A call for papers has been issued for the SLSA one-day conference: Exploring the Legal in Socio-Legal Studies to be held in the LSE on 21 September 2012. The closing date for abstacts is 30 April 2012 and decisions will be made by 15 May 2012. The confirmed speakers for the event are Prof Annelise Riles (Cornell), Prof Chris Tomlins (UC Irvine), Prof Linda Mulcahy (LSE), and Prof Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos (Westminster). Abstracts should be sent to Prof. Dave Cowan (Bristol) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Participants will be asked to provide a full written paper of 8,000 words in Harvard style by 7 September 2012 for circulation before the event. It is intended that selected papers from the conference will form part of an edited collection to be published in the Palgrave Macmillan socio-legal series in 2013. The rationale is explained in the call thus:
The rationale for the successful SLSA conference, Exploring the Socio-, was based on locating the social within socio-legal studies. We can, of course, take different views on that location and identity. However, in doing so, we should not lose sight of the terrain of “the legal” on which there have been significant developments in recent years. Those developments owe a debt to the work of certain STS (Science and Technology Studies) scholars, such as Annelise Riles and Bruno Latour. In her work, Riles draws attention to the significance of metaphor in doctrinal law as an under-developed site for the study of socio-legality, which has tended to be an outsider to legal technicality. This outsider-insider approach to legal technicality is potentially productive and recent work suggests that this (ambitious) project is one in which socio-legal scholars should engage. Furthermore, the question of legality engages with thinking about the identity or non-identity of the “legal” in legal consciousness studies, as well as issues around the scale, space or place of law.
The organisers welcome paper abstracts addressing the theme, which include proposals to address the following questions:
- What do we mean by law and legality in socio-legal studies?
- To what extent are the distinctions between “law in the books” and “law in action”, “insiders” and “outsiders”, maintainable as binary oppositions?
- To what extent can a focus on legal technicality enrich socio-legal studies?
- What types of methods are appropriate for such study?
- To what extent can socio-legal understandings about legal technicality seep into pedagogical practice?