Amanda specialises in empirically grounded, theoretically informed, cross-disciplinary approaches to law, in particular to the econo-legal. She has qualifications in law, economics and visual communication. She blogs at econosociolegal.wordpress.com, tweets @aperrykessaris and publishes videos on Vimeo.
Her current research focuses primarily on the application of 'design thinking’ (such as user interaction and prototyping) and design outcomes (such as images, sound and typography) in processes of econo-legal change. For example, an SLSA Research Grant is funding her current research into the use of graphic design in the negotiations over the possible reunification of Cyprus; in 2014 she held an online show, ‘What can graphic design reveal about law?' of 14 original designs communicating a perception or expectation of law; and she has been running Legal Treasure Tours since 2012.
In 2015 she 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’ (that is, the role of legal phenomena as means, ends, obstacles or irrelevances to human welfare) as 'econo-socio-legal development’; in particular using visual techniques. That work was influenced by ongoing collaborations with Diamond Ashiagbor, Prabha Kotiswaran and others to develop an Economic Sociology of Law, resulting in events and publications such as Towards an Economic Sociology of Law (Wiley-Blackwell 2013), with financial support from the Journal of Law and Society. It was also 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, focusing in particular on the rise of legal indicators.
She has extensive experience in empirical research. For example, her book Global Business, Local Law (2008) explored the role of the Indian legal system as a mediator of relations between government, civil society and foreign investment actors (funded by a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship and an SLSA Research Grant); building on earlier empirical research into foreign investment in Sri Lanka (Legal systems as a determinant of foreign direct investment: Lessons from Sri Lanka 2001), and on research into environmental justice in Bangalore/Bengaluru (funded by the ESRC and Ford Foundation 1995).
She 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 joined Kent in 2013, having previously held posts at SOAS, Birkbeck and Queen Mary colleges in London, and the Universities of Dundee and Sussex.
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Perry-Kessaris, A. (2014). The Case for a Visualized Economic Sociology of Legal Development. Current Legal Problems
Publications in SSRN
Amanda Perry-Kessaris on SSRN
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Perry-Kessaris, A. (2016). Collecting value/valuing collecting. London Review of International Law [Online] 4:211-214. Available at: http://lril.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/lrw001? ijkey=SMEMjDwgTXpWWOQ&keytype=ref.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2015). Approaching the econo-socio-legal. Annual Review of Law & Social Science [Online] 11. Available at: http://arjournals.annualreviews.org/eprint/IKqAjGqrmIkmF2Dibxe4/full/10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-120814-121542.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2014). The Case for a Visualized Economic Sociology of Legal Development [Winner of SLSA Article Prize 2015]. Current Legal Problems [Online] 67:169-198. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/clp/cuu016.
Abstract | View in KAR | View Full Text
Legal development work suffers from a general lack of interdisciplinarity and from the associated dominance of economics. A more sociologically informed meta-framework, such as that offered by the emergent field of economic sociology of law (ESL), is required. But if it is to be robust, widely applicable and open to challenge, such an econo-socio-legal approach to development must be accessible across disciplines; and among academic, practitioner, and public audiences. The reach of such a new approach could be radically improved using graphic design techniques such as typography and information design.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2013). Anemos-ity, apatheia, enthousiasmos: An economic sociology of law and wind farm development in Cyprus. Journal of Law and Society 40:68-91.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2011). Reading the story of law and embeddedness through a community lens: A Polanyi-meets-Cotterrell economic sociology of law. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 62:401-413.
Cohen, E. et al. (2011). Truth and consequences in rule of law: Inferences, attribution and evaluation. Hague Journal on the Rule of Law [Online] 3:102-129. Available at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1757977.
Abstract | View in KAR
Billions of dollars is spent on legal development every year, but its effectiveness continues to be questioned. Many donors have responded to this internal and external critique by developing monitoring and evaluating systems. This article problematizes the tendency of conventional modes of evaluation to assume a link between the outcomes of individual projects (the 'truth' of rule of law) and the fulfillment of overarching program goals (the 'consequences'). We argue that examining this assumed link is of particular importance as rule of law projects take place within a host of simultaneous political and social changes; are time consuming and unpredictable and have multiple and sometimes conflicting objectives. Our analysis of four recent rule of law projects from Asia, Africa and Latin America exposes the inability of conventional evaluations to accommodate such complexities. We demonstrate how, by contrast, robust empirical research reveals important truths about the disparity between the actual, intended and unintended consequences of legal development projects.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2011). Prepare your indicators: Economics imperialism on the shores of law and development. International Journal of Law in Context 7:401-421.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2008). Recycle, Reduce and Reflect: Information Overload and Knowledge Deficit in the Field of Foreign Investment and the Law. Journal of Law and Society 35:67-75.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2004). Use, Abuse and Avoidance: Foreign Investors and the Legal System in Bangalore. Asia Pacific Law Review 12:161-189.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2003). Finding and Facing Facts about Legal Systems and FDI in South Asia. Legal Studies 23:649-689.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2002). Multinational Enterprises, International Economic Organisations and Convergence among Legal Systems. Non-state Actors and International Law 2:22-39.