Reflecting a developing trend towards interdisciplinary research in economics and law, this agenda-setting volume makes the case for economic sociology of law – an emerging field that draws on empirical, analytical and normative insights from sociology to investigate relationships between legal and economic phenomena. It locates this novel subject in a wider socio-legal tradition and identifies common ground between Polanyian and Weberian approaches to the law, economy, and society, despite the two theorists’ divergent views on the functionality of the capitalist model. The volume provides a platform for researchers’ critical responses to the ‘social embeddedness’ of market societies.
Contributors demonstrate the value of applying a combination of methods in their work, from heterogeneous disciplines such as legal history and ethnography. They consider the position in the western and developed nations, as well as in post-colonial polities. The resulting publication is a well-crafted primer on a specialism that, by combining the insights of socio-economic analysis with the formative influences exerted by their specific legal contexts, informs a more nuanced assessment of law, economics and society.