SLSA E‐Newsletter

Date01 June 2013
Published date01 June 2013
     
No 67
lSLSA news and events – pages 1–5
lFunding and capacity building – page 6
lResearch grants scheme – pages 7–8
lSocio-legal research – page 9
lLegal archives – pages 10–11
lEconomic sociology of law – pages 11–12
lPublications and events – pages 13–14
Leicester De Montfort Law School played host to nearly 300
delegates from 21 countries in the bright and welcoming
surroundings of the Hugh Aston Building. Despite the
somewhat chilly conditions of the British spring, enthusiasm
wasn’t dampened and the wide choice of 279 papers in 25
streams and four themes gave attendees plenty of options for
each session.
Mavis Maclean, winner of the first SLSA Prize for
Contributions to the Socio-Legal Community, was the plenary
speaker at a packed session on the first day. Other highlights
were a pre-conference tour of the city for early arrivals, author-
meets-reader sessions with this year’s prizewinners and the
conference dinner in the historic Leicester City Rooms.
The SLSA AGM took place on the Wednesday at which
long-standing members Dermot Feenan, Jo Shaw and Sue Millns
stood down and Jonathan Garton of Warwick joined the
Executive Committee.
The SLSA Executive would like to thank organisers Gavin
Dingwall, Andre Naidoo and Kate Scott for their hard work,
dedication and warm welcome in Leicester for the second time.
York Law School (YLS) is very much looking forward to
welcoming the SLSA annual conference to the University of
York on 26–28 March next year. The law school only graduated
its first year of LLB students in 2011 and when they first started
with us in 2008 hosting such a large conference would have been
an impossible task, given a staff of only seven full-time
academics, housed in a portacabin on the chemistry car park!
From such small beginnings, however, we have grown in
numbers both staff and student-wise. In 2010, we moved into
our purpose-built building on the new Heslington East campus
of the university. We are very proud of our new building and
are delighted to be able to show it off to the socio-legal
community at the conference.
Through a poster competition, we are hoping to use the
conference as an opportunity to build links between doctoral
students at the various doctoral training centres that have been
funded by the ESRC and beyond. Please watch this space for
further details.
We are also very pleased to be able to announce that our
plenary speaker is someone whose very title announces her
connections to North Yorkshire: Baroness Hale of Richmond.
Undoubtedly, the first, and to date only, female justice of the
Supreme Court will have much of interest to say.
Caroline Hunter, YLS conference committee chair
The SLSA is delighted to announce that all five of the
nominees put forward by the SLSA Executive at the
suggestion of members have been accepted as
academicians of the Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS).
They are: Emeritus Professor Michael Adler, Edinburgh;
Professor David Cowan, Bristol; Mavis Maclean CBE, Oxford;
Emeritus Professor Philip Thomas, Cardiff; and Professor Sally
Wheeler, Queen’s University Belfast.
Appointed at the same AcSS council meeting in March were
Professor Tamara Hervey, Sheffield, and Professor Carol Smart,
Manchester, both also long-standing members of the SLSA.
New Academicians may be nominated by their learned
society or by individual academicians as an acknowledgment of
their leading status in their discipline. Nominations are received
twice per year and the SLSA Executive Committee will continue
to invite members to suggest nominees for future rounds.
The new annual SLSA Prize for Contributions to the Socio-Legal
Community was launched last year and the first winner was
Mavis Maclean (SLN65:1). The winner receives £500 and lifetime
membership of the association.
SLSA members are invited to submit nominations for this
year’s prize. There are no specific criteria. Nominators should
simply state in 100 words why the person they are nominating
would be a worthy recipient of the prize. The prize is funded by
a private sponsor.
Nominations should be sent by email to SLSA secretary
Amanda Perry-Kessaris Closing
date: 6 September 2012.
The SLSA Executive Committee is delighted to announce the
relaunch of the annual seminar competition with a budget of
£2500. A seminar committee of Gavin Dingwall, Penny English
and Mark O’Brien has been set up and will be meeting shortly to
finalise arrangements.
Details will be published on the website and via the weekly
e-bulletin in due course.
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Social media
slsa news
The first two events in our ‘Doing, funding, teaching’
series took place earlier this year at the Nuffield
Foundation in London
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On 13 March, 25 delegates gathered for this workshop organised
by Linda Mulcahy and Amanda Perry-Kessaris. The aim of the
event was to introduce researchers to the key issues to be
addressed when planning a project, seeking funding and
actually conducting research. In the morning session, Linda
Mulcahy began the day by talking about ‘Methodological
landscapes: how to match methods to research questions’. Next
came Chandra Lekha Sriram and Amanda Perry-Kessaris who
spoke about researching unfamiliar and dangerous topics and
locations and then Andy Boon talked about ethical issues.
The afternoon consisted of four sessions, each devoted to a
different type of research. Robert Dingwall began with an
introduction to observation and conversation analysis. He was
followed by Kristen Rundle who spoke about archival research
and Les Moran on the subject of interviews. Finally, Sally
Wheeler closed the day with a session on surveys.
Following on from the areas covered in the ‘Doing’ day, the
second event, ‘Funding socio-legal research’, on 14 May, was
organised by Rosemary Hunter and Anne Barlow and attracted
32 academics from the UK and Ireland. The aim of the day was
to outline some of the major funding opportunities available
and offer advice on making your application more likely to
succeed. The morning session covered research council project
grants. Anne Barlow, Stephen Shute and Morag McDermont
brought first-hand experience to bear on how to make a case for
support, outline pathways to impact , handle costings and
budgets and pick the right council and scheme for your project.
The afternoon topic was ‘Charitable grants/small grants and
fellowships’. Stephen Shute and Anne Barlow were joined by
Daniel Monk, Richard Collier, Nicola Lacey (British Academy)
and Sarah Lock (Nuffield Foundation) to give pointers on
writing applications and advice on specific funders. There was
also a feedback session on draft applications.
Don’t forget to book your place for the SLSA’s two
one-day conferences coming up this autumn.
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Following on from the SLSA’s one-day conference on ‘Exploring
the “socio-” in socio-legal studies’, this event on 21 September
2012 at the London School of Economics (LSE) will focus on ‘the
legal’ in socio-legal studies. Confirmed speakers are: Annalise
Riles, Cornell; Chris Tomlins, California Irvine/American Bar
Association; Linda Mulcahy, LSE; Andreas Philippopoulos-
Mihalopoulos, Westminster. Full details and registration
information are available on the website at If you have any
queries, please contact Dave Cowan
The final one-day workshop in our Doing, Funding, Teaching
trio, ‘Teaching socio-legally: socio-legal studies in the law
curriculum’ will be on 31 October 2012, organised by Penny
English and Chris Ashford. Further details, including a
registration form, are on the SLSA website at:
As members will be aware, last year the Executive Committee
took the decision to increase membership fees. This was the first
fee increase since 2001. The fees are now £40 per annum for full
membership and £20 per annum for postgraduate membership.
I would like to thank all those members who took the time
to adjust their annual standing orders, or otherwise paid the
correct amount. This income is vitally important to the financial
health of the SLSA and the schemes and activities that are
conducted in the interests of the membership.
As the new membership year approaches in July, this is a
further plea to those members who are not currently paying the
correct amount or who are paying their standing order into the
Lloyds rather than the Co-operative bank account. It would
significantly ease my membership secretary workload if those
members could attend to this as soon as possible (and thanks to
those who have already done this since receiving any recent
email communications from me).
Standing orders can be easily adjusted either through
electronic banking or by writing to your bank. To make writing
to your bank as simple as possible, there is a standard form on
the website in the ‘Join the SLSA now’ section (click on the
‘Standing order form’ hyperlink in the ‘Increase in fees’ section).
While some members have kindly changed their amount,
they are still paying into the old Lloyds bank account, which we
are desperately trying to close down. For ease of reference, all
standing orders should be paid into the following account:
The same form can be used to adjust where your standing
order is paid to.
If you have a sterling bank account, payment by standing
order allows you to set up a regular annual payment so you
don’t have to remember to pay your fees each year. However,
you can also pay by electronic bank transfer (to the account
above); send a cheque (in sterling or an international cheque
made out in sterling) made payable to the ‘Socio-Legal Studies
Association’; or send an international bank draft (made out for
membership fee plus £2 to cover costs incurred by the SLSA i.e.
for £42 or £22).
With thanks,
Julie McCandless (SLSA membership secretary)
Bank: Co-operative Bank
Sort Code: 08-92-99
Account number: 65209341
Account name: Socio-Legal Studies Association
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Nominations are open for next year’s book and article prizes.
There are three prizes:
lthe Hart Socio-Legal Book Prize;
lthe Socio-Legal Article Prize;
lthe Hart Socio-Legal Prize for Early Career Academics.
