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Tracés: Revue de Sciences Humaines publishes research in the social sciences in two themed issues per year and a handful of special editions. These issues focus on an old debate that has taken a new turn due to current editorial or political circumstances, takes an idea that the various intellectual traditions and disciplines would usually address in isolation and submits it to examination from multiple perspectives, or explores an emerging field of thought. Tracés claims a true pluralism, as attested to by the variety of themes and approaches it publishes. The journal’s editorial committee is made up of young researchers from various disciplines and pursues a strong interdisciplinary project. This is manifested in the selection of articles, notes, translations, and interviews that make up each of the issues.

Latest issue
Penser avec le droit

Edited by Guillaume Calafat, Arnaud Fossier and Pierre Thévenin

Confronted with lawyers’ long cherished postulate of the autonomy of law and and of its utter « isolation » from the social world, social scientists have often been deterred from investigating legal thought as such. On the other hand, law faculties – particularly French ones —have proved rather reluctant to take up insights from sociology, anthropology and history into their curriculums. However, the last two decades have been witness to significant changes. Setting foot on legal soil, an increasing number of adventurous social scientists have tackled issues regarding both the social uses of law and the technicalities of its machinery. This issue of Tracés gives a snapshot of this changing relationship between law and the social sciences, thereby hinting at promising new prospects for research. Several papers examine how critical thinking has profited from defining law not as a mere instrument of domination, but also as a resource for defining, analysing and occasionally opposing a given situation. Other papers show this shift of perspective to be contingent on a better command of legal operations — e.g. legal fictions or legal qualifications — by social scientists and on their specific understanding of legal reasoning. Getting a better grasp of law might therefore require two tasks: first, combining an attention to the political uses of law with an analysis of the lawyers’ paraphernalia of formal and technical devices; secondly, discriminating more acutely between different types of normativity, in other words offering a comparative history of legal concepts and legal evolution.