The Politics of European Legal Research: Behind the Method

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Dr Jessica Lawrence of Essex Law School and Professor Marija Bartl of Amsterdam School of Law have recently produced a jointly edited book publication with Edward Elgar titled The Politics of European Legal Research: Behind the Method. This book looks behind different methodologies to explore the institutional, disciplinary, and political conflicts that shape questions of ‘method’ or ‘approach’ in European legal scholarship. It offers a new perspective on the underlying politics of method and identifies four core dimensions of methodological struggle in legal research – the politics of questions, the politics of answers, the politics of legal audiences, and the politics of the concept of law.

In addition to her editorial role, Dr Lawrence contributed chapter 2 of the book titled ‘Governmentality as reflexive method: excavating the politics of legal research’. Here, she argues that researchers should be conscious of the impact that their ontological, epistemological, political, and normative commitments have on their work, and maintain an awareness of the fact that these assumptions are contingent, constructed, and politically significant. She argues that consciousness of these impacts is a tool researchers can use to better examine the forms of knowledge they (re)produce to determine what type of order, and what type of politics, they perpetuate.

Further information on this book can be found here.