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Commission on Legal Pluralism

Important announcement: Decision to postpone and relocate the next biennial course and conference of the Commission on Legal Pluralism

The next biennial course and conference of the Commission on Legal Pluralism was scheduled to take place in August 2017, in Syracuse, New York, USA (on August 4 to 7 and 9 to 11 respectively). It is with deep sadness and concern that the Executive Body has decided to postpone and relocate the course and the conference to 2018 outside the USA.

In view of the Executive Order of the United States Government barring citizens from a number of Muslim countries entry into the United States for 90 days, we have decided that holding the course and conference in the US in the current climate would exclude certain scholars from our meeting. Our decision is intended to send a strong message of disapproval of this and any policy that targets groups on the basis of their religion, nationality, race, sexual orientation, or any other discriminatory grounds.

At the same time, we are concerned with including our US-based colleagues at a time when the freedom of speech and academic freedoms are under threat in the US. Therefore, we will try to promote and enable their participation next year. We welcome ideas from our members for new partnerships and locations. One possible way to ensure easy access for our US-based colleagues would be to relocate to Canada, so we specifically ask our Canada-based members to consider hosting the conference.

Please have a look here and here to read our official statements.

The theme of our next conference ‘Citizenship, Legal Pluralism and Governance in the Age of Globalization’ remains unchanged. See the accepted panels (here) and the call for papers (here). Once we have found a location and set a date for next year, we will contact panel leaders as well as invite new panel proposals.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this change of plans, but expect that you will understand our reasoning.


Special Issue The Journal of Legal Pluralism

The Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law, Volume 47, Issue 3, November 2015 “Special Issue: Franz von Benda-Beckmann: Legal Pluralism in the Past and Future” is now available online on Taylor & Francis Online. See: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rjlp20/47/3.


Pre-conference Course and International Conference of the Commission on Legal Pluralism

India, December 2015

Location: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay, India

Dates: 10-12 and 14-16 December 2015

The Commission on Legal Pluralism in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay organized the most recent biennial pre-conference course on Legal Pluralism from 10 to 12 December 2015 in Mumbai, India. The course was followed by the biennial international conference of the Commission on Legal Pluralism, which took place from 14 to 16 December 2015.

The pre-conference course offered young scholars the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the main theories, themes and methodologies of legal pluralism in a three and a half-day intensive course taught by academics and practitioners who are experts in the field.

The international conference entitled ‘Normative Interfaces of Globalization and High-Tech Capitalism: Legal Pluralism and the Neo-Liberal Turn’ paid particular attention to emerging areas that have gained momentum due to globalization, the emergence of ‘knowledge economies’, and the evolution of high-tech capitalism. These include debates on information technology, biotechnology, genetic engineering and intellectual property rights and their relationship with legal pluralism. The conference also addressed older themes, such as conflicts and contestations over property, land and natural resources; governance; religion, culture, custom and ethnicity; gender, patriarchy and kinship; human rights; development cooperation; as well as migration, mobility and transnationalism.

The Commission on Legal Pluralism granted its first ‘Young Scholar Best Paper Award’ for the best paper presented during its biennial conference in Mumbai. The jury, composed by Prof. Gordon Woodman, Prof. Ajit Menon and Prof. Dik Roth, has unanimously awarded the paper written by Joyce Das from Bangladesh, PhD student at the Crawford School of Public Policy, the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. The paper was titled 'Good laws, bad outcomes: Land rights and inheritance practices for Christian women in Bangladesh'. You can read the abstract of the paper and some jury comments here.

We would like to thank all participants of the course and the conference for their valuable contributions!



Conference: 'Anticipating Law: The prognostics of fear and hope', 19-21 September 2017

Professor Julia Eckert, Miia Halme-Tuomisaari, David Loher and Tobias Eule are organising a conference on “Anticipating Law: The Prognostics of Fear and Hope”, 19-21 September 2017, in Bern, Switzerland. Here is the Call for Papers: 

With calling for papers that engage with the theme of “Anticipating law” we mean to call into view both anticipations of law, that is the hopes and fears people put into law, and anticipatory laws, that is the attempt to legally regulate the future. Both anticipations of law and anticipatory laws, we hold, are shaped by fear and hope as different forms of anticipation.

The call for papers is open. Abstracts should be submitted by 1 March 2017 and full papers are expected by 1 September 2017. For submission of abstracts and queries contact Julia Eckert, julia.eckert@anthro.unibe.ch David Loher david.loher@anthro.unibe.ch.

For more information, see attachment.

MARE People & the Sea Conference, 5-7 July 2017

On 5-7th of July 2017 the 9th MARE People & the Sea Conference will take place in Amsterdam. This year’s theme is Dealing with Maritime Mobilities. The conference will explore the nature of maritime mobilities and the ways climate and environmental change, economic development and maritime activities are affecting their direction and volume.

Deadline for panel, paper proposals and other conference formats: January 31st, 2017 (GMT). For detailed information about the programme and the different themes see the call for papers

International Meeting on Law and Society, Mexico City, 20-23 June 2017

The Law and Society Association and the Research Committee on the Sociology of Law are together organising an international meeting on law and society in Mexico City, June 20-23, 2017. The theme of the meeting is 'Walls, Borders, and Bridges: Law and Society in an Inter-Connected World'. 

Walls and bridges:  exclusion and inclusion.  Everybody recognizes these two contradictory themes; they have a big role today in national politics, and national law; in international politics, and international law.  A famous old statement had it that all politics is local; but today, all politics is, in some sense, global.  If country A wants to close its borders, and close back in on itself, it is because it is reacting to turmoil outside its boundaries.  Today, no wall can ever be high enough to shut out the forces that are shaping life in the 21st century, for better or for worse. 

We think our field can help us understand that world, what makes it tick, where it has been, and where it is going.  Our theme focuses on walls, borders, and bridges.  But of course, we welcome all studies of law and society; empirical studies, no matter how small, no matter how local, can be tiles that fit into a larger mosaic; and many of these studies will be relevant to our theme, even when this relevance is a bit hard to see.

Deadline for submission is October 18, 2016. For more information, visit the LSA webpage