19 August 2023
Law, Society and Politics in Comparative Perspective
Don’t miss out: students who register early can take advantage of the early bird discount on the program fee!
This course explores theoretical and historical perspectives on the intersection of law, society
and politics, and aims to foster discussion of contemporary issues among students from
different cultures and disciplines. After an introduction to comparative law and legal culture,
we read some classical social theorists (Durkheim, Weber and Marx), and consider their
relevance to contemporary debates about morality, (dis)obedience, conflict, and property.
Next, we investigate the role and operation of law in totalitarian settings such as Nazi and
Communist Germany. Finally, we consider the difficulties that such legacies pose for
democracy, the rule of law, and the economy in post-totalitarian societies. In this context, we
examine the need for ‘transitional justice’, the relationship between law and the market, and
the challenges posed by freedom of speech.
Overall, the course aims to develop skills at using theory and history to inform debates on
contemporary challenges, such as multiculturalism, punishment, (illegal) downloading/
streaming/file-sharing, and economic development. In addition to gaining substantive
expertise in various socio- and politico-legal fields, students develop communicative
competence through participatory exercises, and intercultural competence through
discussion with other students.
Prof. Helen Hartnell
This course is designed for all students with an interest in social sciences – in particular, history, sociology or political science – or in law. It is conceived as an undergraduate class, but the variety of students taking this course typically ranges from first-year students to postgraduate students. This experiential diversity provides unique opportunities for students to learn from one another
EUR 1300: Course fee
EUR 300: Program fee
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