Collaborative Research Networks

13. African Law and Society

41. Aging, Law & Society

29. Biotechnology, Bioethics and the Law

15. British Colonial Legalities

2. Citizenship and Immigration

10. Civil Justice and Disputing Behavior

1. Comparative Constitutional Law and Legal Culture: Asia and the Americas

46. Corporate and Securities Law in Society

50. Critical Law and Security Studies (CLASS)

12. Critical Research on Race and the Law

14. Culture, Society, and Intellectual Property

40. Disability Legal Studies

11. Displaced Peoples

33. East Asian Law and Society

47. Economic and Social Rights

3. Ethnography, Law & Society

7. Feminist Legal Theory

32. Gender and Judging

17. Gender, Sexuality and Law

25. Household Finance

43. Innovations in Judging

23. International Law and Politics

38. International Socio-Legal Feminisms

30. Islamic Law and Society

24. Jurisprudence of Disasters

8. Labor Rights

16. Language and Law

52. Law and Development

42. Law and Emotion

9. Law and Health

44. Law and History

34. Law and Indigeneity

18. Law and Public-Private Dichotomy

21. Law and Social Movements

20. Law and Society in Central and Eastern Europe, Balkans, Russia and Eurasia

26. Law and the Food System

45. Law and the Media

55. Law and Politcal Economy

4. Lay Participation in Legal Systems

54. Law, Society & Psychological Science

31. Law, Society and Taxation

19. Legal Education

35. Legal Geography

48. Legal Pluralism and Non-State Law

28. New Legal Realism

27. Punishment & Society

51. Queer Theory in Law & Global Society

5. Regulatory Governance

6. Sex, Work, Law and Society

49. Socio-Legal Approaches to Property (SLAP)

22. South Asia

37. Technology, Law and Society

53. Transitional Justice

36. Transnational and Global Legal Ordering

56. Trusts and Estates

The structure and traditions of universities often make interdisciplinary study of areas or problems difficult to realize. In each traditional discipline, scholars have their own priorities, assumptions and methods. Many journals publish "normal science" and hesitate to print articles that cross, enlarge, or challenge disciplinary boundaries and forge new areas of inquiry. Even scholars working within the same discipline face similar problems. They often experience difficulty finding and maintaining contact with those who have similar interests at other institutions. The Law and Society Association exists to overcome these barriers and to enable the growth and integration of the social study of law. As part of this effort the Association has encouraged the creation of CRNs to organize theme sessions for the annual meetings and develop cross-disciplinary/cross-national research projects.

A CRN Coordinating Committee is appointed by the LSA President to coordinate existing CRNs and accept proposals for new ones. 

See the CRN Handbook for Organizers (pdf)

Expression of Interest in a Particular CRN
If you wish to participate actively in one of the CRNs you should identify yourself by sending an email to organizers (simply click on the email organizers link).  In the email message describe your research interest and how it might fit in the subject of the CRN.

Application to establish a New CRN
If you are interested in establishing a new CRN, please complete the CRN Application Form, and follow the submission instructions in the form. Applications will be reviewed by the Committee.

Update and Renew a CRN
Every three years the Law and Society Association asks Collaborative Research Networks to update their information. Please follow the instructions in the CRN Renewal Form.

To update organizer information, please send email to Melissa King.

CRNs and Organizers

1. Comparative Constitutional Law and Legal Culture: Asia and the Americas

Organizers: Fernanda Duarte, Universidade Estácio de Sá in Rio de Janeiro and Federal Fluminense University; Rafael Mario Iorio Filho, Universidade Estácio de Sá in Rio de Janeiro; Ronaldo Lucas, Universidade Estácio de Sá in Rio de Janeiro; David T. Ritchie, Mercer University; and Denis de Castro Halis, University of Macau; Cristina Lúcia Seabra Ioiro, UNESA (Universidade Estácio de Sá, Rio de Janeiro/Brazil)
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Visit the Comparative Constitutional Law and Legal Culture: Asia and the Americas Website

Societies in Asia and the Americas may seem to have nothing in common given their particularities; however, many countries in these two regions share similar historical and political experiences (e.g. dictatorships, revolutions, democratic mobilizations, etc.) Nevertheless these geographically diverse societies, although very different in their current legal and political cultures, may also share constitutional and democratic values. In this age of globalization, when economic ties between these regions are gaining strength and momentum, it becomes a necessity to study them comparatively. This is especially important when developing economic relationships bring issues such as the rule of law and protection of human rights to the fore.

This CRN examines legal development, constitutional law and legal cultures from the perspectives of both legal sociology and comparative law. In particular, it seeks to understand how political and historical paths, as well as global influences such as universalization of human rights and democratic constitutional values, have shaped the formation and evolution of constitutional law and legal culture in various countries. It further seeks to examine the manifestations of contemporary legal culture in the political aspects of constitutional law, and in implementing democratic processes and human rights. This CRN brings together scholars engaged in these thematic and regional foci.

2. Citizenship and Immigration

Organizers: Miranda Hallett, University of Dayton Sociology; Rebecca Hamlin, UMass Amherst; and Amada Armenta, UCLA
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Visit the Citizenship and Immigration Website.

Issues of citizenship and immigration are critical to understanding ways that individuals and groups are created and marginalized. Within this collaborative research network, “citizenship,” is defined broadly, to include legal status, membership rights, civic involvement, social participation, and linkages to structures that delimit, transcend, and/or deconstruct the nation-state. It is also important to understand the discourses and practices that implicitly or explicitly define citizenship in particular contexts. Thus, race, gender, national origin, religion, ethnicity, social class and other markers of membership or exclusion may subtly or violently shape the claiming or attribution of citizenship in practice. Moreover, globalizing and transnational processes may reshape both citizenship and exclusion, positioning individuals and groups within and outside of multiple legal orders. Immigration is clearly one such process, and, given the war on terrorism and the restructuring of immigration in the United States and the sharpening of inequality internationally, it is crucial to examine how movements, non-movements, rights, and statuses are being distributed by nation-states and, sometimes, other entities.

Through the annual meetings of the Law and Society Association, the Citizenship and Immigration Collaborative Research Network provides a forum in which scholars and practitioners who are interested in these issues can organize discussions, share work, and exchange ideas. In the past, we have met to compare research interests in diverse national settings, and we have organized panels and roundtables on citizenship and immigration. Relevant topics for papers and panels might include comparative analyses of immigration policies, the ways that subordinate groups are positioned vis-à-vis the nation-state and transnational entities, the redefinition of citizenship in global and transnational contexts, developments in asylum and human rights, the nature of inclusion and exclusion in particular settings, the forms that citizenship and immigration assume, analyses of significant legal cases or international agreements, ways that the U.S. war on terrorism is affecting immigrants’ rights, and so forth. Individuals who have ideas for panels or other activities at upcoming Law and Society Association meetings should contact the CRN organizers and are encouraged to visit the Citizenship and Immigration Website. 

3.  Ethnography, Law & Society

Organizers: Katie Henne, University of Waterloo; and Allison Fish, University of Queensland
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This CRN focuses on the ethnographic study of law and society. Ethnographic inquiries of law have maintained a historic and steady position within the field of anthropology, and are thus healthily represented in legal anthropology journals and organizations. They are also well-represented in the foundational years of law and society scholarship. More recently, renewed interest has arisen for revisiting the character and shape of ethnographic methods in sociolegal scholarship in light of the fact that ethnography is often understood as straddling the empirical-interpretive divide increasingly evident in the emergence of fields of like Empirical Legal Studies and Law, Culture and Humanities. In this CRN, members will reflect on the meaning of "ethnographic research" and "ethnography," while exploring the benefits and boundaries of ethnographic research practice in the production of sociolegal knowledge; identify opportunities to conduct collaborative and/or comparative law and society research with other ethnographers and with law and society scholars who use non-ethnographic research designs; consider effective, multi-platform ways to share insights drawn from ethnographic law and society research within cross-disciplinary conversations as well as with varied public audiences; and collect research and teaching resources, respond to member queries and circulate relevant professional events and calls for participation and/or papers. The CRN also offers a platform for collaboration amongst scholars in various regions of the world in order to strengthen international scholarly networks and create new opportunities for faculty and graduate students interested in expanding the scope of their research beyond the United States and Canada.

