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Banakar’s new book on normativity in socio-legal research

Professor Reza Banakar’s book Normativity in Legal Sociology. Methodological Reflections on Law and Regulation in Late Modernity has recently been released.

It studies of the role of normativity in socio-legal research also looking at the challenges posed to modern law by the socio-cultural implications of globalisation.

The book explores issues of methodology from a doctrinal as well as an interdisciplinary perspective and maps the development of law and socio-legal research from industrialisation to globalisation.

It also searches for forms of regulation which can effectively meet the challenges of contemporary global/network society.



The field of socio-legal research has encountered three fundamental challenges over the last three decades – it has been criticized for paying insufficient attention to legal doctrine, for failing to develop a sound theoretical foundation and for not keeping pace with the effects of the increasing globalization and internationalization of law, state and society.

This book examines these three challenges from a methodological standpoint. It addresses the first two by demonstrating that legal sociology has much to say about justice as a kind of social experience and has always engaged theoretically with forms of normativity, albeit on its own empirical terms rather than on legal theory’s analytical terms. The book then explores the third challenge, a result of the changing nature of society, by highlighting the move from the industrial relations of early modernity to the post-industrial conditions of late modernity, an age dominated by information technology.

It poses the question whether socio-legal research has sufficiently reassessed its own theoretical premises regarding the relationship between law, state and society, so as to grasp the new social and cultural forms of organization specific to the twenty-first century’s global societies.


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