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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

We currently have no more open spots on this course for the spring semester of 2023.

The Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology of Law is a 15 credits course at the doctoral level. Its main target groups are doctoral students in sociology of law, other social science programs, and law.

The aim of the course is to introduce doctoral students to various theoretical, classical, and modern perspectives and approaches within the Sociology of Law, Legal Anthropology and Socio-Legal Studies, such as legal pluralism, legal consciousness, the force of law, and from perspectives of e.g. gender, ethnicity, and late modernity.

The course is delivered through a combination of lectures, exercises, and seminars. The students are expected to participate actively in the seminars and prepare presentations for the class. The students are encouraged to utilize the course for the development of their own research.

The course consists of ten sessions of two hours each, running from January to April 2023. The course will be delivered by Professor Ole Hammerslev on-campus, while online participation will be enabled.

The examination of the course consists of three written assignments, each 2500 words long, all of them related to the students’ ongoing doctoral research.

Applicants for the course must be admitted to a doctoral program. The course is free of charge for Lund University students while external students must pay a fee of 8,500 SEK. The deadline for registration is 1 December 2022. Please register by sending an email to ida [dot] nafstad [at] soclaw [dot] lu [dot] se.


Open the syllabus as a PDF (new tab)

Aim of the course
The aim of this course is to introduce PhD students to various theoretical classical and modern perspectives and approaches within the sociology of law, legal anthropology and socio-legal studies.

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

Course implementation/forms of teaching
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.

Language of instruction

Form of examination
The students shall actively participate in the seminars and present two research perspectives, one of which must not be related to their thesis. In addition, they shall author three papers (each about 2500 words long).

Grading scale according to university regulation


Open the literature list as a PDF (new tab)

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.Chapters: 1, 2, 7. 60 pages

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

Hart. Chapters 3, 4, 10, 16, 17, 18, 19. 116 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.

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

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. 28 pages

Darian-Smith, Eve (2013) Laws and Societies in Global Contexts. Santa Barbara: Cambridge

University Press Chapters 1 to 3. 165 pages.

Eve Darian-Smith, Postcolonial Theories of Law in Banakar, Reza and Travers, Max (eds.) An Introduction to Law and Social Theory. Oxford: Hart (chapter 14).

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

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.

Griffiths, Ann (2002) “Legal Pluralism” in Banakar, Reza and Travers, Max (eds.) An Introduction to Law and Social Theory. Oxford: Hart. 22 p.

Habermas, Jürgen (1985) The Theory of Communicative Action. Volume 2: Life World and System: A Critique of Functionalist Reason. Beacon. Pp. 356–373. 7 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.

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.

Merry Sally, Engle (1988), 'Legal Pluralism' Law & Society Review, Vol. 22, No. 5, pp. 869-

896. 28 pages.

Moore, Sally Falk (ed) (2005) Law and Anthropology: A Reader. Malden MA, Blackwell Publishing. 384 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.

Harriet Samuels (2013) “Feminist Legal Theory” in Banakar, Reza and Travers, Max (eds.) An Introduction to Law and Social Theory. Oxford: Hart, pp. 129-146. 17 pages.

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. 24 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.

Smart, Carol (1989) Feminism and the Power of Law. London and New York: Routledge. 166 Pages.

Teubner Gunther (1983) ‘Substantive and Reflexive Elements in Modern Law’. In: Law and Society Review 17(2) 239-285. 46 pages

A more detailed schedule is available as a PDF (new tab)

Time: 10:15-12:00

Meeting room: TBC + Zoom

Session 1     17 Jan    Introduction to the course and presentation of PhD projects

Session 2     31 Jan    Classical Sociology of Law

Session 3     7 Feb     Modern Socio-Legal Theories, Session 1: Jurgen Habemas’ contribution to sociology of law

Session 4     28 Feb   Modern Socio-Legal Theories, Session 2: Teubner & Latour

Session 5     14 Mar   Modern Socio-Legal Theories, Session 3: The force of law and transnational fields

Session 6     28 Mar   Classical Sociology and Anthropology of Law

Session 7     11 April   Legal Pluralism

Session 8     25 April   Legal consciousness and dispute transformation

Session 9     9 May     Modern Socio-Legal Theories, Session 4: On gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity

Session 10   23 May    Late Modernism and postmodernity

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