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Author(s): Pavoni, A.
Editor: Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos
Victoria Brooks
Date: 2017
Title: Abstracting method: Taking legal abstractions seriously
Book title/volume: Research methods in environmental law: A handbook
Pages: 51 - 79
Reference: Pavoni, A. (2017). Abstracting method: Taking legal abstractions seriously. EM A. Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, & V. Brooks (Eds.) Research methods in environmental law: A handbook (pp. 51-79). Edward Elgar Publishing.
ISBN: 9781784712563
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.4337/9781784712570.00009
Abstract: This chapter sketches the contours of a methodological attitude aimed to explore the spatiality and materiality of law by taking abstraction seriously and using abstraction strategically. This is done through five steps. First, I briefly account for the impact that the spatial and subsequent (affective, material, post-human) turns in social sciences and humanities had on the notion of the social. Second, I draw the relative consequences vis-à-vis the law, by introducing the notion of spatiolegal. Third, I describe the way in which within the legal system, as well as legal thinking more generally, space has been systematically misunderstood. I especially focus on the case of socio-legal and critical legal approaches, highlighting how beneath their misunderstandings they betray a common incapacity to overcome the separation between law and space, thus reaffirming under another guise the opposition between the abstract and the concrete. Fourth, I tackle this question by integrating insights on the 'real', 'concrete' and 'productive' quality of abstractions, coming from Karl Marx, Peter Goodrich, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. Along these four sections, the strategic significance of reevaluating the notion of abstraction becomes gradually apparent, both in the political and methodological sense. Therefore, fifth, I conclude by distilling the discussion hitherto developed, and operationalise it through an empirical example. In this way I am able to show the methodological approach developed in this chapter at work, as well as to provide a minimal testing ground for assessing its usefulness.
Peerreviewed: no
Access type: Open Access
Appears in Collections:DINÂMIA'CET-CLI - Capítulos de livros internacionais

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