Research Handbook on the Sociology of International Law
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Research Handbook on the Sociology of International Law

Edited by Moshe Hirsch and Andrew Lang

Bringing together a highly diverse body of scholars, this comprehensive Research Handbook explores recent developments at the intersection of international law, sociology and social theory. It showcases a wide range of methodologies and approaches, including those inspired by traditional social thought as well as less familiar literature, including computational linguistics, performance theory and economic sociology. The Research Handbook highlights anew the potential contribution of sociological methods and theories to the study of international law, and illustrates their use in the examination of contemporary problems of practical interest to international lawyers.
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Chapter 15: Network analysis and the sociology of international law

Sergio Puig

Abstract

Methodologies derived from network analysis are beginning to be applied to the study of law and legal institutions, including international law. This chapter briefly explains the origins, basic premises, and operation of social network analysis, as well as its possible application to specific international legal fields. The chapter briefly revisits its application to international arbitration, a legal field where a core group of professionals influence the making, interpretation, and enforcement of the law. The chapter also discusses the main limitations of this methodological approach to understanding the sociology of international law as well as its possible future application. While optimistic about the growing use of this research strategy, the chapter argues that we should also be cautious of the normative and explanatory conclusions derived from the application of network analysis.

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