4. Lay Participation in Legal Systems

Organizers: Sanja Kutnjak Ivkovich, Michigan State University, USA; Valerie Hans, Cornell University, USA; and Mary Rose, University of Texas, USA
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The purpose of this CRN is to bring together scholars working on different forms of lay participation in legal decision making. The legal systems of many countries incorporate laypersons in some decision-making capacity, including lay judges or assessors, mixed tribunals of law-trained and lay judges, and the jury.

Lay participation in the justice system has been justified on multiple grounds. It is said to improve decision making, to reduce the impact of biased or corrupt judges, to keep the system responsive to changing community values, to better represent the diversity of citizen experiences and perspectives, and to enhance the legitimacy of the system. Lay involvement is strongly criticized on multiple grounds as well, including charges that lay participants are incompetent or biased decision makers, lack crucial knowledge of law, or ignore the law. Scholars have also questioned whether lay participation has any real impact on legal system outcomes or whether it is serves only a legitimacy function.

This CRN will help facilitate the exchange of research findings and comparative research about lay involvement in legal decision making. What are the strengths and drawbacks of different forms of lay participation as practiced in different countries? How do a country's historical and contextual factors shape the forms of lay participation? To what extent does lay participation fulfill its multiple functions?

5. Regulatory Governance

Organizers: Russel Mills, Bowling Green State University; and Aleksandra Jordanoska, King's College London
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The CRN on Regulatory Governance focuses on the study of regulatory instruments, institutions, and actors. The network is concerned with how law interacts with economic activity and with the challenges that emerging social trends, such as privatization and globalization, pose for regulatory and administrative institutions.  It examines how traditional as well as emerging regulatory instruments operate in theory and in practice, including approaches such as self-regulation, covenants, management systems, and market-based regulation.  It also explores the behavior, culture, and design of regulatory institutions and actors, with particular attention to the varied demands of accountability, rationality, and legitimacy.  The network connects researchers focusing on regulation in domestic and international settings and across a variety of regulatory domains.  

6. Sex, Work, Law and Society

Organizers: Menaka Raguparan, Carleton University; Raven Bowen, University of York; Tamara O'Doherty, Simon Fraser University; and Kate Hausbeck Korgan, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
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This CRN seeks to broaden the conversation on sex work by bridging it with considerations of issues relating to sex in other labour contexts, bringing together socio-legal scholars and experts examining the intersections of sex and work. Its aims are: to bridge and enrich empirical and critical research on sex work with research on the regulation of sex(uality) in ‘mainstream’ workplaces; to facilitate comparisons between working conditions, labour standards, workers’ rights in sex work and ‘mainstream’ labour; to reflect on how regulatory frameworks governing sex(uality) in the workplace help and hinder workers in diverse contexts; and to locate cross-national and geographically specific regulatory discourses and approaches governing sexuality, sexualisation, and sexual harassment or exploitation in the workplace. To this end we encourage the participation of researchers and experts focusing on the sex industry, ‘mainstream’ labour, or comparative studies between the two.

The criminalization of the sex industry and the marginalization of people working therein is a timely and pressing public issue. With this CRN we hope to collaboratively work toward finding innovative solutions to the issues that these workers face, at the same time contributing to the scholarly community by filling a gap in the Law and Society network. Finally, this CRN seeks to disseminate and showcase socio-legal research relating to sex work and other intersections of sex and work; it is an exciting opportunity for scholars examining different aspects of sex and work to network and to develop their academic careers by disseminating their research.

7.  Feminist Legal Theory

Organizers: Maxine Eichner, UNC School of Law; and Clare Huntington, Fordham Law School
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Despite calls for a “break” from feminist legal theory, and cognizant of the well-deserved criticism that some feminist legal theory has essentialized the feminine and excludes many voices, feminism continues to be an energizing force for scholars within law and across other disciplines. This CRN seeks to foster a community of scholars with a shared interest in gender and equality as related to race, class, sexual orientation, disability, and much more.  Although many scholars would benefit from more discussions on feminist issues, the fact that feminist theory cuts across so many fields hampers conversation: many of us, particularly those newer to the academy, do not know one another or the work that is being done on these issues in other fields. The Feminist Legal Theory CRN helps change this dynamic. It allows members to organize panels across fields, encourages cross-pollination on feminist issues, and facilitates research and mentoring relationships. To build our community, the CRN operates as a working group, with scholars presenting works-in-progress on varied topics related to feminist legal theory. We do not set themes before the meetings but instead shape the panels around the work of the participants, facilitating an organic discussion that is not constrained by specific topic or inquiry. In addition, we use the annual business meeting to strategize about other ways feminist scholars can more profitably work together and a roundtable on works-newly-in-progress to further collaboration on existing projects.

8. Labor Rights

Organizers: Manoj Dias-Abey, Queens University, Canada; Deepa Das Acevedo, University of Alabama Law School; and Rebecca Zietlow, University of Toledo
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In a global economy, there is a need for new approaches to the age-old challenge of protecting workers' rights and improving labor standards. Globalization affects the nature of work and the character of the employment relationship around the world.  Pressures on firms to improve competitiveness through restructuring workforces and production across national borders have led to increased challenges for nation-states. States in the North look for ways to preserve existing levels of employment and income support while those in the South struggle to simultaneously promote growth and investment and raise labor standards. To these ends, national laws may need to be revised, international norms developed, and transnational advocacy explored. 

This network seeks to encourage research by sociolegal scholars on these issues and bring sociolegal scholars and experts on industrial relations together.  We hope to foster work along two intersecting dimensions. First, what is the impact of changes in firms, production processes and global market forces on work, workforces, and worker's rights and conditions in the North and South? Second, how do existing legal institutions function and what kinds of new governance mechanisms are needed? We hope to explore the role of states, courts, unions, NGO's, existing international institutions such as the ILO, 'social clauses' in trade agreements, the World Bank and other IFI's, as well as industries and private firms through codes of conduct and otherwise.

9.  Law and Health

Organizers: Leslie Francis, University of Utah; John Francis, University of Utah; and Anne Maree Farrell, Queens University
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The CRN serves as a networking and collaborative research site for legal scholars working in the fields of health law, public health, human rights and health medical sociology, medical anthropology, disability studies, and critical fields related to health and embodiment. Focal areas for dialogue, planned events, prospective grant-writing collaborations and publications include:

  • International and comparative analysis of laws governing global and nation-state relationships to population health. Areas of study may include, but are not limited to health systems, social welfare policy, environmental health law and policy, warfare and post-colonialism, human rights law and policy, and economic development law and policy.
  • Critical perspectives on health disparities and inequities, subordination and law: Incorporating feminist, critical race, social epidemiological and critical disability theoretical perspectives on the distribution and socio-legal response to illness, impairment, and injury.
  • Bio-engineering, genetics, medicine, and law: Areas of interest include repro-genetics, genetic discrimination law and policy, medical ethics and law, medical testimony and the role of science in courts, and regulation of genetic engineering
  • Law and health systems: Areas of concentration include health-care policy, torts and malpractice law, health-care discrimination, social welfare systems, public health systems and services, and health-care reform
  • Law and health outcomes: Incorporating attention to health outcomes associated with law and policy, inclusive both of law and policy explicitly attentive to public health, and to "incidental" health outcomes associated with any area of law that may have an impact on population or communal health. Attention to health outcomes specific to vulnerable or subordinated populations is particularly welcome.

10.  Civil Justice and Disputing Behavior

Organizer: Shozo Ota, University of Tokyo, Japan
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This CRN focuses on the empirical study of disputing behavior both within the context of civil justice systems and outside the formal justice system framework. The CRN has a broad focus that includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • The study of the incidence of, and response to, justiciable problems by individuals.
  • The study of defendant behavior: particularly in the area of torts (or the equivalent) most contemporary research has focused on the tort victims and their lawyers. There are many questions that need to be examined about how tort defendants and their insurers respond to and process claims. Similarly, there are many questions to be asked about defendants in other areas, whether the area is discrimination, anti-trust, securities, or something else.
  • The study of disputing institutions: how do different third parties—courts, tribunals, administrative agencies, arbitrators, mediators—handle disputes and what difference does that make to the outcome of the dispute and the perceptions of the disputants?
  • The study of “disputing agents”, including lawyers and nonlawyers, who represent disputants in dispute processing institutions. How do such factors as training and experience, fee regimes, and oversight impact the actions of these agents?
  • The study of governmental disputants: we know that government tends to be a particularly successful disputant, particularly at the appellate level. We know less about government as a disputant at the trial or agency level.
  • Disputing and civil justice in the media: a number of studies have shown that news reporting, at least in terms of print news, focuses heavily on dramatic cases and dramatic plaintiff wins in particular. We know less about how the media reports the progress of cases, and we know virtually nothing about how broadcast media reports civil justice issues.

