The field of socio-legal research has encountered three fundamental challenges over the last three decades – it has been criticized for paying insufficient attention to legal doctrine, for failing to develop a sound theoretical foundation and for not keeping pace with the effects of the increasing globalization and internationalization of law, state and society. This book examines these three challenges from a methodological standpoint. It addresses the first two by demonstrating that legal sociology has much to say about justice as a kind of social experience and has always engaged theoretically with forms of normativity, albeit on its own empirical terms rather than on legal theory’s analytical terms. The book then explores the third challenge, a result of the changing nature of society, by highlighting the move from the industrial relations of early modernity to the post-industrial conditions of late modernity, an age dominated by information technology. It poses the question whether socio-legal research has sufficiently reassessed its own theoretical premises regarding the relationship between law, state and society, so as to grasp the new social and cultural forms of organization specific to the twenty-first century’s global societies.
Author: Mark Fenwick
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: 2017-09-21
The principle of legal certainty is of fundamental importance for law and society: it has been vital in stabilising normative expectations and in providing a framework for social interaction, as well as defining the scope of individual freedom and political power. Even though it has not always been fully realised, legal certainty has also functioned as a normative ideal that has structured legal debates, both at the national and transnational level. This book presents research from a range of substantive areas regarding the meaning, possibility and desirability of legal certainty in the context of a rapidly changing global society. It aims to address these issues by bringing together scholars from various jurisdictions in order to examine changes in the shifting meaning of legal certainty in a comparative and transnational context. In particular, the book explores some of the tensions that now exist between the conventional expectation of legal certainty and the various challenges associated with regulating highly complex, late modern economies and societies. The book will be of interest to lawyers concerned with understanding the transformation of core rule of law values in the context of contemporary social change, as well as to political scientists and social theorists.
Author: Alberto Febbrajo
Release Date: 2016-05-05
This collection brings together some of the most influential sociologists of law to confront the challenges of current transnational constitutionalism. It shows the constitution appearing in a new light: no longer as an essential factor of unity and stabilisation but as a potential defence of pluralism and innovation. The first part of the book is devoted to the analysis of the concept of constitution, highlighting the elements that can contribute from a socio-legal perspective, to clarifying the principle meanings attributed to the constitution. The study goes on to analyse some concrete aspects of the functioning of constitutions in contemporary society. In applying Luhmann’s General Systems Theory to a comparative analysis of the concept of constitution, the work contributes to a better understanding of this traditional concept in both its institutionalised and functional aspects. Defining the constitution’s contents and functions both at the conceptual level and by taking empirical issues of particular comparative interest into account, this study will be of importance to scholars and students of sociology of law, sociology of politics and comparative public law.
Author: Petri Mäntysaari
Release Date: 2017-04-24
This book defines the characteristics of a new discipline that is both legal and scientific: user-friendly legal science.Focusing on how legal tools and practices can be used to achieve objectives in different contexts, it offers an alternative to doctrinal research, law-and-something disciplines, and the traditional interdisciplinary approach.The book not only defines the new discipline’s research approach, point of view, theory-building, and research methods, it also shows how it relates to other scientific disciplines and how existing doctrinal legal disciplines can be upgraded into scientific disciplines.
Author: Donatella Della Porta
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2008-08-28
Genre: Political Science
A revolutionary textbook introducing masters and doctoral students to the major research approaches and methodologies in the social sciences. Written by an outstanding set of scholars, and derived from successful course teaching, this volume will empower students to choose their own approach to research, to justify this approach, and to situate it within the discipline. It addresses questions of ontology, epistemology and philosophy of social science, and proceeds to issues of methodology and research design essential for producing a good research proposal. It also introduces researchers to the main issues of debate and contention in the methodology of social sciences, identifying commonalities, historic continuities and genuine differences.
Reza Banakar is Professor and Director of Research in the Sociology of Law Department at Lund University. He has previously held the positions of Professor of Socio-Legal Studies at the Department of Advanced Legal Studies at the University of Westminster and Research Fellow at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford. He is the author of Normativity in Legal Sociology (2015) and Law and Social Theory (2010, 2013).
