Non-Fiction Books:

Realistic Socio-Legal Theory

Pragmatism and a Social Theory of Law


Paperback / softback

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Realistic Socio-Legal Theory by Brian Z. Tamanaha
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Drawing on philosophical pragmatism, Tamanaha formulates a framework for a realistic approach to socio-legal theory. The strengths of this approach are contrasted with that of the major schools of socio-legal theory by application to core issues in this area. Thus Tamanaha explores the problematic state of socio-legal studies, the relationship between behaviour and meaning, the notion of legal ideology, the problem of indeterminacy in rule following and application, and the structure of judicial decision making. These issues are tackled in a clear and concise fashion while articulating a social theory of law that draws equally from legal theory and socio-legal theory. 'This book provides a useful, and at times provocative, review of recent developments in legal theory. Because it covers considerable territory, it should be a good addition to one's professional library ...there is much to commend in this book. It is well written, ably argued, and generally knowledgeable. It treats controversial topics forthrightly excellent review of the legal theory literature...It should provide a worthwhile venture into familiar debates rendered from a perspective that owes allegiance to no side. ' Law and Politics Book Review 'by any criterion and excellent book ...Tamanaha has produced a work which should feature as a core text in jurisprudence courses' Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 'This is the most significant piece of work for anybody in Jurisprudence, Socio-Legal Studies, or Legal Theory' Neil MacCormick 'a rich insight into almost every question legal theory has vexed itself over the past twenty-five years' Stanley Fish.

Author Biography

Brian Z. Tamanaha is Assistant Professor of Law at St John's University School in New York. He has worked as a practising lawyer and was a public defender in Hawaii and an assistant Attorney-General in Micronesia.
Release date Australia
August 1st, 1999
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Clarendon Press
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