Law, Society and Politics in Comparative Perspective

Law, Society and Politics in Comparative Perspective

Course dates:
4 January, 2020 to 24 January, 2020
1,100 €
Art & Design, Multidisciplinary
Application deadline:
Monday, 7 December, 2020
Freie Universität Berlin International Summer and Winter University (FUBiS)
Berlin, Germany

General information

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, and conflict. Next, we investigate the role and operation of law in totalitarian settings such as Nazi and Communist Germany, then consider the challenges that such legacies pose for democracy, the rule of law, and the economy in post-totalitarian societies. In this context, we examine the challenges posed by freedom of speech, the need for ‘transitional justice’, and the relationship between law and the market. Finally, we examine the role of law, lawyers, and courts in social change.

Overall, the course aims to develop skills at using theory and history to inform debates on contemporary challenges, such as multiculturalism, punishment, (illegal) downloading/streaming/file-sharing, ‘illiberal democracy’ and authoritarianism, economic development, and social movements. 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.


FUBiS offers the following accommodation options:

  •     Single room in a shared apartment at the student dorms
  •     Youth hostel JuLi
  •     Homestay Berlin host family

For more details on the different accommodation options, please click here.


The easiest way to register for FUBiS is by using the online registration form. You can find detailed information on how to register here.

Registration deadline is December 7, 2019.

A comprehensive overview on fees and registration can be found here.

ECTS accreditation


Contact information


Phone: +49 30 838 73 472