Theme 3: Families, Law and Society

This theme aims to analyse the inter-relationship between family law, religion and society, not only from an internal Swedish perspective but also from a multicultural and international viewpoint. Special attention is given to the impact of the EU on legislation, case law and extra-judicial practice, and to the impact of immigration into Sweden.

Rules of law relating to the family form the cornerstone of every society and shape the daily lives of individuals. In the past, family law in Sweden was intimately connected with religion and religious outlooks. From the early 1900s, however, it has developed in a secular direction and is today regarded internationally as “progressive” and “women friendly”, in the forefront of development. In addition, and probably more explicitly than anywhere else, legislation on matters relating to the family has been used in Sweden as an instrument of “social engineering”. Recently, conflicts have arisen between secular and religious interests regarding issues such as the concept of marriage (e.g. can same-sex couples be included?) and the right to parenthood (through various reproduction techniques). Finally, both Sweden’s membership in the EU and recent immigration into Sweden has obliged a previously “homogenous” society to confront new and different values regarding the construction of the family and its functions. How should the scope for legal pluralism be drawn?

Theme Leader: Mosa Sayed
DeputyTheme Leader: Pia Karlsson Minganti

Work Packages

3.1 Muslim Family and Inheritance Law and Human Rights
3.2 What is a Family? - The Right to Marry or to Become a Parent
3.3 Family Law Disputes and Divorce in Europe
3.4 Constructions of Secularism
3.5 Society in Transformation - State and Church as Co-Actors in Matters of the Family
3.6 Children´s Right to Spirituality in a Religiously Illiterate Society

Publications Theme 3
The list contains publications by researchers active in the Impact programme.