Lund University, Sweden, is the only seat of learning having Sociology of Law (hereafter SoL) at all levels in Europe. SoL was initiated in 1972 as a department at the Social Science Faculty, with professor Per Stjernquist as chair. Later on, for some 10 years, SoL was a division within the department of Sociology but from January 2006, SoL is an autonomous department at the Social Science Faculty. We will take the opportunity to introduce ourselves with this anthology containing different contributions from the colleagues in SoL at Lund University. What the various articles have in common – besides originating from the department of Sociology of Law in Lund – is that most of them were presented in different sessions at the Law & Society conference in Berlin, July 2007. Even if many of the articles are or will be published in different Journals and books, we want to collect them in one volume in order to show the breadth and depth of our research.
SoL is researching the relation between law and society and we have a specific focus on norms. A SoL perspective on law does not mean that the focus is on some single enactment but on law in its social context. SoL is at the same time a legal science and a social science – mutually influencing each other. The argument for this is that one research project could be relevant in both directions and disciplines – theoretically as well as methodologically. What is common for jurisprudence and SoL is the interest in the legal system and the dependency between (social) norms and legal rules.
Many of the SoL research projects have had an impact on legislation processes and on legal and administrative actors. Several of the research projects have also attracted interest from the mass media, professional journals, national agencies and municipalities. Worth mentioning is the interest in research on law in transition. All the mentioned research areas will offer many opportunities for the renewal of SoL and contribute to the international development of norm science within social science and law, which this anthology hopefully will give a flavour of.