In praise of tents: Regulatory studies and transformative social science

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    What are the virtues of institutions we take for granted-universities, the study of the social sciences and humanities, and scholarship on professions such as law? What are the vices of the disciplinary structure of the social sciences, even in the law and society movement and criminology that started as interdisciplinary projects? Research on regulation within an interdisciplinary structure, the Regulatory Institutions Network, is used to illustrate the difficulties of attempts to change direction in the social sciences. The article advocates the creative destruction of disciplinary structures by organizing in tents that study institutionalization (rather than buildings that study categories of institutions). To keep pace with social change, pulling tents down and endlessly pegging out new ones is a path forward. A politics of defending universities and opposing the disciplines that have captured them does not mean advocacy of restructuring. If more interesting work issues from poorly funded tents than from disciplinary edifices, reformers can advance creative destruction.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-17
    JournalAnnual Review of Law and Social Science
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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