Conference on Intersections of Rights and Laws: Environment, Livelihood, and Self-Determination
12-13 January 2012
University of London
Sponsored by the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, Human Rights Consortium and the UK Network on Minority Groups and Human Rights, all at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, Social and Legal Studies, and St Edmund's College, University of Cambridge.
Keynote Speaker: Professor Tania Murray Li, University of Toronto
Invited Speaker: Rosemary Coombe, York University
In the contemporary world, numerous different groups of people are laying claims to rights, struggling to make their claims heard and recognized, working to construct and enforce international conventions, as well as national and regional laws and policies, and pressuring governments, as well as corporations to recognize human rights. Since the demise of the European colonial projects, these many diverse efforts have broadened, deepened, and creatively expanded the range of rights included under the broad rubric of human rights. As such, a plurality of rights discourses and practices that exceeds, but which also exercises shaping effects on law, has emerged in practice. At the same time, rights discourses and practices have become the focus of scholarly analysis in legal, economic, social science and humanities disciplines. While in practice, specific rights claimants borrow and creatively rework rights discourses and practices from many different domains of rights, scholarly research has tended to focus on specific rights domains rather than on the interfaces and connections between these domains. In an effort to expand our scholarly understanding of contemporary rights discourses and practices, this conference aims to critically explore theories, methodologies, discourses and practices found at the intersections of environmental rights, rights to cultural autonomy, indigenous sovereignty (which is to be treated as distinct from minority cultural autonomy), and livelihood rights (including a right to a living wage, labor rights, rights and development activities, and a right to a livelihood). We encourage scholars to creatively and critically articulate the connections between these various domains of rights.
Dr. Tania Murray Li, the Keynote Speaker, is renowned for her work on the ways that ordinary people rework and utilize rights discourses in the practice of self-governance. She will be joined by scholars from a range of disciplines and perspectives who investigate the ways in which discourses and practices are being engaged and changed by borrowings, creative re-workings, and connections between different rights frameworks, rights claims, and rights laws. Presenters are asked to address the intersection of rights and laws while considering the ways in which conceptual frameworks influence and shape the methodological and practical dimensions of their work. Papers of interest might explore the following questions: What is the relationship between cultural rights or indigenous sovereign rights and large-scale environmental changes, such as climate change, extensive drought, changes in fisheries habitats and species, changes in forestry practices, the growth of industrialized agriculture and aquaculture, etc.? What is the relationship between rights to cultural autonomy or to indigenous sovereignty and claims on a right to a sustainable livelihood? In what ways are development activities, livelihoods and environmental rights linked through laws and through practices? How have environmental laws and legal regimes been shaped by activists? What kinds of alliances have emerged in efforts to press for environmental and livelihood rights?
The conference will be organized around invited speakers and four paper sessions that address central intersections of rights and laws. Participants are asked to submit an abstract to a specific session. These sessions are:
I. Environmental rights and livelihood rights.
II. Livelihood rights, cultural autonomy, and\or indigenous sovereignty.
III. Environmental rights, cultural autonomy, and\or indigenous sovereignty.
IV. NGOs, legal frameworks and rights.
Please submit a paper title, and a paper abstract of 300-400 words to Sandra Brunnegger and Kate Sullivan at email@example.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org by November 25, 2011. Please include your full contact details and note the session in which you are interested in participating. Successful applicants will be notified by November 30, 2011. Please put the words “Intersections Conference” in the subject line of your submission email.
Deadline for abstract submission is November 25, 2011
Decisions will be sent by November 30, 2011
Circulation of papers and panels, January 7, 2012
University of London
The standard fee is £30 and the reduced student fee is £15.
Please direct registration inquiries to Olga Jimenez at email@example.com
or phone: 0207-78628871
Please direct program inquiries to Kate Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandra Brunnegger, St Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge
Kate Sullivan, California State University, Los Angeles
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