MA in Law, Politics and Society

Programme Description

The M.A. Programme in Law, Society and Politics at the SLGC is designed with the premise that a focus on the intersection of law and politics is of crucial importance in shaping a better understanding of modern India. That law is both living and dynamic as against something static is evidenced in the way courts and the judiciary has constantly re-interpreted texts of the law as well as the Constitution.

The study of law has thus far been confined to legal departments or universities and the choice of locating a Masters Program in law within a social science and humanities university is a self conscious one. The excessive focus on legal formalism has resulted in an emphasis on skill development and an instrumental approach to legal education. While the imparting of legal skill is an essential aspect of legal education, it would be shortsighted to reduce the study of law into a vocational training. We believe a study of law is much richer when it incorporates insights from social sciences, humanities and other disciplines.

AUD provides a unique environment to house such a school as the faculty and scholars come from a wide range of disciplines ranging from law to the core disciplines within the Social Sciences and Humanities.

Students from a wide range of disciplines, including but not limited to, law, sociology, political science, philosophy, will find this programme attractive. Law graduates through this programme will be able to deepen their understanding of interdisciplinary legal studies including sociological and historical jurisprudence. Graduates of other social sciences will be able to acquire a social understanding of law and the functioning of legal institutions. The programme will have a comparative focus constantly foregrounding the debates of the global south within a wider political and cultural context.

The program will also invite eminent legal practitioners as guest lecturers and to offer electives that will introduce students to link the theoretical study of law with its practical application.

CAREER OPTIONS:

The programme is oriented towards those interested in deepening their understanding of law towards a career in research, teaching and legal practice. The programme will be useful to those who plan to work in advocacy, in policy, non governmental organizations and those who would like a more informed approach to the practice of law. For students without a background in law, it offers an entry point into a study of law and will equip them with a unique opportunity to develop their research and skills in this field.

The programme comprises of 64 credits over 4 semesters of 16 weeks each. It includes 12 taught courses (4 credits each), a writing seminar (4 credits), a summer internship (2 credits) and a written thesis (10 credits). Of the 12 taught courses, 6 are core courses, which are compulsory, and 6 are elective courses, which students can select from a list of courses on offer.

Courses:

The indicative course structure is as follows:

Core Courses:

  • Research Methodology/Legal Method
  • History of Indian Constitutionalism
  • Sociology of Law/Law and Society in Modern India
  • Jurisprudence/Philosophy of Law
  • Comparative Law and Politics

Elective Courses:

  • Law and Politics in Modern India
  • Postcolonial Legal Theory
  • Law and Social Theory
  • Supreme Court and Politics in India
  • Human Rights Law in India
  • Environmental Justice: Law, Life and the Anthroposcene
  • Law, Media and Technology
  • Law and Culture
  • Gender, Sexuality and Law
  • Law and Literature
  • Global Justice and Governance
  • Comparative Law in South Asia
  • Law and Anthropology
  • Human Rights and Global Justice

Programme Structure

The programme comprises of 64 credits over 4 semesters of 16 weeks each. It includes 12 taught courses (4 credits each), a writing seminar (4 credits), a summer internship (2 credits) and a written thesis (10 credits). Of the 12 taught courses, 6 are core courses, which are compulsory, and 6 are elective courses, which students can select from a list of courses on offer.

Courses:
The indicative course structure is as follows:

Core Courses:
Research Methodology/Legal Method
History of Indian Constitutionalism
Sociology of Law/Law and Society in Modern India
Jurisprudence/Philosophy of Law
Comparative Law and Politics

Elective Courses:
Law and Politics in Modern India
Postcolonial Legal Theory
Law and Social Theory
Supreme Court and Politics in India
Human Rights Law in India
Environmental Justice
Law, Media and Technology
Law and Culture
Gender, Sexuality and Law
Law and Literature
Global Justice and Governance
Comparative Law in South Asia

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ

How is an MA in law different from an LLM in law?

An LLM is a postgraduate degree program which grants law graduates (LLBs) with a masters in law degree. While undergraduate degrees in law are general in nature the LLMs tend to be specialised (for instance in Business laws or in human rights). The MA in Law, Politics and Society is the first MA degree offered with a special focus on law. It enables all graduates - law and non law- to apply, and while this does not make you a lawyer or enable you to practice law, the degree focusses on the overlap between law and other disciplines such as politics, sociology and history. For non lawyers it introduces them to a specific set of analytical skills which allow them to understand doctrinal law, legal history and public policy better. The sphere of law touches almost every walk of life and it is difficult to imagine any public issue in India which does not eventually become a legal and constitutional matter. It is with this in mind that we have designed the MA program to be one that focusses both on foundational courses in legal reasoning, as well as covering a range of contemporary legal issues and debates. If you are interested in legal practice then you may want to consider getting an LLB but if you are interested in an academic career, research, policy work or in charting out new disciplines, this course equips you with the necessary skills to navigate the complex world of law, politics and society.

Will I be able to manage without a law degree?

Yes, the course is designed keeping in mind the fact that many students will not come with a law degree or possess any advanced knowledge of law or legal institutions. The core courses are a combination of theoretical courses (such as jurisprudence and constitutional theory & history) as well as courses which are more skills oriented (Legal method), while the electives will introduce you to specialised area of scholarship including cutting edge socio legal questions. Together they combine theoretical with practical knowledge and will equip you to work on legal issues with confidence.

What are the kind of job prospects I can expect after graduating from SLGC

There are a number of career options which are available for you after graduating with an MA in Law, society and politics. Apart from the standard options such as a teaching position in universities, colleges and law schools, there are also new opportunities that have opened out in recent years. There are a number of independent research institutions, think tanks and policy analysis centers that have emerged in the last decade. A number of them require people with multiple skills who can navigate the world of law and policy while being grounded or familiar with the process of social science research. Human rights organisations civil society groups often combine activism with advocacy as well as research and graduates may consider a career in such organisations. Finally with the advent of corporate social responsibility (“CSR”) we will see many more philantrophic initiatives in India, all of which require an understanding of the macro level legal or police issues along with an ability to apply the same to a local context. Finally, we would encourage students to also chair out new possibilities by starting new areas of practice, research and service provision. To illustrate with just one example, the domain of art and law is not really a well established area of practice, but the rise of the art market and the number of transactions has meant an increase in demand for professionals skilled and equipped with legal as well as aesthetic knowledge.

Eligibility

The candidate should have a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline with a minimum of 45% marks or an equivalent grade from a recognised university. (Relaxation of 5% marks for SC/ST/PwD)

SELECTION PROCEDURE:
Admission will be based on an entrance test and an interview. The entrance test will comprise of essay type questions testing awareness of themes related to law, governance and citizenship; writing ability; and analytical reasoning.

LOCATION:
SLGC will be housed at AUD’sKarampura campus.
 

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