International Research Collaboratives

2063 Africa: Issues in Education Law, Strategic Policy, and Sustainable Development

Abortion Rights Lawfare in Latin America

Africa Financial Regulation

Climate Change

Comparative Legal History

Comparing Legal Professions 30 years after "Lawyers in Society"

Courts and Women's Rights: New Frontiers in Legal Research in Latin America

Crime, Public Security, and Human Rights in Comparative Perspective: from Palestine to the Americas

Diffused Present and Entangled Pasts: Law and Its Consequences in South Asia

Deportability and the Spectrum of Gender-Based Violence across North America

Disaster and Law in the Pacific Rim Region

Economic and Social Rights in a Neoliberal World

Emergent Constitucionalism: perspectives from the Global South

Enforcing Rights Across Borders:The Case of Mexican Migrants

Ethnographies of Legal Transformation

Financialization and State Violence

Gender and Careers in the Legal Academy

Gender and Judging in Muslim Courts

Gender, Development, and Fiscal/Economic Equality

Invisible Institutionalisms | What can we see when we are looking?

Judicial Reforms in the Global South

Law and Development

Law and Indigenous Heritage

Law, Reason, and Emotion

Law, Society, and Psychological Science

Legal Pluralism

Life Imprisonment in Latin America: Singularities of Practice and Social Meaning

National Resource Governance, Inequality and Human Rights

Power, Law and Vulnerabilities Across Borders: Vulnerable Populations in the Americas, Eastern Europe and South Africa

Punishment and Democratic Politics: Comparative and International Perspectives

Responsive Judging

Social Conflicts in Latin America

State of Exception, Law and Economy: A socio-legal analysis of the economic state of exception

The Future of Law and Society in Latin America

The Politics of Gender, Identity, and Human Rights for Arabs at home and in Diaspora

Training U.S. and Peruvian Law Students to Provide Services to Disfavored Racial Groups

Trans-nationalization and Regionalization

Transnational Law and Local Struggles

Transnational Legal Orders

Visual Cultures of Law

World Systems of Lay Participation

International Research Collaboratives (IRCs) are groups of law and social science researchers organized to undertake specific sociolegal research projects with a global reach. The objective is to strengthen law and social science scholarship generally and especially that of U.S. scholars by connecting them with theoretical, methodological, and policy discussions taking place among law and social science researchers world-wide.

The IRCs have been selected and will convene at the joint meeting of the Law and Society Association (LSA) and the Research Committee on the Sociology of Law (RCSL) in Mexico City in 2017.

These IRCs are partially supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation. See more about the grant.

 

International Research Collaboratives


1. The Future of Law and Society in Latin America

Organizers: Karina Ansolabehere, Rachel Sieder

Scholarship about Latin America has made vital contributions to longstanding and emerging theoretical and methodological debates on the relationship between law and society. The main goal of this IRC is to review the most original of these: the gap between law-on-the-books and law in action, the implications of legal pluralism and legal globalization, the legacies of experiences of transitional justice, emerging forms of sociolegal and political mobilization, and debates concerning the relationship between the legal and the illegal. Bringing together key figures in the study of law and society in LA from different regions it aim to set new research agendas for cross-disciplinary sociolegal studies. The final product of this collaboration will be a Handbook on Law and Society in Latin America.


2. State of Exception, Law and Economy: A socio-legal analysis of the economic state of exception

Organizers: Jose Atiles, David Whyte

This IRC aims to bring together a network of multi-disciplinary scholars working around the concept of the state of exception. This network will develop this concept as a theoretical tool for understanding the relationship between colonialism, economic power, and law in the 21st century. The use of exceptional laws to promote economic development has brought to the surface a range of environmental, racial and social justices issues that this IRC will explore within the local and global context. Therefore, it is a perfect context in which to develop a novel and significant socio-legal perspective on economic exceptionalism. Papers to be presented in this IRC are divided into three major areas: colonial state of exception; economic state of exception; and corporate exceptionalism, each of those providing a distinctive space for debating and focusing discussion on the implications of, and possible solutions to, the problems imposed by the economic state of exception.

