14 October 2013

BOOKS: The Mind And Method Of The Legal Academic by Prof. Jan M. Smith

The Mind and Method Of The Legal Academic by Prof. Jan M. Smith, of The Netherlands and University of Helsinki, Finland

"Prof. Jan Smits has long been one of the most interesting and original authors on European private law theory. Now he offers his views on legal scholarship, and they are as original as they are thought-provoking. His plea for a legal scholarship that maintains its identity vis-à-vis neighboring disciplines without collapsing into doctrinairism is bound to yield lively discussions – and hopefully will help re-establish a proper place for legal scholarship, in Europe and beyond."
– Ralf Michaels, Duke University, US

Contents: Preface Introduction: A Discipline in Crisis? 1. Legal Science: A Typology 2. The Homo Juridicus: Towards a Redefinition of Normative Legal Science 3. Methodology of Normative Legal Science 4. Organization of the Legal-academic Discourse. Synopsis. References. Index.

In a context of changing times and current debate, this highly topical book discusses the aims, methods and organization of legal scholarship.

Jan Smits assesses the recent turn away from doctrinal research towards a more empirical and theoretical way of legal investigation and offers a fresh perspective on what it is that legal academics should deal with and how they should do it. The book also considers the consequences which follow for the organization of the legal discipline by universities and uses this context to discuss the key questions of the internationalization of law schools, quality assessments, legal education and the research culture.

Being the first book to address the aim and goals of legal scholarship in an international context, this insightful study will appeal to academics, graduate students, researchers and policymakers in higher education.

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