10 December 2012

CALL FOR PAPERS (Due 17 December 2012): Crossroads East and West: Visions of the Economy in the Islamic and Western Legal Traditions

Call for Papers

Crossroads East and West: 
Visions of the Economy in the Islamic and Western Legal Traditions
International Workshop
(co-organised with Juris Diversitas)
 Turin, International University College
4-5 February 2013

As the world enters a post-global phase featuring a growing multipolarity of economic and political systems (e.g. with the BRICS countries, as well as economic, demographic and financial powers such as Turkey, Persian Gulf countries, Indonesia and others emerging as significant regional and international players), this multipolarity is, in the 21st century, redefining the global model that emerged at the end of the 20th, one which was clearly dominated by the economic and legal models of Western origin.

Muslim countries, and countries with significant Muslim populations, will, in all their diversity and complexity, be major actors in this polycentric environment, interacting with the West as well as with the geo-political realities of the East, producing new legal developments both regionally and on a global scale.

The international workshop will therefore be devoted to the emerging trends and dynamics in the economies and economic relations and legal interplay within and between Muslim legal systems, traditions and developments, on the one side; and the West, with its legal traditions and the Western-influenced global legal order, on the other.

Divergences and convergences should emerge from the workshop, permitting a better assessment of current developments and of some future legal features of economies and economic relationships in a possible multi-polar world.

The macro-theme of the event will therefore be the economy in its largest sense, with a view to developing legal comparative analyses of economic phenomena in the Islamic and Muslim traditions; perspectives should include both common law and civil law, for the West, and both Shi'a and Sunni approaches, for the East.

The core idea is not, thus, that of staging a conference (another one, some may say) on Islamic banking and its foundations and technicalities; but rather of illuminating the breadth of fundamental legal-economic and related societal themes underpinning the breadth of Islamic and Western legal-economic systems and the relationships between the two, in a comparative perspective.

The main areas of law, as related to the central theme of the event as elaborated above, and the possible specific areas and topics for which we invite proposers to submit abstracts may include (but are not limited to:
  • General visions of the economy
    • Nature and function of human economic activities
    • Nature and function of money
    • Economy and other human activities (religion, family, society)
  • General visions of law
    • Nature of law
    • Fundamental legal values
    • Economic analysis of law from a non-common law, non-Western perspectives
    • New/different/critical approaches to Western legal-economic models
  • Financial activities 
    • Islamic banking (but going beyond the usual descriptions of Islamic banking instruments: e.g. dealing with the hybridization/globalization of Islamic financial law and instruments)
    • New/different/critical approaches to Islamic finances
    • Justice in finance and protection of the weak party/ies
    • Insurance
    • Microfinance
  • Economic governance 
    • Public and private sectors of the economy
    • Public law and market regulation, including  securities
    • Competition law
    • Environmental law
  • Contract law 
    • Contractual justice: equity, protection of the weak party, proportion/disproportion in contractual obligations, change of circumstances, good faith, unjust enrichment through contract, etc
    • Social function of contract, effect on third parties and on communities
All topics may be dealt with through a focus on emerging cross-cultural best practices and/or international standards of justice/human rights.
Paper abstracts (no more than 2-3 pages in length) should be submitted, along with a short bio of the author, no later than Monday, December 17, 2012, to Prof. Ignazio Castellucci, Professor of Asian Legal Traditions and Chinese Law, University of Trento, Trento, Italy; Professor of Comparative Legal Systems, University of Macau, Macau, China; Vice-President, Juris Diversitas at ignazio@castellucci.eu, with a copy to  Ms. Anna Koppel, Director of Research and Development, The Protection Project, JHU-SAIS, at akoppel1@jhu.edu.

The authors of the abstracts selected for full paper submission and presentaion at the workshop will be notified by Friday, January 4, 2012. Their travel, accommodation, and meal expenses for the event (considering arrival in Turin on February 3, 2013 and departing on February 6, 2013), will be covered by the organizers.

Extended abstracts or full papers submitted, even in a draft form, by Monday, January 21, 2013, will be circulated at the workshop, enriching the discussions and contributing to their completeness and fruitfulness. Publication of final full papers, to be collected soon after the event, is planned by the end of 2013.

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