29 December 2012


American Anthropological AssociationPoLAR Announcement and APLA & AES Joint Spring 2013 Meeting Reminder

PoLAR, the journal of the Association for Political and Legal Anthropology (APLA), has a second virtual issue. Entitled Reflections from Occupied Worlds, it

marks the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Movement with a collection of essays and postscripts that provide a unique commentary on challenges of pursuing social justice and activism alongside anthropological inquiry. In recognition of other resistance movements, including the Arab Spring, protests in Europe, and many others that predated and coincided with Occupy, the issue focuses not on the U.S.-based movement, but rather, on other parts of the world to explore the multiple and multiplicative dimensions of occupation. In short, it considers the “99%” beyond the United States.

In selecting articles that predate the Occupy Movement, the issue attempts to provide a view of how anthropologists have been conscious of resistance movements and attempted to explain tensions within and between resistance and political institutions that inevitably ensue. The articles highlight how anthropologists have studied spaces of occupation and activism and the struggles within them. They take readers to North America, the Middle East, Ireland and Ecuador, addressing questions and tensions around anthropology and activism along the way.

Readers are also reminded that the deadline for proposals for the Anthropologies of Conflict in a New Millennium Conference is approaching.

BOOK: Catá Backer and Broekman on the Semiotics of Legal Education

Springer has announced the publication of Larry Catá Backer and Jan Broekman (eds), Lawyers making meaning: the semiotics of legal education II (2013). 

The sequel to Broekman and Francis J Mootz II (eds), The semiotics of legal education (2011),

[t]his book present a structure for understanding and exploring the semiotic character of law and law systems. Cultivating a deep understanding for the ways in which lawyers make meaning—the way in which they help make the world and are made, in turn by the world they create —can provide a basis for consciously engaging in the work of the law and in the production of meaning. The book first introduces the reader to the idea of semiotics in general and legal semiotics in particular, as well as to the major actors and shapers of the field, and to the heart of the matter: signs.  The second part studies the development of the strains of thinking that together now define semiotics, with attention being paid to the pragmatics, psychology and language of legal semiotics. A third part examines the link between legal theory and semiotics, the practice of law, the critical legal studies movement in the USA, the semiotics of politics and structuralism. The last part of the book ties the different strands of legal semiotics together, and closely looks at semiotics in the lawyer’s toolkit—such as: text, name and meaning.

The book’s Preface, Table of Contents, and Sample Pages are available here.

28 December 2012

CALL FOR PAPERS: Global Perspectives on Entrepreneurship: Public and Corporate Governance

Call for Papers for Special Issue Conference
Corporate Governance: An International Review

Global Perspectives on Entrepreneurship: Public and Corporate Governance

April 25-26, 2013, Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto, Canada

- Abstract Submission Deadline: January 15, 2013
- Special Issue Submission Deadline: April 1, 2013
- Paper Development Workshop Dates: April 25-26, 2013

Keynote Speakers:
- Craig Doidge, University of Toronto Rotman School of Management
- Shaker Zahra, University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management
Guest Editors:
- Rajesh Chakrabarti, Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, India
- Douglas Cumming, York University, Toronto, Canada

BACKGROUND AND SPECIAL ISSUE PURPOSE: Governments in both developed and developing countries are in agreement that entrepreneurship and innovation will facilitate economic growth and determine the competitive advantage of nations in the 21st century. Massive amounts of resources are expanded to foster both innovation and entrepreneurial activity in these countries. It is therefore crucial that public policy matters are able to distinguish between supporting entrepreneurial activity or merely supporting small and medium sized enterprises. Entrepreneurial activity, or the generation of value through the creation or expansion of economic activity in terms of new products, processes or markets, is not restricted to smaller enterprises. Innovation and entrepreneurial activity may also take place in larger, more established enterprises.

CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS: Strangers, Aliens and Foreigners

5th Global Conference
Strangers, Aliens and Foreigners

Thursday 5th September – Saturday 7th September 2013
Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom

Call for Presentations

This multi-disciplinary project seeks to explore the crucial place that strangers, aliens and foreigners have for the constitution of self, communities and societies. In particular the project will assess world transformations, like phenomena we associate with the term 'globalisation', new forms of migration and the massive movements of people across the globe, as well as the impact they have on the conceptions we hold of self and other. Looking to encourage innovative trans-disciplinary dialogues, we warmly welcome papers from all disciplines, professions and vocations which struggle to understand what it means for people, the world over, to forge a sense of self in rapidly changing contexts where it is no longer possible to ignore the importance of strangers, aliens and foreigners for our contemporary nations, societies and cultures.
Presentations, papers, performances, panels and workshops are invited on any of the following themes:

27 December 2012

REMINDER: Juris Diversitas Conference and Membership

Juris Diversitas Annual ConferenceREMINDER -- CALL FOR PAPERS

Co-Sponsored with the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law
3-4 June 2013, Lausanne, Switzerland 

Proposals should be submitted to Seán Patrick Donlan at sean.donlan@ul.ie by 15 January 2013

Registration fees (excluding optional conference dinner, €50) are: 

50: Juris Diversitas Members (Full membership 2012 and 2013) 
100: Juris Diversitas Members (Full membership 2013) or Members of the AiSDC 
200: Non-Members

Membership information is available here.

