Normativity in Legal Sociology: Methodological Reflections on Law and Regulation in Late Modernity

Reza Banakar

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearch

13 Citations (SciVal)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages292
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-09649-0
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series


Bibliographical note

The chapters in this book were initially conceived as discrete research papers and essays in legal sociology. They have been thoroughly revised, extensively re-written, substantively developed and updated before being presented here in one volume as interrelated studies of the role of normativity in socio-legal research, on the one hand, and the challenges posed to modern law by the socio-cultural implications of globalisation, on the other. In some cases (such as in Chapters Two, Three Four, Five, Nine, Ten and Eleven), these revisions have been extensive and gone beyond the original aims of the previous publications. Chapter One is completely new.

This book explores issues of methodology from a doctrinal as well as an interdisciplinary perspective.

It maps the development of law and socio-legal research from industrialisation to globalisation.

Finally, it searches for forms of regulation which can effectively meet the challenges of contemporary global/network society.

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Law and Society


  • Legal methodology
  • Legal sociology
  • Normativity
  • Socio-legal research
  • Sociological theory
  • Sociology of law
  • legal philosophy
  • rationality
  • rule of law
  • separation thesis
  • regulation
  • risk mangement


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