The CRN seeks to connect those in the Law and Society/Sociolegal Studies community with the segment of the growing Empirical Legal Studies community that focuses on civil justice issues.

The CRN maintains a listserve which can be used to disseminate information about research and funding opportunities, calls for papers, and conferences. To subscribe to the listserve, send a message The body of the message should contain the following: "subscribe lsacrn-cjdb" (no quotation marks).

11.  Displaced Peoples

Organizers: Steven Bender, Seattle University School of Law; Veronica Fynn Bruey, University of Cape Coast
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The mission of CRN 11: Displaced Peoples is to examine contemporary discourse of internal displacement beyond “Third World” conflicts towards Western states’ responsibility to protect individuals against prominent forms of internal forced migration. The philosophy behind forming CRN 11: Displaced Peoples lies in the coinage of the term used to describe it: i.e., “Displaced Peoples”. It is within this context that CRN11 seeks to examine the intersections of race, gender, class, power and privilege within the global migration polity of migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons. In seeking to normalize the concept of displacement as an umbrella term for generalized displacement, both internally and internationally, CRN11: Displaced Peoples adopts a broad perspective to forced migration to include all those compelled to leave their places of habitual abode due to natural disasters or man-made hazards. This population includes, but is not limited to, internally displaced peoples, refugees, migrants, Indigenous peoples, homeless peoples, and mental displacement. CRN11: Displaced Peoples invites everyone interested in global displacement issues to network, contribute and participate in our global collaboration. To subscribe, please visit: Displaced Peoples.

12. Critical Research on Race and the Law 

Organizers: Andrea Freeman, University of Hawaii; and Gregory Parks, Wake Forest University
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The CRN on Critical Research on Race and the Law is "critical" in at least two different senses. The name suggests an urgency in terms of expanding the socio-legal studies research agenda to more prominently include race and racial inequality. The name also is meant to draw upon some of the most exciting work in the legal academy over the past two decades under the Critical Race Theory and LatCrit rubrics. Similarly, law and society scholars are drawing increasingly upon studies of race and ethnicity from diverse disciplines that incorporate cultural studies and/or critical theory. Scholars in history, sociology, and anthropology (just to name some of the fields well-represented in law and society) are doing innovative studies that center race, racial inequality, and systems of racial classification of great interest to scholars interested in law and legal institutions. We hope the CRN on Critical Research on Race and the Law will serve as a space in which scholars interested in race and the law can engage each others' research projects and more generally network with each other.

13. African Law and Society

Organizers: Penny Andrews, City New York Law School, USA; Mark Kende, Drake University, USA; Jonathan Klaaren, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa; Josephine Dawuni, Howard University, Washington D.C., USA
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The research focus of this CRN is on African law and society.  Open to all, this CRN aims to investigate the variety of levels and methods through which African law and society are constituted and change.  Recent annual meetings of the LSA have demonstrated that the Law and Society Association’s full potential for scholarship by Africans or about African law and society has not been achieved.  Likewise, African scholarship falling broadly within the law and society or socio-legal studies intellectual tradition has not been as prominent as could be the case.  Working both within the LSA and Africa, this CRN aims to organize panels for LSA annual meetings in Chicago and beyond.  The CRN also aims to promote and facilitate participation in African-located law and society scholarship initiatives.  The CRN is also pursuing funding and holding an African Institute, based loosely on the model of the LSA’s Summer Institutes.  While the CRN is African rather than South African, this CRN will (at least initially) both recognize and critique the role that South Africa plays in African law and society and in its scholarship.

We are pleased to announce the launch of a list-serve for the African Law and Society Collaborative Research Network (CRN-13).  The organisers of this CRN are Penny Andrews, Mark Kende, Josephine Dawuni, and Jonathan Klaaren.  The list is hosted by Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) in The Netherlands. Jeff Handmaker (ISS-EUR) is the list manager. The CRN will use the list-serve to organise and promote socio-legal related events and activities in Africa.

To subscribe please send an individual message to: with subject stating only: "Subscribe African CRN".  Leave the body blank. 

14. Culture, Society, and Intellectual Property

Organizers: William Gallagher, Golden Gate University, USA; and Shubha Ghosh, University at Wisconsin, USA
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This CRN seeks to encourage interaction between scholars from diverse disciplinary perspectives who focus on the legal, social, and cultural dimensions of intellectual properties--including patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and rights of publicity. One goal of this CRN is to encourage creatively eclectic approaches to the study of intellectual property among law and society scholars who draw on traditional doctrinal and policy analyses, historical analyses, cultural studies analyses, and empirical analyses of intellectual property law in action. Intellectual properties, and the processes of globalization of which they are a part, are an especially promising and important area for collaborative research of the kind that law and society scholars have long pioneered.

15. British Colonial Legalities

Organizers: Catherine Evans, University of Toronto; and Jack Jin Gary Lee, Kenyon College
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This CRN brings together scholars working on law and society in former British colonies. The network welcomes those seeking to identify commonalities and complementarities of law, history, state practice and policy, as well as the many contemporary effects of colonial legalities. There is a growing thematic approach to sociolegal scholarship that cuts across jurisdictional boundaries in counteracting a narrowly area studies approach. The CRN hopes to further this effort by facilitating communication and scholarly initiatives between researchers in the swathe of former British colonies in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. In the immediate term, this means providing a forum through which scholars might organize British Colonial Legalities related panels for Law and Society meetings.

16. Language and Law

Organizers:  Lawrence M. Solan, Brooklyn Law School; and Janet E. Ainsworth, Seattle University
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The purpose of this CRN is to formalize and expand the international network of scholars (linguists and others) who have organized and participated in sessions on language and law since 1990, when the first sessions on Language and Law were scheduled at the Law and Society Association Annual Meeting. Such formalization is intended to provide a forum in which language scholars (linguists, interpreters, translators, and others) and legal scholars and lawyers can together contribute to a fuller understanding of the complex role of language in the judicial systems of the world. Our overall aim will be to focus broadly on the key role of language in judicial process at all levels.

17. Gender, Sexuality and Law

Organizer: Jill Weinberg, Northwestern University, American Bar Foundation, USA
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The interplay between the law, gender, and sexuality is a precarious one. On one hand, the law and legal decision-making are rooted in a tradition of predictability, uniformity, and rigidity. On the other hand, gender and sexuality identities are dynamic, non-discrete, and fluid. As gender and sexuality issues are increasingly resolved in legislatures and courts, the question of how to reconcile these competing motifs themselves are worthy of Law and Society scholarship. The purpose of this CRN is, thus, two-fold: first, to critically examine the law and its relationship to gender and sexual identities -- i.e., how the law constructs, constrains, and/or enables gender and sexual minorities at the municipal, state, and national level; and, second, to engage comparatively with international legal systems, both established and emergent, to shed new light on these constructs. Specifically, this network seeks to promote scholarship that looks at gender and sexual minorities as its own research question and not simply as a case study within the discipline (e.g., social movements, tax law, etc.). Using these critical and comparative lenses, not only would this collaborative space cast light on these understudied groups, but it also encourages discussions about broader Law and Society questions such the relationship between law and social change, issues of diversity and citizenship, and transnationalism.

18. Law and the Public-Private Dichotomy

Organizer: Brian Gran, Case Western Reserve University, USA
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This CRN is devoted to studies of "law" and the public-private dichotomy. Among its goals is a continuing debate over the role of legal institutions and processes in shaping the public-private dichotomy for public policy and institutions. This CRN draws on important historical and cross-national scholarship with interdisciplinary bases. Scholars in anthropology, history, law, political science, and sociology, as well as other disciplines, are undertaking significant, innovative studies  that demonstrate the critical impact of "law" on how the public-private boundary is drawn. We hope the CRN on Law and the Public-Private Dichotomy will serve as a forum where scholars interested in how ?law? shapes public policy and institutions. This CRN especially welcomes scholars new to the Law and Society Association, especially younger scholars and international scholars.

