Methodology in the New Legal World

EUI Working Papers LAW No. 2012/13

30 Pages Posted: 29 May 2012

See all articles by Rob Van Gestel

Rob Van Gestel

Tilburg University

Hans‐W. Micklitz

European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW)

Miguel Poiares Maduro

European University Institute

Date Written: May 1, 2012


Law is a discipline in transition moving, among others, from a predominantly monodisciplinary dogmatic tradition towards more and more attention for multidisciplinary and empirical legal research, from a national to a more international and global orientation and from a research culture of ‘laissez faire’ towards more managerial control, rankings and research programming. Questions lying in wait are, among others: how can we revitalize doctrinal legal research in Europe in a way that it is up for the challenges of the future, such as the blurring of borders between European and national law, public and private law and state and non-state law and what does the multidisciplinary turn in legal research mean for the education of law students and starting researchers? Moreover, how should legal scholars react to the increased instrumentalization of law in order to avoid that legal research is reduced to a policy tool that is meant to ‘solve’ the major societal problems of today? We believe that what is required is not only more focus on methodology with a small ‘m’ concentrating on how to train new generations of academics to conduct different sorts of legal research. Just as much needed is more attention in research and education for the importance of methodology with a big ‘M’ aiming for (self- )criticism, awareness of the risk of advocacy scholarship and herd behavior and concentrating on slow science: theory-building with the intention to explain why law in a globalized world develops as it does.

Keywords: legal research, methodology, EU law

Suggested Citation

Van Gestel, Rob and Micklitz, Hans-W. and Maduro, Luís Miguel Poiares Pessoa, Methodology in the New Legal World (May 1, 2012). EUI Working Papers LAW No. 2012/13, Available at SSRN: or

Rob Van Gestel (Contact Author)

Tilburg University ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC Noord-Brabant 5000 LE

Hans-W. Micklitz

European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW) ( email )

Via Boccaccio 121 (Villa Schifanoia)
I-50122 Firenze

Luís Miguel Poiares Pessoa Maduro

European University Institute ( email )

Villa La Pagliaiuola
Via delle Palazzine, 19
San Domenico di Fiesole, FI 50014

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