David Nelken

David Nelken


  • Professor of Law, Laws
  • Phone82257
  • Somerset House
    The Strand

    United Kingdom

  • 298

Personal profile

Research interests

Professor Nelken has varied and extensive experience of successful PhD and post- doctorate supervision and examination and has been awarded the supervisory excellence award for the Law school in two out of the last three years.

He is able to supervise research in the areas of comparative and transnational law, especially where this involves engaging with interdisciplinary theoretical literatures and /or empirical research and case -studies.

He is particularly interested in socio-legal studies, and comparative sociology of law and legal culture (including legal transfers).He is also happy to supervise work in criminology and criminal justice. His own writings have been mainly in the areas of criminological and penological theory, comparative criminal justice, white -collar crime, juvenile justice, crime and globalisation, and international criminal justice. 

He is also willing to help with research on comparative law, legal and social theory, and regulation studies.

He may be able to take on at least one further outstanding PHD student in one of these fields starting 2019-2020.



  • Jurisprudence (LLB) 
  • Law & Social Theory (LLB) 
  • Sociology of Law ( LLM) 
  • Phd supervision

Biographical details

David Nelken PHD, LLD (Cambridge), is Professor of Comparative and Transnational Law in the Dickson Poon Law school and was Vice- Dean for Research 2013-2016. He taught previously at Cambridge, Edinburgh and University College, London before moving to Italy in 1989 as Distinguished Professor of Legal Institutions and Social Change at the University of Macerata. From 1995 to 2013 he was Distinguished Research Professor of Law at Cardiff University, and from 2010-2014 Visiting Professor of Criminology at Oxford University. 

His work, covering both theoretical enquiry and empirical investigation, lies in the areas of comparative sociology of law, criminology, and legal and social theory. 

Widely published, awards received include:

  • American Sociological Association Distinguished Scholar Award (1985)
  • Sellin-Glueck International award of the American Criminological Society (2009)
  • Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences (2009)
  • Podgorecki Distinguished Senior Scholar award from the International Sociological Association (2011)
  • Law & Society (USA) International Scholar Award (2013)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


Dive into the research topics where David Nelken is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or