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An Overview of Worlds A and B

An Overview of Worlds A and B

(p.3) Chapter One An Overview of Worlds A and B
Margaret Jane Radin
Princeton University Press

This book examines standardized form contracts, also known as boilerplate. In the past, “contract” was interpreted as a bargained-for exchange transaction between two parties who each consent to the exchange. Bargained-for exchange represents contract in a world of voluntary agreement—World A (for Agreement). Standardized form contracts, on the other hand, belong to World B (for Boilerplate). World B doesn't fit the theory, the rationale, of contract law. This book explores judicial oversight of boilerplate through the legal doctrines of unconscionability and voidness as against public policy, among others. It also considers the problem of boilerplate rights deletion schemes as well as attempts to bring such schemes under the aegis of traditional contract theories. This chapter provides an overview of worlds A and B as well as varieties of World B contracts, boilerplate as a method of contract formation, and two problems arising from boilerplate: normative degradation and democratic degradation.

Keywords:   boilerplate, bargained-for exchange, consent, contract law, unconscionability, voidness, standardized form contracts, contract formation, normative degradation, democratic degradation

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