A brief history of the Research network
The research network of Sociology of Law was constituted in 1983. Its first Coordinator was Vincenzo Tomeo, a professor at the University of Milan and a former student of Renato Treves.
It is impossible to try in the limited amount of time available for this presentation, even the most synthetic history of the Section’s activities. Therefore, we must limit ourselves to remember just a few of the most relevant initiatives taken during the last twenty years: the Conference on the “Conflict and rights of trans-national societies” (in Courmayeur from the 10th to the 12th of September 1998) organized by Vincenzo Ferrari (University of Milan) then Coordinator of the Section; the creation of the website of the Section (www.sociologiadeldiritto-ais.it) in the spring of 2004 under the presidency of Valerio Pocar (University of Milan-Bicocca); the organization (always by Pocar) of “National Seminars on the Sociology of Law” that were held annually on the island of Capraia starting in 2005; the creation of another websitehttp://www.sociologiadeldiritto-ais.it) in the spring of 2004 under the presidency of Valerio Pocar (University of Milan-Bicocca); the organization (always by Pocar) of “National Seminars on the Sociology of Law” that were held annually on the island of Capraia starting in 2005; the creation of another website (http://www.sociologiadeldiritto.it) upon the initiative of Alberto Febbrajo (University of Macerata) who coordinated the Section from 2008-2014.
From 2015 to present, the Coordinator has been Lucio d’Alessandro (Chancellor of the University of Naples “Suor Orsola Benincasa”). Under his guidance, the Section has grown noticeably: there have been numerous conferences, publications and various initiatives (among which a database related to the principle areas of interest and research of its members). The number of members has also grown considerably: at present, there are approximately 120 members.
Main theoretical and research areas
The section constitutes the reference of the SSD SPS / 12 where – if we look at the research areas and the teachings given in various bachelor’s and master's degree programmes – the Sociology of Law coexists with the Sociology of Deviance, as well as Criminology produced by committed scholars that research the field within a framework of strictly sociological references, thus configuring itself more properly as a sociology of crime. Within each of these areas, as per its tradition, the section maintains strong relationships with national and international research networks in which scholars from neighboring disciplinary areas of a legal, philosophical, economic and socio-political nature participate.
Law and deviance from the sociological (theoretical and empirical) perspective constitute the research fields. And although it is essential to reference the legal dimension that defines and structures individual behaviors in relation to norms, social relations and the actions of institutions and those of control, many other interests are cultivated: such as rights and their effectiveness in social policies, the pluralism of normative references in complex societies, the sociological-legal nature of the action of institutions, the legal culture and the administrative dimension of policies, legal professions, etc.