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Introduction to Sociology of Law

Graduate Level (Second Cycle). Autumn Semester.

SOLP01, Introduction to Sociology of Law, 15 credits

The course aims at providing an in-depth knowledge of classical and modern theories of sociology of law and explaining how these theories have been used to define specific areas of research and to create research traditions in sociology of law.

The course is divided into three parts (or modules).

Module 1: The Foundations of Sociology of Law (5 credits)

The first module introduces sociology of law as an interdisciplinary field that studies different types of formal and informal norms and official and unofficial forms of regulation in society. Moreover, this module explores sociology of law’s development as a branch of mainstream sociology and an empirical approach within jurisprudence and legal studies.

Module 2: Systems Theory, Theory of Communicative Action and the Critical Schools (5 credits)

The second module presents four theoretical approaches to the study of law in modern society. These are based on Habermas's theory of communicative action, Niklas Luhmann systems theory, Pierre Bourdieu's social fields and forms of capital, and various critical and feminist theories (Critical Legal Studies).

Module 3: Law, postmodernism and globalization (5 credits)

The third module discusses how postmodern and globalization theories have influenced the descriptions and studies of law, the legal system and the legal profession, on the one hand, and socio-legal research, on the other hand.

Course implementation

The course is delivered through a combination of lectures, exercises and seminars. Participation in exercises and seminars is compulsory. In case of legitimate absence caused by accidents, sudden illness or similar events, students are given additional tasks to complete. This also applies to students who have missed lectures due to their duties as student representatives.

Syllabus for Introduction to Sociology of Law (pdf, new tab)

Course Literature for Introduction to Sociology of Law, 2023 (pdf, new tab)