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Commission on Legal Pluralism


Call for papers (download)

International Conference of the Commission on Legal Pluralism in collaboration with the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay

Normative Interfaces of Globalization and High-Tech Capitalism: Legal Pluralism and the Neo-Liberal Turn

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

Dates: 14-16 December 2015


The 2015 international conference will pay particular attention to emerging areas that have gained in momentum due to processes of globalization, the emergence of ‘knowledge economies’, and the evolution of high-tech capitalism. Not surprisingly, debates and evolving policies on information technology, biotechnology, genetic engineering and intellectual property rights are forced to deal with issues of legal pluralism, perceiving a risk in high-technology regimes, which further exacerbate socio-economic inequalities and marginalize the already disadvantaged, especially in developing societies and ‘emerging economies’.

The conference will also address established themes that continue to cause significant concern, such as conflicts and contestations over property, land and natural resources; governance; religion, culture, custom and ethnicity; state and non-state laws; gender; kinship; patriarchy; human rights; development aid and cooperation; as well as migration; mobility; and transnationalism, while exploring how emerging and ‘old’ themes in the field of legal pluralism relate to each other in theory and practice.

The neoliberal turn in contemporary patterns of economic transformation and globalization has generated new debates regarding norms, the capacity to evolve, deploy and resist normative regimes, and new forms of normative interfaces. Attention to these areas brings legal pluralism research into the hitherto neglected territorial domain of urban nodes of capital and knowledge flows. New forms of regulation, surveillance, and the ironic and contradictory implications of transparency, accountability and participation all interact with existing social structures to offer interesting problems for scholars of legal pluralism. The use of social media in recent social and political movements around the world also offers rich scope for understanding such linkages and interactions. At the same time, the increasing ‘noise’ around indigenous, alternative, or southern perspectives in social sciences and humanities has generated new approaches in theory and practice to themes such as law, ethics, norms and values, governance and ideas of order. These have found wide resonance in debates and struggles on issues related to development visions, resource expropriation, economic growth, and technological models.

Scholars and practitioners are invited to present contemporary work on the above and following related themes to the 2015 Conference:


Theoretical and Methodological Approaches to Legal Pluralism

Governance and Politics: Juridification, Neo-liberalism and Political Aspirations

Natural Resources, Land and Property: Old and New Forms of Legal Pluralism

Human Rights and Development: Emerging Discourses

Religion and Culture: Social and Legal Transformations

Science, Technology, and Law


A more detailed description of the above themes can be downloaded here, a description of the panels here. You are also welcome to send papers that may not appear to be directly or indirectly linked to the listed panels.

It is hoped that this event will offer a dynamic and vibrant space for further expansion of perspectives in debating issues and challenges relating to legal pluralism.

Please send your paper proposals to lpconfmumbai@gmail.com (for the attention of Prof. Waheeda Amien and Prof. D. Parthasarathy) by no later than May 31, 2015.

RELAJU Congress

The Latin American Network of Legal Anthropology (RELAJU) is holding its ninth congress from 30/09/15 to 02/10/15 in Pirenopolis, Brazil with the title “Plural Societies and National States: limits and challenges for the effectiveness of rights”.

For more information see the website of RELAJU (in Portuguese).