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Doctoral studies

Opening doors to a creative research environment

The doctoral (PhD) programme consists of four years of full-time studies (240 credits). The studies can also be carried out part-time (no less than half-time) and cover eight years. As a doctoral candidate, you have the right, but not the obligation, to take a licentiate degree (120 credits) as a stage in the doctoral programme.

Admission Requirements for the doctoral programme:

  • Have a degree at an advanced level
  • Have completed course requirements of at least 240 credits, including at least 60 credits at an advanced level, or
  • In any other way in or out of the country acquired the equivalent knowledge.

Doing doctoral studies at the Sociology of Law Department

Comprehensive information about research studies in sociology of law is available in the Sociology of Law Department's PhD Handbook.

Our PhD courses

Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology of Law (15 credits)

Convenor: Professor Ole Hammerslev

  • Course duration: Spring semester 2024. Two weeks between most lectures.
  • Hybrid: The lectures will be given on the Lund University campus with the possibility to participate online.
  • Prerequisites: Students currently enrolled in a PhD programme in social science or law.
  • Fee: Students outside of Lund University pay a fee of 7,500 SEK.
    • Lund University students attend the course free of charge.
  • Application: Email ole [dot] hammerslev [at] soclaw [dot] lu [dot] se.
  • Application deadline: January 19

Aim of the course
This course aims to introduce PhD students to various theoretical classical and modern perspectives and approaches within the sociology of law and legal anthropology.

Course content

The course will be delivered through seminars, student presentations and group work.

The course will be delivered through seminars where samples of research perspectives will be critically presented and discussed in the broader context of socio-legal research.

The students must include reading materials to the reading list (between 100–150 pages each, which should reflect gender equality) based on their (planned) theories and present these orally in one of the classes based on their paper assignment. Each student will during the course be a discussant on one to two papers.

Teaching forms
The course is hybrid and is delivered through ten seminars of two hours. The seminars will be a combination of student presentations and discussions. Participation in course activities is compulsory and in a minimum of 90% of the seminars. In case of legitimate absence caused by accidents, sudden illness or similar events, students are given additional tasks to complete, equivalent to a two-hour workload. This also applies to students who have missed lectures due to their duties as student representatives, conference participation etc.

Language of instruction

Form of examination
The students shall actively participate in the class and present two theoretical topics or debates: one presentation will be on the indicative literature and one will be a presentation of their paper. The students shall author and present one paper (max 2500 words long reflecting their (planned) theories).

Paper assignment
Discuss critically your (planned) theoretical framework against relevant course literature – max 2500 words without references. The deadline is one week before the scheduled presentation in class. The paper is to be sent to all course participants.

Grading scale according to university regulation

The readings will be approximately 2,800 pages.


Examples of readings to choose from, if necessary for your presentations/papers

Banakar, Reza and Travers, Max (eds.) (2013) Law and Social Theory. 2nd edition. Oxford: Hart.

Ali, Shaheen S, Anne Grifiths, Hellum, Anne (2011) From Transnational Relations to Transnational Laws: Northern European Laws at the Crossroads. Routledge. 340 pages

Arnholtz, Jens & Hammerslev, Ole (2013) Transcended power of the state: the role of actors in Pierre Bourdieu's sociology of the state in Distinktion: Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory, p. 1-23. 22 pages

Banakar, Reza (2015) Normativity in Legal Sociology: Methodological Reflections on Law and

Regulation in Late Modernity. Stuttgart: Springer.

Banakar, Reza and Travers, Max (2013) eds. Law and Social Theory. 2nd edition. Oxford: Hart.

Brännström, Leila (2018) The terms of ethnoracial equality: The Swedish court’s reading of ethnic affiliation, race and culture, Social & Legal Studies, 27(5). 20 Pages.

Conley, John M., & O’Barr, William and Riner, Robin Conley (1998) Just Words: Law, Language, and Power. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, kap. 4 + 5, pp. 60-97. 37 pages

Deflem, Matthieu (2008) Sociology of Law: Visions of a Scholarly Tradition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 278 pages.

Ewick, Patricia and Silbey, Susan S. (1998) The Common Place of Law: Stories from Everyday Life. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. 251 Pages

Felstiner, William.L.F., Abel, Richard L. and Sarat, Austin (1980/1981), The emergence and transformation of disputes: naming, blaming and claiming in Law & Society Review, vol. 15:3/4, p. 631-654. 23 pages.

Foucault, Michel (1980) Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and other Writings 1972-177. Pantheon Books. 270 pages.

Hertogh, Marc (2009) What’s in a Handshake? Legal Equality and Legal Consciousness in the

Netherlands in Social & Legal Studies, vol. 18:2. 39 pages.

Hildebrand, Mireille (2015) Smart Technologies and the End(s) of Law. EE Elgar. 240 pages.

Luhmann, Niklas. 2014. A Sociological Theory of Law. Abingdon: Routledge.

Mariana Valverde (2014), The Rescaling of Feminist Analyses of Law and State Power: From (Domestic) Subjectivity to (Transnational) Governance Networks, UC Irvine Law Review, Vol 4(1) pp–325-352, 28 Pages.

Nafstad, Ida (2015) “Gypsy Law – the Non-state Normative Orders of Roma: Scholarly Debates and the Scandinavian Knowledge Chasm”, The Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law, Vol. 8, issue 1, pp. 92-109. 17 pages.

