“The Socio-Legal Lab: An Experiential Approach to Research on Law in Action” is an interactive workbook for socio-legal research projects. It employs the idea of a “lab” as a space for interactive and experiential learning. As an introductory book, it addresses researchers of all levels who are beginning to explore interdisciplinary research on law and are looking for guidance on how to do so. Likewise, the book can be used by teachers and peer groups to experiment with teaching and thinking about law in action through lab-based learning.
The book covers themes and questions that may arise during a socio-legal research project. This starts with examining what research and interdisciplinarity mean and in which forms they can be practiced. After an overview of the research process, we will discuss how research in action is often unpredictable and messy. Thus, the practical and ethical challenges of doing research will be discussed along with processes of knowledge production and assumptions that we have as researchers.
Conducting a socio-legal research project further requires an overview of the theoretical landscape. We will introduce general debates about the nature, functions, and effects of law in society. Further, common dichotomies in socio-legal research such as “law” and “the social” or “qualitative” and “quantitative” research will be explored, along with suggested ways on how to bridge them.
Turning to the application side of socio-legal research, the book delves deeper into questions of data on law and society, where to collect it and how to deal with it in a reflexive manner. It discusses different methods of qualitative socio-legal research and offers ways in which they can be experienced through exercises and simulations. In the research process, generating research results is followed by publishing and communicating them. We will explore different ways to ensure the outreach and impact of one’s research by communicating results through journals, blogs or social media. Finally, the book also discusses academia as a social space and the value of creating and using networks and peer groups for mutual support.
Overall, the workbook is designed to accompany and inspire researchers on their way through a socio-legal research project and to empower the reader into thinking more creatively about their methods, while at the same time demystifying them.
You are welcome to download the full book here:
There is also a printed edition available via the webshop of Open Press Tilburg University.
Aditya Bharadwaj, Sandhya Visvanathan
Illustrations and graphics
Sandhya Visvanathan, Aditya Bharadwaj,
Shoumik Biswas and Aniruddh Menon.
Open Press Tilburg University is the academic Open Access publishing house for Tilburg University and beyond.
This book will be made available Open Access under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.