19. Legal Education

Organizers: Swethaa Ballakrishnen, New York University Abu Dhabi; John Bliss, Dartmouth College; and David Sandomierski, Osgoode Hall Law School
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This CRN seeks to advance the recent empirical and comparative turn in legal education scholarship by fostering community and collaboration in this rapidly growing field. The ongoing global wave of legal education research supplements and enriches perennial debates among law teachers as to the meaning, purposes, limits, and opportunities for legal education. In the U.S., this research has shed light on the both the highly embattled status of the JD program as well as the expanding internationalization of American law schools amid discourses of crisis. In Canada, emerging scholarship aims to identify and challenge the foundational practices in light of longstanding debates between the academy and profession over curricular control. Furthermore, in many emerging economies, law schools are experimenting with and adapting different versions of the “global” – offering new insights to local growth and exchange moderated by foreign influences. Beyond empirical perspectives, these developments have also sparked theoretical interest among institutional scholars examining increasingly convergent concerns and parallels across jurisdictions in a globalized age. Similarly, at the individual level, this research has been important for unpacking larger debates about diversity, inclusion and reproduction of hierarchy. Notwithstanding these institutional, structural, and market forces, legal education remains a powerful mechanism of professional identity formation and an avenue for public contribution. Moreover, the increasing presence of undergraduate legal education programs, in law & society, liberal studies, and legal studies, underscore the breadth of possible ends and means of legal education, a breadth that is also starting to be recognized in the literature.

20. Law and Society in Central and Eastern Europe, Balkans, Russia and Eurasia

Organizers: Alexei Trochev, Nazarbayev University; Lauren McCarthy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and Marina Zaloznaya, University of Iowa
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The countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Balkans, Russia and Eurasia, broadly defined as the area of former Soviet dominance, are currently in the midst of rapid and fundamental changes in the state-society relations: massive rewriting of statutes and regulations, creating and implementing new areas of law, reforming law-related governmental and non-governmental institutions, integrating in international regimes, and reconfiguring the social demand for law. Yet the process and impact of these changes has varied from country to country, within different regions in a country, and even from neighborhood to neighborhood. These changes require deep analysis and provide fertile grounds for socio-legal research. Given the passage of a quarter century since the disintegration of the Soviet bloc, the time is ripe for an interdisciplinary assessment of the relationship between law and society in the region. 

This CRN is organized to provide a forum for promoting research on law and society in the post-communist space in Central and Eastern Europe, Balkans, Russia and Eurasia, disseminate its findings to a wider community of socio-legal scholars, and facilitate the creation of a global network and community of scholars working on law and society in this region. Working both within the LSA and Eastern Europe, this CRN aims to organize panels for LSA annual meetings and welcomes papers on any aspects or issues of law and society in Eastern Europe. The CRN also aims to promote and facilitate participation in law and society scholarship initiatives located in Eastern Europe.

21. Law and Social Movements

Organizers: Corey Shdaimah, University of Maryland; and Elizabeth Hoffmann, Purdue University
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This CRN brings together scholars interested in the complex relationship between law and social movements.  Social movements use a wide variety of legal strategies – including litigation, lobbying, and administrative advocacy – in their programs for social change.  Law, and particularly rights, provides movements with political opportunities and plays a role in the cultural life of a social movement.  Law is a contested terrain for social movement struggles: movements rely on rights to frame their grievances, to generate and circulate collective identity, and to recruit and mobilize activists.  On the other hand, law and legal strategies can exert a conservative influence on social movements, channeling protest and more radical forms of action into conventional political institutions. Scholars participating in this CRN are working on theoretical and empirical projects on movements throughout the world that explore these and many other issues emerging from social movements’ interactions with law and the legal system. Participants have several long-range goals.   We hope to develop collaborative research and writing projects and to create opportunities for publication of CRN research, such as edited volumes and symposia in both law and society journals, as well as outlets in our home disciplines.  We plan to share syllabi and other teaching resources for undergraduate and graduate classes on law and social movements.   Finally, the CRN will provide opportunities for cross-generational and inter-disciplinary professionalization. Unfortunately, most sociologists do not read the work of McCann, Milner, and Olson.  On the other hand, many Law and Society scholars seem unaware of the copious sociological research on social movements.  Through the scholarly exchanges facilitated by the CRN, we can correct these oversights and produce richer studies that can inform the debates not just in Law and Society, but also in our home disciplines.

22. South Asia

Organizers: Mitra Sharafi and Marc Galanter, University of Wisconsin School of Law, USA
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The purpose of this CRN is to bring together scholars and lawyers working on aspects of law and society in South Asia. The network welcomes those working on social scientific and policy-oriented aspects of contemporary South Asian law as much as those specializing in historical, philosophical, and literary aspects of law. There is a growing "law in context" movement within India that is working to counteract the doctrinal bent of much Indian legal scholarship. The CRN hopes to further this effort by facilitating communication and scholarly initiatives between researchers in South Asia and those outside of it. We welcome suggestions (names with e-mail addresses, if possible) of people who may want to be receive information about this CRN.

23. International Law and Politics

Organizers: Luis Eslava, Kent Law School, University of Kent; Rose Parfitt, Kent Law School; and Markus Gunneflo, Lund University
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The International Law and Politics Collaborative Research Network brings together a large group of junior and senior scholars, teachers, researchers and practitioners working on issues related to the politics of international legal thought, practice, method and history. The members of this CRN are based in institutions and organizations across the world, both in the Global North and South. They employ a wide variety of theoretical and empirical approaches, drawn from the discipline of international law and from many other disciplines, including anthropology, political science, history, political economy, sociology, international relations and cultural studies, in order to examine some of the most pressing problems related to the current global (dis)order and its normative underpinnings. The work of the members of this group manifests a diverse range of political inclinations. Their concerns range from practices of human rights and judicial activism to the development of Marxian, postcolonial, feminist and queer legal theory, and from the heterodox regulation of international finance and trade to the critical potential of international legal historiography. In this way, the CRN speaks directly to the increasing visibility of the discipline of international law as existing global, national and local legal orders come to be contested and reconfigured, and to the varied responses of scholars and practitioners to this reality.

The CRN aims to make a distinct contribution to the LSA and its program through the creation of a unique space in which ongoing research and collaboration in the broad area of international law and politics can be pursued on a continuous basis. The CRN will organize a series of interlinked panels and roundtables at LSA Annual Meetings, each year presenting work on a different theme connected with the network’s overall concerns and those of the LSA more generally. These meetings will help the CRN realize its objective of fostering inter-institutional and inter-generational collaboration throughout the year, supporting in particular the publication of work, the holding of public events, and the development of innovative and progressive approaches to research, teaching and international legal practice.

24. Jurisprudence of Disasters: Law as Contributory, Law as Corrective

Organizer: Lisa Sun, School of Law, Brigham Young University.
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How does law contribute to the makings of catastrophic disasters (e.g., weak land use regulation, public subsidies encouraging the population of dangerous places); and how it can facilitate or compel corrective measures in the realms of mitigation, preparation, response, and recovery—whether such disasters are naturally, accidentally, or deliberately caused? These questions provide the thematic nexus for this network. It encourages application of perspectives and concerns already familiar to law and society scholars, such as civil rights and liberties as affected by disaster management, social and environmental justice, private rights and regulatory authority, the well-being of special-needs populations, equity and efficiency in resource allocation, voluntary versus involuntary assumption of risk, and “soft law” versus “hard law” approaches to protecting public health and safety. It also directly implicates topics such as law and scientific uncertainty, reciprocal obligation and moral community, and responses to climate change. This Network is likewise a forum for contact with disaster scholars in other disciplines in the social, behavioral and natural sciences, and engineering, whose research and practice influences and is influenced by the law and legal institutions. Beyond academic circles, those doing scholarly research on disaster law and policy in governmental institutions, research institutes, and non-governmental organizations may find affiliation with this network to be beneficial as well, and we invite you to join us.

The impetus for organizing this CRN arose toward the end of an invited-participant Workshop on Disasters and Sociolegal Studies, held July 20-22, 2011 at the International Institute for the Sociology of Law in Oñati, Spain.

