13th Congress of the International Association of Legal Methodology - Conference 2014
Center for Legislative and Evaluation Studies of the University of Geneva
"Assessment of Research in Law: Stakes and Methods"
Thursday, February 13, 2014 - Friday, February 14, 2014 - Geneva (Switzerland)
GOAL: Traditionally, research in law has been assessed within different national jurisdictions, based on methods that were more qualitative than quantitative, and not subject to international competition. Following a process initiated by natural sciences' linear understanding of progress, legal scholars are now encouraged to engage in research assessment by measurement. Such a process is not self-evident. Although much more Internationalized and Europeanized over the past few years, legal research often focuses on questions within a specific national or regional legal framework, which sets basic principles that, to a large extent, exclude the international comparability of the findings.
Funding opportunities for research in law has been dwindling. But the questions at stake are not exclusively financial ones. Can we assert that methods and criteria commonly used to assess both qualitative and quantitative impact of research affect the genuine nature of research (i.e. by superseding local or less appealing research questions, by standardizing the language of publication, by favoring articles instead of books or textbooks, by privileging academic research instead of applied research, etc.)? Are these processes reconcilable with the academic freedom? Are legal scholars called to re-define the genuine notion of research in law or, at least, to better elucidate legal methodology to academia and politics? Does this trend affect legal education (law faculties vs law schools)? What is the impact of the academic university rankings? Do they promote research activities instead of teaching?
The conference aims to explore these questions by sharing different international perspectives.
TOPICS (suggested lines of inquiry):
- The different issues at stake with research assessment (institutional, financial, legal, etc.)
- The different models for research assessment (bibliometrics, peer-review, etc.)
- The new channels of research distribution (future of paper journals, digitalization, collaborative web)
- The impact on the education and training of legal scholars (role played by law faculties, lawyers or other stakeholders)
- The question of rankings (journals, universities)
- The constitutional aspects (academic freedom, freedom of speech, privatization of research)
PUBLICATION: Papers will be published.
LANGUAGE: English or French (simultaneous interpretation will be provided in English).
DEADLINES: Research Proposals should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 30, 2013. Authors will be notified of the selection committee's decision by August 15, 2013.
DISCUSSION DRAFT DEADLINE: Authors should submit a paper suitable for distribution to discussants no later than November 30, 2013.
ORGANIZERS: Prof. Alexandre Fluckiger, University of Geneva - Prof. Thierry Tanquerel, University of Geneva.