Ever since H.L.A. Hart's self-description of The Concept of Law as an 'exercise in descriptive sociology', contemporary legal theorists have been debating the relationship between legal theory and sociology, and between legal theory and social science more generally. There have been some who have insisted on a clear divide between legal theory and the social sciences, citing fundamental methodological differences. Others have attempted to bridge gaps, revealing common challenges and similar objects of inquiry. Collecting the work of authors such as Martin Krygier, David Nelken, Brian Tamanaha, Lewis Kornhauser, Gunther Teubner and Nicola Lacey, this volume - the second in a three volume series - provides an overview of the major developments in the last thirty years. The volume is divided into three sections, each discussing an aspect of the relationship of legal theory and the social sciences: 1) methodological disputes and collaboration; 2) common problems, especially as they concern different modes of explanation of social behaviour; and 3) common objects, including, most prominently, the study of language in its social context and normative pluralism.
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Contents: Introduction; Part I Methodology: Collaborations and Disputes: The Concept of Law and social theory, Martin Krygier; Legal theory and social theory, Kim Lane Scheppele; An analytical map of social scientific approaches to the concept of law, Brian Z. Tamanaha; Why must legal ideas be interpreted sociologically?, Roger Cotterrell; Analytical jurisprudence versus descriptive sociology revisited, Nicola Lacey; Legal research and the social sciences, Christopher McCrudden; Is law really a social science? A view from comparative law, Geoffrey Samuel. Part II Common Problems: Modes of Explanation of Behaviour: How the law thinks: towards a constructivist epistemology of law, Gunther Teubner; Law and spontaneous order: Hayek's contribution to legal theory, A.I. Ogus; The normativity of law, Lewis A. Kornhauser; Using the concept of legal culture, David Nelken; The law as social practice: are shared activities at the foundations of law?, Matthew Noah Smith. Part III Common Objects: Modes of Explanation of Legal Phenomena: Law as tradition, Martin Krygier; Language, law, and social meanings: linguistic/anthropological contributions to the study of law, Elizabeth Mertz; Mute law, Rodolfo Sacco; Social science and diffusion of law, William Twining; Understanding legal pluralism: past to present, local to global, Brian Z. Tamanaha; Name index.