The closing date is Monday 1 October 2012. Publications
published in the year up to 30 September 2012 are eligible. Full
details can be found on the SLSA website and follow
the prizes links. These three prizes are generously sponsored by
Hart Publishing.
slsa executive
In an occasional series, SLSA Exec members introduce
themselves and describe their socio-legal journeys. Here,
Jonathan Garton and Marian Duggan tell their stories.
My engagement with socio-legal studies began during my PhD at
King’s College London (KCL). My supervisors, Charles Mitchell
and John Gardner, had secured funding to supervise a project
labelled simply ‘regulation of charity’ and, as my LLB at
Newcastle had been largely doctrinal – with the notable exception
of my place in the first cohort of Richard Collier’s course on law,
society and social change – I originally intended to meet the brief
by writing a black-letter critique of the guidance for charity
trustees published with increasing frequency by the Charity
Commission. I plugged away on this basis for a couple of years
but struggled to find a satisfactory angle. My recurring thought
was that if only I could find the book that would explain to me
from first principles just what we ought reasonably to expect from
a regulatory regime for charities then I would have something on
which to pin my critique. I was convinced that the book must
exist – it seemed to address such an obvious and fundamental
question – and yet my repeated best efforts failed to unearth it.
After an embarrassingly long time, the penny dropped and I
realised the obvious: there was no book, but I could have a bash
at writing it myself.
Out went my critique of Charity Commission guidance; in
came the theories of organised civil society and the work of
scholars across a range of disciplines, particularly Jeremy Kendall,
Helmut Anheier, Lester Salamon and Dennis Young, that enabled
me to work up an explanation of when it might be appropriate to
regulate charities and other civil society organisations, and how
such regulation might best be implemented.
My research today continues in broadly the same vein,
exploiting the economic and social science theories that seek to
explain civil society activity as tools for developing and
evaluating regulatory rules. After my PhD I taught at Leicester,
KCL and Liverpool before taking up my current position as a
reader at Warwick. Over the past decade I have given a number
of papers at the SLSA annual conference and have always found
it to be a supportive and rewarding environment. I am looking
forward to my time on the Executive Committee, having been
appointed at last April’s AGM. Jonathan Garton
My research interests firmly lie in the arena of gender, sexuality
and victimisation. This began with my undergraduate degree in
criminology where I spent most of the three years focusing on
sexual and domestic violence. For my postgraduate studies, I
broadened out to consider homophobic victimisation. My
master’s degree coincided with legal developments in this
particular area of ‘hate crime’. I was fascinated by the
similarities linking misogyny and homophobia, and the very
different approaches taken by the criminal justice system in
addressing such victimisation. Common sense dictated a link
between gender and sexuality; legal responses stipulated a
dichotomy of gender or sexuality. Thus, sexual orientation
became grounds for hate crime and gender did not.
Subsequently, the complexity of hate crimes continues to
intrigue me, particularly when unpacking the intersectionality
of gendered and/or sexualised victimisation.
The SLSA has been a fantastic environment within which to
build upon this curiosity. I discovered the SLSA whilst at
Queen’s University Belfast, undertaking my doctoral research
into prejudices informing and sustaining homophobia in
Northern Ireland. Although my studies began with criminology
and ended with law, ‘socio-legal’ seemed to best fit my
developing profile. I attended my first SLSA conference in 2006
at Stirling University and was inspired to present a paper the
following year at Canterbury. In 2009, I became an Executive
Committee member, later taking on the roles of recruitment
officer and research grant committee member.
I am currently based in the Department of Law, Criminology
and Community Justice at Sheffield Hallam University. I am
fortunate in that my teaching reflects my research interests,
allowing for plenty of lively and informative discussions with
students. Sheffield is also an excellent city for vibrant and vocal
grass-roots feminist activism.
It is encouraging to see so many young people, male and
female, coming together to fight sexism and homophobia,
promote reproductive rights, challenge harmful rape myths,
highlight socio-economic inequality and work towards ending
violence against women – the very issues that set me off on my
current path over a decade ago.
Thus, to paraphrase a great thinker: things are still
dangerous; there is still much to do.
Marian Duggan
The SLSA Executive Committee recently decided to re-
invigorate and extend our social media presence. With the
growth in new platforms, we’re keen to utilise new
technologies, to interact and engage with members and also
to support greater interactivity between t hem. Exec
member Chris Ashford has been appointed social media
officer and will be taking these exciting initiatives forward.
We’ll still be sending through our successful and popular paper
newsletter and weekly e-bulletins to members, but we will also
be using social media to share key developments and news from
within the socio-legal community. Through ‘re-tweets’, ‘shares’
and ‘likes’ we hope that information will quickly be shared
among like-minded individuals and that this will enhance your
own research, teaching and impact activity. For those of you
who have so far resisted dipping your toe into the social media
water that is Twitter, perhaps now is the time to give it a whirl.
The service is free and allows you to send and read text-based
posts (‘tweets’) of up to 140 characters. Sign up at
w and follow us @SLSA_UK.
The SLSA has always been a hub of creativity and
innovation, and so we’re not content with just setting up the
usual Facebook and Twitter sites. We’re going to be engaging
with innovative new platforms too.
One such platform which you might have read about in the
news in recent months is Pinterest. Pinterest is a sort of virtual
pinboard, on which people can share photographs by category
according to events, interests, hobbies and so on. We want
members to use Pinterest to share photographs from SLSA
events, and also to tell us photographic stories about their lives
as socio-legal scholars.
Perhaps it’s a covershot of a new book you’ve published or
are reading, perhaps it’s a photo of a student activity that a class
has recently undertaken. It could be a visit to an archive, or
images documenting research methods. We want you to be as
creative as possible. Get thinking and keep watching our
Facebook and Twitter pages for the launch later in the year.
For those of you with a QR reader on
your phone (just do a search in your app-
store if you’re not sure), open the app and
hover over the image to the right and you’ll
be taken to our Facebook page where you’ll
see links to our other platforms.
Alternatively, just search for ‘Socio-Legal
Studies Association’ on Facebook.
slsa themes
Some of our theme organisers report back on the
continuing success of our ‘streams and themes’ approach
to organising conference papers.
The Art, Culture and Heritage theme, co-convened by Janet
Ulph (Leicester) and Charlotte Woodhead (Warwick), saw
varied papers covering topics including graffiti, human
remains, museums, illicit trade, immunity from seizure, dispute
resolution, indigenous rights and Nazi loot. The session had an
international flavour, both in subject matter and participants.
Lucy Barnes (Kingston) presented a paper, ‘”Localising”
Graffiti’, in which she addressed the involvement of
communities and their interests in decisions regarding graffiti’s
appropriate treatment.
In her presentation of the legal and ethical obligations
regarding the excavation of ancient human remains, Carolyn
Shelbourn (Sheffield) suggested a separate regulatory system
for burial archaeology. Janet Ulph, currently an AHRC
Placement Fellow with the Museums Association, highlighted
the principles of disposal, sustainability and stewardship of
museum collections in the context of sales and transfers from
UK museum collections. Penny English (Anglia Ruskin)
identified ways to strengthen the current regime for protecting
antiquities from loss of their archaeological context and the
regulation of the illicit trade in antiquities in her paper,
‘Combating the illicit trade in antiquities in Europe: the need
for reform’.
Shea Esterling (Aberystwyth) analysed the right to respect
for cultural property established by Article 11(2) of the UN
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the light of
cultural property nationalism and internationalism. In the
context of cultural heritage claims, Alessandro Chechi spoke
about the lack of a dedicated international dispute resolution
process and concluded that the real problem is the
fragmentation of k nowledge of adjudicators and litig ants,
emphasising the role of databases such as ArThemis run by his
home institution, the Art Law Centre, University of Geneva.
Charlotte Woodhead’s presentation assessed the role played
by the UK claims procedure for Nazi era spoliated art in
preserving the values associated with cultural heritage. Andrzej
Jakubowski (Institute of Law Studies, Polish Academy of
Sciences, Warsaw) presented a paper on ‘Human rights, cultural
heritage and the limits of state immunity’ in which he analysed,
amongst other things, the competing rights of human rights
victims seeking compensation and the collective rights of
communities to their cultural patrimony.
Charlotte Woodhead
This theme attracted seven really interesting, diverse papers,
presented in three stimulating sessions on the Wednesday of the
conference. Simon Halliday and Bronwen Morgan set the scene,
opening up an often overlooked feature of Ewick and Silbey’s
work concerning the relationship between ‘legal consciousness
narratives and a focus on the hegemonic power of law’, using
grid-group cultural theory developed by anthropologist Mary
Douglas. This was followed by Marc Hertogh’s paper which
looked at perspectives on the legitimacy of the Dutch legal
system, moving from public confidence to legal consciousness.
