Legal history is practiced differently in Latin America and the United States. While US legal history strives to be a form of social critique, questioning the role of law in producing and legitimizing social hierarchies, legal history in Latin America has mostly been developed as a form of antiquarianism. This paper attempts to describe the historical and theoretical reasons that explain this methodological divide, including the role that lawyers have played in either opening the field of law to the social sciences or insulating it from other disciplines.


Legal history methodology social sciences critical legal studies Lawyers Latin America