Skip to main content

Towards an Economic Sociology of Law

Towards an Economic Sociology of Law

Diamond Ashiagbor (Editor), Prabha Kotiswaran (Editor), Amanda Perry-Kessaris (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-50825-1 April 2013 Wiley-Blackwell 176 Pages


In Stock



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.

Introduction: Moving Towards an Economic Sociology of Law (Diamond Ashiagbor, Prabha Kotiswaran and Amanda Perry-Kessaris)

1. From Credit to Crisis: Max Weber, Karl Polanyi, and the Other Side of the Coin (Sabine Frerichs)

2. Relational Work and the Law: Recapturing the Legal Realist Critique of Market Fundamentalism (Fred Block)

3. Rethinking ‘Embeddedness’: Law, Economy, Community (Roger Cotterrell)

4. Anemos-ity, Apatheia, Enthousiasmos: An Economic Sociology of Law and Wind Farm Development in Cyprus (Amanda Perry-Kessaris)

5. Maine (and Weber) Against the Grain: Towards a Postcolonial Genealogy of the Corporate Person (Ritu Birla)

6. Do Feminists Need an Economic Sociology of Law? (Prabha Kotiswaran)

7. Law, Social Policy, and the Constitution of Markets and Profit Making (Kenneth Veitch)

8. The Legal Construction of Economic Rationalities? (Andrew T.F. Lang)