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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

Sociology of Law Methodology

  • Course duration: 5 September - December 2023. 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 ida [dot] nafstad [at] soclaw [dot] lu [dot] se.
  • Application deadline: 12 July

Aim of the course
This course aims to introduce PhD students to methodological issues of interdisciplinary research, generally, and socio-legal research, in particular. The main objectives of the course are: 1) to form an overview of socio-legal research, 2) to critically compare the empirically based approaches of social sciences with the normative and analytical methods of legal studies, 3) to explore how various social scientific methodologies have been used to create different traditions of socio-legal research, and 4) to use social scientific methodologies to design new socio-legal research.

Course content
The course will be delivered through seminars where various approaches to socio-legal research, including quantitative, qualitative, feminist, postmodern, postcolonial etc., will be analysed.

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

Teaching forms
The course 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. 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, conference participation etc.

Language of instruction

Form of examination
The students shall actively participate in the class and present two methodological 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) methodologies).

Paper assignment
Discuss critically your (planned) methodology against relevant course literature. Max 2500 words without references. The deadline is one week before the planned 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.


List of Readings

Adjin-Tettey, E. et al. 2008. ‘Postcard from the edge (of empire)’, Social & Legal Studies, 17: 5–38 (34 pages)

Banakar, Reza and Max Travers (eds) Theory and Method in Socio-Legal Research (Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2005). (386 pages).

Bartlett, Katharine T. (1989). Feminist Legal Methods, 103 Harvard Law Review 829-888. 59 pages.

Bourdieu, Pierre (1996) “Understanding” Theory, Culture & Society, 13(2), p. 17-37. (20 pages)

Dezalay, Y., and B. Garth. 2021. "A reflection on 30 years of complementary collaboration." Journal of Law and Society 48 (1): 3-24-24. (23 pages)

Doucet, Andrea (2006) “Feminist Methodology and Epistemology” at  (14 pages)

Hammerslev, Ole, and Hilary Sommerlad. 2021. "Comparison as a socio-legal tool: A celebration of Reza Banakar and his work on methodology." Retfærd. Nordic Journal of Law and Justice 168 (1): 39-50 (12 pages)

Hemmersly, Martin, “On Feminist methodology” in 26/2 (1992) Sociology at (20 pages)

Journal of Law and Society. Special issue 48 (S1) (117 pages)

Riles, Annelise Collateral Knowledge: Legal Reasoning in the Global Financial Markets. University of Chicago Press (295 pages).

Samuel, Geoffrey (2009) ‘Interdisciplinarity and the Authority Paradigm: Should Law be Taken Seriously by Scientists and Social Scientists?’, Journal of Law and Society 36: 431-59. (28 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). ch22. 332-345. (14 pages).

Sommerlad, Hilary, and Ole Hammerslev. 2022. "Studying Lawyers Comparatively in the 21st Century : Issues in Method and Methodology." In Lawyers in 21st-Century Societies : Vol. 2: Comparisons and Theories, edited by Richard L. Abel, Hilary Sommerlad, Ole Hammerslev and Ulrike Schultz, 1-28. Oxford: Hart Publishing. (29 pages)

Schmidt, Patrick and Simon Halliday (2009) Conducting law and society research. Cambridge University Press. (286 pages)

Tuhiwai Smith, Linda, Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous People (London: Zed Books). (207 pages)

Örücü, E. and Nelken, D., eds., (2007) Comparative Law: A Handbook. Oxford: Hart. Chapters 1, 2, 3 4, and 5. (155 pages)


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

Bostan, Cansu (2002) Games of Justice. Lund Series (400 pages)

Cardona, Nicolás Serrano (2022) Interlegality, Municipalities and Social Change. Lund Series. (261 pages)

Dezalay, Yves and Garth, Bryant (1996) Dealing in Virtue: International Commercial Arbitration and The Construction of A Transnational Legal Order. Chicago: Chicago University Press. (342 pages)

Genn, Hazel (1999) Paths to Justice: What people do and think about going to law. Oxford: Hart Publishing. (382 pages)

Goffman, Erving (1989) ‘On Fieldwork’, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 18:2,p.123- 132 (10 pages)

Hart, Chris (2007) Doing Literature Review (London, Sage, 2007)  (230 pages)

Kay, Fiona et al (2016) “Undermining Gender Equality: Female Attrition from Private Law Practice” in 50(3) Law and Society Review 766–801. 35 pages.

Lee, Raymond M. (1995), Dangerous Fieldwork. Sage. (85 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)

Santos, Boaventura de Sousa (2002) Toward a New Legal Common Sense chap. 1 & 4 (82 pages)

Schultz, Ulrike and Shaw¸ Gisela, eds. (2014) Gender and Judging. Oxford: Hart. Parts 4 and 5 – these include 200 selected pages.

Urinboyev, Rustamjon (2015) ‘Migration and Transnational Informality in Post-Soviet Societies: Ethnographic Study of Po rukam (‘handshake’) Experiences of Uzbek Migrant Workers in Moscow’ at  23 pages.


Doing a research project in practice, for inspiration (798 pages)

Davies, Martin Brett, Doing a Successful Research Project (London, Palgrave/Macmillan, 2007. (266 pages)

Walliman, Nicholas, Your Research Project: A step by step guide…(Sage, various editions) (app. 368 pages).

Punch, Keith F. (2006) Developing Effective Research Proposals London: Sage. (164 pages)


Recommended Podcasts by Linda Mulcahy, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford

Talking about Methods | Frontiers of Sociolegal Studies (

Time: 10:15-12:00

Meeting room: TBC + Zoom

Session 1     Why do we need socio-legal methodology?: On Interdisciplinarity and Empirical Legal Studies

Session 2     Socio-legal methodologies

Session 3     Comparative methodologies

Session 4     Qualitative methods

Session 5     Feminist and decolonizing methodology

Session 6     Student presentations

Session 7     Student presentations

Session 8     Student presentations

Session 9     Student presentations

Session 10   Student presentations

Contact information

Ida Nafstad
Director of Research Studies

Telephone: +46 46 222 88 38
E-mail: ida [dot] nafstad [at] soclaw [dot] lu [dot] se