Introduction: a discipline in crisis?
Traditional legal scholarship is under pressure. In several countries around the world, a debate has evolved about the aims and methods of the academic study of law. There are various aspects to this debate. One question is, what should legal academics be concerned with: the traditional study of legislation and case law and its accommodation in the legal ‘system’ (an activity that is increasingly regarded as lacking in creativity), or with much more elevated themes? Another question is about the methods that should be used in legal research and how this research should be assessed, prompting the question, which research is ‘better’ and why should this be the case? There have also been pleas to organize the legal discipline more in line with other fi elds, including the introduction of rigorous peer review and the classification of journals. Finally, some have made the claim that legal academics should also be substantively more oriented towards other fields (in particular the social sciences) and that legal scholarship should develop as an international discipline instead of one primarily dealing with only one national law.