Research Handbook on the Sociology of Law
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Research Handbook on the Sociology of Law

Edited by Jiří Přibáň

This unique Research Handbook maps the historical, theoretical, and methodological concepts in sociology of law, exploring the rich and complex nature of this area of research. It argues that sociology of law flourishes due to its strong capacity for interdisciplinary engagement and links to other scientific concepts, methodologies and research fields.
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Chapter 7: Sociology of law and science

Emilie Cloatre and Martyn Pickersgill


Sociologies of law and science are increasingly intertwined, offering an important analytic platform from which the join workings of legal and scientific processes can be apprehended and interrogated. This chapter attends to scholarship that has brought together the critical assessment of legal and scientific endeavours, and illustrates how it enabled the breaking of new ground. In particular, the chapter illuminates how new conceptual and methodological engagements have made apparent some of the political dynamics that determine how law functions in societies, and how scientific and legal practices can feed off each other in strengthening pre-existing relationships of institutional power. If the sociology of science has to a great extent enabled legal scholars to approach science as a much less uncertain object than they may have done otherwise, scholarship in law and science has also contributed to destabilizing understandings of the ontology of law - adding new insights into the many ways in which legal authority gets constructed, sustained or defined.

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