3. Invisible Institutionalisms | What can we see when we are looking?

Organizers: Sara Dezalay, Swethaa Ballakrishnen

The aim of this IRC is to bring together scholars who are working on sites of transformation and emergence to build a working understanding around lesser-understood institutional processes. It seeks to shift the lens from known and usual understandings of legal globalization by underlining a twofold displacement: we focus on so-called "peripheries" as sites of legal transformations and explore locales and trends left invisible by mainstream globalization scripts. We argue that since legal transformation happening at the periphery is either branded as a failure or inserted within known, liberal scripts, there has been an overemphasis on sites that are deemed to correspond only to dominant scripts (level and type of institutionalization, level of strategic interest, imperial influence, etc). Instead, we aim at reversing the perspective by actually looking at peripheries/anomalies - what we dub frontier zones - as sites of legal revolution, invention and innovation.


4. Deportability and the Spectrum of Gender-Based Violence across North America

Organizers: Rupaleem Bhuyan, Martha Luz Rojas Wiesner

This IRC considers policies across North America (specifically Mexico, the United States and Canada) that mark migrants from Central and South America, as deportable subjects. Through the IRC collaboration, we aim to develop methodological approaches and theoretical frameworks to examine: 1) the legal context impacting im/migrants who enter Mexico, the United States and Canada with a temporary or precarious status, 2) gendered dimensions in the production of deportability, 3) forms of gender-based violence that are associated with deportability, and 4) forms of governmentality that recruit state and non-state actors to discipline and police noncitizen subjects.


5. Law and Indigenous Heritage

Organizers: Michelle Bigenho, Henry Stobart

How are knowledges about music, dance, seeds, and plants distinctly managed by indigenous peoples in the Americas? Framing "heritage" broadly, so as to include UNESCO readings as well as different approaches to how creativity might be collectively and individually recognized, the Law and Indigenous Heritage IRC will foster a dialogue that addresses different legal regimes at the intersections of heritage claims, intellectual (property) rights, and indigenous peoples’ rights. Taking advantage of the 2017 Mexico City venue of the LSA meeting to bring together scholars from across the Americas, the proposed IRC will expand bilingual dialogues on these issues in North, Central, and South America. Discussion from this IRC will be the starting point for working towards an edited volume on this topic. Its co-organizers were recipients of an NSF Workshop grant that produced a Bolivia-focused Spanish-English bilingual website related to these issues. http://tinyurl.com/p97lllm


6. Crime, Public Security, and Human Rights in Comparative Perspective: from Palestine to the Americas

Organizers: George Bisharat, Roberto Kant de Lima

This IRC joins scholars from a variety of disciplines (law, anthropology, criminology, sociology, and history) who study the regulation of violence in colonial and post-colonial societies. IRC members are currently researching the roles of law, police, courts, lawyers, non-state actors, and others via long-term ethnography and other research methodologies. Contributions are expected from researchers in the United States, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and Palestine. Initial exchanges within the IRC have indicated intriguing and unexpected parallels between the various societies under study. Thus, one of the tasks of the IRC will be to elucidate how such parallels could emerge from divergent and mostly independently-developing societies.


7. Transnational Law and Local Struggles

Organizers: Matthew Canfield, Marisa Fassi

This IRC seeks to intervene by developing methodological approaches to transnational law that are rooted in a commitment to local epistemologies and knowledge. By exploring transnational legality as a practice that emerges from conflicts and disputes, it draws on a contextualized approach to legal theory and one deeply concerned with the formations and exercise of power. Furthermore, this research collective takes on the challenge of exploring the potentiality transnational law has when seen as a particular methodology, as well as the challenge of reflecting on current legal education gaps in relation to transnational dynamics in the field of law.


8. Legal Pluralism

Organizers: Rachel Sieder and Giselle Corradi

The IRC on legal pluralism serves as a platform for intellectual exchange among scholars studying the theoretical and practical problems resulting from the interaction of different types of law (such as indigenous and customary law, religious law, state law, international and transnational law) in the study of law and society.


