This book presents a clear and precise account of the structure and content of Max Weber’s sociology of law: situating its methodological and epistemological specificity in relation to other approaches to the sociology of law; as well as offering a critical evaluation of Weber’s usefulness for contemporary socio-legal research. The book is divided into three parts. The first part deals with the methodological foundations of Weber’s sociology of law. The second analyses the central theme of this sociology, the rationalisation of law, from the perspective of its internal logical coherence, its empirical validity, and finally its legitimacy. The third part questions the present-day relevance of the Weberian sociology of law for socio-legal research, notably with regard to legal pluralism. Max Weber, it is demonstrated, is not merely a ‘founding father’ of the sociology of law; rather, his methodology, concepts, and empirical analyses remain highly useful to the further development of work in this area.
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