Socio‐Legal Studies in France: Beyond the Law Faculty
27 Pages Posted: 11 May 2016
Date Written: June 2016
This article is the third in an occasional series dealing with the development, current status, and future of socio‐legal studies in selected countries. It follows articles by Kim Economides (Aotearoa/New Zealand) and Harry Arthurs and Annie Bunting (Canada). In this article we argue that in France one can identify work that corresponds to the key strands of socio‐legal research in Anglo‐American societies but that ‘socio‐legal’ as a category of research and scholarship does not have the presence it has in the United Kingdom. French law faculties continue to be strongly shaped by a traditional disciplinary orthodoxy rooted in a highly and distinctively structured form of doctrinal analysis. In the first part, we explain the relatively limited presence of socio‐legal studies in French law faculties in terms of the historical and institutional mechanisms by which disciplinary closure has been created and maintained around traditional orthodoxies. But in the second part we will trace the presence – predominantly outside law faculties – of significant fragments of socio‐legal practice in the scholarship of law and allied disciplines.
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