9. Power, Law and Vulnerabilities Across Borders: Vulnerable Populations in the Americas, Eastern Europe and South Africa

Organizers: Anton Symkovych, Agustina Gil Belloni, Giane Silvestre, Rafael Costa, Anastasiya Ryabchuk

This research group brings together a team of academics and practitioners working on the issues of power and human rights as they pertain to vulnerable populations in the Americas, Eastern Europe, and South Africa. With a strong commitment to social justice, the collaborators contribute to the theories of power and access to justice. Interdisciplinary in its nature, the team's research focuses on gender, involuntary confinement, poverty; violence, and discrimination against minorities, using diverse methodological and analytical approaches.


10. Natural Resource Governance, Inequality and Human Rights

Organizer: Julia Dehm

Natural resource governance is an acute global challenge, and understanding the drivers of natural resource exploitation is an urgent task. This IRC intends to bring together senior and junior interdisciplinary scholars from Latin America, North America, Australasia, Europe and Africa to help develop a global understanding of how the dynamics of natural resource exploitation and governance play out in different social and legal contexts and how these issues intersect with questions of inequality and human rights.


11. Diffused Present and Entangled Pasts: Law and Its Consequences in South Asia

Organizers: Cynthia Farid, Maryam Khan, Shanthi Senthe

South Asia’s encounter with law and legal institutions, largely shaped by colonial contact in most, if not all, of the region, has manifested itself in various forms in its later independent states. These forms have included transferred formal laws and codes, old and new constitutions, legal traditions, customary laws, formal and informal institutions and mechanisms for dispute resolution, etc. Structurally, many of the laws and institutions across South Asian states are similar but their trajectories have been radically different and complicated by virtue of their own internal, often violent, histories, politics and contact with global forces. The proposed collaboration endeavors to trace these trajectories to better understand the contemporary reverberations of South Asia’s once common legal past.


12. Law, Reason, and Emotion

Organizer: Dermot Feenan

This IRC brings together scholars from a range of disciplines studying aspects of the relationship between these key themes – law, reason and emotion – including in legal reasoning, in the creation of legal norms, in the behavior of legal actors (e.g. judges, juries, victims, lawyers, defendants), and in the structure and function of legal institutions, broadly defined. 

The IRC was founded in 2015 by Dermot Feenan, and Susan Bandes of DePaul University. It is now coordinated by Dermot Feenan, who will edit a collection of papers from the IRC. 

The IRC currently includes over 45 scholars across disciplinary fields (such as law, classics, history, psychology, philosophy, criminology, and sociology) at leading universities in the UK, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Sweden, and the USA. The IRC welcomes especially additional members from countries and ethnicities either not represented or under-represented. Those interested in membership should contact Dermot Feenan.


13. Law and Development

Organizers: Pedro Fortes, David Restrepo-Amariles, Diego Gil McCawley, Rolando Garcia Miron

Max Weber's puzzle over the relationship between law and development stimulates academic research on (i) theory and history of law and development; (ii) institutions, markets, and regulation; (iii) constitutionalism, democracy, and rule of law; (iv) legal metrics and legal indicators; (v) access to justice and alternative dispute resolution; (vi) sustainable development. This IRC welcomes junior and senior scholars from all parts of the globe to reflect on the various aspects of law and development in a constructive way and beyond self-estrangement. If you would like to organise a particular panel, feel free to contact the IRC conveners.


14. Enforcing Rights Across Borders:The Case of Mexican Migrants

Organizers: Shannon Gleeson, Xochitl Bada, Miranda Hallett, Ming Hsu Chen

The aim of this proposal is to bridge the work on immigrant advocacy in the United States with a transnational perspective that interrogates the role of migrant civil society on both sides of the border. We link this further to the strategies of both U.S. enforcement agencies and sending states invested in protecting the rights of migrants, and returnees. We are currently preparing an edited volume on these themes, with contributions from U.S., Mexican, and Canadian researchers. Papers address different sub-populations of the Mexican immigrant diaspora in the United States, and the various rights arenas and institutions that affect them, including governance, labor, housing, education, and health. A book workshop will take place at the Cornell/ILR School during Fall 2016. The LSA 2016 meetings provide an opportunity to further broaden the discussion to include academic and practitioner perspectives from the northern and southern regions of Mexico, and Central America.


