To avert the twin threats of isolation and marginalization, we argue that European legal research should focus on questions that are important to lawyers and legal reformers and fully embrace the methodology of the social sciences. We identify two research programmes that, we believe, should be of fundamental interest to members of the legal community at large: (1) law as the art of persuasion, and (2) law as social product and instrument of social planning. We show that the questions demarcated by these two research programmes are, and have always been, of interest to lawyers, claims to the autonomy of the legal discipline notwithstanding. We also argue that the rapidly expanding and increasingly eclectic array of empirical research techniques – from text-mining to network analysis and machine learning – makes the turn to Empirical Jurisprudence especially promising.
Dyevre, Arthur, Wijtvliet, Wessel and Lampach, Nicolas, The Future of European Legal Scholarship: Empirical Jurisprudence (October 10, 2017).