Law is today increasingly influenced and transformed by the forces of Europeanisation and globalisation. For legal scholars this development presents exciting research questions and opens up entirely new fields of enquiry. However, it also implies serious challenges in terms of theory and methodology. In an interconnected world our traditional conception of law based on hierarchical norm-production and enforcement within the confines of the nation state is being challenged. Likewise, the conception of inter-state agreements as the main form of governance of inter-state relations reveals itself as incomplete. In terms of methodology, the conventional tools of positive legal analysis (the legal dogmatic method) appear insufficient to answer all pertinent questions.

To better account for the changing reality of law beyond the state a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches have been advanced in the legal and social sciences. The course will introduce some of the most influential among these new approaches and will engage students in a critical debate as to their respective strengths and weaknesses.

This course will be of interest to doctoral students in European law, public international law, private international law, comparative law and jurisprudence as well as to students in other areas of law with an interest in global law. The course does not aim to present the basics in any of these fields but to provide a basis for thinking about these fields in an innovative and broad-minded way. It should therefore be complemented by subject-specific readings for these fields, at the discretion of the respective supervisors.