15. Disaster and Law in the Pacific Rim Region

Organizer: Takayuki Ii

The world has frequently been hit by natural disasters. This rule allows no exception in the Pacific Rim region. After 2000, there were Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami in Indonesia (2004), Hurricane Katrina in the U.S. (2005), Great Sichuan Earthquake in China (2008), Chile Earthquake (2010), Christchurch Earthquake in New Zealand (2011), East Japan Great Earthquake and Tsunami (2011), Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in the Philippines (2013) and Nepal Earthquake (2015), to name a few. The recovery from disasters depends on the preparedness as well as the social condition and resilience of the affected areas. The latter includes the legal system and practice. This IRC aims to learn lessons from disasters in the past and to regain their feet for those in the foreseeable future in the Pacific Rim region from the socio-legal perspective, through an international team effort of scholars interested in the disaster, law and society of the region.


16. Visual Cultures of Law

Organizers: Rahela Khorakiwala, Pratiksha Baxi

This IRC aims to interrogate the manifold ways of picturing law, politics and justice in everyday and extraordinary contexts. By encouraging a conversation between law, politics and visual culture, the IRC will highlight the performative, the visual and the affective, hoping to stage a conversation on the aesthetics of the state, politics, law and justice. While we trace the impact of political and legal theory on the constitution of the iconography of justice, which predominantly constructs justice as a virtue, we will also shift the frame to anthropological perspectives on justice as struggle. Finally, there are newer and creative ways of depicting justice that inhabit legally plural contexts, which proffer alternate imaginations of the promise of justice. The IRC will interrogate how images of justice circulate and constitute rights consciousness in legally plural contexts through inter-ocular fields.


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18. World Systems of Lay Participation

Organizers: Sanja Kutnjak Ivkovich, Mary Rose, Valerie Hans, Shari Seidman Diamond

This IRC analyzes the transnational social, political, economic and legal factors that facilitate, impede, or shape diverse participation lay participation systems to explore: (1) the process of adoption of lay participation; (2) the undulating use of lay participation; and (3) the movements to reform lay participation systems. The Central-American location of this meeting is especially congenial to our IRC, because several Central- and Latin-American countries, including Argentina and Mexico, have either recently introduced new systems of lay participation or are considering it. Sessions in New Orleans took a comparative approach toward lay participation. The same comparative approach will be featured in Mexico City sessions, with the focus on Central and Latin America, as well as former Soviet Union countries, Asia, and Europe.


19. Gender, Development, and Fiscal/Economic Equality

Organizer: Kathleen Lahey

IRC 19 seeks to involve developing, emerging, and transition country interdisciplinary scholars in its work economic, tax, and other fiscal dimensions of gender inequalities, with the goal of generating richer scholarly insights into existing gender issues and barriers in governance, economic, legal, cultural, and development issues domestically, regionally, and globally. Projects of interest include gender and tax policy in low income, fragile, and developing states and higher income economies. Student, academic, civil society, and international organization researchers are welcome. Suitable topics include the gender impact of specific tax and spending laws; gender dimensions of tax haven and offshoring activities; gender budgeting; austerity policies; economic human rights; oil/mining/gas revenue issues; special economic zones; financing for development and ODA; SDGs, gender, and climate; unpaid work; regressive taxation; all aspects of income inequalities, including gender, race, Indigenous, migration, sexual orientations, gender identities, and disability impacts; women’s access to capital, business investment, and property.


20. Gender and Judging in Muslim Courts

Organizers: Monika Lindbekk, Ulrike Schultz

The international research collaboration deals with aspects of gender and judging in Muslim courts in the context of the Middle-East, South (East) Asia. The issues addressed are 1) the gendered construction of the judiciary and 2) gender aspects of judging in Muslim courts. The focus of the collaboration is the domain of family law because this is the field of law most influenced by classical religious precepts. It is also crucial to the broader debate about gender and citizenship. Furthermore, due to the lack of a social security system in many of the analyzed states, family law has an important redistributive function. Do male and female judges on state courts and religious courts (re)produce or challenge gender hierarchy in their dispensation of justice? In elaboration of this point, which sources are used to underpin gender norms (legislation, precedent, Islamic jurisprudence, principles of justice etc.)?.


