Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


A. B. Overby

First Page



This Article explores the revival of interest in consumer protection in the United States, and the impact of this revival on the consumer movement. The Author examines the influence that political organizations and institutions have upon the final shape and content of consumer law in the United States and European Union. The Article begins with a general introduction to institutional theory across academic disciplines and to the institutional environment and arrangements in which consumer lawmaking proceeds in the United States and Europe. Next, the Article assesses consumer initiatives in the United States and the European Union, focusing on deceptive advertising, unfair contract terms, consumer credit, and consumer access to justice problems. The Author's assessment illuminates the institutional factors that shape consumer protection initiatives. Finally, the Article discusses the limits of traditional United States perspectives on consumer law. The Article concludes that an institutional approach provides a better and more accurate framework for analyzing consumer issues.