25. Household Finance

Organizers: Dalie Jimenez, University of California, Irvine; Pamela Foohey; Robert Lawless, University of Illinois School of Law; Nadja Jungmann, Utrecht School of Applied Sciences; Antonio Jose Maristrello Porto, FGV -- Direito Rio
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The Household Finance CRN welcomes scholars studying issues related to household income, credit products and usage, indebtedness, personal insolvency and bankruptcy, and related topics. The research of CRN members covers a wide variety of methods and topics, including how the law affects household finance outcomes, how social norms and law affect household finance decisions, and the evolution of legal and regulatory developments on household finance. CRN membership includes scholars from the fields of economics, law, public health, history, psychology, and sociology and from Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. Each year, the Household Finance CRN organizes panels and a social event for attendees to the LSA annual meeting. The CRN does an annual call for proposal in conjunction with the LSA paper submission. To join the CRN e-mail list, please contact

26. Law and the Food System

Organizers: Alfonso Morales, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Lauren Suerth, University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Christine Parker, The University of Melbourne
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The regulation of food dates back to the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 and it contributed to the legal scaffolding of modern food systems – i.e., the chain of activities that link food production, distribution, wholesale, retail, consumption, and disposal. The dynamic social and economic environment means that food systems invoke law in multiple ways and across several jurisdictions, and consequently, it is an incredibly complex institutional environment that few, if any, people understand in its entirety.  Many disciplines are engaging in food system research but given the importance of food in our everyday lives, it demands increasing attention from law and society scholars.  This CRN facilitates the interdisciplinary research required by this complex field of study.

27. Punishment & Society

Organizers: Hadar Aviram, UC-Hastings College of Law; and Ashley Rubin, University of Toronto  
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This interdisciplinary group of scholars seeks to understand the social, political, economic, and cultural underpinnings of punishment. We examine punishment in all its guises, not limited to prisons and executions, or community corrections, but also in immigrant detention facilities, mental institutions, welfare offices, schools, neighborhoods, and downtown. We examine punishments across time and space, examining historical change, international differences, and local variation within individual countries. We examine penal policies as established at the organizational, state, and national levels and punishment in practice, as meted out behind closed doors or on city streets. We examine not only punishment’s origins, but also its consequences for society. Ultimately, we examine punishment, broadly construed, as it is experienced, constructed, and contested around the world, throughout history.

28. New Legal Realism

Organizers: Elizabeth Mertz, University of Wisconsin and American Bar Foundation, USA; and Meredith Martin Rountree, Northwestern Law, USA
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For many decades, the law-and-society movement has served as a meeting point for scholars interested in empirical research on law.  Despite this success, LSA has had relatively little impact within the world of legal scholarship and law schools, although in recent years they have shown renewed interest in drawing on and incorporating social scientific and empirical perspectives.  As part of the new legal realist effort, this CRN focuses explicitly on supporting efforts to translate social science into legal scholarship, while also encouraging a broader understanding of legal logics that often operate independently of empirical research. Building on the LSA tradition, scholars involved in this CRN work with the full range of available empirical methods – qualitative and quantitative, ethnographic and statistical.  Our goal is to encourage a truly interdisciplinary approach to researching law "in action" and "in books."  We also offer support and networking for LSA members who are actively involved in law schools and/or law practice, and who are committed to social science approaches to studying law.

 More extensive discussion of these ideas, and also links to further resources can be found at – and also see relevant discussions on

29. Biotechnology, Bioethics and the Law

Organizer: Michele Goodwin, University of California, Irvine School of Law, USA, Ruqaiijah Yearby, St. Louis University; Radhika Rao, UC Hastings; and Jaime Allgood, University of California-Irvine.
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This network studies the emerging field of biotechnology as an interdisciplinary discourse. This CRN focuses on multiple disciplinary approaches to bioethical and biotechnological disputes, including law and economics, feminist jurisprudence, legal realism, and critical legal studies. This network is a forum that attempts to bridge the gap between biotechnology and its sister fields, bioethics and intellectual property, rather than casting them in disciplinary isolation. This network serves as a forum to expand the narrow framework of traditional biotech discourse to include an examination of diverse issues underrepresented in conventional scholarship, including bio-piracy, genetic determinism, human commoditization, transhumanism, genetic property, public health, and tort, property, and contract issues in the body. As well, this network adds race, gender, socioeconomics and public policy to the discourse of biotechnology and bioethics. Research and scholarship from scholars in this network will contribute to the foundational blocks in new biotechnology law. The Biotechnology, Bioethics, and The Law CRN serves as a forum for researchers, scholars, and students to contemplate issues where law, science, society, and medicine meet.

30. Islamic Law and Society

Organizers: Tamir Moustafa, Simon Fraser University, Canada; and Intisar Rabb, Harvard University, USA
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This CRN serves as a site for networking and collaborative research for scholars working on Islamic law and society from a variety of disciplines, including comparative law and legal history, sociology and cultural anthropology, political science, and related fields.  Areas of collaborative research include the varying and sometimes contested relationships between Islamic law and liberal rights; the transformation of Islamic law and religious authority from the classical to the modern period; contending visions of Islamic law in contemporary social and political movements; and popular understandings of Islamic law among Muslims in the West and Muslim-majority countries.  In these and other substantive areas, a key goal of the Islamic Law and Society CRN is to facilitate conversations between specialists in Islamic legal doctrine and history with scholars examining the social and political construction of Islamic law in its varied forms in the contemporary world.

31. Law, Society and Taxation

Organizers: Neil H. Buchanan, University of Florida; Jennifer Bird-Pollan, University of Kentucky; and Mirit Eyal-Cohen, University of Alabama
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This CRN provides a forum for scholars who are interested in the effects on society of the taxing and spending policies adopted at all levels of government (international, national, state, and local).  Subjects of inquiry involve any aspect of government policy with respect to taxing or spending, including distributional effects of government programs, theoretical issues of equity and justice, comparative and international issues, and all other aspects of fiscal policy.  Participants are encouraged to apply multi- and interdisciplinary approaches to questions across the range of tax-related scholarship: issues of social and economic inequality, international competition and coordination, comparative aspects of tax law, family issues, sexual orientation and tax law, and so on.

32. Gender and Judging

Organizers: Ulrike Schultz, Fernuniversität, Hagen, Germany; Monika Lindbekk, Oslo University Norway; and Josephine Jarpa Dawuni, Howard University
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Since women began serving on courts, social scientists began asking whether they decided cases differently from their men colleagues.  Most empirical scholarship has been critical of this essentialist framing and found few differences.  Differences found in Israel, Croatia, or the United States vary enormously from study to study.  Law and Society scholars have found many more sophisticated questions to ask about gender and judging.  Although the highest appellate courts of most jurisdictions now have at least one woman member, and in some countries such as Italy and France, women dominate lower judicial offices, the battle for a fully gender-integrated bench is far from won.  Both Australian and Canadian scholars have documented the backlash against women judges.  And theorists have been rethinking the concepts of neutrality, legitimacy, impartiality, dissent, and representation using a gender lens.  Scholars in the U.S. have tracked the importance of gender bias taskforces for documenting discrimination and bias against women in law.  Others are exploring how the media constructs women professionals in general and women judges in particular.  Worldwide, polities seem to be transferring more and more power to courts and not surprisingly, there has been more focus on who judges are.  As courts become more and more powerful, scholars and activists have much to learn from each other about strategies for accelerating the creation of diverse and representative judiciaries.  We also look forward to working with national and international associations of women judges.

33. East Asian Law and Society

Organizers: Setsuo Miyazawa, Aoyama Gakuin University, Japan; Kay-Wah Chan, Macquarie University, Australia; Yoshitaka Wada, Waseda University, Japan; and Hiroshi Fukurai, University of California, Santa Cruz
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Law and society in East Asia are currently in the midst of rapid and fundamental changes, providing fertile grounds for socio-legal research. Using the momentum provided by these changes, this CRN is formed to provide a forum for promoting research on East Asian law and society, and disseminating its findings to a wider community of socio-legal scholarship. Both Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia are covered under this CRN. It welcomes scholars researching on East Asia, and others wishing to enrich their research and theories with findings from the region. Sessions organized by the CRN welcome papers on any aspects or issues of law and society in East Asia. This CRN started to hold a biennial regional meeting under the title of East Asian Law & Society Conference in 2010 and is considering to hold a regional meeting every year after the 4th regional meeting in 2015.