21. Social Conflicts in Latin America

Organizer: Laura N. Lora

Social conflict is and has been one of the objects of study in Social Sciences and the Law in particular. During the second half of the Twentieth Century, the positive perspective of the social conflict is more strongly assumed by the academic community, understanding it as a motor of the social changes and the creative thinking, aspects who promote the human development [COSER (1956)]. The study of conflicts from a socio-legal perspective would allow the visualization of the transformation that happens in the collective structures. As a multidisciplinary group we are going to analyze social conflicts which involve diverse actors searching the meaning they give to their actions. We would use a qualitative methodology allowing the approach to social reality as a world that is «outside» not in an artificial environment [GIBBS (2012)]. We seek to observe and explain behaviors, organizational function, and social movements in Latin American scenarios.


22. Economic and Social Rights in a Neoliberal World

Organizers: Gillian MacNaughton, Diane F. Frey, Angela Duger

The IRC on Economic and Social Rights in a Neoliberal World is undertaking an interdisciplinary research project on the interpretation and implementation of economic and social rights in the context of global neoliberalism. Although largely ignored for several decades after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, economic and social rights have gained growing support since the end of the Cold War. Paradoxically, over the same period, neoliberal ideology and policy has become entrenched in most countries as well as in inter-governmental organizations, including the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO. The objective of this IRC is to examine whether economic and social rights can be effective in contesting neoliberal ideology and policy and if so, when, where, how and to what extent? To answer these questions, the IRC brings together human rights scholars and practitioners to compare case studies from around the world.


23. The Politics of Gender, Identity, and Human Rights for Arabs at home and in Diaspora

Organizers: Karla McKanders

This IRC brings together Law and Society scholars from the Americas, Middle East, and North Africa to explore struggles at the intersection of gender and human rights for Arabs at home and in diaspora. Each scholar will discuss their research, grounded in theory and practice, in varied social, political and legal contexts, where the politics of representation impact experiences and on the ground movements. Focus of the collaboration will address:

To this end, scholars critically analyze the politics of representation and how human rights discourse can capitalize on or challenge gender based categorizations.


24. Africa Financial Regulation

Organizer: Prof. June McLaughlin

Many of the capital markets in Sub-Saharan Africa have not experienced the same levels of economic success as other comparable emerging markets. The aim of the IRC will be to critically examine the current state of those markets from multiple perspectives: 

The focus of the collaboration will span concerns from: 

A particular concern for the IRC will be the impact of regulatory and governance strategies that are driven by the international organizations such as IOSCO and the World Federation of Exchanges raising concerns around inequality.


25. Training U.S. and Peruvian Law Students to Provide Services to Disfavored Racial Groups

Organizer: Margaret Montoya

The IRC is an ongoing collaboration among professors from the University of New Mexico (UNM) School of Law In Albuquerque, NM and the Pontifical Catholic University (PUCP) of Peru in Lima. Professor Emerita Margaret Montoya (UNM) has been in a long-term collaboration with Professor Christine Zuni-Cruz (UNM); Professor Antonio Peña Jumpa (PUCP) has developed legal clinics to provide services to Indigenous and Professor Wilfredo Ardito Vega (PUCP), an expert on racism and discrimination, focuses on the sociology of law. All have taught courses on critical theory. Dr. Brenda Pereda, a physician with a specialty in obstetrics and gynecology has been active in developing racially explicit tools for precepting (supervision of residents in clinical settings) and mentoring health providers. They are proposing to write one or more articles comparing and contrasting the preparation of law students through legal and medical clinics to provide services to disfavored racial groups.