Marc’s work is distinctive in the legal consciousness field in that
he uses quantitative datasets to attempt to understand issues of
legal consciousness. These two papers opened up an interesting
discussion about both the theoretical basis of legal
consciousness research and range of methods that can be
deployed by researchers in this field.
The papers in the following two sessions demonstrated the
breadth and depth of research being carried out by European
scholars from a legal consciousness perspective. Sarah Hirons
presented fascinating material examining deaf perspectives on
access to justice using quotes from video-logs by deaf people.
Antonia Layard looked at ‘Planning and creative acts of
resistance’ using material from groups working and living in the
Stokes Croft area of Bristol. Rosie Harding focused on research
amongst dementia patients looking at healthcare inequalities
and access to justice. Sarah Blandy’s work examined residential
owners’ understandings of common parts and collective
property rights, using three case studies of different types of
property owners. Finally, Jackie Gulland looked at the
relationship between legal consciousness and the somewhat
problematic concept of legal capability, which has been
borrowed by some advice organisations from the personal
finance field.
Throughout the three sessions we had a vibrant audience of
20–25 people. The discussions were very stimulating – and
extremely useful for those of us who are using legal
consciousness in current research. Many of us agreed we
wanted to continue our discussions at next year’s conference.
Morag McDermont and Dave Cowan
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Following on from the successful themes on international
economic law organised at the SLSA conferences in Bristol in
2010 and Brighton in 2011, this theme sought to address a
contemporary concern facing international economic law and
regulation. As the international economy undergoes
tremendous upheaval and change – from financial crises to
global concerns over food, energy security and climate change
to conflicts over natural resources – critical questions are being
posed as to the capacity of the post-war international economic
legal framework, itself built in the aftermath of conflict and
crisis, to contain the social, economic, political and legal
manifestations of global crises.
Papers in this theme explored the various aspects of the
intersections between crisis, conflict and change in the
international economic legal order. The multifaceted nature of
the thematic was reflected in the diversity of conceptual,
methodological and substantive content of the presentations,
ranging from critique of the normative foundations of
international economic law to evaluations of legal and
regulatory responses to the global financial climate and trade
crises, and to assessments of the human rights and human
development dimensions of crisis and conflict in the
international economy.
Common threads permeating the presentations and
discussions across the various panels were, firstly, the impact of
contemporary crisis on developing countries, particularly
countries on the periphery of the global economy and, secondly,
a need to interrogate more deeply the underlying narratives of
contemporary patterns of economic activity and their
contributions to the conceptualisations of crises and, ultimately,
to crisis prevention or resolution. The fruitful discussions and
conversations that took place across the panels this year,
building upon the success of the previous two years, certainly
highlight the need for such a platform for bringing together
scholars who work on areas of international economic law,
international development and human rights from socio-legal,
contextual or critical traditions.
Celine Tan and Amanda Perry-Kessaris
capacity building
During a session on research capacity at the SLSA’s 2012
conference in April, Nuffield Foundation director Sharon
Witherspoon presented an overview of the Foundation’s
work and focused on areas of interest to the socio-legal
community and Antonia Layard of Cardiff University
recounted some of her own experience of applying for
research grants. Marie Selwood reports.
The conference session was chaired by Caroline Hunter who
introduced it with reference to a recent survey she conducted to
find out to what extent empirical research featured in
undergraduate law courses. The survey was followed up by a
workshop and the project had identified several law modules
using empirical research in different ways, experimenting and
refining their approaches over time in response to feedback. The
survey and workshop and the resulting publication (Hunter
2012) had all been supported by a Nuffield Foundation grant.
Sharon Witherspoon’s presentation began with a short
introduction to the Foundation and its general objective of ‘the
advancement of social well-being, particularly by means of
scientific research’. Its annual budget for research funding is
approximately £11m and its main areas of activity are: social
research, social science and social policy; education; and science.
As a charitable trust, the Nuffield Foundation is not reliant on
public funds, unlike higher education and research councils
which are suffering deep cuts in the current economic climate.
The Foundation is committed to supporting social science
research based on empirical evidence and emphasises the fact
that ‘social science evidence matters: for policy, practice, public
understanding and debate’.
Sharon explained that those looking for funding need to
target their applications carefully: checking the stated areas of
special interest of funding bodies and thinking ahead regarding
possible future consequences of changes to the legal system.
They also need to think about ‘what will be done with their
findings and by whom’. She added that inexperienced
applicants should show their proposal to someone more senior
to obtain constructive criticism.
The Nuffield Foundation is interested in research that has
implications for policy and practice and is methodologically
sound. When evaluating applications, the trustees ask key
questions, about the research topic (is it of interest to the
trustees and to the wider world?), about the strength of the
design and methodology and of the research team, about the
applicability of the research to policy and practice, and how
results will be disseminated. Its website provides detailed
information about its research programmes and applicants
need to make sure that proposals fit well with the published
research interests and themes.
Sharon stressed the Foundation’s long-standing relationship
with socio-legal research dating back to 1969 (the SLSA
benefitted from a grant of £4000 when it was launched in 1990).
She explained that there are still difficulties to be overcome in
tackling the research capacity gap identified by the Nuffield
Inquiry (2006), for instance: experienced researchers nearing
retirement and the shortfall of people coming through to replace
them; a lack of cross-disciplinary working at an institutional
level; the RAE failure to incentivise empirical research; change
needs to happen at undergraduate level as well as postgraduate
and mid-career.
The MacInnes Report (2009) from the ESRC pointed to the
need for training in quantitative methods, chiming with the
Nuffield Foundation’s views and prompting a collaboration to
launch a new £5.5m programme (which may be enlarged by
ESRC/HEFCE) aimed at improving the confidence and research
skills of undergraduates. Entitled Quantitative Methods for
Undergraduate Social Scientists, the programme will fund
centres at up to 10 UK universities over five years to train
undergraduates in quantitative analysis and address the skills
shortage in this area. The centres will work towards integrating
and embedding quantitative methods into undergraduate
teaching across courses. The grants will also fund labs, summer
schools, placements, bursaries, internships and additional
teaching staff with specialist knowledge. Further details are
available on the Nuffield Foundation website where it is also
possible to sign up for email updates on progress. Sharon’s
slides from her presentation at SLSA 2012 are available on the
SLSA website.
Antonia Layard then gave a personal view of her
experiences in applying for funding. She had recently received a
grant through the AHRC’s Connected Communities
programme. The AHRC runs development workshops (or
‘sandpits’) where researchers (who are either invited or who
apply) spend several intensive days developing ideas. She
explained how the workshops aim to nurture cross-disciplinary
approaches by bringing together academics from the arts and
humanities with scholars from a range of other disciplines and
practitioners and policymakers. By working in this way,
innovative proposals emerge involving collaboration between
experts from diverse fields with widely different skills who
would not normally work together. Over the course of the
sandpit, the proposals are narrowed down to produce about five
projects. As well as providing opportunities for involvement in
the resulting projects, the workshops can also result (and did so
in Antonia’s case) in the development of important new
research relationships and opportunities for follow-on funding.
Antonia also reiterated Sharon’s point about careful
targeting of proposals. She stressed the importance of
meticulously reading websites, guidance notes and advice to
applicants to make sure that you submit your proposal to the
right funding body. She also commented that it is equally valid
to create a proposal based on that reading as it is to search for
the right niche for your already drafted pet project.
The session was complemented in May by the SLSA’s
‘Funding socio-legal research’ one-day conference hosted by the
Nuffield Foundation and attended by around 40 delegates.
Hunter, C (ed) (2012) Integrating Socio-Legal Studies into the Law
Curriculum, Palgrave Macmillan
MacInnes, J (2009) Final Report: Strategic Adviser for Quantitative Methods:
Proposals to support and improve the teaching of quantitative research
methods at undergraduate level in the UK, ESRC
Nuffield Inquiry on Empirical Legal Research (2006) Law in the Real
World: Improving our understanding of how law works, Nuffield
AHRC Connected Communities:
Nuffield Quantitative Methods programme:
Witherspoon presentation slides:
slsa research grants
The SLSA Research Grants Scheme has been running since
1999 and to date has funded 70 socio-legal research
projects. The scheme aims to support work for which
other funding sources would not be appropriate and to
encourage socio-legal research initiatives in a practical
way. Applications for this year’s round are now invited
and summaries of the forthcoming projects from the latest
tranche of awardees are given below.
This year’s round is now open for applications. Applications to
the scheme are considered only from those who are fully paid-
up members (or registered as free student members) of the
Socio-Legal Studies Association, wherever they live, by
31 October in the year of the application. Applications must be
made using the Application Package available on the SLSA
website. The Application Package is subject to change so please
make sure that you download the latest version.
The next deadline for applications is 31 October 2012.
