NETWORK RESEARCH IN LAW: CURRENT SCHOLARSHIP IN REVIEW

Main Article Content

Shisong Jiang

Keywords

network analysis, legal scholarship, intellectual trajectory, structuralism, institutionalization, literature review

Abstract

Purpose of the study: The aim of this paper is twofold and while one is more analytically conspicuous, another is rather devised to be more connotatively ambitious. As to the former one, it intends to contribute to the literature on the interdisciplinary collaboration between network science and legal science by comprehensively reviewing and discussing the existing literature as well as the relevant academic activities.


Methodology: To achieve its aims, this study primarily adopts the scoping review methodology to map the extant literature and relevant research activities in this emergent area of research. The data solicited for this study was thus qualitative in nature and mainly generated from journal articles, books, book chapters, and conference proceedings on the topic in question. In addition, Internet sources like blog pages and university websites were involved as well.


Main findings: The comprehensive review conducted by this study recognized that the origin, evolution, and development of network studies of law have been in line with the mainstream of network analysis/science, especially in terms of the historical timeline and scope.


Applications of this study: Given the epistemic and pragmatical significance of integrating network thinkings and methods with legislation, adjudication, and implementation, this study is highly relevant and meaningful for both legal practitioners and (socio-)legal academics who obtain the specific intention of updating the landscape of this field.


Novelty/Originality of this study: Against the general backdrop of the increasing number of studies that apply network theories and methods to legal topics, this study is initially novel in the sense that it attempts to uncover the intellectual trajectory of the network analysis in law by reviewing the existing literature and the relevant activities in the academia.

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