Research Project: Challenges in Legal Geography research methodologies in cross-cultural settings

The methods employed in my research in environmental governance range from an analysis of codified law through to primary data collection, based on qualitative research techniques.  In my work considerable weight is placed upon the identification and critical assessment of the laws, both formal and informal, which restrict the way in which local populations interact with their lived-in landscapes.  This takes the form of a legal discourse analysis on the regulatory situation which governs each field site or environmental regulatory regime.  Such an approach necessarily highlights many of the deficiencies in the existing legal framework.  However, in my investigation and assessments about a range of environmental regimes it is also of fundamental importance to assess reactions to the regulatory framework.  This necessitates that I engage with gathering data directly from affected/impacted people.  Accordingly, informed by my training in human geography, I use a range of qualitative techniques, particularly the semi-structure in-depth interview to give voice to the opinions, attitudes and beliefs of local (though not homogenous) communities as they react to laws.  This gives my research an emphasis on critical engagement with legal geography methodologies.  In this light, a current concern is to engage in a feminist legal geography project in which we join gender and intersectionality perspectives with the performitvity of law/lore in cross-cultural situations.

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