JOURNAL: Oñati Socio-Legal Series

The (2012) 2:6 Oñati Socio-Legal Series is available. It’s entitled Diferencias Invisibles: Género, Drogas y Políticas Públicas. El enfoque de género en las políticas europeas de drogas.

The papers ‘result[] from the workshop held in the International Institute for the Sociology ofLaw, Oñati. 12-13 May 2011’ and the issue was ‘edited by Xabier Arana (Universidad del País Vasco-Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea), Iñaki Markez (Ekimen2000) and Virginia Montañés (investigadora independiente).’

The Oñati Socio-Legal Series publishes work linked with the activities of the Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law. Each year there will be:

· one issue containing the best of the theses produced by our Master´s students each year (those graded summa or eximia cum laude);
· one issue of articles by visiting fellows and other researchers linked to the IISL, and
· thematic issues of articles on the topics of workshops organised at the IISL, with an Introduction by the workshop organiser(s).

All the articles will be peer-reviewed.

ARTICLE: Michaels on Legal Transplants

Our friend at the Irish Society of Comparative Law (ISCL) recently posted information on Ralf Michaels' 'One Size Can Fit All' – On the Mass Production of Legal Transplants', available on SSRN and to be included in Günter Frankenberg (ed), Order from transfer: studies in comparative (constitutional) law (Elgar, forthcoming 2013). 

Its abstract reads:

Law reformers like the World Bank sometimes suggest that optimal legal rules and institutions can be recognized and then be recommended for law reform in every country in the world. Comparative lawyers have long been skeptical of such views. They point out that both laws and social problems are context-specific. What works in one context may fail in another. Instead of “one size fits all,” they suggest tailor made solutions.

I challenge this view. Drawing on a comparison with IKEA’s global marketing strategy, I suggest that “one size fits all” can sometimes be not only a successful law reform strategy, but also not as objectionable as critics make it to be. First, whereas, “one size fits all” is deficient a functionalist position, it proves to be surprisingly successful as a formalist conception. Second, critics of legal transplants often insists on what can be called “best law” approach, whereas in law reform, what we sometimes need is law that is just” good enough” law. “Third, legal transplants no longer happen in isolation but rather on a global scale, so that context-specific rules are no longer necessarily local.

This is not a plea for formal law, for commodification of laws, and for “one size fits all”. But it is a plea to overcome the romanticism and elitism that may lurk behind the seemingly benign suggestion that law reform must always be tailored to the specific societal context.

Note, too, the ISCL's 2013 Conference and Call for Papers.

26 December 2012

ARTICLE: Kuran on Islamic Law and Economic Development

bookjacketA colleague noted that Timur Kuran’s ‘Why the Middle East is Economically Underdeveloped: Historical Mechanisms of Institutional Stagnation’ might be of interest. On SSRN, its abstract reads:

Although a millennium ago the Middle East was not an economic laggard, by the 18th century it exhibited clear signs of economic backwardness. The reason for this transformation is that certain components of the region's legal infrastructure stagnated as their Western counterparts gave way to the modern economy. Among the institutions that generated evolutionary bottlenecks are the Islamic law of inheritance, which inhibited capital accumulation; the absence in Islamic law of the concept of a corporation and the consequent weaknesses of civil society; and the waqf, which locked vast resources into unproductive organizations for the delivery of social services. All of these obstacles to economic development were largely overcome through radical reforms initiated in the nineteenth century. Nevertheless, traditional Islamic law remains a factor in the Middle East's ongoing economic disappointments. The weakness of the region's private economic sectors and its human capital deficiency stand among the lasting consequences of traditional Islamic law.

He noted, too, Kuran’s The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East (2010) and a related video.