Individual awards are up to a maximum of £2000. The Research
Grants Committee takes the following elements into
consideration when judging applications:
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Emily Grabham, University of Kent, £1300
This research contributes essential empirical material to a
larger project investigating the role of time, and particular
temporal concepts, in UK equality law.
The Politics of Prognosis project will provide an analysis
of employment law cases from the late 1990s and early 2000s
about the definition of HIV within disability discrimination
legislation. These debates relied heavily on temporal concepts
of ‘prognosis’ and the HIV life-course.
Operating in a climate of persistent, and generalised,
misunderstanding about the potential transmission risks of HIV
during this period, many HIV-positive employees in the UK
were facing employment discrimination and dismissal. Between
1996 (when the Disability Discrimination Act came into force)
and 2005 (when HIV was automatically recognised as a
disability), it was necessary to show that HIV was a long-term
condition with a serious effect on day-to-day life in order to
prove that it was a disability. HIV activists and legal
practitioners were required to construct particular temporal
narratives about medical effectiveness and prognosis in order to
gain access to legal rights.
Through qualitative empirical research, I hope to investigate
how dominant ideas about HIV timelines were constructed and
reframed within legal proceedings about the definition of
disability in this period. By interviewing 10 UK-based legal
practitioners and HIV activists about the strategies used to
obtain employment pro tection for people affected by HIV
discrimination, I will begin to develop a socio-legal analysis of
the effects of prognosis, as a temporal construct, on dominant
legal understandings of disability, sexuality and race in UK
discrimination law.
It is hoped that this analysis will provide important new
questions not only about the key conceptual underpinnings of
legal equality projects in the UK more specifically, but also on
the socio-legal regulation of embodied futures more generally.
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John Jackson, University of Nottingham, and Yassin Mboge,
University of Leicester, £1950
Although there is considerable literature on the re-emergence
of international criminal justice within the last 20 years as a
means of addressing egregious human rights violations, there
has been little socio-legal literature on the manner in which
international trials actually operate.
This project adopts a socio-legal approach towards the
treatment of evidentiary issues internationally across a range
of different tribunals including the International Criminal
Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the Special
Court of Sierra Leone, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the
Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia and the
International Criminal Court (ICC).
The project aims to address the lack of any socio-legal
comparison of the evidentiary norms, processes and practices
that operate within international criminal processes by
exploring the challenges that have faced the work of the
international criminal tribunals and how these have been met
by the various professionals involved. With the work of a
number of tribunals nearing completion and the ICC
establishing itself as a permanent international court, this is
an ideal time to examine what lessons can be learned for
future practice.
The research methodology combines conventional legal
analysis of the evidentiary rules and jurisprudence of the
various international tribunals with qualitative methods of
empirical research. Semi-structured interviews are being
conducted with a number of practitioners drawn from judges,
prosecutors, defence counsel, Chambers counsel and Registry
lawyers who have experience working across a range of
different tribunals.
The research findings will be disseminated to a wide range
of practitioners engaged in international criminal practice,
policymakers and scholars in the field. An initial findings paper
is to be published in a forthcoming collection of papers on
evidence in international criminal trials in the Leiden Journal of
International Law.
lclarity of the aim(s) and objective(s) of the research;
originality, innovativeness and importance of the research;
methodology (including coherence with aim(s) and
objective(s), practicability and, if applicable ethical
considerations); budget; and potential impact;
lfunding will not normally be provided for conference
attendance or to subsidise postgraduate course fees;
lfunding will not be provided via this scheme for one-day
conferences or for seminar series;
lfeedback will be given to unsuccessful applicants;
lno member will receive more than one grant per year;
lExecutive Committee members are not eligible for the
Decisions will be made no later than 31 January 2013.
For more information and to help you decide whether your
project is appropriate for an SLSA grant, visit the SLSA website
where there are examples of project summaries, reports from
past grantholders, a full list of previous grantholders and project
titles and Dermot Feenan’s instructive article on submitting
your applications, first published in SLN 66:4–5.
slsa research grants news
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Kirsten Campbell (lead investigator) and Claire Garbett,
Goldsmiths College, £996
With the impending closure of the International Criminal
Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, regional prosecutions will
become the focus of criminal accountability for war crimes
committed in the 1990s conflict.
National prosecutions are particularly significant in Bosnia
and Herzegovina (BiH). BiH was the site of numerous crimes
and is commonly understood as the least ‘reconciled’ country
in the region. It is also the location of the unique
‘internationalised’ War Crimes Chamber (WCC). However,
concerns have been raised regarding sexual violence
prosecutions before the WCC. This research aims to identify
current problems in WCC sexual violence prosecutions, as well
as to consider potential strategies for addressing them. The
funded research has two elements.
The first involves developing a database of WCC sexual
violence prosecutions (which will also be translated into
Bosnian). This database will provide the basis for systematic
analysis of sexual violence prosecutions in terms of gender and
ethnicity of victims and accused, charges, convictions and
sentences. The second undertakes qualitative research with
key non-governmental organisations developing advocacy and
trial work in this area, victims’ associations and WCC staff to
provide a richer understanding of these patterns of
prosecution and consider possible reforms.
This study will serve as an important resource for those
seeking to improve the prosecution of sexual violence in war.
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Gethin Rees, University of Southampton, £1900
The use of the sleepwalking defence is infrequent but has
increased since 2005. The use of the defence in rape and sexual
assault cases, in particular, has been granted greater credibility
since 2005 as a result of the new medical category for sleep-
based sexual behaviours, ‘sexsomnia’.
Sexsomnia, as a defence, was legally tested in England and
Wales in R v Bilton (2005) and has recently received much
media attention due to the cases of Stephen Lee Davies and
Zack Thompson. To assess the legitimacy of the defence,
scientific and medical examinations are performed in order to
identify whether the medical history and/or physiology of the
suspect supports the claim that the sexual assault was the
result of a parasomniac episode. An expert report is produced,
which is of great significance during sexsomnia-based trials. I
aim to investigate the ways that sleep experts prepare this
expert evidence.
Performing an ethnography of a sleep clinic, I will
investigate the ways sleep experts mobilise different kinds of
evidence (for example, the suspect’s claims of a history of
parasomnia, as well as specialist medical investigations) in
order to determine the suspect’s conscious state at the time of
the attack. The sleep expert is also required to comment on the
cause of the violent sleepwalking event (i.e. specify whether it
is sane or insane automatism), something they find very
difficult (both individually and as a profession), and there is
debate over whether all “forgotten” sexual assaults are
necessarily the result of sexsomnia or of some other cause (for
instance, alcoholic blackout). In sum, I intend to investigate the
ways sleep scientists negotiate the legal and professional
debates around cause in order to produce expert evidence.
In early April 2012 the Legal Services Board (LSB) published its
interim baseline report to look at the market impacts of the Legal
Services Act 2007 in England and Wales. This builds on the
evaluation framework published in April 2011, and the Oxera
market segmentation framework published in September 2011.
The report brings together information from a wide range of
sources and provides a narrative around what this shows. It also
highlights the key gaps in published knowledge of the legal
services market. The LSB believes this is the first time this has
been done across the whole range of legal services. The board
regards this as a work in progress and is keen to get a wide
range of feedback between now and September with a view to
publishing a final report in October. The report is available on
the Legal Services Board website, in the research section. Robert Cross, LSB
The Journal of Law and Society (JLS) has launched a workshop
sponsorship scheme with a fund of £10,000 per annum. The JLS
seeks to promote good quality socio-legal scholarship and
proposals will be judged in the light of that broad overall aim.
The JLS is also seeking to use the funding to secure top quality
socio-legal scholarship for publication in the journal so
applicants must normally agree that the JLS shall have first
refusal of articles for publication coming out of the workshop or
seminar. For further details contact Carol Black at Applications will be considered twice a
year: the deadlines are 1 March and 1 September each year.
The JLS also invites expressions of interest concerning the
guest editorship of the JLS special issue (spring 2014). Readers
are invited to contact the editor with their proposal. Send a list
of authors, agreed and those yet to be confirmed, and working
titles of each contribution. Prepare one page explaining the
purpose and range of the collection. The material must be socio-
legal, fit the character of the JLS, and have current relevance and
appeal to its international and diverse readership. The issue
must also be both thematic and coherent. The issue is 75,000
words, inclusive of footnotes and carries between eight and 10
papers. The deadline for completed copy is November 2013. The
JLS may provide funds to support a meeting for the authors. The
issue will also appear simultaneously as a book published by
Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford. A decision on the 2014 publication
will be taken in September 2012 thereby allowing the editor one
year to produce the copy. The special issue for 2013 is titled
‘Towards an Economic Sociology of Law’ and is edited by
Amanda Perry-Kessaris, Prabha Kotiswaran and Diamond
Ashiagbor. Contact JLS editor Philip Thomas
The Legal Education and Training Review (LETR) is a
fundamental, evidence-based review of education and training
requirements across regulated and non-regulated legal services
in England and Wales. It is intended to ensure that the future of
legal education and training will be effective and efficient in
preparing legal service providers to meet the needs of
There is now an online survey aimed at professionals and
individuals with an informed interest in the legal professions.
