In their newly published article Bringing Law into the Political Sociology of Humanitarianism in Oslo Law Review, Kjersti Lohne (UiO) and Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (PRIO/UiO) discuss the role of legal sociology in the study of humanitarianism.
Over the past few years, the study of humanitarianism has emerged as an interdisciplinary subfield in international political sociology. Lohne and Sandvik’s new article maps out preliminary ideas about the role of legal sociology. The study of international humanitarian law has overwhelmingly been the terrain of doctrinal legal scholars, while the apparent lack of other law has meant that, until recently, legal sociologists have paid little attention to the humanitarian sector. There has also been little scholarly concern regarding the consequences of not asking questions about the role of law in the humanitarian project. They argue that legal sociology helps one understand how rules, standards and norms shape and are shaped by practices and interactions within and across humanitarian spaces globally, and how law contributes to humanitarian governance.