Focus areas

Our contextual approach to the study of law concentrates on three focus areas that function as lenses through which we put law into perspective. The three focus areas are the overarching topics that frame and shape the research projects of the center.














Ongoing projects

An important part of research activities in CIS are organized around collaborative projects that involve members of the center as well as partners outside the center. Members of CIS are currently involved in a number of large interdisciplinary research projects, most of which are externally funded:


Julie Laursen and Louise Victoria Johansen lead the research project ‘Indeterminate sentencing and imprisonment - an interdisciplinary study of the experiences of court processes and prison practices’, which is funded by the European Research Council and the Carlsberg Foundation. The research project deals with the indefinite detention measure. Foreign research shows that detention is characterized by great uncertainty, frustration and anxiety about the future, but the last comprehensive Nordic study of detention dates from 1965, underscoring the need for new and updated knowledge in this area. The project is divided into two main parts, namely a study of trials where detention is in question, and an ethnographic and interview-based study of remand prisoners' terms of imprisonment and conditions in Herstedvester prison. The aim of the project is to gain knowledge about how defendants and prisoners orient themselves towards, interpret and serve their detention. The project has partners at the University of Cambridge, England and at universities and the Prison and Probation Service in Norway, where similar projects are underway. The project runs from 2021-2024.

Frederik Rom Taxhjelm is a PhD fellow and conducts research about prisoners' rights and their experiences of their own imprisonment. The project is co-financed by the Department of Human Rights and focuses on prisoners' right to a safe, meaningful and proportionate punishment. In international research, Danish prisons are described as particularly humane, but the Danish prison service presently experiences a major crisis with reduced staff, outdated buildings, a rising number of inmates, many disciplinary sentences and a lot of violence. Through qualitative interviews and a six-month fieldwork in a closed prison, the project seeks to investigate what this means for the experience of imprisonment. There is a special focus on exploring which groups of prisoners come under pressure when the prison system is burdened to such an extent. The project runs from 2021-2024.



– an interdisciplinary study of the experiences of court processes and prison practices

Our understanding of the specific pains and possibilities of contemporary experiences of indeterminate confinement in Denmark remains limited. Using ethnographic research methods, IndeSent will provide an in-depth examination of the experience of being indeterminately sentenced by a court and of serving an indeterminate sentence in prison.

Read more about the research project