To complete the survey, visit the LETR website and follow the
links. Closing date: 16 August 2012. There is also a consultation
on equality and diversity currently open. Closing date: 2 July
2012 See also page 13 for details of the
forthcoming LETR symposium.
socio-legal research
A group of law students from the School of Oriental and African
Studies (SOAS), University of London, have been working on a
landmark US Supreme Court case, which will decide whether a
corporation can be held liable for aiding and abetting human
rights abuses under the Alien Torts Act.
The team of seven, in conjunction with Harvard Law School,
have produced significant research and content for a high-
profile amicus curiae brief, arguing that corporations can and
should be held liable for such actions in American courts. They
researched the history of corporate liability for such abuses by
the East India Company and other English corporations in the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They also conducted
research for the plaintiffs, some of which was cited by the
lawyers and justices in oral arguments before the court on
28 February 2012. A decision is expected in the autumn.
‘The students spent hundreds of hours in the archives
establishing that corporations shouldn’t be excluded from the
most egregious violations of international law,’ said Deval
Desai, research associate at SOAS, who led the team. Tyler
Giannini, clinical professor at Harvard Law School added: ‘The
work of the students and researchers from SOAS has been
invaluable to the litigation effort and historical research on
corporate liability. In this case, which is being watched around
the world with great interest, it has been excellent to see
collaborative research efforts that span the continents.’
The plaintiffs in this case, Kiobel, allege that Royal Dutch
Petroleu m collab orated w ith the Nigeria n govern ment to
commit extrajudicial killing, torture, rape and crimes against
humanity in order to suppress their lawful protests against oil
exploration in the Ogoniland. Specifically, they allege that it
collaborated by providing transportation, food and
compensation to soldiers who carried out the attacks.
Following this experience, the students have set up an
organisation, Banyan: SOAS Advocates. Banyan offers graduate
students similar opportunities to contribute to legal practice,
policy and advocacy, and has linked them with legal
practitioners, non-governmental organisations and
organisations such as the World Bank. To contact Banyan, email
Johannah Flaherty, SOAS communications manager
SLSA members Anne Barlow of the University of Exeter and
Rosemary Hunter of the University of Kent have together with
psychologist Dr Janet Smithson (University of Exeter) been
awarded ESRC funding of £500,000 for their three-year
interdisciplinary project ‘Mapping Paths to Family Justice’. This
aims to provide critical evidence about the usage, experiences
and outcomes of different forms of alternative family dispute
resolution (AFDR) on relationship breakdown, namely solicitor
negotiations, mediation and collaborative law, at a time when
these court alternatives are likely to become increasingly used as
major reforms to the family justice system are underway. This
follows the recent Family Justice Review and the general
withdrawal of legal aid for private family law cases in the Legal
Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. In
particular, the project will explore: how well-known and how
widely used each of these ‘alternative’ processes has become
nationally; how positive or negative people’s experiences of
these processes have been in the short and longer term; what (if
any) norms of family dispute resolution are embedded in each
of these processes, and with what (if any) impacts on different
kinds of users and cases. Ultimately, it is hoped to consider
whether each process appears to be more or less appropriate for
particular kinds of parties and/or disputes.
The project commenced in July 2011 and is adopting a mixed
methods approach. Its first phase of questions on a nationally
representative survey has been conducted. Interviews with
lawyers, mediators and parties with experience of different
styles of AFDR are underway and, in its final phase, recording
and analysis of a selection of mediations, collaborative law
processes and lawyer–client interviews will be undertaken.
Findings from the three phases will be synthesised in order to
arrive at an overall ‘map’ of family dispute resolution pathways.
The project has the support of an advisory group comprising
a range of practitioners, policymakers and academics with an
interest in fami ly dispute resolutio n and th e prelimin ary
findings from the project’s national survey were presented at the
SLSA conference at De Montfort University in April 2012. For
more information, visit the project website at
mappingpathstofamilyjustice/about/. Anne Barlow
Few socio-legal researchers seem to have looked to the European
Research Council (ERC) to fund their research – perhaps it’s time
to think again. I have just started work on a four-year €1.029m
programme of work funded by a Starting Independent
Investigation Grant from the ERC. The programme, entitled
‘New Sites of Legal Consciousness: A Case Study of UK Advice
Agencies’ (see SLN 66:6) includes three interconnected projects.
Overall, it will employ three post-doc researchers and a PhD
student – so ERC grants are an opportunity to develop your own
research at the same time as creating new posts for researchers
and students in socio-legal studies.
The Starting Independent Investigation Grant is part of the
ERC’s ‘Ideas’ programme, which aims to ‘stimulate
groundbreaking investigator-initiated “frontier” research
carried out by individual teams across all fields’. Anyone
between two to 12 years from PhD completion is eligible to
apply; the funding is to enable the researcher to create or
strengthen their own independent research team and/or
establish their own research programme. You can apply for up
to €1.5m, but for social science research which does not require
lots of investment in equipment, we in Bristol reckoned that
around €1–1.2m is probably about right. As will be clear from
my own success, research does not have to be focused across
Europe – my case studies will all be of UK-based advice agencies
(Citizens Advice and Shelter). I have, however, agreed to work
on making links with researchers in other European countries
looking at advice-type organisations, with the aim of setting up
a European network by the end of the four-year programme.
Important to success in gaining large grants such as these is
to show that your proposed programme of research is building
on existing work. In my case, I had already been successful in
gaining two ESRC CASE-funded PhD studentships looking at
advice services in health locations and advice services for deaf
people respectively, and I had conducted a pilot study with
Citizens Advice (funded by my own law school and the Society
of Legal Scholars) on barriers to justice in the Employment
Tribunal system. I was therefore able to demonstrate a long-
standing commitment to this research area, which is one of the
assessment criteria.
There’s more information about Starter Grants on the ERC
website at w Calls for
proposals are issued over the summer with the deadline for
submission in the autumn. So if you think you’re eligible and
have an idea for an exciting research programme that addresses
important challenges at the frontiers of your field, then it is
certainly worth thinking about applying now.
Morag McDermont, School of Law, University of Bristol
legal archives
Susannah Rayner, archivist at SOAS, and Antonia Moon,
lead curator of the Post-1858 India Office Records at the
British Library, describe some of the fascinating material
in their collections and its importance to legal scholars.
When Amanda Perry-Kessaris first came up with the proposal to
provide an introductory tour of the School of Oriental and African
Studies (SOAS) archives for legal academics, it posed an
interesting challenge. SOAS Library specialises in archives relating
to missionary organisations, charities and non-governmental
organisations, British businesses based in Africa, Asia or the
Middle East, and – in a catch-all category – individuals whose
lives and works relate to the geographical areas of study at SOAS.
The question was: would any of this be of interest to lawyers?
It turned out to be quite an eye-opener for both archivists
and academics alike, with a range of material relating directly to
many SOAS law courses. Although you might expect SOAS to
have strong source material on Asia, Africa and the Middle East,
in fact its collections cover a wider geographical area, thanks to
the worldwide activities of the missionary and charitable
organisations whose records we hold. For example, there is a
surprising amount of material relating to Australia, and law
students studying human rights and ethnic minorities will find
significant archival evidence of the devastating impact of early
colonialism on the indigenous population of that country.
London Missionary Society (LMS) correspondence from New
South Wales in the 1820s describes the persecution of
Aborigines, including the execution of an Aborigine without
trial, the outbreak of violence between settlers and Aborigines,
and predicts the likely extinction of Aborigines in that region,
only 40 years after the arrival of the ‘First Fleet’ to Botany Bay.
The archives of missionary societies are a great source of
information since missionaries were expected to send regular
letters and reports to mission headquarters and these have
survived to a large extent. From the eighteenth century onwards,
they provide some of the earliest documentation of contact with
overseas communities, their first recorded histories, and often the
first forms of written language as they attempted to translate the
Bible and other works into the local vernacular. They are a rich
source for the social, medical, educational and political history of
these regions. Missionaries were often ardent campaigners for
the rights of the indigenous communities they worked among,
particularly for the poor and disenfranchised elements of society.
Much of this campaigning had legal ramifications. For
example, Botswana, one of the most stable and prosperous
countries in modern-day Africa, would probably not exist as a
separate entity were it not for the close collaboration and mutual
support between the nineteenth-century leaders of the Tswana
people and missionaries from the LMS. Together they
successfully lobbied the British government to establish the
Bechuanaland Protectorate, largely to fend off the machinations
of Cecil Rhodes’ British South Africa Company. Had they not
succeeded in this, Bechuanaland, as it was then known, would
have been subsumed into South Africa.
