Belgrade Legal Theory Group organized its second event of the spring semester of 2024 with Piotr Bystranowski (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods as well as a researcher at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Ethics at the Jagiellonian University) on the topic of self-refentiality of general jurisprudence.

Piotr opened the lecture with raising two kinds of criticism against contemporary general jurisprudence (the part of legal philosophy dealing with the most general and abstract philosophical questions about law). The more fundamental one claims that questions discussed by general jurisprudence might actually not be interesting or useful for other scholars. The other one, while not denying the overall utility of general jurisprudence, suspects that, as currently practiced, it suffers from self-referentiality and lack of interest in other related philosophical discourses.

Piotr attempted to subject both claims to empirical scrutiny, using bibliometric tools. First, employing co-citation analysis, he identified the set of 169 central texts in general jurisprudence within the broader network of 713 core texts in (mostly Anglophone) legal philosophy. That has provided him the ground for the analysis of citation flows, which has resulted in the following conclusions: General jurisprudence, when compared to other areas of legal philosophy, is distinctively self-referential, yet it still appears to spark some interest among other scholars, in legal philosophy and elsewhere.

The audience primarily focused their questions during the Q&A session on methodological aspects of the study: what is the conecpt of general jurisprudence that was used, which datebase was used for analysis, as well as questions about the aims and possible improvements for general jurisprudence.

Ending the meeting, Mila Đorđević thanked everyone for an interesting discussion, as well as Piotr for the excellent lecture.