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Access_open ‘A Continuous Process of Becoming’: The Relevance of Qualitative Research into the Storylines of Law

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 2 2018
Trefwoorden storylines of law, qualitative research, law in action, law in books
Auteurs Danielle Antoinette Marguerite Chevalier
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The maxim ‘law in books and law in action’ relays an implicit dichotomy, and though the constitutive nature of law is nowadays commonly professed, the reflex remains to use law in books as an autonomous starting point. Law however, it is argued in this article, has a storyline that commences before its institutional formalisation. Law as ‘a continuous process of becoming’ encompasses both law in books and law in action, and law in action encompasses timelines both before and after the formal coming about of law. To fully understand law, it is necessary to understand the entire storyline of law. Qualitative studies in law and society are well equipped to offer valuable insights on the facets of law outside the books. The insights are not additional to doctrinal understanding, but part and parcel of it. To illustrate this, an ethnographic case study of local bylaws regulating an ethnically diverse public space of everyday life is expanded upon. The case study is used to demonstrate the insights qualitative data yields with regard to the dynamics in which law comes about, and how these dynamics continue for law in action after law has made the books. This particular case study moreover exemplifies how law is one of many truths in the context in which it operates, and how formalised law is reflective of the power constellations that have brought it forth.


Danielle Antoinette Marguerite Chevalier
Dr. mr. Danielle Antoinette Marguerite Chevalier, PhD, is assistant professor at Leiden University, The Netherlands.
Artikel

“The production of law”: Law in action in the everyday and the juridical consequences of juridification

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2016
Trefwoorden juridification, production of space, law in action, local bye-laws
Auteurs dr. mr. Danielle Chevalier
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In an increasingly diversifying society, public space is the quintessential social realm1x Lofland 1998. where members of that diverse society meet each other. Thus space is shared, whilst norms regarding that space are not always shared. Of rivalling norms, some are codified into formal law, in a process Habermas called juridification. Early Habermas regarded juridification a negative process, ‘colonizing the lifeworld’. Later Habermas argued juridification a viable pillar for conviviality in diversity. The shift in Habermas’ perspective invites the question how law works in action. In this article a frame is offered to scrutinize the working of law in action in public space, by applying the conceptual triad of spatial thinker Lefebvre to understand how law is “produced”. It argues that how law is perceived in action is pivotal to understanding how law works in action. Moreover, it discusses the possible ramifications of the perception of law in action for how the legal system as a whole is perceived.

Noten

  • 1 Lofland 1998.


dr. mr. Danielle Chevalier
Danielle Chevalier is a lecturer and research fellow at the University of Amsterdam, affiliated to both the Bonger Institute for Criminology and the Amsterdam School for Social Science Research. Her academic works focuses on the intersection of the legal and the spatial, positioned within the frames of urban sociology, criminology and legal sociology. More specifically she researches legal interventions in the urban realm through qualitative methods, and publishes both on law in action and research methods. Her current project centers on the development of the concept 'emotional ownership of public space'.
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