Even as a protectorate, the state was not immune to the
impact of apartheid government in South Africa, introduced
there in 1948. Matters came swiftly to a head that year when,
Seretse Khama, destined to become the paramount chief of the
Bamangwato, met and married an English girl while studying in
London. This encountered huge opposition both in Africa and
Britain, with South Africa threatening to withdraw from the
Commonwealth and impose economic sanctions against the UK.
The records of the LMS, as well as the Movement for Colonial
Freedom, which are held at SOAS, provide a fascinating insight
into the case and some of the legal problems it presented – the
prevention of their marriage in church, the couple’s exile from
Bechuanaland, Seretse’s forced ‘abdication’ – as well as how
matters were finally resolved.
For further information about legal sources in SOAS
archives go to
guides/subject, or for a search through our catalogue go to
The nine miles of India Office Records held at the British Library
contain much of interest to students of legal history. The archive
comprises the records of the East India Company (1600–1858), the
British Government Board of Control (1784–1858) and the India
Office (1858–1947), and a number of related British agencies. The
records are complemented by about 3500 collections of private
papers. The legal story that the records tell is one of change from
a pluralist to a uniform system of law, as the British gradually
moved from administering native and English laws in parallel to
imposing English as the substantive law.
In the widest sense, the records show law in action. Public
order, policing, jails, legal personnel, municipal taxes,
Khama the Great, paramount chief of the Bechuanaland
Protectorate, with the son of LMS missionary W C Willoughby, c 1895
High Court at Agra (BL W3552)
legal archives
processions, and court buildings are just some of the topics
covered in the judicial proceedings of the Indian
administrations. Here, a question on the Bombay Boiler
Inspection Act might appear alongside a petition for mercy for
an imprisoned man.
Court records, while few in number, are another key source.
The surviving Sudder Dewanny Adawlut (Higher Revenue
Court) records include transcripts of cross-examinations: an
unusual example of native voices in the colonial archive. The
British administration itself appears as a legal player. Papers of
Privy Council appeals to which the government of India was a
party appear in the Public and Judicial Department records. The
papers of the solicitor to the East India Company contain
counsel’s opinion on points of law that touched the company:
questions range from rights to compensation for lost ships to
whether or not shareholders can vote on a Sunday.
A series of manumission certificates issued to slaves at Aden
shows the Indian government’s influence in territories beyond
its own: the ‘informal empire’.
The records also show law being created. Papers of successive
Indian Law Commissions from 1834 show the evolution of all-
India penal and civil procedure codes. Private papers of legal
pioneers, men like Mountstuart Elphinstone, Henry Maine and
Charles Wood, give a personal view of legal reforms. Printed
proceedings of Indian legislative assemblies include the debates
around key legislation such as the Female Infanticide Prevention
Act and the Indian Factory Act. Records of special committees
regularly contain more information than is in the published
reports. A draft report of the 1918 Sedition Committee, for
example, reveals the thinking behind the infamous Rowlatt Act
which extended wartime emergency powers into peacetime:
‘[Juries] cannot be relied on in this class of case. They are too
much inclined to be affected by public discussion.’
Finally, the records show the oriental inheritance. Well-
known orientalists like Nathaniel Halsted, Henry Colebrooke,
and William Jones viewed law as an integral part of the culture
that they were exploring. Books such as Jones’s Institutes of
Hindu Law (1798) were sponsored by the East India Company;
they are now part of the British Library’s collections.
Administrators at local level sought to inform themselves of
legal practices in the areas under their control. Thus, a thief
detector in Madras in 1797 explains to an inspector his use of
trial by ordeal: tools of detection include rice, a razor, a vase, a
shoe, and nails. Such reports were regularly printed in the
Bengal Asiatic Society’s journal, Asiatic Researches.
To find out more about the sources, search our catalogues at
wwww.http// or email us at
Do tell us about your own research: we are keen to build up a
community of users around our legal records.
SOAS School of Law is organising a series of Legal Treasures
Tours. Visit
tours/ for more details.
Diamond Ashiagbor, Prabha Kotiswaran and Amanda Perry-
Kessaris recount the first steps on a journey of discovery.
In February 2011, we embarked upon an exploration of the
nature and value of an economic sociology of law – that is, the
use of sociological approaches (empirical, normative, analytical)
to investigate relationships between law and economy. We
decided to begin with a reading group – an informal gathering
of faculty and students from across disciplines and institutions,
who are interested in the idea of an economic sociology of law.
Topics covered so far include:
lthe case for an economic sociology of law
ldelving deeper into Polanyi
lsocial capital in an economic sociology of law
lneoliberalism and law
lmarket governance in colonial India
lequality law: legal reasoning and organisational practice
llegal reasoning in financial markets
leconomics as if people mattered
llaw and economy through the lens of ‘community’
lMax Weber and ‘the’ law and development ‘movement’
In addition to stimulating thought-provoking and enjoyable
conversation, the reading group enabled us to formulate a
proposal for an invitational workshop Towards an Economic
Sociology of Law to be held in September 2012 with the generous
financial support of the Journal of Law and Society and the School
of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) School of Law.
In this project, we will seek, in particular, to locate economic
sociology of law within the broader socio-legal tradition, to
uncover connections between Polanyian and Weberian
approaches to the intersection between law, economy and society
and to bring to the fore work which has been in the tradition – if
not using the language – of economic sociology of law.
The influence of Weber on social theory throughout the
twentieth and twenty-first centuries has been pervasive and
consistent: Weber’s sociological analysis of law and the
economy can clearly be seen as a prototype for an economic
sociology of law (Swedberg 2006). His work has also had a
significant influence on policymakers, as evidenced within
discourse on development, governance and the rule of law:
Weber’s observations on the central role of ‘rational’ legal
systems in the emergence of modern capitalism and on
economic development more generally have been implicitly and
explicitly co-opted by the World Bank (Shihata 1991; Santos
2006: 272–3).
Karl Polanyi's dramatic and troubling probing of economic
history, as set out in particular in The Great Transformation (2001
[1944]), has tended to receive less attention than the, by now
familiar, Weberian perspective. However, interest in the
Polanyian perspective is undergoing a revival, which attests to a
wider resurgence of intellectual attentiveness to the ‘social
embeddedness’ of market societies. In particular, those working
in the discipline of economic sociology draw on Polanyi to
challenge ‘economic imperialism’, most especially the
assumption of the self-regulating market economy, by asserting
the importance of both state action and social relations as
constitutive of markets.
Judges at the High Court of Allahabad: (left to right) the Hon. Sir
Edward Grimwood Mears (1919), the Hon. Sir Shah Mohammad
Sulaiman (1932) and the Hon. Sir Iqbal Ahmad (1941)(BL W3552)
economic sociology of law
Ashiagbor, D (2011) ‘Embedding trade liberalization in social policy:
lessons from the European Union?’ (2011) Comparative Labor Law
and Policy Journal 32:1:373-404
Edelman, L, Riggs Fuller, S and Mara-Drita, I (2001) ‘Diversity rhetoric
and the managerialization of law’, American Journal of Sociology
Edelman, L and Stryker, R (2005) ‘A sociological approach to law and
the economy’ in N Smelser and R Swedberg (eds), The Handbook of
Economic Sociology 2nd edn, Princeton UP/Russell Sage Foundation
Frerichs, S (2011) ‘Re-embedding neo-liberal constitutionalism: a
Polanyian case for the economic sociology of law’ in C Joerges and
J Falke (eds), Karl Polanyi, Globalisation and the Potential of Law in
Transnational Markets, Hart
Granovetter, M (1985) ‘Economic action and social structure: the
problem of embeddedness’, American Journal of Sociology 91:481–510
Halliday, T and Carruthers, B G (2009) Bankrupt: Global lawmaking and
systemic financial crisis, Stanford UP
Kennedy, D (2004) ‘The disenchantment of logically formal legal
rationality, or Max Weber’s sociology in the genealogy of the
contemporary mode of Western legal thought’ (2004) Hastings LJ
Kotiswaran, P (2011) Dangerous Sex, Invisible Labor: Sex work and the law
in India, Princeton UP
Krippner, G, Granovetter, M et al (2004) ‘Polanyi symposium: a
conversation on embeddedness’, Socio-Economic Review 2(1):109–35
Perry-Kessaris, A (2011) ‘Reading the story of law and embeddedness
through a community lens: a Polanyi-meets-Cotterrell economic
sociology of law?’ NILQ 62(3):401–13.
