Professor Amanda Perry-Kessaris SFHEA specialises in empirically grounded, theoretically informed, cross-disciplinary approaches to law; and to the economic life of law in particular. She has qualifications in law (LLB and LLM Southampton; PhD LSE), economics (PGCert Birkbeck), visual communication and graphic design (PGCert and MA London College of Communication). She blogs at Approaching Law, tweets @aperrykessaris and publishes videos on Vimeo.
Amanda joined Kent in 2013, having previously held posts at SOAS, Birkbeck and Queen Mary colleges in London, and the Universities of Dundee and Sussex.
A key question running through Amanda’s research is: What can design do for law?
Doing Sociolegal Research in Design Mode (Routledge, 2021), a monograph completed with the support of a Leverhulme Research Fellowship, is the first to explore what design can do for sociolegal research. It argues that designerly ways—mindsets that are practical, critical and imaginative, experimental processes and visible and tangible communication strategies—can be combined to generate potentially enabling ecosystems; and that within these ecosystems the abilities of a researcher to make meaningful contributions and to engage in meaningful research relations, both within our research community and in the wider world, can be enhanced. It is supported by experiments conducted with over 200 sociolegal researchers including the Sociolegal Model Making project, and ‘What can graphic design reveal about law?’(2014).
Design in Legal Education (Routledge 2022), a collection co-edited with Emily Allbon, brings together experts from multiple disciplines, professions and jurisdictions to reflect upon how designerly mindsets, processes and strategies can enhance teaching and learning across higher education, public legal information and legal practice.
A second question running through Amanda’s research is: How might we enhance our ability to understand and influence the actual and potential economic lives of law? For example, in 2015 Amanda won the SLSA Article Prize for 'The Case for a Visualized Economic Sociology of Legal Development’, in which she explored the implications of approaching what is often termed 'law and development’ as 'econo-socio-legal development’; in particular using visual techniques. That work was influenced by collaborations with Diamond Ashiagbor, Prabha Kotiswaran and others to develop an Economic Sociology of Law (with financial support from the Journal of Law and Society, see Towards an Economic Sociology of Law (Wiley-Blackwell 2013); and underpinned by a British Academy Research Development Award-funded investigation into the impact of economic approaches (analytical, normative and empirical) on the field of law and development, especially the rise of legal indicators. Her earlier empirical research includes monograph-length studies of legal aspects of foreign investment in India and Sri Lanka: Global Business, Local Law 2008, funded by a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship and an SLSA Research Grant; and Legal systems as a determinant of foreign direct investment 2001; as well as research into environmental justice in Bangalore/Bengaluru (funded by the ESRC and Ford Foundation 1995).
Amanda also maintains an interest in quantitative research which began with her 2004 SLSA Article Prize winning piece 'Finding and facing facts about legal systems and FDI in South Asia', and most recently led her to train in data visualisation techniques.
Amanda teaches modules on Law and Economy, International Economic Law and Research Methods in Law.
Amanda is happy to supervise research that takes sociologically, ethnographically and/or visually attuned approaches to law; especially to the economic life of law.