Sarat, Austin (1990) The Law is All Over: Power, Resistance, and the Legal Consciousness of the Welfare Poor in Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities, 2, p. 343-79. 35 pages

Silbey, Susan S. (2005). Everyday Life and the Constitution of Legality. In The Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Culture (eds M.D. Jacobs and N.W. Hanrahan). 332-345. 13 pages.

Time: 10:15-12:00

Meeting room: Ole Hammerslev's office, House M (3rd floor), Allhelgona kyrkogata 18C, Lund and on Zoom

SessionSeminar TopicIndicative ReadingsGender (n/pages)


Jan 23

Introduction to the course and presentation of PhD projects
  • Darian-Smith, Eve (2013) Laws and Societies in Global Contexts. Santa Barbara: Cambridge University Press Chapters 1 to 3, pp. 1-166 (166 pages).
  • Banakar, “Normativity in Legal Sociology”, (chap. 1-3) = 58 pages
  • 1 woman
    166 pages
  • 1 man
    58 pages


Feb 6

Classical Sociology of Law
  • Darian-Smith, Eve. 2015. "Postcolonial Law." In International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (Second Edition), edited by James D. Wright, 647-651. Oxford: Elsevier = 5 pages.
  • Weber From “Economy and Society” pp. 654-658; 775-776; 784-792; 809-816; 882-883 = 26 pages
  • Ewing, Sally. 1987. "Formal Justice and the Spirit of Capitalism: Max Weber's Sociology of Law." Law & Society Review 21 (3): 487-512 = 26 pages
  • Durkheim The Division of Labour in Society (1984) pp. 28-44; 60-72 = 29 pages
  • Moore, Sally Falk (ed) (2005) Law and Anthropology: A Reader. Malden MA, Blackwell Publishing. pp. 28-39 = 12 pages
  • Ehrlich (2002) Fundamental Principles of the Sociology of Law, (chap. XXI) pp. 486-506 = 21 pages
  • 3 women
    (1 editor)
    44 pages
  • 3 men
    76 pages


Feb 27

Classical Sociology and Anthropology of Law
  • Moore, Sally Falk (ed) (2005) Law and Anthropology: A Reader. Malden MA, Blackwell Publishing. pp. 65-367 = 362 pages
1 woman (editor)
362 pages


Mar 12

Modern Socio-Legal Theories: welfare state, globalisation, the construction of law and feminism
  • Teubner Gunther (1983) ‘Substantive and Reflexive Elements in Modern Law’. In: Law and Society Review 17(2) 239-285. 46 pages.
  • Bourdieu Pierre (1987) ‘The Force of Law: Toward a Sociology of the Juridical Field’. In: Hastings Law Journal 38 (5): 814-853 = 39 pages
  • Habermas The Theory of Communicative Action, vol. 2, pp. 356-373 = 17 pages
  • Dezalay, Yves and Garth, Bryant (1995) “Merchants of Law as Moral Entrepreneurs: Constructing International Justice from the Competition for Transnational Business Disputes” Law & Society Review, Vol. 29, No 1, pp.27-64. 37 pages.
  • Teubner “’Global Bukowina’ Legal Pluralism in the World Society” in Teubner (eds) Global Law Without a State, pp. 3-30
  • Latour The making of law, pp. (chap. 6) 244-277
  • Smart, Carol (1989) Feminism and the Power of Law. London and New York: Routledge. 166 Pages.
  • 1 woman
    166 pages
  • 7 men
    200 pages


Mar 26

Core (modern) socio-legal concepts
  • Merry Sally, Engle (1988), 'Legal Pluralism' Law & Society Review, Vol. 22, No. 5, pp. 869-896 = 27 pages
  • Silbey, Susan S. (2005) ‘After legal consciousness’ Annual Review of Law and Social Science 1: 323-368 = 45
  • McCann, Michael. 2008. "Litigation and Legal Mobilization." In The Oxford Handbook of Law and Politics, edited by R. Daniel Kelemen, Gregory A. Caldeira and Keith E. Whittington, Oxford University Press, pp. 523-540.
  • Santos, B. de Sousa (1987) Law: A Map of Misreading. Toward a Postmodern Conception of Law in Journal of Law and Society, vol. 14:3, p. 279-302
  • Olesen, Annette, and Ole Hammerslev. 2023. "The dynamic and iterative pre-dispute phase: the transformation from a justiciable problem into a legal dispute." Journal of Law and Society 50 (1): 120-138. = 18 pages
  • Crenshaw, Kimberle (1989) “Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: a black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory, and antiracist politics”. University of Chicago Legal Forum, 139–167
  • 4 women
    118 pages
  • 3 men
    68 pages


Apr 9

Student presentations  


Apr 23

Student presentations  


May 7

Student presentations  


May 21

Student presentations  


May 28

Student presentations  


Male 14/393 (58%/31,5%)

Female 10/855 (42%/68,5%)

Ialt 1248 pages

Contact information

Ole Hammerslev
Director of Research Studies

E-mail: ole [dot] hammerslev [at] soclaw [dot] lu [dot] se (ole[dot]hammerslev[at]soclaw[dot]lu[dot]se)