20 August 2014

ARTICLE: Privileging (Some Forms of) Interdisciplinarity and Interpretation: Methods in Comparative Law

A new articlefrom SSRN:

Privileging (Some Forms of) Interdisciplinarity and Interpretation: Methods in Comparative Law
By Suryapratim Roy 
University of Groningen - Faculty of Law
Abstract:      

How should comparative law scholars engage with other disciplines? Which social sciences are relevant for the purpose of comparison? Such questions are important for the process of comparison, as disciplinary self-regulation (and interaction between disciplines) is not a neutral and objective process, and is always informed by embedded political, ideological, ethical preferences. Or, the act of selecting ways of reading, thinking and writing in the service of any task requires the explicit or implicit endorsement of epistemic and hermeneutic authority.

In this essay, I review three recent volumes on comparative law – a companion volume, a book of practice-oriented reflections by scholars who engage in comparative legal scholarship, and a region-specific contribution on Comparative Constitutionalism in South Asia. The approaches adopted in the volumes – concentrating on the science of comparative law, finding a middle way between too much complexity and too little, concentrating on region-specific complexities – do not address the issue of negotiating epistemic and hermeneutic authority posed above. Such negotiation may be facilitated by concentrating on what I suggest is the organising principle of the discipline of comparative law: identifying the construction, perpetuation and functionality of the internal authority of law.

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