26. Ethnographies of Legal Transformation

Organizer: Anna Offit, Justin B. Richland, Robin Conley

This International Research Collaborative (IRC) engages two, central questions. First, how is legal change instantiated in the everyday speech and practice of lay and professional legal actors? And, second, why are ethnographic methods uniquely positioned to capture the microdynamics of legal change? We bring together scholars whose ethnographic studies of law take place in a variety of contexts around the globe (from the Americas to the Carribbean, to China, India and Scandinavia) to examine the particularities of legal transformation across the spectrum of legal praxis—from judicial instructions, prosecutorial strategy, and lay-professional interactions to legislative texts and regulatory practices. In each setting, IRC participants’ formulations of legal change examine its simultaneous uncertainty, ambiguity, and creative capacities.


27. 2063 Africa: Issues in Education Law, Strategic Policy, and Sustainable Development

Organizer: Dr. Azubike C. Onuora-Oguno

Africa’s development have remained retarded, several factors contribute to this situation. Among these factors is the poor provision of social services, responding to these challenges, the African Union set out aspirations for the desired Africa by 2063 dubbed ‘the Africa we want’. Agenda three of the seven point agenda is the core focus of the IRC: ‘An Africa of good governance, democracy and respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law’. This IRC is convinced that if the above aspiration is to be achieved, African states must recognise education. The IRC will compile a series of research presentations into a book with a proposed title of: 2063 Africa: Issues in Education Law, Strategic Policy, and Sustainable Development. It is anticipated that the book will explore various socio-economic rights issues and their impact on developing a strong educational agenda that can drive Africa to realize the Agenda 2063.


28. Financialization and State Violence

Organizers: Saeyoung Park, Laura Elder

The IRC On Financialization and Violence proceeds from the position that the boundaries between traditional and non-traditional forms of conflict are eroding rapidly, yet research has not caught up with this reality. Situated at the intersection of financialization and violence, we envision the IRC cohering around three themes: (a)weaponization of finance and the future of economic warcraft; (b)intimacy, personhood, and financialization; and (c)democracy and economic human rights.


29. Law, Society, and Psychological Science

Organizers: Victor Quintanilla, Avani Sood, Rich Wiener

The IRC on Law, Society, and Psychological Science is a multinational and multidisciplinary community of socio-legal scholars who are empirically and theoretically engaged in psychological science, and who share a common interest in the psychological study of law, legal institutions, legal processes, and vexing social and public policy problems. The IRC assembles a community of scholars who aim to create a law, society, and psychological science approach inspired by socio-legal theory; we believe that both psychological science and socio-legal theory will be reciprocally enriched. First, members of the IRC harness socio-legal theories to inform the direction of psychological science, bridging multiple levels of analysis. Second, members of the IRC harness psychological science to generate advancements in socio-legal theory. Finally, the IRC guides in the development of new interventions to resolve vexing societal problems—psychologically efficacious interventions designed to improve institutions, organizations, law, and public policy.


30. Judicial Reforms in the Global South

Organizers: Dr. George Radics, Dr. Pablo Ciocchini

It has been argued that by improving courts’ efficiency, upgrading professional standards for judicial actors, and implementing technology to enhance institutional capacity, developing countries can gain much needed infrastructure to spur economic development, provide access to a more democratic and accountable government, and improve public confidence in the courts. This IRC explores external pressures onto the Global South to reform their judicial systems, and how the Global South has responded. Implicating local legal cultures, political and economic relations between “north” and “south” economies, and the relationship between “development” and judicial reform, this IRC will explore the various judicial reform programs in Southeast Asia and Latin America. Southeast Asia and Latin America were selected due to their histories of judicial reforms and similar experiences with economic development. While this IRC will initially explore such programs in these two regions, it has the potential to expand to other regions in the future.

31. Courts and Women's Rights: New Frontiers in Legal Research in Latin America

Organizers: Alba Ruibal, Catalina Smulovitz, Violeta Canaves

Our International Research Collaborative group brings together researchers and scholars from Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, the United States and Sweden, with a common interest in the study of socio-legal processes in the field of women’s rights in Latin America. Our works cover abortion rights, violence against women, gender quota laws and gender equality at the workplace, in countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia and Argentina. Also, the research in this group adresses socio-legal processes at different jurisdictional levels, including the Inter-American System for Human Rights, national constitutional courts and sub-national legal systems.


