Max Weber's Interpretive Sociology of Law: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Max Weber's Interpretive Sociology of Law

1st Edition

By Michel Coutu


303 pages

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Paperback: 9780367348977
pub: 2019-07-24
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pub: 2018-03-07
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This book presents a clear and precise account of the structure and content of Max Weber's sociology of law: situating its methodological and epistemological specificity in relation to other approaches to the sociology of law; as well as offering a critical evaluation of Weber's usefulness for contemporary socio-legal research. The book is divided into three parts. The first part deals with the methodological foundations of Weber's sociology of law. The second analyses the central theme of this sociology, the rationalisation of law, from the perspective of its internal logical coherence, its empirical validity, and finally its legitimacy. The third part questions the present-day relevance of the Weberian sociology of law for socio-legal research, notably with regard to legal pluralism. Max Weber, it is demonstrated, is not merely a 'founding father' of the sociology of law; rather, his methodology, concepts, and empirical analyses remain highly useful to the further development of work in this area.

Table of Contents


Part I. Methodological Foundations

Chapter 1. The Starting Point: Max Weber’s Critique of Stammler

Chapter 2. The Ideal-Typical Method

Chapter 3. Rationality as a Fundamental Category of Weberian Sociology

Part II. Rationalisation of Law

Chapter 4. Logical Coherence

Chapter 5. Empirical Validity

Chapter 6: Legitimacy

Part III. Weberian Sociology and Contemporary Law: Some Key Aspects

Chapter 7. Sociology of Law and Jurisprudence

Chapter 8. Legal Pluralism

Chapter 9. Substantive Rationalisation of Law




About the Author

Michel Coutu is Professor of labour law and legal sociology at the School of Industrial Relations, Université de Montréal, Canada.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Jurisprudence
LAW / Essays
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General