34. Law and Indigeneity

Organizers: Mark Harris,  University of British Columbia; and L. Jane McMillan, St. Francis Xavier University
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The study of law and indigeneity is international and global in scope, and this CRN seeks to promote much-needed interaction and comparative inquiry between scholars based around the world. We aim to provide a forum that comparatively examines the similarities and differences between colonial/postcolonial/neo-imperial nations with respect to native peoples. Our hope is to expand the discussion of these beyond the discourses of resistance and human rights, to foreground other ways that indigenous peoples engage with the law. By doing so, we hope to promote inquiry into the complex legal landscape that involves multiple layers and meanings of what constitute law for indigenous peoples in the first instance. Alongside issues of legal pluralism, we aim to stress the multiple sites of knowledge production that inform issues of indigeneity and that contextualize the engagement of native peoples with formal and informal legal institutions. The CRN is founded on the belief that a full understanding of what it means to be indigenous is impossible without taking the legal into direct consideration. Nor can we fully understand legality in non-indigenous societies without acknowledging the law’s ever-present connections to native peoples.

35. Legal Geography

Organizers: David Delaney, Amherst College, USA; and Sandy Kedar, Haifa University Law School, Israel
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For more than a decade legal geography (broadly understood) has been described as an emerging field of inquiry within socio-legal scholarship. While interest in the significance of spatiality, place and landscape to the workings of the legal is increasing in quantity and sophistication there are few avenues for promoting productive exchanges among scholars scattered across a number of disciplines. The principal objective of the Legal Geography CRN is to facilitate communication and collaboration among interested scholars. The focus of our endeavor is the relationship between those topics conventionally investigated by geographers (space, spatiality, place, borders, mobility, circulation, landscape and so on) and those of interest to socio-legal scholars. However, we wish to promote transdisciplinary perspectives on these relationships and welcome the participation of anthropologists, sociologists, political scientists, historians, philosophers, workers in cultural studies, environmental studies and so on. The CRN will also be dedicated to the principle of theoretical and normative plurality.

36. Transnational and Global Legal Ordering

Organizers: Gregory Shaffer, University of California, Irvine School of Law; and Terence Halliday, American Bar Foundation
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This CRN 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 CRN 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.

37. Technology, Law and Society

Organizer: Sarah Lageson, Rutgers School of Criminal Justice and Christopher Bates, University of California, Irvine
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New technologies stand poised to effect a paradigm shift for society—and for sociolegal institutions specifically—by offering new means of interacting with established social institutions, new tools for regulatory governance and law enforcement, by generating new forms of predictive and algorithmic knowledge that confront law’s traditional notions of due process, and by reshaping social norms around discretion, risk, and accountability.

The CRN focuses on technology, in the current day and in a speculative future, as both the subject and object of social life. In the former instance, we explore and comment on, inter alia, the use of technologies that surveil and control social actors; that provide or prohibit access to legal institutions and the polity more broadly; that are used by legal actors in a variety of practice settings; and that change societal understandings and expectations of what law is and how it is experienced. In the latter instance, we examine, inter alia, how regulators, legislators, and the judiciary respond to shifts in the technological landscape, both historic and contemporary; how organizations operating at the cutting edge of technological innovation comply with or contest regulation; the role of the legal profession in defining what is and is not regulable via technology; and the way social, political, legal, and market forces promote or dissuade adoption of different types of technologies.

The CRN invites participation from across the disciplinary and interdisciplinary spectrum, from legal theorists and sociologists to political scientists and economists; from sociolegal scholars to technologists, information studies scholars, and systems designers. Additionally, we welcome all methods and methodologists, including quantitative (e.g., experimental, econometric), qualitative (e.g., ethnographic, interview), historical, narrative, legal/doctrinal, and mixed methodologies. New technologies present novel ethical and normative questions around privacy, ownership, access, and compliance; we welcome critical engagement on this front as well. With technological change come consequences, both anticipated and unanticipated. This CRN attempts to make the study of these consequences—and their origins—a pertinent and pressing part of the conversation in the next generation of sociolegal scholarship.

38. International Socio-Legal Feminisms

Organizers:  Kathleen Lahey, Queen’s University; and Ann Mumford, Queen Mary Law School, University of London, England
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This collaborative research network seeks to accelerate the exchange of interdisciplinary feminist research on domestic, transnational, and international governance concerning gendered patterns of social and economic issues affecting women Although many policy issues affecting women are embedded in specific domestic social contexts and legal regimes,gendered patterns of power are remain deeply entrenched over time and place. Feminist collaborations across national and political boundaries can quickly expand understanding of fundamental problems, options for strategic transformations, and impact assessment. The aim is to promote cross-national and multi-discipinary reflective knowledge about the way women’s and men’s opportunities are shaped by society, including the gendered conditions associated with family structures, labour markets, governance structures, and other institutions. The aim is also to over-bridge the reality gap in feminist theory by placing different methods of research in the interactive context of theory and practise over time.

39. (Discontinued)

40. Disability Legal Studies

Organizers: Katharina Heyer, University of Hawaii, USA; and Sagit Mor, University of Haifa, Israel
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This CRN invites interdisciplinary and cross-national scholarship on the role of law in the social construction of disability. Disability legal studies locates itself at the intersection of sociolegal studies with disability studies, which focuses on disability as a social and cultural phenomenon, identity, social construct and metaphor. Disability studies emerged as a counterpoint to the medicalized perspectives on disability, and invites scholars to think about disability a social category on par with race, gender, class, and sexual orientation. This perspective opens disability as a new site of analysis for the social sciences and humanities, examining the ways by which economic relations, cultural meanings, social practices, and institutional settings contribute to the social construction of disability.

41. Aging, Law & Society

Organizers: Nancy J. Knauer, Beasley School of Law, Temple University; and Nina A. Kohn, Syracuse University College of Law
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The Aging, Law & Society CRN aims to bring together legal scholars and scholars working in the social sciences to share research and ideas about the relationship between law and aging.  Specifically, the Aging, Law & Society CRN is intended to create opportunities for scholars to think about and discuss how the law responds to the needs of people as they age, as well as how law shapes the aging experience.  The goal of the proposed CRN is to increase dialogue and collaboration on important descriptive and normative questions related to law and aging. 

Traditionally, the development of public policy focused on older adults has been dominated by the medical sciences and related fields, such as psychology and social work, as well as other social sciences, such as sociology and anthropology that examine group behavior and structure.  The legal academy, by comparison, is just beginning to play a significant role in shaping the emerging field of gerontology.  Despite the increasing interest in law and aging across many disciplines, there is currently no international forum for scholars working on these issues to come together to collaborate and workshop ideas.  In addition, many of the legal scholars who are focused on law and aging are working in diverse locations across the globe and often have little contact with scholars working in other disciplines.

The proposed Aging, Law & Society CRN is designed to provide an international platform for collaborative work by facilitating international research collaboration and information sharing.  If approved, the Aging, Law & Society CRN would help bridge the existing gaps in communication and foster high-quality research on law and aging that is both international and interdisciplinary in scope.

42. Law and Emotion

Organizers: Lynette Chua, National University of Singapore; Susan Bandes, DePaul University
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This CRN brings together scholars from a range of disciplines whose focus is the role of emotion in the legal system. At its core is the belief that emotion---and attitudes about emotion—pervade legal thought and legal institutions. Although the legal system traditionally regarded emotion as a hindrance to rational thought, the current consensus in psychology, neuroscience, sociology, anthropology and other fields studying decision-making is that emotion is an integral part of the reasoning process. Law and Emotion scholars are working to identify and evaluate the roles various emotions play and ought to play in the legal realm.

43. Innovations in Judging

Organizers: Tania Sourdin, Newcastle Law School; Toby Susan Goldbach, University of British Columbia; and Dr Brian Barry, Dublin Institute of Technology
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This CRN brings together academics and judges to focus on the changing role of judges in courts and tribunals in a wide range of jurisdictions. The CRN particularly focusses on the increasing proactiveness by judiciaries and the significant evolution of the roles required of judges, over and above adjudicative decision-making functions. These roles can include judges using mediation, therapeutic justice interventions as well as a suite of facilitative and responsive techniques which may promote dispute settlement and be underpinned by a focus on judicial communication and procedural justice.

