Defining the field: Understanding law and society in Asia This research cluster takes as it point of departure that issues related to governance, law, and human rights are closely intertwined and of great importance in contemporary East and South-East Asia. The legal system and different social groups’ access to justice in different Asian societies are shaped by both domestic and global factors, such as the political system, social and economic structures, existing social and cultural norms and values, and the growing integration of these societies in the international community. Studies of the dynamic relationship between law and society call for an approach to legal issues that build upon insights from different disciplines, including law, sociology of law, political science, economics, and area studies.
The development of legal systems in Asia poses both theoretically and empirical challenges to Western academic work in the law-and-society field. This relates both to the role and development of law and legal institutions in authoritarian political regimes, the relationship between rule of law and economic development, the co-existence and interaction between different legal regimes/cultures (viz. customary law, Islamic law, socialist law, Western/market economy law, and international law), and issues related to concepts of justice and different avenues to redress injustices and mobilize the law.
There are synergy effects between individual researchers and research clusters at the Centre and Lund. Scholars currently work on issues related to social justice, governance and rule of law, economics and law, and law and human rights in China etc.