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         Those Who Made the RCSL

         William M. Evan



William M. Evan
– the third Father of ISA Research Committee of Sociology of Law

William M Evan was one of the persons involved in the construction of RCSL.
I think it is possible we ought to call him the THIRD FATHER of our RC. Evan wrote in 1998 at the occasion of Podgórecki’s death: “I had the good fortune of meeting Adam in 1961 on his first visit to the United States. In the course of a wide-ranging conversation on the problems and challenges of the sociology of law, we decided to submit a proposal to the Secretariat of the International Association to establish a Research Committee on the Sociology of the Law. Fortunately, our proposal was accepted. Together with colleagues from around the world we initiated a program of conferences and comparative research projects, which are continuing to this day”. (in: IDEE NAUKOWE ADAMA PODGÓRECKIEGO (eds. Jerzy Kwaśniewski, Jan Winczorek) IPSiR, Warszawa 2009 p. 297).

In the bulletin Research Committee on Sociology of Law of 1969 we can read: (p. 3) “ … two well-known specialists in sociology of law, one European and the other American (A. Podgorecki and W. M. Evan) proposed that the International Sociological Association (ISA) organize an informal session during the Fifth World Congress of Sociology which was to take place in Washington in September 1962. There, sociologists and jurists could meet and discuss the theme « Scope and Methods of the Sociology of Law ». Explaining the reasons for their proposal, they said among other things, «In the past 50 years several efforts have been made to develop the sociology of law. It now appears that the intellectual climate, as far as sociological theory and methodology are concerned, is conducive to significant progress in this interdisciplinary field». The proposal of the two scholars was accepted”.

I knew William M. Evan well enough. I had an opportunity to take part in his international comparative research program on legal systems. I have visited to him in Philadelphia, he has visited to me in Warsaw. From the beginning I knew him as the cofounder of RCSL.

Jerzy Kwaśniewski
Warsaw, RCSL Jubilee Ceremonial Conference, October 2012


See also the obituary Tukufu Zuberi,
published by the American Sociological Association:
(Thanks to Jerzy Kwaśniewski for drawing our attention on this link.)




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This page last updated 22 October 2012

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