Universität Bielefeld

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Teaching Profile

Specialized Bachelor programme: Programme Module “Law and Regulation”

The programme module “Law and Regulation” provides an introduction to the law of society and its role for other social systems. The main focus of its teaching activities is on the area of social regulation. The students learn to understand the social conditions of legal and social regulation, the organizational and institutional contexts of these social conditions and the general effects of legal and social regulation. They also learn to become aware of and scrutinize everyday encounters with the law, administration and politics from a perspective of theoretical reflection, and to develop and hone their practical skills. This involves reading sociological texts (both in German and in English), academic writing, applying sociological knowledge to everyday contexts and situations, and group work.


Master programmes: Programme Module “Law and Regulation”


Since the winter semester of 2013/14, the Master programme in Sociology and, after having been made open, the Master programme in Political Communication, have included two specialized modules on “Sociology of Law and Regulation”. These modules were designed to teach students general theoretical and empirical knowledge according to the current state of the research in the sociology of law and the sociology of regulation. More generally speaking, in these courses, students learn the methods needed to understand and theoretically reflect on the fundamental normative structures of society and the forms of regulation that are based on these structures. Here the focus is primarily on learning theoretical, empirical and practical approaches to the sociology of law and the sociology of regulation. The theoretical parts of the courses involve the study of norms, the law and regulation in modern society, including comparisons of relevant theories, as well as the consideration of these theories in relation to current empirical research projects and questions of practical applications in areas such as the sociology of constitutions, the sociology of Rechtsstäbe, risk regulation and the regulation of science and technology. The students learn to understand how normative means ensure certainty of expectations in modern society and what options result from this for the shaping social conditions. In addition, they discuss theoretical questions and assessments of the legally constituted society with a special focus on the relationships between law and other areas of society, such as politics, science, the economy and media. The empirical parts of the courses concentrate primarily on the study and critical reflection of the relationships between law and politics under the conditions of the world polity. Here the students learn to use theoretical concepts to develop an empirically grounded perspective on the law and regulation in various different areas of society and to develop relevant research questions. The application-oriented parts of the courses are designed to provide students with knowledge about the organizational forms of the law and regulation, the organizational mechanisms behind the social promotion and regulation of different areas of life and about the problems they involve. In addition, the students learn to understand the conditions and instruments of social regulation. Students who decide to take any of these courses should have a basic understanding of the sociology of the law and the sociology of regulation on the level of introductory literature or at least some general knowledge of sociological theory and methodology.


Seminars in English


The Working Group on Law and Society usually offers one seminar per semester in English.


Research Training


Research training (Lehrforschung) courses are held regularly and usually last one or two semesters (kleine and große Lehrforschung respectively).




For information about the courses offered by the Research and Teaching Unit, please refer to the ekVV.