The Digitalization of the Assembly Line of Knowledge About Law: A Reinvention of the Confrontational Nature of Legal Scholarship?
Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2013-20
17 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2013 Last revised: 25 Oct 2013
Date Written: October 4, 2013
This paper reflects upon the rise of new tools of production and dissemination of knowledge about law as well as their impact on the dynamics and the nature of the profession of legal scholar. Taking the contemporary international legal scholarship as a case-study, it discusses potentially dramatic changes brought about by the new media of communication, not only with respect to the configuration of the assembly line of knowledge about law in the 21st century but also regarding the profession of legal academic as a whole.
This paper starts by distinguishing modes of law-making and modes of knowledge-production with a view to showing that these two modes of production of authoritative statements are not always following radically different dynamics. It then recalls that the production of knowledge about law has always been estranged from the State and rested on a competitive social process between professionals. The paper subsequently makes the point that knowledge-producing processes in international legal scholarship have been dramatically altered in the cyber-age. Knowledge about international law is now created, selected and disseminated through previously unknown channels that cannot be influenced by the State. These mutations have required legal scholars to change how they envisage and construe their contribution to the production of knowledge and thus how they see their own profession. The paper finally formulates some concluding remarks about what it means for the discipline as a whole.
Keywords: International Law, International Legal Theory, Theory of Knowledge, Digital Publishing, Deliberative Theory, Persuasiveness, Production of Knowledge, Production of Information, Digitalization, Legal Blogging, Open Access, Dissemination, Epistemic Community, Interpretive Community
JEL Classification: K33, K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation