Interdisciplinary Legal Research

The Taxonomy of Interdisciplinary Legal Research: Finding the Way Out of the Desert

MATHIAS M. SIEMS, University of Edinburgh – School of Law, University of Cambridge – Centre for Business Research (CBR)


This article identifies four different types of interdisciplinary legal research: one basic and three advanced types. Basic interdisciplinary research uses the same questions as starting points as traditional legal research, however, it also considers other academic disciplines in order to answer these questions. Advanced interdisciplinary research goes further: it can either deal with research questions that are not about the law as such (type 1), or incorporate “scientific methods” into legal thinking (type 2), or combine both (type 3.) This new taxonomy is useful in order to identify the benefits and difficulties of different types of interdisciplinary legal research.


A Dynamic Model of Interdisciplinarity: Limits and Possibilities of Interdisciplinary Research into Law

Tilburg University Legal Studies Working Paper No. 010/2008
Tilburg Working Paper Series on Jurisprudence and Legal History No. 08-02

BART VAN KLINK, Tilburg University – Jurisprudence & Legal History

SANNE TAEKEMA, Faculty of Law, Tilburg University


In the paper we will explore some of the major limits and possibilities of interdisciplinary research into law. In how far is the science of law open to insights from other disciplines, such as sociology, psychology, philosophy, economics and literature studies? We will approach this question by confronting two contrary positions: pragmatism (Dewey) that argues for the fundamental comparability and compatibility of theories on the one hand and positivism (Kelsen and Luhmann) that points to the limits thereof on the other. Following on this debate, we will present a dynamic model of interdisciplinarity in which different types of interdisciplinary legal research will be presented, moving from the monodisciplinary towards a fully integrated interdisciplinary perspective. Finally, the advantages and disadvantages of each type of interdisciplinary research into law will be discussed.


Source:  LSN Legal Writing Vol. 3 No. 13,  07/07/2008

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