Call for Abstracts / Appel à propositions

Law and Boundaries is an interdisciplinary annual conference that aims to discuss and propose new perspectives on the challenges the legal discipline is facing regarding its object, its function, its theoretical foundations and its practical outcomes.

This year the L&B conference will be held at Sciences Po Paris on June 17-18, 2015.

We invite scholars from all disciplines to submit their abstracts (250-300 words) before April 17.

We accept abstracts in English and in French. Please note, however, that the conference presentations are always given in English and that the working papers should preferably be written in English.

Submit abstract here.

Replies concerning participation will be available by the end of April.

The working papers (of max. 7000 words) should be submitted by June 1st and will be circulated among all participants during the conference (or, upon request, only among the participants of the particular panel).

Finally, a selected number of papers presented at the conference will be published in a special L&B edition of the Global Jurist, a peer-reviewed law journal published by De Gruyter.

This year, we are welcoming contributions by graduate students and young scholars for the following panels:

1 // Adjudication Reloaded

The rise and proliferation of international adjudicative bodies (e.g. regional human rights courts, arbitration panels for investment disputes, labor dispute settlement systems, WTO Appellate Body, courts of regional integration) challenge our conventional approach to studying not only the phenomenon of international adjudication but also international law and even law. This stream proposes rethinking international adjudication across fields. What were/are international “adjudicative” bodies supposed to do? What have they done so far? To what extent are they bound to their rationale in the practice of judicial decision-making? Are we overstating or understating their actual work? What makes them regional, international, transnational or supranational? Where to locate them in the maps of post-national lawmaking and global patterns of power? How to theorize international adjudication?

We welcome contributions from legal theory, international investment, finance, banking and trade law, international law, human rights law, labor law, global governance studies, constitutional law and political science.

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2 // Bargaining in the Shadow of the Private/Public Distinction: Globalisation and the State

For quite a long time, the debate around the international economic and financial regulation has taken for granted the private-public distinction without considering the multiple positions that private and public actors can occupy as well as the kind of private or public we are talking about.

In the case of jurisdiction, for example, the current interpretation of the investment and financial global regulation contributes to the idea that multinational corporations are movable actors that can play with public notions like jurisdictions and nationalities. They do so to pursue their interests against states that are defined as static actors that lack the possibility to sue multinational corporations at the global level. However, this is only one of the possible interpretations and different solutions could lead to alternative reconstruction of the role between States and financial and economic actors.

At the core of the global distribution of resources, the notion of property as the right that must receive special protection, is assumed as a pre-determined and neutral institution, overlooking the plurality of ideas of property and the different distributional effects that each one can have.

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3 // “Hey, teacher! Leave them kids alone!”: Education and the State

Liberal democracies encounter some of its most paradoxical problems in the realm of education policy. Freedom of choice meets pervasive state authority over school curricula, cultural diversity is faced with imposed autonomy-development, and substantive equality is flattened into standardized tests. All that before even mentioning the clashes between children and parental rights, between republican and democratic educational goals and between the State and the Church…

This panel invites critical researchers from the legal field (international, constitutional, administrative, family etc.) as well as from the realms of sociology, philosophy and behavioral sciences to offer their own perspective on Pink Floyd’s famous provocation and take on the aforementioned and other thought-provoking snags in the complex relationship between education and the liberal state.

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4 // “Oh boy, it’s a girl!”: Gendering, Sexuality and Bodies within the Family, the Market and the State

Several social forces – including law – act to label a person as either male or female and then to police variation from the prescribed norm. Heteronormative assumptions, beliefs or explicit legislation work to constrain human sexuality and affection. Gendered assumptions about women and men help structure labor markets that are rigged with different sexist traps. The state creates – or resists reform to – parental leaves according to ideals of motherhood and fatherhood. Within each of these fields, we can find systemic violence, identity politics, individual resistance practices and intersectionalities.

We invite those working with these topics within law or in direct relation to it to share their accounts, especially if they involve queer theory, feminist, or intersectional perspectives on policy and legal reform.

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5 // Of (also) Access and Distribution: Reexamining Copyright and Property

Copyright’s dominant normative framework prominently emphasizes the need for incentivizing the production of intellectual works in an optimal manner. In such a theoretical landscape, the distributive implications of copyright protection have not received enough attention. Factors like gradual copyright maximization, unequal development of different kinds of intellectual works, impact of IP rights on other critical social issues, demonstrate the need for bringing questions of access and distribution out from the fringes and into the central focus of copyright policymaking.