Polanyi, K (2001 [1944]) The Great Transformation: The political and
economic origins of our time, Beacon Press
Santos, A (2006) ‘The World Bank’s uses of the “rule of law” promise in
economic development’ in D Trubek and A Santos (eds), The New
Law and Economic Development: A critical appraisal, Cambridge UP
effects of market exposure (Ashiagbor 2011). In addition to
Polanyi’s concept of embeddedness, Weber’s contention that a
market society requires as a prerequisite ‘a promptly and
predictably functioning legal system’ (Weber 1978 [1921/22]:
337; Kennedy 2004) is another reference point. So an important
question for this project is how economic sociology of law can be
used to plot the unpredictable dynamics of legal reform, moving
from law ‘in the books’ to focus on law in context in order to
redress flaws in the purely Weberian approach. A central aim is
to respond to what one might call the ‘flawed transmission of
Weberian theory’, for instance, in its connections to some of the
programmatic limitations of the ‘good governance’ or ‘rule or
law’ legal reform agenda (Santos 2006; Thomas 2008:6).
In drawing upon both Polanyi and Weber, the objective is to
develop a set of analytical frames which go beyond established
‘law and society’ or ‘law and economics’ approaches to
interdisciplinary analysis in law (Kotiswaran 2011; Perry-
Kessaris 2011). Rather like the project embarked on in recent
years by some economic sociologists, our aim is to engage with
the ‘situatedness’ of economic action (Edelman and Stryker
2005) as an alternative to the traditional ‘law and economics’
approach, which downplays the social embeddeddness of the
economy. This offers us the potential to bridge the gap between
the ‘under-socialised’ view of social action offered by law and
economics, and the ‘over-socialised’ view from sociology or
sociology of law (Granovetter 1985; Krippner et al 2004).
Papers present ed at the i nvitational worksh op will be
published in special issues of the Journal of Law and Society and
the International Journal of Law in Context, both in 2013.
For further information about the reading group, including
a full list of topics and readings, and requests to join, see:
It is only relatively recently that legal scholars have also
begun to draw upon economic sociology: whether in terms of
insights from Polanyian- or Weberian-inspired scholarship, or
from what may be termed the ‘new economic sociology’, owing
more to Granovetter (1985). In spite of Polanyi’s background as
a lawyer, analysis of law did not figure greatly in his own work,
or in that of Polanyi-inspired economic sociologists. Similarly,
law is rarely a sustained object of enquiry for new economic
sociologists (Edelman and Stryker 2005: 537). Even those
drawing on the work of Weber have paid little attention to what
he had to say on law (Swedberg 2003: 5).
The workshop is aimed at remedying these gaps. It seeks to
unpack the embeddedness paradigm at a number of analytical
levels: focusing on individual actors and the relations between
them (micro- and meso-levels of analysis), as well as on social
regimes and institutions and on the rationalities behind given
regimes (macro- and meta-levels) (Frerichs 2011). By bringing
together a range of contributors who – in the tradition, if not
necessarily using the terminology, of economic sociology of law
– have been studying the interface between law, society and
economy at these different levels, we hope to develop a
comprehensive analytical framework to cast light on new and
existing research agendas. For instance, research questions
include: how we might make sense of the way in which the law
interacts with organisational and cultural norms – or is perhaps
‘domesticated’ by organisational culture – in the process of
forging behavioural change in the workplace (see Edelman et al
2001; Sturm 2005; ); global norm-making against a backdrop of
local resistance: the uses, abuses and avoidance of law in the
regulation of financial markets (see Halliday and Carruthers
2009); and the role of labour law institutions under conditions of
economic liberalisation, in particular, as part of an array of
adjustment mechanisms cushioning the adverse domestic
Social and Legal Studies 21(3)
‘Hearing the right gaps’: enabling and responding to
disclosures of sexual violence within the UK asylum
process – Helen Baillot, Sharon Cowan & Vanessa Munro
Checkpoint watch: bureaucracy and resistance at the
Israeli/Palestinian Border – Irus Braverman
Tale of two citizenships? Citizenship, migration and care in the
European Union – Heli Askola
Are gay rights Islamophobic? A critique of some uses of the
concept of homonationalism in activism and academia –
Aleardo Zanghellini
Pariah peoples: Roma and the multiple failures of law in
Central and Eastern Europe – Istvan Pogany
Deviant disabilities: the exclusion of drug and alcohol
addiction from the Equality Act 2010 – Simon Flacks
Review essay: the many books on Europe’s many constitutions
– Chris Thornhill
Shihata, I, Tschofen, F and Parra, A R (1991) The World Bank in a
Changing World: Selected essays, Martinus Nijhoff
Sturm, S (2005) ‘Law’s role in addressing complex discrimination’ in
L B Nielsen and R L Nelson (eds), Handbook of Employment
Discrimination Research: Rights and realities, Springer
Swedberg, R (2003) ‘The case for an economic sociology of law’, Theory
and Society 32:1–37
Swedberg, R (2006) ‘Max Web er’s contribution to the economic
sociology of law’, Annual Review of Law and Social Science 2:61–81
Thomas, C (2008) ‘Re-reading Weber in law and development: a critical
intellectual history of “good governance” reform’, Cornell Law
Faculty Publications, paper 118
Weber, M (1978 [1921/22]) Economy and Society: An outline of interpretive
sociology, G Roth and C Wittich (eds), University of California Press
publications and events
27 June 2012: School of Law, University of Leeds
Hosted by the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies, University of
28—29 June 2012: University College Dublin
Theme: ‘Economy, crime and punishment’. Attendance is free but
please register in advance via email
3 July 2012: School of Law, Liberty Building, Leeds
Please email for further information:
4—6 July 2012: Greenwich University, London
An international conference to examine the global causes of LGBTI
forced migration and the experiences of LGBTI asylum-seekers and
5 July 2012: University of the West of England, Bristol
This timely conference addresses various aspects of this global
phenomenon, including recent developments and the threat of
increased trafficking posed by the London Olympics. Please visit the
conference website for details. w
The BMJ Group journals Journal of Medical Ethics, Sexually
Transmitted Infections and Medical Humanities have issued a joint
call for papers for a special collection of articles. The collection
will be called: ‘Criminalizing contagion: ethical, legal and
clinical challenges of prosecuting the spread of disease and
sexually transmitted infections’. It will be guest-edited by David
Gurnham, Catherine Stanton and Hannah Quirk (all of the
School of Law, University of Manchester). The deadline for
submissions is 14 December 2012.
Articles will appear in 2013. Details about invited themes,
submission instructions and advice, and about the participating
journals can be found by following the ‘call for papers’ link on
the journals’ websites: w
w w
The Fragility of Law: Constitutional patriotism and the
Jews of Belgium, 1940—1945  1F94B1C5B'?ED
This book examines the ways in which, during the Second World
War, the Belgian government and judicial structure became
implicated in the identification, exclusion and killing of its Jewish
residents, and in the theft – through Aryanisation – of Jewish
property. Fraser demonstrates how a series of political and legal
compromises meant that the infrastructure for antisemitic
persecutions and ultimately the deaths of thousands of Belgian
Jews was Belgian. Based on extensive archival research, the book
offers the first detailed exploration in English of this intriguing
and virtually unexplored episode of Holocaust history.
Critical Reflections on the Status of Irregular Migrants in
Europe and the United States  "1B955>5493D5
5=2?EB1>4)?291C 5
Human rights seemingly offer universal protection. However,
irregular migrants have, at best, only problematic access to
human rights. Whether understood as an ethical injunction or
legally codified norm, the promised protection of human rights
seems to break down when it comes to the lived experience of
irregular migrants. This book asks three key questions. First,
what do we mean when we speak of human rights? Second, is
the problematic access of irregular migrants to human rights
protection an issue of implementation, or due to the inherent
characteristics of the concept of human rights? Third, should we
look beyond human rights for an effective source of protection?
Great Debates in Property Law  1F94 ?G1> !?B>1
The subject of property has the potential to be an endlessly
fascinating area of study. We all need to live somewhere and to
exist in some relationship with land, yet, for too long, property
law has been regarded by students as difficult, inaccessible and
irrelevant to everyday life. This book introduces readers to
property law as a fluid, ever-changing entity, developed over
centuries. It enables readers to appreciate that to understand the
current rules requires a sense of where they have come from,
how they might change and why they matter. Taking a
contextual approach, the authors encourage students to think
critically about the nature of land law.
Forms Liberate: Reclaiming the jurisprudence of
Lon L Fuller  B9CD5> 'E>4
Lon L Fuller’s account of what he termed ‘the internal morality
of law’ is widely accepted as the classic twentieth-century
statement of the principles of the rule of law. Much less accepted
is his claim that a necessary connection between law and
morality manifests in these principles, with the result that his
jurisprudence largely continues to occupy a marginal place in
the field of legal philosophy. In this book, Kristen Rundle offers
a close textual analysis of Fuller’s published writings and
working papers to explain how his claims about the internal
morality of law belong to a wider exploration of the ways in
which the distinctive form of law introduces meaningful limits
to law-giving power through its connection to human agency.
