Nov 29, 2020  
Course Catalog 2012-2013 
Course Catalog 2012-2013 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Law and Society

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Arts and Sciences, Degree Programs and Requirements

Ronald Charles Kahn, James Monroe Professor

The Curricular Committee on Law and Society administers a cross-disciplinary Law and Society major, fosters the general study of issues regarding law and society throughout the college, and encourages public presentations by visiting scholars, jurists, and lawyers. The recommended core introductory and intermediate law and society courses, core research seminars, and law-related courses explore philosophical, political, economic, historical, sociological, ethical, scientific, and religious issues that are central to understanding the role of law and legal institutions in society.

Core introductory courses and intermediate law and society courses and seminars are selected with the following objectives in mind: 1) center on law and legal institutions directly; 2) explore the historical, philosophical, and ethical underpinnings of the development of law, thought, and institutions; and/or 3) provide the analytic skills necessary to understand the logic and bases of legal thinking as a language in legal institutions, the broader society, and the profession of law. Core research seminars and private reading/research courses provide to students forums to undertake research papers which meet the above objectives. Law-related courses have sections within them that meet at least one of the three objectives that are listed above or provide students an opportunity to write a term paper in which the scholarly issues of the course may be applied to legal institutions, thought, and/or the logic of legal inquiry.

Information About Declaration of a Major/Minor and Current Committee Members

Students wishing to discuss the Law and Society major, obtain a list of current curricular committee members, or to gain approval for major or minor, should contact Professor Ronald Kahn, Chair, Law and Society Curricular Committee, Department of Politics, Rice 232. Law and Society Majors must complete the Law and Society Major Registration Form (a copy of which stays in Committee files) as well as the College’s Major Declaration Form which can be picked up at the Registrar’s Office in Carnegie.


The major consists of at least 30 hours of courses, of which no more than 8 hours may be taken at the introductory level. Requirements include: a minimum of five core introductory and intermediate courses (at least 15 hours); at least three additional core and/or law-related courses (at least 9 hours); and at least one core research seminar. No more than 15 of the first 30 hours of courses in the major may be taken in one department. Core courses and seminar(s) must be chosen from at least three departments, and no more than 15 hours may be taken away from campus. No
more than three law related courses may be taken in the first 30 hours of the major. It is recommended that majors take a second core seminar or a private reading/research course which centers on law and society. 

Courses in which a student has earned a letter grade lower than a C-/P cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of the major.


Students may pursue a minor in Law and Society by completing at least 15 hours of work. At least three core courses (in at least two departments) and two additional law-related and/or core courses must be completed as part of the minor.


Core Introductory Courses

Chemistry (CHEM)

  • CHEM 045  - Chemistry and Crime

Philosophy (PHIL)

Politics (POLT)

  • POLT 103 - Political Change in America

Sociology (SOCI)

  • SOCI 123 - Deviance, Discord and Dismay

Core Intermediate Courses

African American Studies


Comparative American Studies


  • ECON 217 - Anti-Trust Economics


  • HIST 259 - Revolutionary America and the Early Republic

Jewish Studies


  • PHIL 234 - Topics in Applied Ethics


  • POLT 204 - Criminal Law
  • POLT 270 - Law and Supreme Court in American Political Development



  • SOCI 258 - Security, Secrecy, & Spectacle
  • SOCI 271 - Sociology of Law and Legal Institutions
  • SOCI 304 - Loose Canons:Constructing the Classics in Law and Society
  • SOCI 356 - Censorship and Silencing

Core Research Seminars

Economics (ECON)

History (HIST)

  • HIST 442 - Democracy and Human Rights in China

Jewish Studies (JWST)

  • JWST 353 - Seminar: Moses Maimonides: Philosophy and Law


  • PHIL 345 - Law, Liberty, Privacy and Property:Libertarianism and its Critics

Politics (POLT)

  • POLT 302 - Seminar: American Democracy:Law and Policy
  • POLT 308 - Seminar: Constitutional Interpretation and Individual Rights


Religion (RELG)


      RELG 340 - Seminar: Ethical Issues in Death and Dying

Sociology (SOCI)


  • SOCI 406-  Gender and the State in Middle East and North Africa
  • SOCI 442 - Seminar on Censorship and Silencing(replaced by SOCI 365)
  • SOCI 472 - Sociology of Law Seminar


Law-Related Courses


Classics (CLAS)

Economics (ECON)


       ECON 206 - Financial Management


History (HIST)

  • HIST 263 - American Civil War and Reconstruction
  • HIST 267 - Nineteenth Century American Women

Philosophy (PHIL)

  •  PHIL 227 - Feminist Philosophy: Ethics and Politics

Politics (POLT)

Psychology (PSYC)

  • PSYC 240 - Environmental Psychology


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Arts and Sciences, Degree Programs and Requirements