Whither, legal scholarship? Rethinking a discipline with Professor Hans-W. Micklitz (21 September 2017)

M.C. Escher, Relativity (1953)

Thursday, 21 September 2017, 10am, Porthania P674 (6th floor). Please note new venue.

Law and society or ‘socio-legal’ scholars may sometimes consider their doctrinal colleagues as old-fashioned and inward-looking, unable to academically appreciate the social and political contexts of law. Doctrinal scholars, on the other hand, may find law and society scholarship as not much more than amateur social science. Yet both traditions arise from a common core and face similar challenges.

If legal scholarship becomes too separated from legal practice, legal scholars may soon find themselves redundant as supply does not meet demand. But if legal scholars are unable to explain to colleagues from other disciplines what is properly academic about their research, which methods are appropriate and why, and what distinguishes excellence in legal research, they may end up in isolation and suffer a very similar fate.

A debate is therefore required on what is common ground for legal scholarship of the traditional doctrinal kind and more socio-legal or law and society types of approaches, and how they differ. Should legal scholarship aspire to the status of a science and gradually adopt the methods, quality standards, and practices of other social sciences? If yes, to what extent? Can traditional doctrinal scholarship adapt to the socio-legal challenge? If yes, how? What methods are required to study law in its social context?

Rethinking Legal Scholarship (CUP 2017)

Finland Distinguished Professor Hans-W. Micklitz, Professor of Economic Law at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, has co-edited a collection of essays addressing these issues from a Transatlantic perspective. In this seminar, Professor Micklitz will elaborate both on the book project as a whole and on his own contribution to the book on the strengths and advantages of the European tradition. The presentation will be followed by a q&a session and a general discussion. The event will be of special interest to colleagues working in the doctrinal tradition who are interested in improving and updating the scholarly quality of their work.

Please register your intention to participate by filling in this form no later than Friday, 15 September 2017. You will receive the reading material for the event upon registration. Participants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the reading material prior to the event.

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