32. Gender and Careers in the Legal Academy

Organizer: Ulrike Schultz

The IRC will take a closer look at the situation of women and the working of gender in the legal academy, a still under researched area. 
Questions to be dealt with on a comparative basis are:


33. Emergent Constitucionalism: perspectives from the Global South

Organizer: Germano Schwartz

The IRC proposed is a temporary group of researchers devoted to analyze and to discuss, from the point of view of the epistemology of the south (Boaventura de Souza Santos) and others socio-legal theories originated in peripherical countries such as the legal pluralism (Antonio Wolkmer), the phenomenon of the new constitutions originated in that part of the world such as the case of Ecuador (2008) and Bolivia (2009). This so-called “new constitucionalism” represent (or not) a proposal of emancipation more adequate for colonized countries from the Global South? That is the main question to be debated by the participants in the course of the 2017 Law and Society Meeting in the City of Mexico.


34. Life Imprisonment in Latin America: Singularities of Practice and Social Meaning

Organizer: Christopher Seeds

Today the sanction of life imprisonment, often imposed without possibility of release, is increasingly entrenched in penal policy and public discourse, and is the lived experience of an increasing number of prisoners. While the spread of this extreme punishment in the United States is striking in scope and scale, its use across the globe has also drawn increasing attention as a violation of human rights principles and standards. Latin America is unique in this context as a region that uses life imprisonment less than any other. Yet, this is not necessarily a symptom of leniency, for the sentencing practices and conditions of confinement in many Latin American countries—including those without life imprisonment—are notably and notoriously severe. This Research Collaborative takes particular interest in how Latin American countries punish persons convicted of serious and violent offenses, and, more generally, in the relationship between sentence duration and other forms of penal severity.


35. Transnational Legal Orders

Organizer: Gregory Shaffer, Terence Halliday

This IRC will address the processes through which international organizations and transnational networks create law and legal norms, and in the process, shape national and international social, political and economic fields. It will examine these processes at the international and transnational levels, their articulation with national legal processes, and their impact on relations of economic, social and political power. International organizations, trans-governmental networks, and the increasing involvement of non-state actors at the global level, including corporations and non-governmental organizations, affect and govern public and private interactions more extensively and intensively than ever before. The IRC will examine the role of actors and mechanisms in the creation of transnational law, norms and legal orders and their impact on domestic law and practice through processes of transformation and resistance.


36. Abortion Rights Lawfare in Latin America

Organizers: Paola Bergallo. Isabel Cristina Jaramillo Sierra

Despite important regional and international advances to guarantee sexual and reproductive rights, in Latin America these have frequently provoked tensions between those favoring and those opposing their recognition, battles which are increasingly played out in the region’s courts. The IRC will analyze the strategic uses of law and the role of courts in Latin America in determining access to legal, safe and free abortion services, focusing on the strategies of pro choice and anti abortion groups within and beyond the courts. The panels proposed at LSA focus on two dimensions: (1) the effects of “backlash” or counter-reactions in the dynamics between pro and anti sexual and reproductive rights groups in the struggles over legal, safe and free abortion; (2) the concrete impacts of court decisions –including legal framings and remedies- on public policies.


37. Comparing Legal Professions 30 years after "Lawyers in Society"

Organizers: Professor Hilary Sommerlad, Ole Hammerslev, Rick Abel, Ulrike Schultz

The research agenda is to update the Abel & Lewis 1988 3 volume work on Lawyers in Society, and produce one or more special journal issues. The original work was a comparative analysis of lawyers and legal professions, exploring their histories and status in common law and civil law jurisdictions. In view of the extraordinary acceleration of the processes which were beginning to transform the profession in 1988, the emergence of new trends and reversal of others it is urgent to revisit the role of legal professions and, through collaborative work, explore comparatively the impact of these transformations. The project will achieve this through 29 ‘country reports’ and ten ‘thematic’ chapters (discussing, for instance, regulation; diversification; access to justice; globalization). It brings together scholars from several disciplines and countries (many early in their careers), covering regions less well represented than in the original books and reflecting the changed geo-political order.


