Law, Society and Politics

Key information

Year of study
Year 1
Module code
School of Law, Gender and Media

Module overview

Students will be introduced to the most influential and critical schools of legal study, including: sociological approaches to law, legal history, legal anthropology, critical legal studies, and law and political economy. Some of the primary learning objectives will be to denaturalise law and understand how legal systems have developed in conjunction with specific political histories and economic systems. Students will examine these various approaches to the study and understanding of law through specific case studies involving public, contract, property, tort and criminal law.

Please note, this module will first run in 2020/21, and is not available for enrolment during 2019/20.


  • 3 hours seminar per week

Scope and syllabus

Law and Society: an introduction to legal studies; legal realism, critical legal theory; critical race theory; feminist legal studies & queer theory (4 weeks)

Legal History: major schools and approaches; (2 weeks)

Law and Anthropology: legal pluralism, ethnography and anthropological engagements with law; (2 weeks)

Law & Political Economy: an emerging field; development studies Marxist legal theory (2 weeks)

Method of assessment

  • Critical analysis of one topic covered on syllabus, 1250 words (in first 6 weeks of module): 50%
  • Critical analysis of one topic covered on syllabus, 1250 words: 50%


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules