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What once was old is new again: Reviving an early-modern form of interdisciplinarity for socio-legal studies

Wickham, G. and Kendall, G. (2008) What once was old is new again: Reviving an early-modern form of interdisciplinarity for socio-legal studies. Flinders Journal of Law Reform, 10 (3). pp. 485-500.

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Abstract

Socio-legal studies are an essentially interdisciplinary enterprise. However, there is currently only one form of interdisciplinarity that most socio-legal scholars (and criminologists) recognise and work with. This form is derived from the idea that 'society itself' - and by this most scholars mean ‘civil society’ - drives the law. However, another, rival understanding of society, which we term the authoritarian-liberal statist understanding that slipped from view in the late seventeenth century and remained obscure from then until now, may be used to generate another form of interdisciplinarity for socio-legal studies (and for criminology). However, this rival understanding of society does not simply allow us to reconfigure our notion of ‘society’; it radically changes the role society plays in relation to the law. Two crucial points emerge from this rival account: first, society can no longer be understood as separable from (even though interacting with) the law; and second, society can no longer be understood as driving the law.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Publisher: Flinders Law School
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/6727
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