Request for Proposals

International Research Collaboratives (IRC) 2016 and 2017
Deadline: July 17, 2015


The next collaborative international law and society meeting will be held on June 20-23, 2017, in Mexico City.  At that time, the Law and Society Association and the Research Committee on the Sociology of Law (RCSL) will meet jointly, with co-sponsorship from the Canadian Law and Society Association, the Japanese Association for the Sociology of Law, the Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA), and potentially other groups from Latin America, the Caribbean, and other regions of the world. The 2017 meeting in Mexico City will retain the broad international character of the prior meetings in Amsterdam, Glasgow, Budapest, Berlin, and Honolulu but with special additional relevance to Latin America and the Caribbean.

A Program Committee for the 2017 Mexico City meeting will be formed during the coming months, in consultation with the collaborating organizations. Because of funding deadlines, we are proceeding now to establish an International Research Collaborative (IRC) structure similar to that which proved so successful in Berlin and Hawai’i. 

An IRC is a temporary collaborative group of scholars formed to pursue a specific scholarly project in relation to the 2017 meetings in Mexico City.  IRC members may be scholars located anywhere in the world.  IRCs must, however, be multi-national and multi-disciplinary in their membership.  An IRC is distinguishable from a Collaborative Research Network (CRN) of the Law and Society Association or a Working Group of the RCSL, in that an IRC has a life span presumptively limited to the 2016 and 2017 meetings in New Orleans and Mexico City and has a specific scholarly product as its objective, such as a book, a special symposium issue of a journal, or a collaborative research project. An existing CRN or Working Group may submit an application to participate as an IRC if it formulates a specific, self-contained project that will lead directly to an identifiable scholarly product. Similarly, new and successful IRCs may choose to continue on a more permanent basis after the Mexico City meeting by transforming themselves into CRNs or Working Groups. 

Examples of IRCs

IRCs may represent any form of socio-legal research methods and any topical area of socio-legal scholarship. At the Honolulu meeting in 2012, 25 IRCs received financial support for 64 individual scholars from low and middle income countries.  Some of the topics of the IRCs selected for the Honolulu meetings included:  Social Justice Lawyers, Public Opinion and the Courts, Law and Globalization, Gender and Judicial Education, Citizenship and Migration, Governance of Labor, Rise of the Regulatory State, Environmental Rights and Human Development, Assessing Compliance with Economic and Social Rights, and Judicial Dispute Resolution, and Gender Equality, Governance and Citizenship.

Each of the approved IRCs produced a significant scholarly product.  Some of the IRCs from Honolulu chose to continue in existence as Collaborative Research Networks (CRNs) within the Law and Society Association.  Existing CRNs and IRCs that were active in the 2012 meeting are encouraged to submit new applications for IRC status in 2016-17.

Submitting an IRC Application for 2016 and 2017

At the Seattle meeting, the LSA Board of Trustees allocated $40,000 in funds to facilitate the work of IRCs. The funds will support travel only for scholars from what the World Bank classifies as “low income” and “middle income” countries1 who belong to IRCs and would like to attend the Mexico City meeting in 2017 and/or the lead-up meeting in New Orleans, June 2-5, 2016. Support to participate in the 2016 meeting must be justified as essential to the planning and preparation that will lead to a successful meeting in Mexico City the following year.

Based on past experience, we anticipate that the LSA funding will not fully cover the travel funding needs of IRC participants from low and middle income countries. IRCs are expected to be active in their own quest for financial support. We also ask IRCs to assist LSA’s efforts to obtain additional outside funding to supplement the LSA funds already allocated.

In order to write a specific, detailed, and persuasive application for support to the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other funding sources, we need a list of IRCs and an outline of their plans for Mexico City.  If you are interested in developing an IRC, please seriously consider submitting an application by July 17, 2015.   

Content of IRC submissions

Each IRC submission should be approximately 250-500 words in length.  Please submit your applications to the LSA website. The IRC needs to include participants from different disciplines and from different countries. Diversity in career stage is also desirable. The submission should contain the following information:


Your submissions will be used to support grant applications, which in turn will help to enhance scholarly participation in the Mexico City meeting in 2017; and, in some instances, for attendance in New Orleans in 2016, for the planning purpose mentioned above. At a later date, before the New Orleans and Mexico City meetings, we will establish a committee to select those for whom funding will be provided, based on need and importance to IRC scholarly activities.

Deadline for Submission: July 17, 2015