Law and Emotion. Some Reflections on Passion and Dispassion of Law Across Legal Cultures

The complex and multiple interactions between emotion and law are opening up new avenues of research that have theoretical and empirical implications. The discussion of law and emotion as an autonomous field of interdisciplinary research is, however, not entirely new (at least since the 1990s, if not before in France with the Durkheimian’s emotive theory of crime and punishment) and can be seen in disciplines from sociology to economics to anthropology, philosophy and gender studies. Nevertheless, new impulses offered by neurosciences – with trends including neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience, and psychoanalysis in particular – increasingly allow for innovative perspectives and fascinating multidisciplinary crossovers.

The aim of this workshop is to not only gain an overview of such research in this field, but more importantly draw attention to cultural factors that shape emotional landscapes. Is there an elective affinity between legal cultures and the way the factuality of emotions in law is taken into account? This includes both codified law and informal normative orders, with their entanglements and intertwinements that underlie the production of norms and the making of jurisprudential decisions.
Using both classical approaches (Freud, Durkheim, Weber) as well as the historicity of emotional cultures that shape the dimensions of the law, this workshop aims to answer these pressing questions.

Raja Sakrani  (Workshop Organizer)