Law, Society and Politics in Comparative Perspective

Freie Universität Berlin

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 such legacies pose for democracy, the rule of law, and the economy in post-totalitarian and authoritarian societies, including the need for ‘transitional justice’, the relationship between law and the market, and the challenges posed by freedom of speech and freedom of association.

Overall, the course aims to develop skills at using theory and history to inform debates on contemporary challenges, such as multiculturalism, (illegal) downloading/streaming/file-sharing, squatting, 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.

This course is designed for all students having 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 post-graduate students. This experiential diversity provides unique opportunities for students to learn from one another.

Location Berlin, Germany
Period
4 Jan 2020 - 24 Jan 2020
Levels Pre-University
Bachelor / Undergraduate
Master / Graduate
PhD
Professional
Credits 4.0 ECTS
Program fee 1,100 EUR
Accommodation fee 375 EUR
Extra information about the fee:
Accommodation is optional and not guaranteed. Prices range between € 375 to € 650.
Application deadline 7 December 2019
Entry requirements None
Contact information:
Freie Universität Berlin
International Summer and Winter University (FUBiS)
Malteserstraße 74-100
12249 Berlin
+49 3083873472
fubis@fubis.org
Program's website