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2002). The Relationship between Legal Systems and Economic Development: Integrating Economic and Cultural Approaches. Journal of Law and Society 29:282-307.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2000). An Ideal Legal System for Attracting Foreign Direct Investment? Some Theory and Reality. American University International Law Review 15:1627-1657.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2000). Effective Legal Systems and Foreign Direct Investment: In Search of the Evidence. International Comparative Law Quarterly 49:779-799.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2016). Transnational law and development. in: Zumbansen, P. ed. Oxford Handbook of Transnational Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2016). Discovering the econo-socio-legal through a communal lens. in: Schiff, D. and Nobel, R. eds. Law, Society and Community: Socio-Legal Essays in Honour of Roger Cotterrell. Surry: Ashgate, pp. 147-152.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2010). Corporate Liability for Environmental Harm. in: Fitzmaurice, M., Ong, D. and Merkouris, P. eds. Research Handbook on International Environmental Law. Cheltenham: Edwad Elgar.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2009). Enriching the World Bank's Vision of National Legal Systems and Foreign Direct Investment. in: Bergling, P., Ederlof, J. and Taylor, V. eds. Rule of Law Promotion: Global Perspectives, Local Applications. Uppsala: Iustus Forlag.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2007). Gateways to Environmental Justice in India's Garden City: Local Solutions to Global Challenges. in: Harding, A. ed. Access to Environmental Justice: A Comparative Study. The Netherlands: Brill.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2003). Law and Development: Facing Complexity in the 21st Century. in: Hatchard, J. and Perry-Kessaris, A. eds. Law and Development in the 21st Century: Facing Complexity. London: Cavendish, pp. 27-36.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2000). Sustainable Gateways to Environmental Justice. in: Pugh, C. ed. Sustainable Cities in Developing Countries. London: Earthscan.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (1999). International Economic Organisations and The Modern Law and Development Movement. in: Seidman, A., Seidman, R. and Walde, T. eds. Making Development Work: legislative reform for institutional transformation and good governance. Boston: Kluwer Law International.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (1998). Law and Urban Change in an Indian City. in: Fernandes, E. and Varley, A. eds. Illegal Cities: Law and Urban Change in Developing Countries. London: Zed Book.
Alessandrini, D., Bedford, K. and Perry-Kessaris, A. (2018). Law and Development: A Connected Approach. London: Bloomsbury.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2008). Global Business, Local Law: The Indian Legal System as a Communal Resource in Foreign Investment Relations. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2001). Legal Systems as a Determinant of FDI, Lessons from Sri Lanka. Boston: Kluwer Law International.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2014). 'What can graphic design reveal about law?'. [Video]. Available at: http://econosociolegal.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/what-can-graphic-design-reveal-about.html.
Abstract | View in KAR
An online show of 14 designs each expressing a perception or expectation of law, using just the word itself. The intention was to provoke and facilitate conversation - about law, about design, about law and design - within academia and beyond. Promoted via Twitter @aperrykessaris #apkLAWdesigns
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2016). STANDARD. [Video]. Available at: https://vimeo.com/154506983.
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A commentary inspired by close examination of an object: Sliding Caliper DU_124 (part of the David Usborne Collection at University of the Arts London (UAL) Archives and Special Collections).
Perry-Kessaris, A. and Lee, S. (2015). Excited but nervous. [audio]. Available at: https://www.sugarsync.com/pf/D8924055_06127585_6592595.
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A combination of Sam Lee's spontaneous live performance of his song 'Goodbye My Darling' with multi-lingual versions of the phrase 'I'm excited to move to the city, but nervous because I don't know anyone'. Created as part of EXCHANGE, a project investigating exchange and the city.
Ashiagbor, D., Kotiswaran, P. and Perry-Kessaris, A. eds. (2013). Towards an Economic Sociology of Law. . Wiley.
Perry-Kessaris, A. ed. (2012). Socio-legal Approaches to International Economic Law: Text, context, subtext. London: Routledge.
Perry-Kessaris, A. ed. (2009). Law in Pursuit of Development: Principles into Practice?. London: Routledge, Cavendish.
Hatchard, J. and Perry-Kessaris, A. eds. (2003). Law and Development in the 21st Century: Facing complexity in the 21st Century. London: Routledge:Cavendish.
Teaching and Supervision
- Law and Development (LW885)
- The International Law on Foreign Investment (LW81
- Research Methods Module II
Amanda is happy to supervise research that takes sociologically, economically, ethnographically and/or visually attuned approaches to economic activity.
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Other Academic Activities
Video portfolio at Vimeo
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Legal Treasure Project which builds on the premise that objects (manuscripts, photographs, maps, audio-visual material, rare books, ephemera, works of art and so on) can serve to generate, focus, evidence, illustrate and share legal ideas; as well as enabling questioning of the nature, mechanics, and social and political implications of the history of law and law generally.
Law and Development: Thinking into | about practice in which academics and practitioners to use images and text to reflect upon their experience in the field of law and development.
Amanda is a member of the Folke Bernadotte Academy Research Working Group on the Rule of Law, and of the Legal Information Design Network; and is co-founder and member of the SOAS Economic Sociology of Law Reading Group. She has previously acted as Executive Committee Member (2007-2013) and Secretary (2010-2013) of the Socio-Legal Studies Association.
At the University of Kent, Amanda is the KLS liaison for Kent Counts, part of the Nuffield Foundation’s Q-Step programme, which seeks to ‘tackle the perceived difficulty and irrelevance of statistics head on’.