Revitalizing Doctrinal Legal Research in Europe: What About Methodology?
EUI Working Paper LAW No. 2011/05
49 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2011
Date Written: January 2011
Both in the U.S. and in Europe there is a debate on methodology in legal research. Doctrinalists and multidisciplinarians appear to be in different camps fighting over the ‘true nature’ of legal scholarship. We wonder where this renewed attention for methodology is coming from and what is behind it. Should European legal scholars follow certain colleagues in the U.S. who believe that doctrinal research is dead and should we all engage in law and… research now? If not, does this imply that there is nothing wrong with mainstream European doctrinal legal scholarship? We believe the latter is not the case. Our hypothesis is that an increased instrumentalisation of European law, and legal research has decreased the attention for methodology, for legal theory, and for keeping enough professional distance to ones object of research. This has, among others, resulted in a lack of scholarly criticism towards European integration. We will argue that the answer to this problem is not to try to put doctrinal legal research out with the garbage. Instead, we suggest it should be revitalized so that it is up for the challenges that European law is facing.
Keywords: Legal methodology; legal research; legal scholarship; European integration
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