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The Politics of European Legal Research

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The Politics of European Legal Research

Behind the Method

9781802201185 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Marija Bartl, Professor of Transnational Private Law, Amsterdam School of Law, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Jessica C. Lawrence, Senior Lecturer, School of Law, University of Essex, UK
Publication Date: 2022 ISBN: 978 1 80220 118 5 Extent: 288 pp
Making a key contribution to the contemporary debate about methods in European legal research, this comprehensive book looks behind different methodologies to explore the institutional, disciplinary, and political conflicts that shape questions of ‘method’ or ‘approach’ in European legal scholarship. Offering a new perspective on the underlying politics of method, it identifies four core dimensions of methodological struggle in legal research – the politics of questions, the politics of answers, the politics of legal audiences, and the politics of the concept of law.

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Critical Acclaim
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Making a key contribution to the contemporary debate about methods in European legal research, this comprehensive book looks behind different methodologies to explore the institutional, disciplinary, and political conflicts that shape questions of ‘method’ or ‘approach’ in European legal scholarship. Offering a new perspective on the underlying politics of method, it identifies four core dimensions of methodological struggle in legal research – the politics of questions, the politics of answers, the politics of legal audiences, and the politics of the concept of law.

Chapters explore how methodological choices impact the questions legal scholars ask, the answers they seek, the audiences for and to whom they speak, and ultimately their understanding of the legal and the social world. Leading contributors uncover the framing discourses, institutional inertias, and political pressures that shape research questions, while assessing the effects of importing social science methods into legal research, and how audiences of legal research and education shape our understanding of law. 

Concluding with a reflection on the continued, if qualified, relevance of formal doctrinal methods for European legal research, this thought-provoking book will be a key resource for students and scholars of law and politics, research methods and European law. 
Critical Acclaim
‘This book illustrates that the European methodological strife is in full swing, that the stakes are as high as we secretly suspected, and that everyone debates with their fingers crossed. If there will be a happy ending to it, this will be largely due to the sincere effort of the editors and the contributors.’
– Urska Sadl, European University Institute, Italy

‘This thrilling and timely book digs deep into the current crises of European legal research—its methods, aims, and effects. Striving for greater self-awareness and offering a variety of perspectives on legal thought (philosophy, pedagogy, politics, and more), the chapters address the crucial questions: Who or what is legal research for? What do its conventional iterations accomplish (and not)? Through what venues of critical self-inquiry might legal research open up more creative lines of intellectual and political advent? Focused throughout on the politics of legal research, the chapters are intellectually scrupulous, methodologically astute, and invariably insightful.’
– Pierre Schlag, University of Colorado, US

‘Too often European legal scholars portray methodological questions as neutral, objective, and apolitical. The Politics of European Legal Research instead shows that methodological choices are inseparable from battles within legal academia around prestige, ideology, and power.’
– Fernanda G. Nicola, Washington College of Law, American University, US
Contributors
Contributors: Alessandra Arcuri, Marija Bartl, Julien Bois, Or Brook, Pola Cebulak, Gareth Davies, Mark Dawson, Irina Domurath, Ruth Dukes, Christina Eckes, Puol F Kjaer, Jessica C. Lawrence, Candida Leone, Juan Mayoral, Joana Mendes, Hans-W. Micklitz, Tommaso Pavone, Siniša Rodin, Lyn K.L. Tjon Soei Len
Contents
Contents:

1 Introduction to The Politics of European Legal Research 1
Marija Bartl, Pola Cebulak and Jessica C. Lawrence

PART I THE POLITICS OF QUESTIONS
2 Governmentality as reflexive method: excavating the
politics of legal research 15
Jessica C. Lawrence
3 On politics and feminist legal method in legal academia 31
Lyn K.L. Tjon Soei Len
4 The politics of method in the field of labour law 45
Ruth Dukes
5 Boundary-work and dynamics of exclusion by law:
international investment law as a case study 60
Alessandra Arcuri

PART II THE POLITICS OF ANSWERS
6 Statistics as if legality mattered: the two-front politics of
empirical legal studies 78
Tommaso Pavone and Juan Mayoral
7 Sociological institutionalism as a lens to study
judicialization: a bridge between legal scholarship and
political science 94
Julien Bois and Mark Dawson
8 Politics of coding: on systematic content analysis of legal text 109
Or Brook
9 Taming law: the risks of making doctrinal analysis the
servant of empirical Research 124
Gareth Davies

PART III THE POLITICS OF AUDIENCES
10 The politics of interdisciplinarity in law 140
Irina Domurath
11 The politics of legal education 159
Marija Bartl and Candida Leone
12 Comparative administrative law in the EU: the integration
function and its limits 177
Joana Mendes

PART IV THE POLITICS OF THE CONCEPT OF LAW
13 A timid defence of legal formalism 192
Christina Eckes
14 How to study worlds: or why one should (not) care about
methodology 208
Poul F. Kjaer
15 The measuring of the law through EU politics 224
Hans-W. Micklitz
16 Telos of a method 240
Siniša Rodin
17 Conclusion: an emergent alliance for ‘critical doctrine’ 255
Marija Bartl, Pola Cebulak and Jessica C. Lawrence

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