Network Analysis and the Sociology of International Law

Research Handbook on the Sociology of International Law (A. Lang & M. Hirsch eds., 2018 Forthcoming)

Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 18-06

16 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2018

See all articles by Sergio Puig

Sergio Puig

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law

Date Written: February 19, 2018

Abstract

Social scientists, including economists, sociologists, and anthropologists, have relied for decades on tools derived from network analysis. These tools, and key findings obtained through their application, are only beginning to be applied to the study of law and legal institutions, including international law. In this contribution, I briefly explain the origins, basic premises, and operation of network analysis, as well as its possible application to specific international legal fields. I briefly revisit its application to international arbitration and discuss the main limitations of this methodological approach to understanding the role of social dynamics in international law’s making, interpretation, and enforcement. While optimistic about the growing use of this research strategy for uncovering the sociology of international law, I argue that we should also be cautious of the normative and explanatory conclusions derived from the application of network analysis. In particular, network analysis’s application may be problematic if detached from careful understanding of the specific contexts in which legal institutions operate.

Keywords: international arbitration, network analysis and the law, international law, social network

Suggested Citation

Puig, Sergio, Network Analysis and the Sociology of International Law (February 19, 2018). Research Handbook on the Sociology of International Law (A. Lang & M. Hirsch eds., 2018 Forthcoming); Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 18-06. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3130256

Sergio Puig (Contact Author)

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States

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