28 October 2013

CALL FOR PAPERS: International Journal of Law in the Built Environment

International Journal of Law in the Built EnvironmentI received the following CALL FOR PAPERS recently for the International Journal of Law in the Built Environment (IJLBE)

By this CFP we, as guest editors for this themed issue, invite submission of high quality papers written by legal scholars, urbanists, geographers and social scientists that explore law’s place amidst the spatiality and materiality of the built environment.

Our aim is to gather a collection of papers which can bridge the 'critical' and 'embodied' practical aspects of making and managing built environments. We seek to do this by setting critical legal geography perspectives alongside practice oriented built environment legal scholarship, in order to explore potential synergies and creative tensions that may arise from this juxtaposition:

In keeping with IJLBE’s broad remit, papers can be empirical, doctrinal and/or theoretically based and can explore the themes suited to this CFP in any jurisdiction around the world (please note that submissions must be written in English). 

We are seeking articles which engage the ways in which law is at work in the built environment and do not wish to be overly prescriptive. But, indicatively, questions that submitted papers might address include:

- How does law contribute to the making and controlling of the built environment at multiple scales?: ranging perhaps from the micro-world of design standards for building components upward and outward through law’s shaping influence over rooms, floors, buildings, terraces, wards, boroughs, cities, regions, nationalities and globally.

- What is law’s relationship with space, place and physical structures in the built environment – and in particular how are objects framed by law (for example by how objects of concern are defined in built environment regulatory laws; or in judicial attempts to develop a ‘complex structure theory’ as a way of conceptualising – and litigating – building defects)?

- How can legal processes of built environment place making be critiqued through the lenses of critical geography and progressive urbanism? And in doing so, what are the implications for built environment scholarship and its concern with professional practice?

- What are the dangers of conflating law and geography? What methodological problems will be encountered? What claims to knowledge and validity can such hybrid analysis of law and geography claim?

- What role do judicial and other spatio-material imaginaries (images of place and things) play in the adjudication of cases concerning contested land use and/or the conduct of processes that have as their aim the legally shaped ordering of space and/or physical things

It is perhaps at the situated scale of site level action that legal geography comes closest to scholarship concerned with the professional practice aspects of the built environment and its law. It is in this field (as this journal reflects) that the law is encountered as a managerialist tool, it is concerned with ways of ordering and managing the design, construction, ownership, use and removal of places, their physical structures and also of their human inhabitants. Here applicable laws seek to frame these material things in order to know and thereby control them - and their actions - across time and space. Law in the built environment thus has at its heart a practical concern with the governability of things.

Perhaps a fusion of legal geography and built environment legal scholarship can open up insightful routes to the understanding, refinement and critique of the processes by which law is translated (Latour 2005) into buildings, streets and the urban landscape.

How to submit a paper

The deadline for submission of papers for consideration is 23 January 2014. Papers should be submitted via the publisher’s on-line submission point: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ijlbe.

Full details of the Journal’s instructions to authors regarding words limits, citation, layout and writing style are available hereA full version of our CFP can be accessed here.


Luke Bennett, Department of the Natural & Built Environment, Sheffield Hallam University (l.e.bennett@shu.ac.uk); Professor Antonia Layard, Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham (a.layard@bham.ac.uk)

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