Research focus 2020-23

CECS – Center for European and Comparative Legal Studies

CECS – Center for European and Comparative Legal Studies was first established in 2008, and has been prolonged for the third time from mid-June 2019. The name of the research center signals its present general focus, and refers to a substantive area, European law in a wide sense, as well as to approaches or methodologies, especially comparative legal studies. EU law and constitutional law are central research areas, while areas such as legal cultural studies and international (criminal) law play an important role. While Europe is taken to be the Center’s primary point of departure, the research conducted by CECS members has a broader global outlook. CECS continuously strives to address important challenges and changes in society from legal perspectives and to reconsider present paradigms. The focus is on mapping, understanding and critically reflecting on these.

CECS’ Distinctive Approach to Research

As we enter the next decade, democracy continues to be challenged due to nationalism, populism, demography as well as financial, migration, and climate crises, and increased economic inequality threatening the old forms of welfare of citizens. Moreover, the intensification of digitalization increasingly challenges societies, communities, cities, and individuals with surveillance by both the state and market. This development affects the form and protection of norms and values, attitudes and orders. As we are moving into the Anthropocene era, legal studies are surpassing the national, regional, anthropocentric as well as text-based paradigms. These changes require a research program, which is flexible, resilient, interdisciplinary and adaptive. A program, which simultaneously manages to focus on both long term and short term perspectives, while shifting between them according to changing needs and resources. 

CECS is committed to high quality research and seeks to push the state of the art of research. This is particularly the case in relation to conceptual, theoretical and methodological fields and developments. In this regard, special attention is paid to generating significant new insights with regard to the subject matter that is under study, and the production of research results that can then be generalized beyond the immediate subject that is being studied.

CECS is also attempting to develop an approach to research, which creates a desire to research better, not necessarily more. We attempt to make it attractive, exciting and meaningful to do research, as well as to change a research lifestyle, which often creates problems for both researchers, their environment and even the climate. We strive to develop research with a long-lasting impact, while at the same time making it possible to adapt ongoing research to different contexts and continuous challenges. We hope to be able to present visionary and ambitious research, which can create new standards, and be exemplary through improving its own sustainability. Our aim is to create hope and action beyond the research community reaching out to the public. We strive to cooperate with other researchers and relevant partners locally and globally.

CECS' Key Research Themes

CECS presently pursues the following four key research themes: