I consider myself a comparative legal historian and range widely over time and space. My interest is in private law. My general conclusions, developed over years, on law in society are three and are interconnected and are as follows: 1) Governments are not much interested in developing law especially not private law. They generally leave this to subordinate law makers to whom, however, they do not grant power to make law; 2) Even when famous legislators emerge, they are seldom interested in inserting a particular social message or even certainty into their laws; 3) Borrowing is the name of the legal game and is the most prominent means of legal change.
Watson, Alan, "Law in Books, Law in Action and Society" (2006). Colloquia. Paper 1.