By reading Fuller on his own terms, this book demonstrates why
his challenge to a purely instrumental conception of law
remains salient for twenty-first century legal scholarship.
6 July 2012: Glendenning Lecture Theatre, University of the West
of England
Speaker: Rashida Manjoo, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against
Women. Title: ‘Violence against women: the challenges of
accountability’. Please visit website for further details and registration
9—10 July 2012: Faculty of Business Economics and Law, University
of Surrey, Guildford
Please contact for further information or book
at w
9—13 July 2012: Sydney, Au stralia
The session on ‘New ethnographies of crime and justice’ will present
new ethnographic research about crime and criminal justice. It is
hoped that a side event will be arranged where a larger number of
participants will present ethnographic papers and reflections on
professional practice. For more information see,
11—12 July 2012: Lowry Hotel, Manchester
Theme: ‘Assuring competence in a changing legal services market’.
Please visit website for full details: w
19—20 September 2012: Keele University
This workshop for the Revaluing Care Network will provide a space
to reflect critically on care’s heritage and to consider anew the
different ways in which care is a resource in an era characterised by
renewed austerity and intensified personal management.
24—25 September 2012: Australian National University, Canberra
The conference will focus on the challenges and opportunities for
innovation, creativity and access to knowledge in the Pacific region,
particularly in response to the new demands raised by globalisation,
climate change, the knowledge economy and intellectual property
requirements in multilateral and bilateral trade agreements.
5—9 October 2012: Nanjing Normal University, China
Theme: ‘Global semiotics: a bridge linking different civilisations’. The
World Congress of Semiotics is being held in China for the first time.
This congress in the historic city of Nanjing symbolises that global
semiotics has begun to play a role of a bridge linking (in the broadest
sense) Eastern and Western civilisations..
12 October 2012: Law Society, Chancery Lane, London
The conference explores the relationship between academic research
and policy development/law reform. This event provides a unique
opportunity for dialogue around these issues by bringing together
academics, parliamentarians, civil servants, judges and other users of
research. w
7—9 November 2012: Salzburg, Austria
Call closes: 3 August 2012.
9—10 November 2012: Stanford Law School, Stanford, California
Call closes: 8 July 2012.
10—13 July 2012: Durham
Theme: ‘Entering the mainstream: clinic for all’. For further
information, please visit
1—4 August 2012: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Objectives: to provide a meeting place for the various research
committees, working groups and thematic groups; to develop a
socially significant theme involving public actors and to which
different areas of sociology can contribute; to hold the interim
Research Council business meeting. See
29—31 August 2012: University of Liverpool
Seventh annual joint symposium organised by the University of
Liverpool Management School and Keele University Institute for
Public Policy and Management. This year’s theme is ‘Ethnographic
horizons in times of turbulence’. Full details:
5—7 September 2012: Trinity College, Dublin
An international conference with presentations from leading
academics, policymakers and practitioners. Please see website for
6 September 2012: Southampton Law School
Theme: ‘The architecture of community’. A full-day multidisciplinary
event exploring the complex relationships between culture, community
and architecture. See website for details:
law/news/events/2012/09/06_culture_community_and_architecture Call closes: 13 July 2012..
6 September 2012: Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge
Title: ‘More regulations or better stewardship? Optimising the means
and ends of good governance’. Guest speaker: Sir Adrian Cadbury.
Please visit website for further details
en/home/faculties/aibs/news.html. Call closes: 1 July 2012..
11—13 September 20 12: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) Legal Research
Symposium 2012 will, once again, be coordinated by the CIB Working
Commission on Law and Dispute Resolution in partnership with the
annual international COBRA research conference. Further information
is available from Paul Chynoweth or
12—14 September 2012: Magdalen College, Oxford
This Legal Services Research Centre conference brings together
leading academics, policy officials, practitioners and legal service
administrators from around the world to present research on legal
services and access to justice policy. Further details can be obtained
14—16 September: Stockholm
The ‘gardens of justice’ theme suggests thinking about law and justice
as a physical as well as a social environment, created for specific
purposes, at a certain distance from society and yet as an integral part
of it. The theme invites thought about justice as a concrete metaphor
rather than an abstract concept. Please see website for details:.
Journal of Law and Society (Autumn 2012)
Bridging the gap – non-state actors and the challenges of
regulating new technology – Carolyn Abbot
Beyond ‘constitutionalism beyond the state’– Gavin Anderson
A tale of two Chinese courts: economic development and
contract enforcement – Xin He
Amnesties, punishment and the calibration of mercy in
transition – Kieran McEvoy & Louise Mallinder
Review article
Constitutionalism as fear of the political? A comparative
analysis of Teubner’s ‘Constitutional Fragments’ and
Thornhill’s ‘A Sociology of Constitutions’ – Jiri Priban
Book reviews
Ed Bates, The Evolution of the European Convention on Human
Rights: From its inception to the creation of a Permanent Court
of Human Rights and Manisuli Ssenyonjo (ed.), The African
Regional Human Rights System: 30 years after the African
Charter on Human and People’s Rights – Urfan Khaliq
Emma Cunliffe, Murder, Medicine and Motherhood
Siôn Jenkins
Charles Foster, Human Dignity in Bioethics and Law
John Coggon
SLSA annual conference
@ York Law School
26–28 March 2013
Membership Discount
on selected Law & Society Books*
Books from Routledge Law
To place your order, please visit or call +44 (0) 1235 400 524, quoting ref. SLSA122
Reading Modern Law
Critical Methodologies and Sovereign Formations
Edited by Ruth Buchanan, Stewart Motha
and Sundhya Pahuja
Reading Modern Law identifies and elaborates upon key
critical methodologies for reading and writing about law
in modernity. The force of law rests on determinate and
localizable authorizations, as well as an expansive
capacity to encompass what has not been pre-figured by
an order of rules.
May 2012
Hb: 978-0-415-56854-8: £75.00
eBook: 978-0-203-11945-7
New Critical Legal Thinking
Law and the Political
Edited by Matthew Stone, Illan rua Wall
and Costas Douzinas
New Critical Legal Thinking articulates the emergence of a
stream of critical legal theory which is directly concerned
with the relation between law and the political.
June 2012
Hb: 978-0-415-61957-8: £75.00
eBook: 978-0-203-11446-9
The Property Rights of Refugees
and Internally Displaced Persons
Beyond Restitution
Anneke Smit
The Property Rights of Refugees and Internally Displaced
Persons explores how the protection of housing and
property rights can contribute to durable solutions to
April 2012
Hb: 978-0-415-57960-5: £75.00
eBook: 978-0-203-12219-8
The Dynamics of Transitional Justice
International Models and Local Realities in
East Timor
Lia Kent
The Dynamics of Transitional Justice draws on the
case of East Timor in order to reassess how
internationally-sponsored transitional justice mechanisms
actually play out at the local level.
June 2012
Hb: 978-0-415-50436-2: £75.00
eBook: 978-0-203-11743-9
Islamic Veiling in Legal Discourse
Anastasia Vakulenko
Islamic Veiling in Legal Discourse provides a sopisticated
analysis of relevant legislation and case law in order to
examine the assumptions and limits of the debates
surrounding the issue of Islamic veiling.
June 2012
Hb: 978-0-415-56550-9: £75.00
eBook: 978-0-203-11759-0
Community Futures, Legal Architecture
Foundations for Indigenous Peoples in the
Global Mining Boom
Edited by Marcia Langton and Judy Longbottom
How are indigenous and local people faring in their
dealings with mining and related industries in the first part
of the 21st century? The unifying experience in all the
resource-rich states covered in this book is the social
and economic disadvantage experienced by indigenous
peoples and communities, paradoxically surrounded
by wealth-producing projects.
April 2012
Hb: 978-0-415-51821-5: £75.00
eBook: 978-0-203-12311-9
Shaunnagh Dorsett and Shaun McVeigh
Introducing one of the central topics and concerns
of jurisprudence – the authorisation and authority of
law – Jurisdiction aims to re-introduce and refresh
jurisdictional thinking about law by addressing the
ways that questions of jurisdiction still give shape to
law and to legal thought.
June 2012
Pb: 978-0-415-47165-7: £21.99
Hb: 978-0-415-47163-3: £75.00
eBook: 978-0-203-11543-5
Sex, Culpability and
the Defence of Provocation
Danielle Tyson
Dealing with the complex case law concerning the
use of the provocation defence in cases of intimate
killings, Sex, Culpability and the Defence of
Provocation considers the construction and
representation of subjectivity and sexual difference
in legal narrations of homicide.
July 2012
Pb: 978-0-415-56020-7: £21.99
Hb: 978-0-415-56017-7: £75.00
eBook: 978-0-203-11640-1
Coming Soon New Dual Editions
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