Law, Society and Politics in Comparative Perspective

Freie Universität Berlin

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Law, Society and Politics in Comparative Perspective

  • Host University

    Freie Universität Berlin

  • Location

    Berlin, Germany

  • Area of Study

    Legal Studies, Political Science, Sociology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations

    Upper

    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

    48
  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4
  • Overview

    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 investigate the role and operation of law in totalitarian settings such as Nazi and Communist Germany, and consider the difficulties such legacies pose for fostering the rule of law in post-totalitarian societies. In this context, we also examine the relationship between law, the market, and economic development. Next, we read some classical social theorists (Durkheim and Marx), and consider their relevance to contemporary debates about morality, obedience, and conflict. Finally, we will debate the appropriate limits on the exercise of rights, such as freedom of speech, assembly, and religion.

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

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

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