Research & Scholarship

The Wisconsin Approach

    Faculty Activities and Scholarship

  • A book co-edited by Sumudu Atapattu, "International Environmental Law and the Global South," was published in September by Cambridge University Press. Atapattu also co-wrote the introduction to the book, "The North-South Divide in International Environmental Law: Framing the Issues," and contributed the article, "The Significance of International Environmental Law Principles in Reinforcing or Dismantling the North-South Divide."

  • Alta Charo's article, "CRISPR Critters and CRISPR Cracks," discusses current and futuristic non-human applications of the new CRISPR technology for genetic engineering, noting areas in which these new organisms fall between the regulatory cracks. It was published in the American Journal of Bioethics in September.

  • An excerpt of Lisa Alexander’s article, "Hip-Hop and Housing: Revisiting Culture, Urban Space, Power and Law," was reprinted in the Real Property Law Section of the anthology, "Hip Hop and the Law," published by Carolina Academic Press in August.

Wisconsin faculty members share a commitment to excellence in research, embracing a wide variety of substantive concerns and methodological approaches. The faculty has long been known for its interest in interdisciplinary work and for its commitment to a law-in-action approach to scholarship.

For Wisconsin scholars, no matter how interesting or elegant the underlying theory, Wisconsin's law-in-action approach challenges them to answer the question: "Why should this matter to people in the real world?" In contrast to legal scholars whose work is theory-based, Wisconsin scholars tend to begin with an observed, real-world problem or phenomenon and then seek to explain it and to put it into a larger theoretical context.

Much of the research undertaken at Wisconsin is devoted to explaining how law and legal institutions work and often to understanding why law and legal institutions might not be working as intended. The Wisconsin faculty contextualizes law, studying it as one of many social processes that may shape behavior. Many faculty members are active in the Law & Society Association, an international organization of scholars who study the interrelation of society and the legal process; indeed, the current Wisconsin faculty includes three LSA past presidents.

The work of the Wisconsin faculty is not geographically bounded. Though a majority study U.S. law, a growing number explore law in less familiar settings and are focusing their research on the workings of law in countries throughout the world.

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