Doctrinal Knowledge, Legal Doctrinal Scholarship and the Problem of Interdisciplinary Engagement

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The core convictions underlying legal theory require legal theorists to navigate these unstable middle positions. They imply that legal theory will generally rely on pragmatic judgments as to the optimal degree of suspension from the practice of law and the optimal mix of socio-historical and normative perspectives that should be included in its analysis. Though the imprecision of such judgments does not justify their disparagement, complacency about them does not seem appropriate either. Not only do other discourses supply legal theory with essential inputs, they also serve as potential sources for criticizing excesses or shortcomings in striking this delicate and sensitive balance. The critiques are obviously different from one another and at times may indeed be diametrically opposed. Legal theorists, whose accounts often serve to bridge these contradictory positions, can rely on the critical attitudes of other members of the legal discourses family as checks on what may be the most challenging task of a solid legal theory: properly accommodating the insights of all these schools into workable theoretical frameworks that rely on a robust understanding of law as a set of coercive normative institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStateless Law
Subtitle of host publicationEvolving Boundaries of a Discipline
EditorsHelge Dedek, Shauna Van Praagh
Place of PublicationFarnham
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781317050209
ISBN (Print)978-1-4724-2784-7, 9781315610719
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015


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