This reexamination of copyright includes the following relevant questions: What are the implications of same-size-fits-all approach to IP globalization for the global south? How important has been the role of the utilitarian justification in copyright maximization? How does copyright affect access within a background of social inequalities? What is the role of copyright in restraining access to education? Can the current global copyright regime accommodate important distributive concerns?

Contributions are welcome from a variety of disciplines and approaches including: copyright theory, human rights, law and development, legal and political philosophy, education, media law, law and globalization, critical perspectives on international IP law, third world approaches to international Law.

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6 // Receive or Reject: Transplanting “Legal Organs”

The notion of “transplantation” has been increasingly utilized to define the circulation of legal structures across different legal orders and regimes. Despite this success, an engagement with this chirurgical metaphor from the perspective of critical comparative law can easily reveal its down side: its implicit acceptance of a clear distinction between those who are transplanting, the object that is transplanted and the inanimate body that is receiving the legal “organ”.

If the circulation of law is more complex than what legal transplant generally assumes and if the global economic scenario is increasingly connected and dense, the notion of “transplantation” has to be redefined. Multiple legal structures run across jurisdictions and legal orders, they become public law by means of contract, follow people and corporation wherever they operate, and, more importantly, are constantly exposed to power dynamics, reproduction, interpretation, adaptation, modification and appropriation wherever they operate. In particular, the adoption of a systemic perspective reveals the agency of lawyers, judges, corporations, international organizations, and public institutions, and therefore challenges the idea of reception and production and adds texture to the identification of the centre and the periphery of legal ideas.

This panel wants to be a space of reflection on the past and the present of legal transplant in light of the increasingly global context. We specifically invite papers that critically engage with the notions and distinctions between senders, recipients, objects and the other legal structures that are generally associated to the notion of legal transplant.

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7 // Take a Walk on the Wild Side: Boundaries, Contradiction and Transgression

In 2000, Christoph Schlingensief stated: “resistance is futile, contradiction is what is called for”.

In the postmodern era, where identifications have been deconstructed yet continue to operate, where boundaries continue to create false segregations and differences, what role can transgression and contradiction play? How do boundaries limit our way of thinking about our social existence and shape our imaginations and desires? How do dualities work to create boundaries? When, how and where can we transgress boundaries? Can contradiction disrupt boundaries? What is the role of space in transgressing boundaries? How does transgression interplay with subversion, resistance, and perversion?

This panel invites papers and other interventions on general and specific themes from across disciplines including: law, political science, legal and political theory, philosophy, psychoanalytic studies, art theory, gender studies, anthropology, migration studies, critical race theory, queer theory and postcolonial theory and performativity studies.

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8 // The Dark Sides of Value: Occupation and the Global Circulation of Value

Global value chains and transnational networks of production are increasingly becoming the dominant form of contemporary capitalism. The multi-territorial geography of supply chains and the just-in-time nature of production powerfully contrast with the territoriality of the national state and its “Westphalian” borders. The idea of this panel is to gather scholars who are thinking about the implications of the various frictions created by these intersections, especially from the point of view of legal structures, governance and distribution of resources.

In particular, we welcome: analyses of global value chains from the perspective of global legal pluralism; reflections on the present and future of state sovereignty; discussions about the private-public nature of supply chain capitalism and their implications for traditional legal categories; discussions on the role of authority and violence in global supply chains, including militarization and the use of coercive force to guarantee the continues circulation and accumulation of value; contributions that investigate the counter-hegemonic use of law in global supply chains and papers that offer critical insights on the multiple forms of resistance that exist vis-à-vis transnational systems of production. Historical and multidisciplinary accounts are warmly invited.

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9 // The King is Dead, Long Live the King: the Stakes of Managerialism.

Benchmarks, reports, evaluation, indicators, notation, accountability, transparency. The technical vocabulary of managerial expertise is increasingly spreading into the regulatory project of global governance. The discourses of capitalism and science seem to have converged into a managerial account of what constitutes the reality of the global world. Regulation and management are functionally displacing legislation and adjudication. To the extent that managerialism might very well be a distinctive character or style of current normative transformations.

War, poverty, environment and other global issues are addressed with an expert vernacular that undermines rules and principles to promote technical and efficiency driven tools. The aesthetics of managerialism favor spectrum, levels and intensity variations rather than distinctive and exclusive categories offering a diffuse, horizontal, regulatory project.

What are the politics of the managerial techniques of governance? What is specific to its mode of regulation? How does managerialism construct its problems? Who are the professionals developing the managerial project? How does managerialism differ from or resembles other modes of legal and normative thinking such as formalism, factualism, functionalism? How ought the critical legal project redefine its tools and aims when confronted with a non-legalistic governance project?

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