24 December 2012

23 December 2012

POSITION: National Science Foundation (US) Program Officer - Law and Social Sciences Program

National Science Foundation


National Science Foundation (US) Program Officer - Law and Social Sciences Program

The National Science Foundation is seeking a candidate for a Program Director position in the Law and Social Sciences (LLS) Program within the Division of Social and Economic Sciences (SES), Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE), Arlington, VA. SES supports research to develop and advance scientific knowledge focusing on economic, legal, political and social systems, organizations and institutions. In addition, SES supports research on the intellectual and social contexts that govern the development and use of science and technology. SES programs consider proposals that fall squarely within disciplines, but they also encourage and support interdisciplinary projects, which are evaluated through joint review among Programs in SES, as well as joint review with programs in other Divisions, and NSF-wide multi-disciplinary panels, as appropriate.

Additional information is available here.

CALL FOR PAPERS: 2013 American Society for Legal History Conference

Call for Papers:
2013 Meeting of the American Society for Legal History

The 2013 meeting of the American Society for Legal History will take place in Miami, Florida, November 7-10, 2013. The ASLH invites proposals on any facet or period of legal history, anywhere in the world. In selecting presenters, the Program Committee will give preference to those who did not present at last year’s meeting.

Travel grants will be available for presenters in need; these resources will nevertheless still be limited, and special priority will be given to presenters traveling from abroad, graduate students, post-docs, and independent scholars.

The Program Committee welcomes proposals for both full panels and individual papers, though please note that individual papers are less likely to be accepted. As concerns panels, the Program Committee encourages the submission of a variety of different types of proposals, including:

  • traditional 3-paper panels (with a separate commentator and chair)
  • incomplete 2-paper panels (with a separate commentator and chair), which the Committee will try to complete with at least 1 more paper;
  • panels of 4 or more papers (with a separate commentator and chair);
  • thematic panels that range across traditional chronological or geographical fields ;
  • author-meets-reader panels;
  • roundtable discussions.

21 December 2012

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Space and Place Conference

4th Global Conference: Space and Place
Monday 9th September - Thursday 12th September 2013
Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom

Call for Presentations

http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/splogo.gifQuestions of space and place affect the very way in which we experience and recreate the world. Wars are fought over both real and imagined spaces; boundaries are erected against the "Other" constructing a lived landscape of division and disenfranchisement; while ideology constructs a national identity based upon the dialectics of inclusion and exclusion. The construction of space and place is also a fundamental aspect of the creative arts either through the art of reconstruction of a known space or in establishing a relationship between the audience and the performance. Politics, power and knowledge are also fundamental components of space as is the relationship between visibility and invisibility. This new inter- and multi-disciplinary conference project seeks to explore these and other topics and open up a dialogue about the politics and practices of space and place. We seek submissions from a range of disciplines including archaeology, architecture, urban geography, the visual and creative arts, philosophy and politics and also actively encourage practitioners and non-academics with an interest in the topic to participate.

BOOK & SERIES: The Arts and the Legal Academy & Emerging Legal Education

The Arts and the Legal Academy

Our friends as Ashgate have just published Zenon Bankowski,  Maksymilian Del Mar, and Paul Maharg (eds), The Arts and the Legal Academy: Beyond Text in Legal Education (2012):


In Western culture, law is dominated by textual representation. Lawyers, academics and law students live and work in a textual world where the written word is law and law is interpreted largely within written and printed discourse. Is it possible, however, to understand and learn law differently? Could modes of knowing, feeling, memory and expectation commonly present in the Arts enable a deeper understanding of law's discourse and practice? If so, how might that work for students, lawyers and academics in the classroom, and in continuing professional development?


Bringing together scholars, legal practitioners internationally from the fields of legal education, legal theory, theatre, architecture, visual and movement arts, this book is evidence of how the Arts can powerfully revitalize the theory and practice of legal education. Through discussion of theory and practice in the humanities and Arts, linked to practical examples of radical interventions, the chapters reveal how the Arts can transform educational practice and our view of its place in legal practice. Available in enhanced electronic format, the book complements The Moral Imagination and the Legal Life, also published by Ashgate.

The introduction is available here.

The book is part of a wider series on Emerging Legal Education, edited by Maharg and Elizabeth Mertz:  

Emerging Legal Education is a forum for analysing the discourse of legal education and creating innovative ways of learning the law. The series focuses on research, theory and practice within legal education, drawing attention to historical, interdisciplinary and international characteristics, and is based upon imaginative and sophisticated educational thinking. The series takes a broad view of theory and practice. Series books are written for an international audience and are sensitive to the diversity of contexts in which law is taught, learned and practised.

JOURNAL & LECTURE: Jurisprudence

Hart Publishing has announced that latest issue of Jurisprudence.

It includes Hamish Stewart's 'The definition of a right', a symposium on Nazi law, and numerous reviews.