Author: Rob van Gestel
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2017-02-02
Although American scholars sometimes consider European legal scholarship as old-fashioned and inward-looking and Europeans often perceive American legal scholarship as amateur social science, both traditions share a joint challenge. If legal scholarship becomes too much separated from practice, legal scholars will ultimately make themselves superfluous. If legal scholars, on the other hand, cannot explain to other disciplines what is academic about their research, which methodologies are typical, and what separates proper research from mediocre or poor research, they will probably end up in a similar situation. Therefore we need a debate on what unites legal academics on both sides of the Atlantic. Should legal scholarship aspire to the status of a science and gradually adopt more and more of the methods, (quality) standards, and practices of other (social) sciences? What sort of methods do we need to study law in its social context and how should legal scholarship deal with the challenges posed by globalization?
Author: John Sutton
Publisher: Pine Forge Press
Release Date: 2001
Genre: Family & Relationships
Foundations of the Sociology of Law provides a conceptual framework for thinking about the full range of topics within the sociology of law discipline. The book: contrasts normative and sociological perspectives on law; presents a primer on the logic of research and inference as applied to law related issues; examines theories of legal change; and discusses law in action with specific reference to civil rights legislation.
Author: Peter Cane
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Release Date: 2012-05-17
The empirical study of law, legal systems and legal institutions is widely viewed as one of the most exciting and important intellectual developments in the modern history of legal research. Motivated by a conviction that legal phenomena can and should be understood not only in normative terms but also as social practices of political, economic and ethical significance, empirical legal researchers have used quantitative and qualitative methods to illuminate many aspects of law's meaning, operation and impact. In the 43 chapters of The Oxford Handbook of Empirical Legal Research leading scholars provide accessible and original discussions of the history, aims and methods of empirical research about law, as well as its achievements and potential. The Handbook has three parts. The first deals with the development and institutional context of empirical legal research. The second - and largest - part consists of critical accounts of empirical research on many aspects of the legal world - on criminal law, civil law, public law, regulatory law and international law; on lawyers, judicial institutions, legal procedures and evidence; and on legal pluralism and the public understanding of law. The third part introduces readers to the methods of empirical research, and its place in the law school curriculum.
Author: Leo P. Chall
Release Date: 1982
CSA Sociological Abstracts abstracts and indexes the international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. The database provides abstracts of journal articles and citations to book reviews drawn from over 1,800+ serials publications, and also provides abstracts of books, book chapters, dissertations, and conference papers.
Author: Mark Van Hoecke
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: 2011-02-28
Until quite recently questions about methodology in legal research have been largely confined to understanding the role of doctrinal research as a scholarly discipline. In turn this has involved asking questions not only about coverage but, fundamentally, questions about the identity of the discipline. Is it (mainly) descriptive, hermeneutical, or normative? Should it also be explanatory? Legal scholarship has been torn between, on the one hand, grasping the expanding reality of law and its context, and, on the other, reducing this complex whole to manageable proportions. The purely internal analysis of a legal system, isolated from any societal context, remains an option, and is still seen in the approach of the French academy, but as law aims at ordering society and influencing human behaviour, this approach is felt by many scholars to be insufficient. Consequently many attempts have been made to conceive legal research differently. Social scientific and comparative approaches have proven fruitful. However, does the introduction of other approaches leave merely a residue of 'legal doctrine', to which pockets of social sciences can be added, or should legal doctrine be merged with the social sciences? What would such a broad interdisciplinary field look like and what would its methods be? This book is an attempt to answer some of these questions.
This book is devoted to the study of the interplay between religious rules and State law. It explores how State recognition of religious rules can affect the degree of legal diversity that is available to citizens and why such recognition sometime results in more individual and collective freedom and sometime in a threat to equality of citizens before the law. The first part of the book contains a few contributions that place this discussion within the wider debate on legal pluralism. While State law and religious rules are two normative systems among many others, the specific characteristics of the latter are at the heart of tensions that emerge with increasing frequency in many countries. The second part is devoted to the analysis of about twenty national cases that provide an overview of the different tools and strategies that are employed to manage the relationship between State law and religious rules all over the world.