Empirical Legal Research in Europe: Prevalence, Obstacles and Interventions

34 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2018

See all articles by Gijs van Dijck

Gijs van Dijck

Maastricht University - Faculty of Law

Shahar Sverdlov

Maastricht University, Students

Gabriela Buck

Maastricht University, Faculty of Law, Students

Date Written: November 19, 2018

Abstract

Empirical legal research (ELR) has become well established in the United States, whereas its popularity in Europe is debatable. This article explores the popularity of ELR in Europe. The authors carried out an empirical analysis of 78 European-based law journals, encompassing issues from 2008 to 2017. The findings demonstrate that a supposed increase of ELR is questionable (at best). Moreover, additional findings highlight:

• An increase for a few journals, with a small number of other journals showing a decrease over time;

• A higher percentage of empirical articles for extra-legal journals than for legal journals (average proportion per journal is 4.6% for legal journals, 18.9% for extra-legal journals);

• Criminal justice journals, environmental journals and economically oriented journals being more likely to publish empirical articles than other journals;

• More prestigious journals being more likely to publish empirical articles than less-prestigious journals;

• Older journals being more likely to publish empirical work than younger journals, but not at an increasing rate;

• Journals being legal/extra-legal, journals in a specific field, journal ranking, or the age of the journal not making it more (or less) likely that the journal will publish empirical articles at an increasing (or decreasing) rate.

Considering the lack of convincing evidence indicating an increase of ELR, we identify reasons for why ELR is seemingly becoming more popular but not resulting in more empirical research in Europe. Additionally, we explore interventions for overcoming the obstacles ELR currently faces.

Keywords: empirical legal research, ELS, Europe, popularity, journals

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K20, K30, K40

Suggested Citation

van Dijck, Gijs and Sverdlov, Shahar and Buck, Gabriela, Empirical Legal Research in Europe: Prevalence, Obstacles and Interventions (November 19, 2018). Erasmus Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3286874

Gijs Van Dijck (Contact Author)

Maastricht University - Faculty of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/gijs.vandijck

Shahar Sverdlov

Maastricht University, Students ( email )

Maastricht
Netherlands

Gabriela Buck

Maastricht University, Faculty of Law, Students ( email )

Maastricht
Netherlands

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