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Sociology of Law

What function do norms and laws have in the family, at school, in the workplace and in society? What leads to new laws being passed or existing laws being rewritten? Do laws have the intended effect? And how can norms and laws contribute to sustainable social development?

Sociology of Law

Since 1972, when the social sciences subject of sociology of law was inaugurated at Lund University, research has been conducted on issues that deal with how social norms influence the law. We are the only higher education institution in Europe to offer a complete programme in sociology of law from the Bachelor’s degree to the PhD level. 

National and international networks

The sociology of law division is recognised both nationally and internationally. The researchers have a well-developed network of colleagues both in the neighbouring city of Malmö and in higher education institutions in the Nordic area, Asia, Africa and North and Latin America. The unit also cooperates closely with the interdisciplinary environment at the Centre for Work, Technology and Social Change at Lund University, and with the International Renato Treves PhD Programme in Law and Society at the Università degli Studi di Milano.

Accessable research

Currently, work is underway to gather social sciences research on norms in a norm centre. The idea is to coordinate research on social norms from this centre and to make it more useable and accessible via a data base. Systematic information on society’s norms is of great importance to understand the consequences of laws but also to understand how law should be organised in order to be effective and positive.

Research Fields

Sociology of law as a research discipline often builds on multidisciplinary cooperation in order to solve societal problems. The research and education in Lund is also characterised by a close cooperation with different public authorities, organisations, associations and individual companies. Currently, researchers in sociology of law are mainly engaged in the following research areas:

Social media and the digitalisation of society
Courts and law enforcement
Families and children
Education and leadership
Environment and sustainable development
Law and migration
Legal profession and legal education
Legal cultures
Human rights
Socio-legal theory


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