Kent Law School

Critical perspectives research led teaching



Amanda 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, tweets @aperrykessaris and publishes videos on Vimeo.

Her current research explores the application of design-based methods to sociolegal research processes. Design shares with law an orientation that is at once practical, critical and imaginative. What design can bring to law is an emphasis on the principles of experimentation, and the practice of making things visible and tangible. Amanda is testing these propositions in two ways. Firstly, she recently completed the Sociolegal Model Making project, in which she experimented with over 100 socio-legal researchers to design a set of artefacts to provoke and facilitate model-making. Secondly, she is completing an SLSA-funded empirical study of law’s roles in preventing, facilitating and creating inter-communal economic life on the divided island of Cyprus in which she combines traditional socio-legal methods such as interviewing and site visits, with design-driven methods such as model-making. 

Earlier work at the intersection of law visual methods and culture include the Pop-Up Museum of Legal Objects (2017),  ‘What can graphic design reveal about law?’ (2014) and Thinking into | about practice.

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 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.

Amanda 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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Headline Publication

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


Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Perry-Kessaris, A. (2018). The re-co-construction of legitimacy of/through the Doing Business indicators. International Journal of Law in Context [Online] 13:498-511. Available at:
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2017). The pop-up museum of legal objects project: an experiment in "sociolegal design". Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2016). Collecting value/valuing collecting. London Review of International Law [Online] 4:211-214. Available at: ijkey=SMEMjDwgTXpWWOQ&keytype=ref.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2015). Approaching the econo-socio-legal. Annual Review of Law & Social Science [Online] 11. Available at:
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:
Ashiagbor, D., Kotiswaran, P. and Perry-Kessaris, A. (2014). Introduction: Continuing Towards an Economic Sociology of Law. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 65:259-264.
Ashiagbor, D., Kotiswaran, P. and Perry-Kessaris, A. (2013). Introduction: Moving Towards an Economic Sociology of Law. Journal of Law and Society 40:1-6.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Book section
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. (2016). Transnational law and development. in: Zumbansen, P. ed. Oxford Handbook of Transnational Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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.
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.
Show / exhibition
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2014). 'What can graphic design reveal about law?'. [Video]. Available at:
Visual media
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2017). Sociolegal model making 6: Placeholding. [Online video]. Available at:
Perry-Kessaris, A. and Renmei, A. (2016). Materials-based gaze: An interview with Zoe Laughlin. [Online video]. Available at:
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2016). Sociolegal model making 2: Analysis. [online film]. Available at:
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2016). Sociolegal model making 5: Material metaphorization. [Online video]. Available at:
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2016). Sociolegal model making 3: Conceptualisation. [Online video]. Available at:
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2016). Sociolegal model making 1: Decision. [Online video]. Available at:
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2016). STANDARD. [Video]. Available at:
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2016). Sociolegal model making 4: Discussion. [Online video]. Available at:
Perry-Kessaris, A. and Lee, S. (2015). Excited but nervous. [audio]. Available at:
Edited book
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.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2020). Doing Sociolegal Research in Design Mode. Routledge.
Perry-Kessaris, A. (2018). Legal design for practice, activism, policy and research. Journal of Law and Society.
Total publications in KAR: 45 [See all in KAR]
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Teaching and Supervision

LW9291 Research Methods in Law

LW313 Critical Introduction to law
LW632 International Economic Law


Amanda is happy to supervise research that takes sociologically, economically, ethnographically and/or visually attuned approaches to the economic life of law

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Other Academic Activities

Social media
Twitter @aperrykessaris
Video portfolio at Vimeo

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’.

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Last Updated: 21/06/2018