During my stay at the International Institute for the Sociology of Law in Onati I was conducting research on marriage as legal and social institution. I also collected materials for the book about contemporary critics of liberalism I had been working on. I focus on marriage because it is a kind of relationship that has been widely recognized across the cultures, and we can now observe the way it is changing within the Western culture. I am interested in theories that claim that the institution of marriage has a public/social value. I believe that liberal distinction between private and public acknowledges the obvious fact that changes within the public sphere may influence private lives. This is how state through laws impedes some unwanted behaviors. But this is a two-way relation which means that some private behaviors can also influence the public sphere. And the latter part seem to be ignored by the liberal argumentation against the distinction of marriage as a different-sex relationship.
The library of the Institute was my main source of materials. Its collection is impressive and one can find a lot of interesting books on socio-legal topics there. Its subject based classification system is very clear and shelving books this way makes the research much easier. The Library hours were very convenient (it works during siesta) and, last but not least, the Library staff was very friendly and helpful.
Not only is the Institute and its Library a perfect place to conduct research, but also its surrounding. The Basque Country, its culture and people are worth meeting, and Onati is one of the nicest places I have ever been to. I will definitely come back here.