Doctoral Project: Sociological Jurisprudence and Western legal thought
|Since 03/2018||Doctoral Researcher in the Research Training Group "World Politics", Bielefeld University|
|09/2017 - 02/2018||Teaching & Research Associate, Chair Prof. Dr. Armin Nassehi, Institute for Sociology, LMU München|
|2017||LLM Comparative Constitutional Law, Central European University Budapest, Hungary|
|2015||M.A. Sociology, LMU München|
|2015||Magister Artium Philosophy, LMU München|
|2014 - 2016||Student Assistant, Chair Prof. Dr. Armin Nassehi, Institute for Sociology, LMU München|
|2011 - 2012||Erasmus, Sorbonne Paris IV, France|
|2011||B.A. Sociology, LMU München|
Western legal discourse turned to the social sciences at the turn of the 20th century. Across the legal families, legal sciences in Germany, France and the USA experienced a "social revolt" and the emergence of "Sociological Jurisprudence" in the early 20th century. Legal history traditionally relates the "social" turn of early 20th century jurisprudence to a need for legal flexibility which was triggered by social developments in the 19th century. According to this narrative, Sociological Jurisprudence and similar legal currents have ended the era of Legal Formalism which supposedly dominated the legal thinking and methodology of the 19th century. The allegedly liberal and individualistic legal mentality of the 19th century was then replaced by a socially sensitive jurisprudence of the 20th century. Taking the angle of a Sociology of Knowledge, the research project contextualizes conventional attempts to derive the emergence of "Sociological Jurisprudence" from social developments within the 19th century. To this end, it analyzes the methodological debates that have shaped Western legal discourses since the end of the 19th century. The focus is directed on how reform-oriented jurisprudence of the early 20th century has shaped the picture of 19th century legal thought. The dispute over the proper means of judicial interpretation has led to a polarization of positions which has given way to problematic dichotomies such as Sociological v. Conceptual Jurisprudence, Legal Realism v. Legal Formalism and 19th century v. 20th century legal thought.
Three case studies reconstruct the influence exercised by the advocates of “social” jurisprudence on the discipline of Legal History in Germany, France and the US, respectively. By retracing the image of a “Formalist” 19th century to the reform literature of the early 20th century, this study shows how Sociological Jurisprudence has created its own myth. As part of this historical reconstruction, the research project pursues the question of how the institutionalizing field of Sociology has been involved in renewal movements in Western jurisprudence. It examines the hopes and expectations that lawyers placed in the emerging discipline of Sociology for socially reforming the field of jurisprudence. At the same time, the project explores the proto-sociological traits of 19th century legal thought that are often neglected in conventional historical accounts. Furthermore, relating to the second research stream of the RTG, it examines how the idea of a Western legal thought consolidated as part of the methodological debates around 1900. Not only did the social reformers see themselves as part of a transnational legal discourse, thus turning the methodological nationalism of 19th century legal thinking into a transnational field of observation shaped by transnational narratives, schools, tendencies. The reformist critique of 19th century jurisprudence also created the conceptual templates for the project of a Western history of modern legal thought as opposed to the traditional undertakings of national and comparative legal history.
Preuß, K. (with D. Schweitzer) (forthcoming). 'Disziplinäre Abgrenzungsstreitigkeiten: Rechtswissenschaft und Soziologie Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts'. Zeitschrift für Rechtssoziologie.