38. Responsive Judging

Organizers: Prof Tania Sourdin, Prof Archie Zariski

The IRC focuses on the topic ‘Judging in a Changing World’, with an ancillary focus on ‘The Responsive Judge.’ The purpose of the IRC is to bring together scholars and judges to explore the judicial role with a particular focus on the judicial role in therapeutic jurisprudence, restorative justice, and special courts. 

The work will assist various jurisdictions to identify and utilize the potential of the judiciary to provide increased benefit to the community. Restorative justice techniques are now used in many jurisdictions to respond to, and address the sources of problems often by using a collaborative team approach where the judicial role includes collaborative work and communication skills that support the development of individuals and communities.


39. Punishment and Democratic Politics: Comparative and International Perspectives

Organizers: Maximo Sozzo, Richard Sparks

The key aim of the proposed IRC is to foster a new appreciation of the position of penal politics within the wider processes of democracy in diverse, yet culturally connected, sites. We will achieve this by engaging in scientific exchanges aimed at developing comparative and international perspectives on punishment and democratic politics, using shared principles of analysis and parallel methodologies designed to track, contrast and interrogate the contemporary forms of the penal realm. 

There has been some progress in studies of these matters in recent years, on which we propose to build. Yet the fully comparative study of these issues and their dynamics remains strangely underdeveloped. There is a pressing intellectual and political need to develop these conversations in ways that are more cosmopolitan, more methodologically nuanced, and less dominated by an unreflecting Anglo-Saxon projection of the world.


40. Climate Change

Organizers: Susan Sterett, Scott Barclay, and Anna Maria Marshall

We invite proposals on law, governance, and climate change, broadly conceived.The causes and consequences of climate change have demanded the attention of policy-makers at varying levels of political authority all over the world.  The result has been a proliferation of treaties, legislation, regulations, and other legal instruments -- all designed to help communities adapt to changing environmental conditions.  In addition to formal policies, new forms of governance are emerging to address the challenges associated with multiscalar problems like climate change.  Approaches around the world are embedded different governance frameworks.

The term climate change encompasses an enormous range of policies, with many scholars focusing on mitigation strategies. However, adaptation is also significant, and strategies rely upon different forms of legal governance, from changing physical infrastructure to designing for migration. What are the strategies states use, and what do they tell us about changing governance structures, about co-creation of scientific knowledge and governance, and about integration of the material world and law?  What do they tell us about varieties of local knowledge, and the relevance of different forms of professional expertise?


41. Comparative Legal History

Organizers: Joshua C. Tate, Andrés Botero Bernal, Jiang Dong, José Reinaldo de Lima Lopes

The Comparative Legal History International Research Collaborative (“CLH-IRC”) will gather together distinguished legal historians from at least four continents to engage in scholarly discussion in the field of comparative legal history. Each CLH-IRC panel will include representatives from different regions of the world. Scholars from developing countries will be asked to comment on papers by scholars from developed countries, and vice versa. Thanks to the location of the 2017 meeting in Mexico City and the financial support of the LSA, CLH-IRC will have strong representation from Latin America. CLH-IRC will also focus its efforts on sociological aspects of legal history, in keeping with the theme of the 2017 conference.


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43. Trans-nationalization and Regionalization

Organizer: Marley Weiss

This IRC addresses the increasingly complex regulation and reality of work relationships.  Interpenetration among international, trans-national, national and sub-national public levels is complemented by MNE-dominated private and hybrid regulation.  Processes of regional integration, epitomized by the EU, TPP and TTIP, implement top-down standards to harmonize norms governing work.  MNEs attempt to transnationally standardize labor practices throughout their value chains, but also reflexively influence the terms of mega-FTAs and national law.  This research encompasses comparative labor/employment law, industrial relations, and employment practices; international labor/employment law, comparative and international economic law, economic, political and sociological aspects of each of these, as well as private international law, CSR norms, and human resources practices throughout MNE value chains.  The IRC will address holistically and comparatively, processes of trans-nationalization and regionalization affecting performance of work, relationships among workers and with those hiring the performance of work, and varying forms of regulation of these relationships.