Law & Society is a new interdisciplinary area of research at CISR, formed as a result of studies by researchers at the Center with interests in the relationship between social processes and regulative orders in society. Over the past 10 years, researchers at CISR have gained a great deal of experience studying socio-legal realities. Among the wide range of issues being addressed, much attention has been paid to the study of judicial reforms, human rights and the post-Soviet transformation of Russia’s legal structures. Future work in the area of Law & Society will draw on this experience as researchers expand their studies to cover, among other socio-legal aspects, the relationships between law and citizenry, human beings and human rights, informal norms of conduct and the organization of social groups.
Research in this subject area is primarily based in qualitative methodology. Qualitative methods have proven especially useful in helping uncover the multilayered structure of law; its complexity, dynamics and eclectic nature. In addition, they help researchers overcome the confines and limitations of the positivistic definition of law and reconstruct the mechanisms performing regulative functions in society.
Apart from the study of socio-legal phenomena, work in the area of Law & Society is aimed at creating a multidisciplinary educational platform for use in professional development and the organization of open discussions and international exchanges. This initiative is grounded in a desire to attract researchers from close disciplinary fields from across the globe-lawyers, anthropologists, political scientists, politicians, public figures and everyone interested in the issues of law and society-and reflect critically on socio-legal phenomena and social processes.