In addition, 

Hart Publishing would also like to announce that Professor Nicola Lacey will deliver a lecture entitled: 'Institutionalising Responsibility: Implications for Jurisprudence' at the 3rd Annual Jurisprudence Lecture.  The lecture will be chaired by Professor Sean Coyle on Friday 25th January 2013 at 6.00pm in The Wolfson Theatre, London School of Economics. A reception will follow after the lecture. To book your place and for information about Professor Lacey's lecture please click on the following link: www.hartpub.co.uk/3rdJurisprudencelecture.pdf

CONFERENCE: Learning by doing - making interdisciplinarity work

Learning by doing -
 making interdisciplinarity work

The role of interdisciplinarity in European research and perspectives from the Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities
Date: 15 January 2013
Location: Brussels

The conference is organised by the international network of National Contact Points for Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH) NET4SOCIETY in partnership with the European Alliance for the Social Sciences and Humanities (EASSH). The conference sessions will convene at the beautiful premises of the Museum of Natural Sciences (Rue Vautier 29) in Brussels.  The event will allow researchers from different disciplines and SSH stakeholders to interact in order to share experiences and good practices and finally draw lessons from interdisciplinary research projects in different FP7 themes. 

19 December 2012



I hope this finds each of you well.

I write on behalf of the Juris Diversitas Executive with an update on our activities and links to additional information.

I’m pleased to announce that our first open annual conference will be held in June 2013. Membership arrangements have also been finalised, including considerable conference discounts (€50-€60). And, in addition to voting rights and other possible savings, ordinary membership will now include a selected volume from our new book series with Ashgate Publishing.

It’s been a busy year. In addition to other publications and projects, we published a special issue of the Journal of Civil Law Studies (US) and held a workshop in Rabat that’ll result in another event and publication in our book series. We’ve added a Facebook Page for the group. Most recently, we co-organised a workshop in Turin to take place early next year. We’ve also arranged a 20% discount on Hart Publishing titles for our blog readers.

http://www.will-harris.com/wire/images/ultimate-symbol-hurricane.gifTo continue this work, however, it’s very important that we receive your support, not least through membership fees. More generally, please help us spread the word about our activities. And, as always, we welcome your thoughts. We’ve so much more to do. For example, we’re looking for additional proposals for the book series—we’ve a third already—and volunteers to assist with our online presence. Indeed, ideally we’d make the blog a place in which we can converse, collect teaching materials, etc.

For those who haven’t already done so, I urge you to sign up for our blog notices (on the right-hand side of the page). You can also add your name to our Facebook Page and Conference Site (the latter allowing you to see some of those attending).

We hope to see many of you at the conference, if not sooner. Best wishes to all for the holidays and the new year.


18 December 2012

SEMINARS: The Liquefaction of Borders:

A seminar series has been organised at the Collège international de philosophie, Paris. 

The theme is: 

Time, Law and Money against Space and Matter

Le Collège international de Philosophie

The description of the seminars is (in French):

Jusqu’à nos jours, les frontières – nationales, sexuelles, religieuses, ... – ont classé durablement des populations entières. Mais ces délimitations collectives orientent de moins en moins notre destin. Y suppléent le temps horloger, le droit et l’argent, mieux adaptés à tracer des frontières entre individus. Ne prescrivant aucun comportement particulier, ils les laissent libres de leurs actes en tant qu’entrepreneurs de soi… Les individus acquièrent donc la possibilité technique et le droit de choisir et de changer les paramètres définissant leur existence, s’organisant ainsi comme entités spatio-temporelles juxtaposées les unes aux autres. Cette individualisation correspond à une liquéfaction des sociétés, concorde avec la mutation des régimes migratoires et accompagne l’achèvement actuel de l’unification multiséculaire du monde dont la finitude se révèle. 

Inspiré d’une pédagogie interactive, le séminaire s’adresse aux étudiants et chercheurs en sciences humaines, en droit et en philosophie ainsi qu’à toute personne intéressée par la thématique. Chaque séance sera co-animée par un spécialiste réputé. La participation est gratuite et sans inscription.

VACANCY: Director of Studies, Institute of Law, Jersey

Director of Studies

Institute of Law, Jersey 


Institute of Law, JerseyApplications are invited for the post of Director of Studies at the Institute of Law, Jersey, in the Channel Islands. The Institute’s main teaching provision is the Jersey Law Course and tuition to LLB students enrolled on the University of London International Programmes.


