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Law Research as a Challenge across Disciplines Conference, Halle (Saale), Germany, June 2003

Call for Papers for the 'Law Research as a Challenge across Disciplines' Conference

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[ Index | German Version | German Version as .pdf | british flag symbol English version as .pdf | English version as .html ]

Call for Papers for the 

Berlin Law and society/ Socio-legal studies Group Conference

inline attention grafik Please note: the deadline was February 14, 2003. All participants have been contacted; there is no extended deadline. However, we do welcome your attending the conference.

"Law Research as a Challenge across Disciplines"

Organised by

Berlin Law and society/ Socio-legal studies Group (Berliner Arbeitskreis Rechtswirklichkeit),
the Legal Pluralism project group of the Max Planck Institut for ethnological research,
and the Sociology of Law Section of the German Sociological Society

June 2-3, 2003, Halle (Saale)

Any research having law as its topic is rooted in a range of disciplines. With the aim to understand its phenomena in and as part of the society, sociology, political science, history, economics, ethnology, gender-studies, psychology, linguistics, literature, philosophy and the spectrum of law studies may come into play. This challenge across disciplines stands proxy for the field not being exclusive to law studies. Rather, law and its reciprocal relations with and in society and its changing, as a political factor, as literary discourse and as observable, reportable and accountable behaviour furnishes the field. At the same time, instrumentalist views are rejected in favour of questions like these: what is law, for what is it being taken and what role does it have in the perspectives mentioned? To summarise the main area of interest: what constitutes the object of research? How do the disciplines methodologically constitute it?

This being the background for empirical studies, the different perspectives and disciplines provide a wealth of theories and methods. This plurality comprises the common enterprise of law research, and is the main focus of the conference. Consequently, contributions for example in the following areas are welcome:

  • Methodological concerns of different perspectives and their working together, especially on relations of law and social action,
  • Problems of comparing law in the social sciences and, more generally, the comparativist views in law research,
  • These could be exemplified in law as regulatory means in society,
  • Social relevance of law,
  • How law comes into existence,
  • Which forms it may take.
  • Processes of generating, institutionalising and changing of norms,
  • Complexity of law in terms of complementing, conflicting or autochthonous instruments of regulation,
  • Their ranges of application in these various forms of law, in organisations as well as societies,
  • Its roles in transforming societies in former socialist or developing countries,
  • As conflict-solving device in a) interpersonal, b) group and c) intra- and international conflicts, and
  • The role of law in sustaining and overcoming social injustice.


The conference aims at young scientists from a range of disciplines, and whose projects may have different theoretical, methodological and interdisciplinary backgrounds. All projects would have law as the subject, however making clear how they are constituting the subject at the same time as they are emphasising particular aspects.
We hope to primarily win PhD candidates and postgraduate students for the conference. They would not have to see themselves as pursuing a sociology of law, but rather be able to show how a sociologically oriented law research leads to fruitful and promising research.


We are hoping for contributions of 20 minutes each. German will be given priority, however presentations may be held in English as well. Abstracts of about 500 words shall be submitted until February 14, 2003. The preferred electronic format is .rtf, and applications are taken under inline mail grafik or by paper-based mail to Astrid Epp
University of Bielefeld
Department for Science and Technology Research (IWT)
Postbox 100 131
33501 Bielefeld

Plain registrations, i.e. to participate without giving a paper, will be taken under the same addresses. We expect some personal information about you in any case: name, institution/ department, address (both electronic and postal) and primary research interest. Should you have any further question let us know; we'll try to help.