Stepwise Progression: The Past, Present, and Possible Future of Empirical Research on Law in the United States and the United Kingdom

30 Pages Posted: 15 May 2014

See all articles by Michael E. Adler

Michael E. Adler

University of Edinburgh - School of Social and Political Science

Jonathan Steven Simon

University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall, School of Law

Date Written: June 2014

Abstract

The article distinguishes empirical research on law from other modes of legal enquiry. It charts the changing fortunes of empirical research on law in the United States and the United Kingdom and accounts for the differences between them. In both countries, the development has been uneven and intermittent rather than gradual and linear, with a number of important differences in trajectories, in particular: the number of growth spurts; their timing; the present position; and whether the rise and fall of activity refers to research on civil and criminal justice or on civil justice alone. The different trajectories are explained in terms of path dependency (the fact that developments in the present are shaped by developments in the past); sequential development (emphasizing the importance of timing and that developments in one institution may be contingent on developments in another); and institutional responsiveness (an institution's capacity to respond to opportunities in its external environment).

Suggested Citation

Adler, Michael Edward and Simon, Jonathan Steven, Stepwise Progression: The Past, Present, and Possible Future of Empirical Research on Law in the United States and the United Kingdom (June 2014). Journal of Law and Society, Vol. 41, Issue 2, pp. 173-202, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2437168 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6478.2014.00663.x

Michael Edward Adler (Contact Author)

University of Edinburgh - School of Social and Political Science ( email )

Jonathan Steven Simon

University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall, School of Law ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States
510.643.5169 (Phone)

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