Marina Kurkchiyan

Emeritus Fellow

Other affiliations

Wolfson College


BSc, then MSc, in physics and mathematics, Yerevan State University, 1974, 1976
PhD in sociology, Lithuanian Institute of Philosophy, Sociology and Law, Vilnius 1988
Post-doctoral studies in social policy, London School of Economics, 1992-1993

Marina is a sociologist who specialises in comparative legal cultures, the post-communist transition, and the impact of development issues on the rule of law. She has conducted research in many European and Central Asian countries. As a consultant to the World Bank, the EU, the DfID, the Open Society Institute and the UNDP she has completed a number of official reports on the interaction between law and society in relation to development. Her recent large-scale international project scrutinised the differences in the way people perceive, interpret and use law in their everyday life among the EU countries. Data have been gathered from the UK, Norway, Poland, Bulgaria, and Ukraine as an EU 'near-neighbour'.  The research included ethnographic study of the operation of the lowest level civil courts in those countries. Currently Marina is examining the Russian socio-legal tradition from the medieval period to the present.

Research Interests

Comparative legal cultures; The Russian socio-legal tradition; Legal and institutional transplants; Rule of law and development; Courts and judges in their social contexts: socially constructed images and meanings