The empirical sociology of law in the context of interdisciplinary synthesis


Volkov V.V.

Dr. Sci. (Soc.), PhD, Prof., Academic Director, Institute for the Rule of Law, the European University at Saint- Petersburg, Saint-Petersburg, Russia volkov@eu.spb.ru

ID of the Article: 6644


For citation:

Volkov V.V. The empirical sociology of law in the context of interdisciplinary synthesis. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2017. No 4. P. 34-42




Abstract

The article reviews the empirical turn in the sociology of law in the context of its interaction with other disciplines, such as jurisprudence, criminology, economics as well as the development of empirical-legal studies. Having incorporated critical questions and frameworks of the sociological classics, the contemporary sociology of law has moved away from the rigid sociological type of explanation to a more analytical and case-specific kind of analysis. The sociological way of posing research questions is always present albeit implicitly in sentencing research, organizational studies of justice, studies of the legal profession, and research of legal pluralism. The unifying features of the new interdisciplinary field are the reliance upon empirical data and the treatment of law as behavioral phenomenon. The article also reviews the recent developments in empirical-legal studies in Russia and in other countries where scholars managed to obtain access to large datasets of law enforcement and court statistics. One of the main arguments is that the sociology of law managed to avoid the crisis of sociology caused by its isolation and weak policy impact. Today the empirical-legal studies can be regarded as an example of successful public sociology that interacts with several professional audiences and productively works with new types of data. Several examples of policy relevant scholarly research are given to support this proposition.


Keywords
the sociology of law; empirical-legal studies; public sociology

References

Abel R. (2003) English Lawyers Between Market and State: The Politics of Professionalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Avakame E., Fyfe J., Mccoy C. (1999) Did you call the police? What did they do? An empirical assessment of Black’s theory of mobilization of law, Justice Quarterly. 4: 765–792.

Baldus D., Pulaski C., Woodworth C. (1983) Comparative Review of Death Sentences: An Empirical Study of Georgia Experience. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. 74(3): 661–752.

Bullock H. (1961) Significance of the Racial factor in the Length of Prison Sentence. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. 52(4): 411–417.

Black D. (2014) Povedenie zakona (gl.1 and 2) [The Behavior of Law, Chapter 1 and 2]. In: Paneyakh E. L. (ed.) Pravo I pravoprimenenie v zerkale sotsialnykh nauk: khrestomatiya sovremennykh tekstov [Law and Law Enforcement in the Mirror of the Social Sciences: an Anthology of Contemporary Texts]. Moscow: Statut: 131–144. (In Russ.)

Buravoy M. (2008) Za publichnuiu sotsiologiiu [For public sociology]. In: Romanov P. And Yarskaya-Smirnova (eds) Obshchestvennaya rol’ sotsiologii [The Public Role of Sociology]. Moscow: Variant: 8–51. (In Russ.)

Chetverikova I. V. (2014) Rol’ semi, professionalnoi kariery I pola podsudimykh pri vynesenii prigovora rossiiskimi sudami [The role of family, gender, and professional career in sentencing by Russian courts]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoi antropologii [The journal of sociology and social anthropology]. No. 4: 102–123. (In Russ.)

Franklin C., Fearn N. (2008) Gender, Race, and Formal Court Decision-Making Outcomes: Chivalry/ Paternalism, Conflict Theory or Gender Conflict? Journal of Criminal Justice. No. 36: 279–290.

Freidman L. M. (2014) Vzroslenie: issledovaniya prava I obshchestva vstupaiut v ekskluzivnyi klub [Coming of Age: Law and Society Enters an Exclusive Club]. In: Paneyakh E. L., ed. Pravo I pravoprimenenie v zerkale sotsialnykh nauk: khrestomatiya sovremennykh tekstov [Law and law enforcement in the mirror of the social sciences: an anthology of contemporary texts]. Moscow: Statut: 184–200. (In Russ.)

Gouldner A. W. (1970) The Coming Crisis of Western Sociology. New York: Basic Books.

Knorre A. Skougarevskiy D. (2015) Kak MVD i FSKN boriutsia s narkotikami: sravnitelnyi analiz rezuiltativnosti dvukh vedomstv [How MVD and FSKN fight against drugs: a comparative analysis of effectiveness of the two agencies]. Saint-Petersburg: The Institute for the Rule of Law. URL: http://enforce.spb.ru/images/analit_zapiski/FSKN_MVD_memo_2015_web. pdf (accessed 16.06.2016). (In Russ.)

Kuznetsov D. (2015) Kontseptsiya “povedeniya zakona”: rozhdenie chistoi sotsiologii iz dukha kriminalnoi statistiki [The concept of the “behavior of law”: The birth of pure sociology from the spirit of criminal statistics]. Sotsiologiya vlasti [The Sociology of Power] No. 2: 16–47. (In Russ.)

Moiseeva E. (2014) Rabochie gruppy v sudakh Saint-Petersburga [Work groups in Saint-Petersburg courts]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoi antropologii [The journal of sociology and social anthropology]. No. 4: 87–100. (In Russ.)

Romanovskiy V. (2016) Discourse of crisis of(in) contemporary sociology. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological studies]. No. 4: 4–12. (In Russ.)

Savage M., Burrows R. (2007) The Coming Crisis of Empirical Sociology. Sociology. 41(5): 885–899.

Skougarevskiy D. A., ed. (2014) Ugolovnaya yustitsiya v Rossii v 2009 g.: kompleksnyi analiz sudebnoi statistiki [Criminal Justice in Russia in 2009: A Complex Analysis of Court Statistics]. Saint-Peterburg: The Institute for the Rule of Law. (In Russ.)

Sellin T. (1928) Negro Criminal: A Statistical Note. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 140: 52–64.

Spohn C. (2008) Race, Sex, and Pretrial Detention in Federal Court: Indirect Effects and Cumulative Disadvantage. University of Kansas Law Review. 57: 879–901.

Titaev K. D. (2014) Predvaritelnoe zakliuchenie v rossiiskoi ugolovnoi yustitsii: sotsiologicheskii analiz predvaritelnogo zakliucheniya i ego vliyanie na reshenie suda [Pretrial detention in Russian criminal justice: the sociological analysis of pretrial detention and its influence on court decision]. Ekonomicheskaya sotsiologiya [Economic sociology]. Vol. 15. No. 3: 88–113. (In Russ.)

Ulmer J. T. (2012) Recent Developments and New Directions in Sentencing Research. Justice Quarterly. 29(1): 1–40.

Volkov V., Dmitryeva A. (2015) Istochniki rekrutirovaniya, gender i professionalnye subkultury v rossiiskoi sudebnoi sisteme [Recrutment patterns, gender and professional subcultures of the Russian judiciary] Sotsiologiya vlasti [The Sociology of Power]. Vol. 27. № 2: 94–134 (In Russ.)

Volkov V., Skougarevskiy D., Titaev K. (2016) Problemy i perspektivy issledovanii na osnove Big Data (na primere sotsiologii prava) [Problems and perspectives of research using Big Data (the case of the sociology of law)]. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological studies]. No. 1: 48–58. (In Russ.)

Volkov V. (2014) Vliyanie sotsialnogo statusa podsudimogo na reshenie suda [The influence of the social status of defendant on the court decision]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoi antropologii [The journal of sociology and social anthropology]. No. 4: 62–85. (In Russ.)

Content No 4, 2017