How to Study Worlds: Or why one should (not) care about methodology

In Marija Bartl & Jessica C. Lawrence (eds.), The Politics of European Legal Research: Behind the Method. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. pp. 208 - 2022 (2022)
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This chapter advances a twofold analytical strategy. Firstly, an extrapolation of the legal method, i.e. the application of general rules to particular cases, into a general tool for both description and problem solving. Secondly, through the integration of the legal method with a phenomenological approach for the study of social worlds. This provides the basis for an integrated approach potentially deployable in relation to all social phenomena at the micro, meso and macro levels. This makes it an alternative to the methodology of the social sciences, i.e. economics, political economy, political science and sociology. The social sciences have become characterized by hyper formalistic and opaque modelling and simplistic assumptions resulting in a structural incapacity of scholarly innovation with the consequence that they are incapable of answering ‘big questions’ and lacks the ability to reflect critically upon the basic structure of society and core assumptions about the composition of the social world.

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Poul F. Kjaer
Copenhagen Business School


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