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Can Legal Sociology Account for the Normativity of Law? by Reza Banakar&nbsp
University of Westminster - School of Law
September 3, 2012

Baier, Matthias and Åström, Karsten (eds.), Social and Legal Norms (Ashgate: 2012), Forthcoming
This paper challenges the assumption that legal sociology should apply itself to the external or factual properties of the law and leave the internal and normative aspects of legal phenomena to doctrinal scholars and moral philosophers. It argues that legal sociology explores the normative contexts of the law and other social systems, but being restricted by its “scientific” mode of expression it describes and analyses them in sociological rather than moral terms. Legal sociology is, and should be seen as, a different language game than moral and legal philosophy, and its treatment of normativity should be understood on its own terms. The assertion that legal sociology should limit its scope of analysis to the study of the empirical aspects of law and leave the study of law’s normative dimensions to other branches of legal studies is itself a normative supposition and part of the competing discourses which constitute the field of legal research. These discourses aim at demarcating the disciplinary boundaries between various epistemic approaches to the study of law and creating disciplinary identities rather than exploring the methodological scope of socio-legal research. Перейти к статье на сайте SSRN

Pitfalls in Measuring the Rule of Law
by Tom Ginsburg
University of Chicago Law School

Abstract: The recent demand for new measures of the rule of law confronts several methodological challenges. This article calls for careful attention to fundamental social science ideas of conceptualization and measurement in approaching the rule of law. Efforts to measure complex social phenomena such as the rule of law are challenging, and thus require that researchers and policy makers pay attention to the cautionary rules of social science in their efforts. Violating these basic rules risks producing measures that are not reliable or valid, and could be a bad basis for policy-making. This paper demonstrates some of the pitfalls that rule of law researchers have fallen into and suggests improvements in measurement approaches. Перейти к статье на сайте SSRN

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