | Nov 28, 2011 8:40:04 AM

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