Mapping Legal Research
Mathias M. Siems
Durham University - Durham Law School; University of Cambridge - Centre for Business Research
Daithi Mac Sithigh
Newcastle University (UK) - Law School
November 1, 2012
Cambridge Law Journal, 2012, 71(3): 651-676
This article aims to map the position of academic legal research, using a distinction between “law as a practical discipline”, “law as humanities” and “law as social sciences” as a conceptual framework. Having explained this framework, we address both the “macro” and “micro” level of legal research in the UK. For this purpose, we have collected information on the position of all law schools within the structure of their respective universities. We also introduce “ternary plots” as a new way of explaining individual research preferences. Our general result is that all three categories play a role within the context of UK legal academia, though the relationship between the “macro” and the “micro” level is not always straight-forward. We also provide comparisons with the US and Germany and show that in all three countries law as an academic tradition has been constantly evolving, raising questions such as whether the UK could or should move further to a social science model already dominant in the US.
The Online Supplement for this paper is available at the following URL: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2097698
Number of Pages in PDF File: 35
Keywords: legal research, academic disciplines, research methods, interdisciplinarity, doctrinal legal research, legal practice, humanities, social sciences
JEL Classification: I23, I28, K00, K40
Date posted: November 29, 2012 ; Last revised: December 5, 2012
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