The CRN collaboratively engages in dialogue and research to explore the concept of ‘innovations in judging’ with a vision to contribute to the justice sector in a meaningful and influential way. The CRN assists to create and develop new and potentially influential models, frameworks, innovative approaches and knowledge of diverse practices in the important area of judicial work. The CRN contributes to the development of a greater understanding of the concept of judicial dispute resolution and associated trends within judiciaries, which in turn contributes to the effectiveness of justice systems and processes. There are particular CRN research focus areas that include the empirical assessment of various judicial approaches, comparative judicial arrangements and approaches, therapeutic jurisprudence, judicial dispute resolution and the impact of various social and other changes on the judiciary.

44. Law and History

Organizers: Joanna Grisinger, Center for Legal Studies, Northwestern University; Kimberly Welch, Vanderbilt University; Logan Sawyer, University of Georgia Law School; and Kathryn Schumaker, University of Oklahoma
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This CRN brings together scholars interested in legal history, both American and non-American, of any time period from contemporary to ancient.  We welcome a broad array of scholarly interests and methodological approaches.  Our scholars explore the development of legal doctrines and jurisprudence, the evolution of legal institutions, and the changing role of law in society.  They apply and develop a diverse set of methods, including those of social, intellectual, cultural, and critical history.  The Law and Society Movement has long welcomed both legal historians and legal history and we hope this CRN extends the benefits of that relationship.  Our goals include supporting methodological discussions across sub-specialties and between historical and other approaches to studying law and society; creating opportunities for cross-generational and inter-disciplinary professionalization; and encouraging publication of CRN research, such as edited volumes and symposia in law and society journals, law reviews, and outlets in our home disciplines.  We discuss teaching methods and share syllabi and other teaching resources for undergraduate, graduate, and professional school classes on law and social movements.

45. Law and the Media

Organizers: Yifat Holzman-Gazit, College of Management; and Itay Ravid, Stanford Law School
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This CRN seeks to study the depictions of legal cases, actors and courts in the media, and to explore the nature and implications of increased media presence on the conduct of legal affairs and on public knowledge of and trust in the legal system.  The CRN will provide a forum for the convergence of interest of a variety of issues in the study of the intersection of media and the law that have been explored by scholars from diverse disciplines, such a political science, sociology, criminology, media studies, and of course legal scholars. 

Communications scholars have noted that there is no field of human activity or dimension of social life that is untouched or reconfigured by the media.  Although law has often been considered immune to media influences, and the media regarded as irrelevant to legal procedures and decision making, still, courts all over the world have increased their spokesperson activities, lawyers for both the prosecution and defense have begun to include media strategies in their legal services and the public as always is largely dependent on media sources for knowledge and information about the legal system.

Within this context of increasing media activity and dependence by the legal profession, the judiciary and the public at large, the CRN will address issues that have emerged in various disciplines, and that will benefit from the interdisciplinary analysis of law and media. Among the topics that have been raised by different scholars are:  What do the media tell us about the legal system, and how have the media sustained and eroded public faith in legal authority?  How have the accessibility and immediacy of new technologies affected lawyers' practices, the rhetoric of judicial decisions, the changing role of the legal reporter, and laymen's knowledge about the legal system and their reactions to the legal process in blogs and responses to newspaper reports. Are there differences in media coverage of the law in common law and civil law systems, do they report different types of cases,what are the implications of these differences.  How has the judiciary responded to the new media, and are there differences in judicial efforts to manage public relations? 

46. Corporate and Securities Law in Society

Organizer: Anat Beck, Case Western Reserve University
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The Corporate and Securities Law in Society CRN formalizes a heretofore-informal group of corporate and securities law professors who are dedicated to supporting, promoting and providing feedback for scholarship produced by established and emerging corporate law scholars.  The CRN organizes panels, author-meets-reader sessions and salons on domestic and international corporate and securities law topics.  In the past these panels have focused on the economic, political, social and moral obligations of corporations with regards to individuals, other corporate actors, and society at large.  This CRN also examines traditional corporate issues such as regulatory changes for securities markets, evolutions in common law, corporate governance and international corporate law.  For example, at the 2013 Annual Meeting, this group discussed disclosure obligations in the securities markets, the implications of international human rights law on global finance projects, corporate social responsibility, crowd funding, shareholder derivative actions, international financial markets, governance obligations of corporate boards, the morality of markets, and the rights of debt holders.  Each year panel participants have a broad range of scholarship interests and ideas that generate dynamic presentations, engaging panels, and a rich intellectual exchange among the group.

47. Economic and Social Rights

Organizers: Wahab Egbewole, University of Ilorin; Ben Warwick,University of Birmingham; and LaDawn Haglund, Arizona State University
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This CRN brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars from around the world working on economic and social rights, including the rights to education, health, decent work, social protection, an adequate standard of living and the benefits of science. Although these rights were neglected for many years, in the last two decades, scholars and practitioners have made significant gains in both conceptualizing and implementing these rights. This field is closely related to the work on human rights and poverty, human development and capabilities, and equality and nondiscrimination law. Together, this broader area of study addresses the content of these previously marginalized rights, the rights of disadvantaged groups and the potential for human rights frameworks and concepts to be more inclusive and holistic, as well as methodologies for measuring the impact of economic and social rights on the well-being of individuals and communities.

The CRN on Economic and Social Rights includes scholars from many fields, including law, philosophy, history, economics, sociology, international relations, political science and social policy. Our goals are to (1) support productive collaboration of human rights scholars across disciplines within the law and society community, (2) promote awareness of international human rights in general, and economic and social rights in particular, within the law and society community, and (3) attract new generations of students to the study of human rights within a socio-legal studies framework. We do this by organizing panels at annual meetings and providing opportunities for networking and collaboration during the year.

48. Legal Pluralism and Non-State Law

Organizers: Yüksel Sezgin, Syracuse University; and Janine Ubink, Leiden University
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This CRN serves as a site for networking and collaborative research for scholars working on legal pluralism and non-state normative orderings from a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, political science, comparative law and legal history, sociology and other fields related to law and society. The CRN furthers knowledge and understanding of legal pluralism, with a focus upon theoretical and practical problems resulting from the interaction of different types of law, such as religious law, customary law, state law, international and transnational law. And it provides an intellectual meeting ground for the concerns of social and legal sciences in the study of law in society and the resulting power relations, and in the resolution of social problems.

Areas of collaborative research may include: Theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of legal pluralism from past to present; studies of the comprehensive regulatory activities undertaken by government, civil society, and market parties in various fields and at different scale levels, and how these are affected by legal pluralism; the pluralist discourses of rights over land and natural resources, which remain both socially and politically contested; the effects of the increasing intertwining of human rights and development discourses on issues in legal pluralism; and the perplexing relationship between law, custom and religion as competing sources of normative reasoning and social ordering. In these and other substantive areas, a key goal of the CRN is to facilitate conversations between social scientists, lawyers, legal scholars, activists, and policy makers who engage in study of legal pluralism from different theoretical, methodological and practical angles. A second goal of the CRN is to share best practices for research methodology in this new and growing field of inquiry. Finally, the proposed CRN provides an important vehicle for bringing scholars who work in the field of legal pluralism into the fold of the Law and Society Association.

49. Socio-Legal Approaches to Property (SLAP)

Organizers: Bernadette Atuahene, Chicago-Kent College of Law; Nick Blomley, Simon Fraser University; Rashmi Dyan-Chand, Northeastern University; and John Acevedo, University of Alabama Law School
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The CRN seeks to bring together scholars who engage with tangible property through the use of empirical data.  Our goal is to facilitate an interdisciplinary conversation that brings together scholars from many different countries whose common interest is in conducting socio-legal research regarding property.  We welcome scholars from diverse fields such as economics, political science, sociology, psychology, geography, law, and anthropology.

50. Critical Law and Security Studies (CLASS)

Organizers: Ramzi Kassem, CUNY School of Law; and Shirin Sinnar, Stanford Law School
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Despite the diversity within large bodies of scholarly work on the intersection of law and security, much of that scholarship shares a variety of assumptions that are rarely interrogated. A common “national security” framework, for example, leaves under-examined both the relationship of “national security” to American power as well as the foundational question of whether legal arrangements should be expected to facilitate such power. Also, many scholars write from the perspective of the U.S. government, without questioning whether a U.S.-centric frame of reference is appropriate or whether scholars should strive to maintain the dominant position of the United States or, more broadly, any nation state in global security structures. Finally, within these frameworks, the experiences of minorities who tend to be most directly affected are often excluded.

