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The Mind and Method of the Legal Academic [Hardcover]

Jan M. Smith


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Book Description

Nov. 12 2012 0857936549 978-0857936547
In a context of changing times and current debate, this highly topical book discusses the aims, methods and organisation of legal scholarship. Jan Smits assesses the recent turn away from doctrinal research towards a more empirical and theoretical way of legal investigation and offers a fresh perspective on what it is that legal academics should deal with and how they should do it. The book also considers the consequences which follow for the organisation of the legal discipline by universities and uses this context to discuss the key questions of the internationalisation of law schools, quality assessments, legal education and the research culture. Being the first book to address the aim and goals of legal scholarship in an international context, this insightful study will appeal to academics, graduate students, researchers and policymakers in higher education.

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'A wonderful little book which explains to newcomers and old hands alike what legal academics are doing, how they are doing it, how they ought to be doing it, what kind of research environment they would need, and how all this should affect their teaching. Smits brings comparative and interdisciplinary approaches home to the core of scholarly legal work.' - Gerhard Dannemann, Centre for British Studies, Berlin, Germany 'This book is a wide-ranging and bold exploration of the nature of legal scholarship. Lucid and learned, Smits draws upon a variety of sources to recommend a multi-faceted approach to the normative dimension of law. As such, it provides a theoretical base for comparative law but also for any inquiry into what law or legal principle is appropriate for a given problem or situation. All those engaged in critically examining the law will benefit from its insights.' - Anthony Ogus, University of Manchester, UK and University of Rotterdam, The Netherlands 'Academic debate over law and legal scholarship has placed legal research and legal education under pressure. Jan Smits' book is intellectual self-defence of legal scholarship tailored for the needs of tomorrow. The Mind and Method of Legal Academic is fluid, creative and original. Makes wonderful reading for those who are concerned about the future of legal research and legal education in globalized world.' - Jaakko Husa, University of Lapland, Finland 'Jan Smits has long been one of the most interesting and original authors on European private law theory. Now he offers his views on legal scholarship, and they are as original as they are thought-provoking. His plea for a legal scholarship that maintains its identity vis-a-vis neighboring disciplines without collapsing into doctrinairism is bound to yield lively discussions - and hopefully will help re-establish a proper place for legal scholarship, in Europe and beyond.' - Ralf Michaels, Duke University, US

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