This paper provides a typology and brief assessment of four varieties of international law scholarship: formalist/doctrinal, normative/activist, theoretical/analytical, and empirical. It then develops an argument about the particular importance of empirical work from a "new legal realist" orientation. The paper contends that the distinctive features of a new legal realist approach are its commitment to empirical work, in particular of a qualitative nature, its engagement with critical analysis, and its commitment to translating empirical findings for a legal policy audience. This translation takes two forms. The paper situates "new legal realism" in relation to the original legal realist movement in the United States. A larger work-in-progress addresses its relation to the predominant theoretical perspectives on international law that have emerged.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Shaffer: A New Legal Realism: Method in International Economic Law Scholarship
Gregory Shaffer (Loyola University, Chicago - Law) has posted the abstract of A New Legal Realism: Method in International Economic Law Scholarship (in International Economic Law - The State & Future of the Discipline, forthcoming). Here's the abstract: