Social Theory of Law

11 Dec 2023 to 22 Dec 2023

Course in the Module "Law and Social Theory" (3 ECTS)

The course offers an introduction to the field of Social Theory of Law. It provides information on leading authors and main concepts, and gives an overview of current trends in this field. It focuses on the theme of autonomy of law and on theories that analyse law as a distinct and separate social entity in modern society. Furthermore, the module aims at reconstructing stages in the development of social theorising about law and how these theories link with wider discussions in social theory.


  • Introduction: Social Theory of Law as a Field of Study
  • Max Weber: Legal Rationality
  • Hans Kelsen: Legal Positivism
  • Eugen Ehrlich: Legal Pluralism
  • Niklas Luhmann: Legal Autopoiesis
  • Gunther Teubner: Reflexive Law
  • Jürgen Habermas: Discourse Theory of Law
  • John Rawls: Theory of Justice
  • Michel Foucault: Law and Power
  • Concluding Session