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What will I learn?

Description of the programme: boundaries as a framework for research

1.1. Regulatory regimes

During the last decades a large set of domestic, European and global instruments have been developed that address various specific transnational problems, such as pollution and climate change, inequalities in access to health provisions, as well as problems posed by new technologies.

a. One-dimensionality. Many regimes are especially designed to address a specific sector and/or to realize a set of particular policy-goals. Since each of them is geared to the attainment of a specific problem or goal they are not designed to facilitate cooperation between different actors or to strike a balance with other competing goals. In the domain of IT, for instance, regulation has to be developed across different regimes that are established around e.g. `privacy’ and `security’ which may point into different directions.

b. Multiplicity. The policy-goals that are at the centre of a legal regime are not necessarily identical to the practical problems that need to be regulated. This means that specific problems are often covered by more than one regime at the same time.

c. Dependency on non-legal expertise. The orientation towards specific aims and problems implies the need for non-legal expert knowledge. In order to regulate new technologies or to develop legal measures to deal with environmental or health risks, interaction and cooperation between legal experts and technical or scientific experts is vital.

1.2. Shifting boundaries

In view of these distinctive features, such regulatory regimes can only be understood and researched by questioning as well as transgressing various boundaries that seem to have lost their self-evidence. Apart from the obvious fact that the emergence of sectorial regimes cross-cuts the familiar boundaries between domestic, European and international law, other boundaries are questioned as well, resulting from the fact that non-legal actors play an important role in the making, monitoring and enforcement of rules.

1.3. A new approach

The complexity of the resulting regulatory landscape calls for an approach in which these shifting boundaries are not only regarded as a deplorable side-affair at the fringes of the legal system or as a marginal concern to doctrinal legal research, but need to be addressed, thematised and researched as distinctive features of how societal problems are nowadays regulated.

In university teaching, the need for an explorative and reflective attitude will be emphasized and transmitted. The LLM track that will be developed in health and technology law is an example in point. TLS education entails creating awareness of the fact that boundaries are not as self-evident nor as innocent as they are usually presented in the legal curriculum.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Law

Study options

Full Time (3 - 4 years)

Tuition fees
Information not available
Start date

Expected August, September 2022


University of Groningen

Broerstraat 5,


9712 CP, Netherlands

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants must have Research Master degree or equivalent. Applicants with other research master degrees will be considered if sufficiently related to the research programme; Fluent in English (written and spoken).

For international students

Possession of a Master’s degree or equivalent in a discipline that is directly or closely related to the discipline in which the PhD research will take place. The degree must have been gained within a reasonable period of time and with marks that justify the expectation that you will be able to complete the PhD programme.

The minimum criteria that are required for IELTS or TOEFL are:

IELTS: a score of > 7.0, all section scores should at least be 6.5 plus a writing score of at least 7.0

TOEFL: a score of > 100, all section scores should at least be 23 plus a writing score of at least 25

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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