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Research Methodologies and Methods

Call for Papers

Abstracts may only be submitted via the Easy Chair system. They must be no longer than 300 words and must include your title, name and institutional affiliation and your email address for correspondence.

The deadline for the submissions is Monday 19 January 2015.

Contemporary legal research encompasses a wide variety of methods and techniques to enable the researcher to comment meaningfully on the legal environment within which we live and work. Choosing to conduct research in the current legal environment presents the opportunity to apply a range of methods and analytical techniques in order to reach meaningful conclusions concerning the accepted status of the law in a particular area or about how the law operates in society.

This stream aims to enable researchers to provide papers and present on their experiences of using particular research methods in the legal environment, to inspire other researchers to use new techniques and to share the benefits and drawbacks of particular methods.

We would ask applicants to provide an abstract of no more than [300] words and to produce a paper that addresses the following areas:
• a detailed description of the primary method (or combination of methods) used to address a particular project;
• why the method or methods were chosen to be used in that particular project and how it was decided that such methods would be appropriate;
• the practical experience of using that method or methods and whether any elements could have been done differently; and
• comment more generally on the rationale of using specific methods and their place in advancing our understanding of particular issues in the legal environment. Applicants are invited to comment more widely on the benefits of methodological approaches such as the use of critical textual analysis of primary source material and the synthesis of legal argument in a particular area and the benefits of applying theory and approaches traditionally developed from other disciplines.

We invite papers from all spheres of legal research focusing particularly on research methods. As we are seeking to celebrate the diversity in this area, we are looking for strong papers on a wide range of research projects including but not limited to doctrinal, empirical, ethnographic and theoretical.

At the heart of this stream lies a question about what law and society research is. The sessions will take a broad perspective on socio-empirical methods to include using social science methods to investigate legal cultures, consciousness and practices. It will also provide space to consider historical, geographical or any other academic perspective asking whether a cross-disciplinary discipline can enrich both our understandings of law and other disciplines.

For informal discussion please email the stream convenors at the e-mail address above.

Session Programme (Papers and rooms are subject to change)

Tuesday: Session 1: Social Sciences S1.14

Session Title: Situation Methodologies

Papers: “Women, Poverty and Human Rights: Applying Feminist Research Methods” - Rhoda Askia Ige

Use of corpus linguistics for interdisciplinary research on legal-lay discourse types - Tatiana Tkacukova.

Wednesday: Session 4: Ramphal Room 0.14

Session Title: Empirical research in Progress

Papers: “Triumph for Transparency? : Assessing the Impact of Freedom of Information Laws” - Erin Ferguson

Risk logic: An evolving methodology for analysingdiverse information sources - Richard Collins

“Broadening law's 'context' in socio-legal research” - Nicole Graham

Wednesday: Session 5: Ramphal Room 0.14

Session Title: Visual Methods

Papers: “Revealing the Legal Experience through Visual Arts” Natalie Ohana
Prize winner session: - Amanda Perry-Kessaris

“The Case for a Visualized Economic Sociology of Legal Development” Winner of the 2014 SLSA Best Article Prize

Wednesday: Session 6: Ramphal Room 1.04

Session Title: Legal Research and Historical Methods

Papers: Winner of the 2014 SLSA Best History and Theory Book Prize Henry Yeomans
Alcohol and Moral Regulation: Public attitudes, spirited measures and Victorian hangovers