Research Group for Interdisciplinary Legal Studies


The Research Group was established in 2012 by György Gajduschek and Balázs Fekete, two of the Institute’s Research Fellows. In 2013, Mátyás Bencze joined them.

The Group aims to serve as a forum for research on interdisciplinary fields of legal studies, such as sociology of law, comparative law, critical legal studies, cultural studies of law, and law and literature.

We would like to generate synergy among scholars working at institutes of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences on issues related to the above-mentioned fields. Our long-term goal is to become a hub of research activities in these fields in Hungary and potentially in the region.

Presently the Research Group manages two major projects:

1. Legal consciousness and legal culture in Hungary – Theoretical perspectives and empirical evidence.

The research is financed by the Hungarian Research and Development Fund (OTKA 105552 project) for the 2012-2015 period.

This project aims to measure and interpret major dimensions of the legal culture in Hungary, including knowledge and attitude indicators. The ultimate goal is a better understanding of how people think about “law” and what is the real function of law in the present Hungarian society (law in action). Unfortunately, Hungarian legal scholarship concentrates almost solely on black letter law. This may be the reason why, except for a few specific research fields (like surveying legal culture of law students), no comprehensive research project in this area has been carried out since the late 1980s. In 2013, we compiled are presently analyze results of a questionnaire that used questions of a 1967 survey on legal knowledge.

2. Legal Theory at the Turn of Millennia

The aim of this project is to review scholarly approaches that are less known and infrequently applied in Hungarian academia. Such approaches include, for example: law and literature, sociology of law, and language and law. We are working on a volume devoted to a an in-depth discussion of these fields of study. So far, we have organized six seminars presenting and discussing the draft versions of manuscripts prepared for the volume.

2013 publications related to the two projects indicated above are:

Fekete, Balázs: Érzelmek és jogtudomány: egy lehetséges megközelítés. [Emotions and Jurisprudence: a Plausible Approach] Iustum Aequum Salutare, 2013/3. 89–104.

Gajduschek, György: A magyar közigazgatás és közigazgatástudomány jogias jellegéről. [On the Legalistic Nature of the Hungarian Public Administration] Politikatudományi Szemle 21:(4) pp. 29-49. (2012)

Bencze, Mátyás: A Comparative Approach to the Evaluation of Evidence from a ‘Fair Trial’ Perspective. In: Attila Badó (ed.): Fair Trial and Judicial Independence, Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice, Springer, 2013, 143-154. o.



Head of the Research Group