Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Dissertation: the Topic

Natalie wanted me to write a little bit more about my dissertation, so I have decided to dedicate a few posts to it.

I will start by introducing my topic.

Law and Society in Post-Communist Central Eastern Europe: Poland, Slovakia and Russia .

As you know, I’m studying sociology of law at the University of Lund in Sweden. Sociology of law deals with the relationship between law and other institutions and actors in society. I’m personally mostly interested in the interaction between people, law and politics.

When reading an article* written by one of my professors, I stumbled upon the following paragraph;

The transition from a communist to a capitalist oriented industrial society in Eastern Europe and in the former Soviet Republic represents the same kind of tensions between the old rules of the game and a new play with a new script. These countries might face a situation where the society, the horizontal dimension, has shifted while the legal logic in the vertical dimension has not undergone the same changes.” (p. 20).

And the little nerd in my head rejoiced. Eastern Europe – yay. Former Soviet Republic – yay. This was a way for me to combine the study of the societies I like the most with a nice mix of sociology, some law and some politics. Why keep it simple?

This is a complex topic because on the one hand I need to find out what the people think and on the one hand, I need to know what the law says. And none of these two is simple. But it is very, very fascinating.  Basically – what I want to find out is whether the law fulfills the expectations that society places upon it. The reason I picked these specific countries is that they all share a piece of common history even though they are very different.

Stay tuned for more Smile


* Contributions in Sociology of Law: remarks from a Swedish Horizon. Lund Studies in Sociology of Law; 29. Lund: Sociology of Law, Lund University. 2008 – available here https://lup.lub.lu.se/search/publication/1177637

1 comment:

Natalie said...

Excellent topic! Thanks for going more into detail. I have had such a busy week that I didn't even get a chance to read this post until today, and I will eagerly read any updates you post. So keep us updated! :)

I'll also be interested in your conclusions. Though Poland, Slovakia, and Russia all share a communist past (many years behind the Iron Curtain, etc.), I think they have taken different paths since the fall of the Soviet Union. Namely that Poland and Slovakia have more of a rule of law in their society than Russia does.