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Richard Abel
Rick Abel is Connell Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus and Distinguished Research Professor at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). 'John and I, we both began our academic careers at Yale in the late 1960s, were alienated by the institution (social pretensions and intellectual narrowness) and happily found other homes: John in the Netherlands and I in California. I left Yale as an Associate Professor. At UCLA I am Connell Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus and Distinguished Research Professor.'
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Sociology of law in European civil law countries

Some remarks and correspondent proposals

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 1 2015
Trefwoorden socio-legal studies, high theory, research, achievements and gaps
Auteurs Vincenzo Ferrari
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In continental Europe, post-war sociology of law passed through diverse phases, swinging between grand theorizing and empirical research. In the last two decades, socio-legal studies have shown a more balanced approach with respect to these models. Neo-functionalism à-la Luhmann still takes the lead in high theory, although some more eclectic voices make themselves heard and some signs of renaissance of conflict theories have become visible again. Through an overview of the recent editorial policy of three influential journals in France, Germany and Italy, the author highlights that middle range socio-legal theory has successfully dealt with some relevant aspects of legal change of the last decades, in such fields as criminal justice, migrations, or family law. Yet, it has left aside other and no less important aspects, such as commerce and property laws, common goods, environment, and other crucial questions of our times. Thus, there is a risk for sociology of law not to perform its critical and pioneering task that belongs to its own tradition.


Vincenzo Ferrari
Vincenzo Ferrari is emeritus professor of philosophy and sociology of law. He has taught in the Universities of Cagliari, Bologna and Milan, and has been a visiting professor in diverse world’s academic institutions. He chaired the ISA Research Committee on Sociology of Law and was among the founders of the IISL, Oñati.
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