Indeed, much of the scholarly work on the intersection of law and security takes one of two basic approaches—or, at the least, falls along a continuum somewhere between them. One approach has been to criticize government policies and to argue for greater respect among policymakers for domestic and international legal frameworks. The second approach has been to defend security policies and practices on grounds not only of efficacy but also of legal legitimacy, arguing that the law needs to be more flexible in times of crisis and war.

While critical approaches to the study of rights discourses, racial formation, and international law have had dramatic effects on scholarship in those respective fields, these insights have played only a marginal role in mainstream law and security debates. This underscores the need to develop a clear critical alternative within the field that would question some or all of its assumptions.

51. Queer Theory in Law & Global Society

Organizers: Ralph Wilde, University College London; and April Petillo, Kansas State University
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Queer theory in law focuses on disrupting established meanings while bridging identity and disciplinary boundaries to shed light on the interconnected-ness of patterns of domination and the social invisibilization engendered through multilevel legal technologies and narratives. To queer international and domestic law is to be concerned with the biopolitics and governance of social life. Thus, this CRN seeks to examine and disrupt the (re-)production of the discipline that happens through the othering of certain bodies, identities, subjectivities and conceptions of sovereignty in medias, policy-making, legislation, adjudication (including litigation strategy) and activism, globally. More generally, this theoretical approach seeks to ‘queer’ law’s boundaries and binaries (‘bindings’) that serve to uphold current structures of oppression affecting queer subjects as well as all gendered, racialized, classed, sexed and (dis)abled subjects. The approach recognizes that those who are ‘bound’ through law’s ordering of subjects on the basis of legal technologies such as ‘citizenship’, ‘immigration status’, etc. are a part of these oppressive structures. Queer legal theory’s critical exploration of the oppressive and emancipatory potentials present in othering, ‘binding’ and rupture (through and/or in spite of law) is an important intellectual component of the quest for a more just global reality rooted in the local, the communal and the personal. In this CRN we actively seek broad interdisciplinary conversation, collaboration and action that challenges preconceived notions of ‘queer’, ‘the legal’, and ‘theory’. We expect to examine our own roles and complicities in structures of oppression and emancipation as well. We welcome members of all disciplines, genders, sexes, sexualities, races, religions, (dis)abilities and those of some, all, or none.

52. Law and Development

Organizers: Pedro Fortes, UFRJ; David Restrepo, HEC Paris; Mariana Prado, Toronto Law School; Diego Gil, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; and Rolando Garcia, Stanford Law School
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This CRN brings together a group of scholars from different parts of the world, who are interested in multiple aspects of research on law and developement. We welcome papers related to various theoretical, empirical and interdisciplinary debates - from scholarship focused on Max Weber's work on legal families to the more contemporary accounts of the new developmental state and different conceptions of development. We are also interested in the role of institutions and markets in development.

Within this broader framework, this CRN encourages dialogues on a series of sub-themes, such as: 1) constitutionalism, democracy, and the rule of law, especially the complex process of state-building with the challenges of constitutional design; 2) the role of, and the interaction between, institutions, markets, and regulations in shaping social life, including themes like property, contracts, housing, urban zoning, healthcare, social security, infrastructure, trade, industrial innovation, antitrust, anti-corruption, finance and development banks; 3) legal metrics, new technologies and social change, specially the impact on legal decision-making processes resulting from the use of legal indicators, Big Data, and algorithms, arguably leading to the so-called "mathematical turn" in socio-legal analysis; 4) institutional reforms, including judicial reforms, expansion of access to justice, and development of mechanisms for Alternative Dispute Resolution, including the challenges brought by mass litigation, legal aid, enforcement of collective rights, complex litigation, arbitration, mediation, and the multi-doors courtroom; 5) the changing character of the legal profession, including lawyers, judges, prosecutors, regulators, the ombudsman, and public defenders; and 6) sustainable development and research that examines the role of law from a biocentric perspective and analyses the complexity of environmental protection, policies, and objectives.

The sub-themes listed above are far from exhaustive. Thus, the CRN invites papers that do not directly address any of the sub-themes mentioned above, but are related to law and development. Academics in all stages of their careers are welcome and invited to participate

53. Transitional Justice

Organizer: Julia Viebach, University of Oxford
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This CRN will provide an opportunity for collaboration, networking, and exchange between scholars working on transitional justice, broadly conceived. Transitional justice often refers to the judicial and non-judicial processes, and concepts related to them, which aim to redress violence and human rights abuses that occur during periods of armed conflict, civil strife, and repression. Our interest lies in the theoretical and practical dimensions of sociolegal scholarship related to transitional justice, including human rights, international criminal law, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding. We hope to provide a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary forum to explore processes, efficacies debates, policies, effects, and other relevant issues in the burgeoning study of transitional justice.

54. Law, Society & Psychological Science

Organizers: Professor Victor D. Quintanilla, Indiana University; Professor Mandeep K. Dhami, Middlesex University; Dr. Yael Granot, Yale Law School; Professor Jennifer K. Robbennolt, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Law; and Avani Mehta Sood, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
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Psychological science has flourished into a hub discipline—scholars in a range of other fields make use of psychological science, including law, sociology, anthropology, political science, economics, and philosophy. This inquiry has revealed the need for psychological accounts of human nature that encompass the breadth and diversity of social life, and for research that illuminates psychological accounts of how institutions, organizations, and social contexts affect human experiences (i.e., cognitions, emotions, behaviors, decisions) and how human psychology shapes societal norms, laws, policies, and institutions. The range of both micro- and macro-level psychological theories, from the neuropsychological to the social psychological, and psychological methods used (e.g. experiments, surveys, statistical modeling, and observations) will contribute to this endeavor. The CRN on Law, Society & Psychological Science is a multinational and multidisciplinary community of sociolegal scholars who are empirically and theoretically engaged with psychological science, and who share a common interest in the study of law, legal institutions, legal processes, and social and public policy problems. The CRN was previously the IRC on Law, Society & Psychological Science.

55. Law and Political Economy

Organizers: Jay Varellas, University of California, Berkeley; Angela Harris, University of California, Davis, School of Law (King Hall); Martha McCluskey, State University of New York, Buffalo, School of Law; Matthew Titolo, West Virginia University College of Law; Jamee Moudud, Sarah Lawrence College; Jedidiah Kroncke, FGV Sao Paulo School of Law University of Hong Kong; and Veena Dubal, University of California, Hastings, School of Law
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The Law and Political Economy CRN seeks to provide a forum for conversations between legal scholars, social scientists and others at the intersection of law and a variety of contemporary approaches to political economy from across the social sciences and humanities. The CRN will focus on encouraging the incorporation of a broader range of approaches to political economy into legal and sociolegal scholarship, while also facilitating a deeper engagement with legal rules, institutions and processes by scholars from other disciplines. In particular, the CRN aims to supplement and/or move beyond the “law and economics” paradigm through sustained engagement with a range of approaches to political economy from disciplines such as sociology, political science, anthropology, geography, history, literature and business studies, as well as contemporary work in economics. By focusing on political economy, the CRN aims to highlight and explore how the deeper sociolegal context constitutes and continually shapes economic behavior and economic institutions. In addition, the CRN seeks to promote scholarship that places issues of justice, fairness, identity and sustainability at the forefront of discussions about law and political economy. Lastly, the CRN is interested in promoting work that is historical, comparative and/or transnational in orientation, as well as work that focuses on national and subnational legal systems and processes.

56. Trusts and Estates

Organizers: Bridget J. Crawford, Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University; and Kate Galloway, Faculty of Law, Bond University
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This CRN provides a forum for scholars from all disciplines who are interested in the effects on society of the law, practice and effects of succession (also referred to as inheritance) and wealth transfers (whether at death or during lifetime, outright or in trust). Subjects of inquiry may involve any aspect of government or social policy with respect to trusts, estates, inheritance, wealth transfer, equity or courts with jurisdiction over these issues. Participants are encouraged to apply multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to questions across the range of scholarship in this area: issues related to transfer of wealth between spouses or family members; preferences created for certain types of transfers or transfers to particular classes of individuals; the transfer of wealth to charities or non-profit organizations; generational equity; issues of social and economic inequality; comparative aspects of the law of succession and the law of trusts more broadly; the relationship between/among gender, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, immigration, language status, disability and the law of succession and the law of trusts; the socio-linguistics of testation and wealth transfer; access to estate planning justice for low- and middle-income individuals; questions of cultural or group inheritance rights; and similar issues.