This unique book examines the role non-doctrinal research methods play in international legal research: what do they add to the traditional doctrinal analysis of law and what do they neglect? Focusing on empirical and socio-legal methods, it provides a critical evaluation of the breadth, scope and limits of the representation of international law created by these often-neglected methodologies.
The book examines whether non-doctrinal methods promise certainty and objectivity. Chapters explore how adopting social research methods allows artificial landscapes of international law to be constructed, with the aim of aiding our understanding of its normative content. In doing so, the contributors place the normative content of international law into the realm of scientific investigation, providing a critical distance from its principled roots. This insightful book argues that any research methodology, whether doctrinal or non-doctrinal, involves a necessarily partial and incomplete vision of international law. Hence, the critical variation provided by non-doctrinal methods is a useful means for supplementing, rather than replacing, doctrinal analysis.
Accessible and engaging, Pluralising International Legal Scholarship will be a key resource for international law scholars, especially those specializing in legal methods. The interdisciplinary nature of the study will also appeal to students and academics working in the fields of international relations, international organization and social research methodology.