The successful candidate will provide academic leadership in this small but ambitious law school as it enters its next phase of development. The Director will develop and implement strategic and operational plans for expansion. Experience of student recruitment, especially in overseas markets, is important. The Director is expected to contribute to teaching and to develop research and scholarship projects related to one or more of the Institute’s areas of interest (laws of the Channel Islands, mixed jurisdictions, the challenges of small jurisdictions and off-shore finance).


This is a full-time post. The Director will be expected to spend a substantial amount of time in Jersey and to be a visible presence to students (who study mostly at weekends). Some international travel may be required. A fractional or secondment appointment would be considered to secure an outstanding candidate.

The post is at a level of seniority comparable to reader/chair level at a UK university, which will be reflected in the remuneration package.


The post is available from 1 September 2013. 


Informal Enquiries: Informal enquiries may be made to the current Director of Studies, Andrew Le Sueur (Andrew.lesueur@lawinstitute.ac.je), whose 4-year period of secondment from Queen Mary, University of London, will expire in September 2013. 

Applications: For further information about the appointment and how to apply, please visit our website: by clicking the APPLY button below (under ‘people’). 

Closing date: 24 January 2013.

17 December 2012

POST-DOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS: Legal Cultures - Confrontations Beyond Comparison

The Berlin-based Postdoctoral Program Rechtskulturen: Confrontations beyond Comparison invites scholars to apply for seven postdoctoral fellowships for the academic year 2013/2014.

Rechtskulturen (‘legal cultures’) is a Berlin-based postdoctoral research program which is designed to explore the law in new and innovative ways.  We intend to create a space of reflection and communication where fundamental and salient questions of the law and its context(s) can be re-negotiated from a variety of disciplinary and regional perspectives, and re-connected with jurisprudence and legal methodology.

As a central element of the Berlin research network Recht im Kontext (‘law in context’) based at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Rechtskulturen aims at re-contextualizing established understandings of law by transcending the scope of comparative legal studies and international law. It is designed to enhance a re-location of law among its neighboring disciplines—the humanities, the cultural and social sciences—, and can thus allow affiliated scholars, fellows and faculty to develop innovative research agendas in transregional constellations beyond a European or Anglo-American focus. The program addresses scholars from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, regional contexts and academic fields of discourse. In Berlin, the postdoctoral fellows will work on projects of their own choice. The program’s scholarly environment is designed to enable and to encourage both fellows and the wider community to explore and create new orientations in their transdisciplinary research on law.

The program Rechtskulturen is directed by Susanne Baer (Bundesverfassungsgericht/Humboldt-Universität), Christoph Möllers (Humboldt-Universität/Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin) and Alexandra Kemmerer (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin), and is supported by an international group of scholars.

Applicants should be at the postdoctoral level and should have obtained their doctorate within the last five years before their application to the program. We welcome candidates with various disciplinary backgrounds, such as the field of legal studies, sociology, political science, philosophy, history, anthropology, theology, and area studies, representing a broad range of diverse approaches to the law, including gender studies, comparative research, law & literature, critical legal studies, administrative sciences, transitional justice, postcolonial theory, and legal philosophy and theory. In particular, we encourage applicants with a firm disciplinary background in law to engage in reflexive and transdisciplinary research.

For the academic year 2013/2014, we welcome in particular applicants interested in the law’s place in systems of knowledge and knowledge production (e.g. its relation to science, theology, philosophy, philology), in legal methodologies, in the law as a professional field, and in law in professional practices. We strongly encourage applications from scholars analyzing the law in various cultural contexts, engaging with confrontations beyond comparison.

Candidates should demonstrate their strong interest and innovative approaches to engage with the law. Rechtskulturen fellows are expected to participate in the regular Rechtskulturen Colloquium series, as well as in workshops, conferences and seminars organized by the program and the overarching project Recht im Kontext. The program seeks to create a context of intellectual synergy, where scholars from various disciplinary and regional backgrounds can work together comparatively (and confrontational) and develop a common language necessary for intra- and transdisciplinary exchanges and for an engagement with fundamental questions of the law and its cultural and political entanglements.

We encourage and welcome applications from all regions of the world.  Especially candidates from Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia are strongly encouraged to apply.  Fellows are given the opportunity to pursue their individual research projects within a transdisciplinary and transregional context. During the fellowship in Berlin, they will be associated with the Faculty of Law at Humboldt-Universitat. In the overall context of the program Rechtskulturen and the framework of the Forum Transregionale Studien, they will be part of a vibrant discursive environment.

To apply, please make use of our web-based electronic application procedure that will be open for applications from 10 January 2013 to 24 January 2013 (24:00 CET).

More information here.

REMINDER: Crossroads East and West Call for Papers

Today is the deadline for the Paper Proposals for 
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

See the original notice for additional details.