Julia Puaschunder, ‘Law & Economics’

ABSTRACT
The fields of law and economics are hallmarks of social sciences. Legal studies account for the oldest foundations of scholarly work and have ever since been part of academic institutions. Since the inception of the science of economics, this standardized way of measuring utility had rising popularity. Surprisingly, the interdisciplinary discourse of Law & Economics has just recently started in the previous decades. In today’s world, the time has come to acknowledge the power of integrating Law & Economics as a most important approach to solve the most pressing issues of our contemporary times. Climate change, inequality and the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into our society will require the bundled strength of Law & Economics to successfully understand, harness the positive advancement but also curb harmful consequences of the opportunities and threats of our contemporary society. Law offers a humane-ethical clarity, governmental impetus and practical feasibility but also historical adaptability to implement societal changes including a legal birds-eye view of comparative approaches around the world, an exemplary sensitivity to disparate impacts of external influences on society but also clear guidelines how far the individual freedom can be granted in light of common security protection and societal welfare enhancement. Economics features the most advanced discounting of future value methods, an exemplary formalization of societal welfare maximization over time but also the most sophisticated ways to quantify societal losses over time and in often-overlooked or behaviorally-unforeseen externalities. Only in the harmonious combination of both disciplines will the most pressing contemporary predicaments of our time be solved and widespread inequalities be alleviated through fine-tuned redistribution mechanisms. Acknowledging the power of an interdisciplinary approach and cherishing a unique field of Law & Economics can help bridge the gap between societal entities. Adopting an interdisciplinary study approach with a commonly-understood language will promote a mutual understanding of multi-faceted insights in order to harvest the benefits of a fruitful Law & Economics Gestalt that is greater than its law and economics components.

Puaschunder, Julia M, Law & Economics (December 9, 2021). Proceedings of the 24rd Research Association for Interdisciplinary Studies (RAIS) conference, October 17, 2021.

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