Six Bursaries Available: The Public Life of Private Law (ESRC) Seminar Series

Six bursaries are avail­able to as­sist PhD stu­dents and re­cent PhD gradu­ates in any dis­cip­line to at­tend all four sem­inars in the UK’s ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) sem­inar series The Public Life of Private Law, which will run 2013 – 2014. The first sem­inar takes place at the University of Kent on 18 January 2013.

The series ex­am­ines the re­la­tions between private legal ob­lig­a­tion and polit­ical struggle. Private law has an ever more de­manding public life. If it ever had any ma­terial reality, the tra­di­tional view that saw public law as un­der­pin­ning the just dis­tri­bu­tion of power between cit­izens and the state, and private law as primarily con­cerned with reg­u­lating in­di­vidual apolit­ical pro­jects, is no longer viable. Private law is in­creas­ingly vis­ible in the man­age­ment of polit­ical con­flict, whether that is the use of ‘per­sons un­known in­junc­tions’ to pre­vent protest, tort and land law lit­ig­a­tion for human rights ab­uses or the privat­iz­a­tion of re­li­gious di­vorce. It fre­quently de­term­ines the legal and polit­ical spaces in which dis­putes are staged, and sets the thresholds for entry into those spaces. By trans­posing polit­ical dis­agree­ment into its own dis­course of risk, re­spons­ib­ility, duty, agree­ment, harm, resti­tu­tion and com­pens­a­tion, it opens some pos­sib­il­ities for polit­ical ac­tion and con­strains others. All this oc­curs ac­cording to the pe­cu­liar sanc­tions, rem­edies and flows of power which private law entails. The series seeks to in­vest­igate new uses of private law, which may gen­erate novel ‘strategies of rup­ture’ or jar­ring or vi­olent ex­per­i­ences of being ‘bound to law’; of polit­ical and legal dislocation.

The sem­inar series is free to at­tend. We are of­fering six bursaries of up to £400 each to sub­sidise PhD stu­dents’ travel and ac­com­mod­a­tion costs. This sup­port is avail­able to stu­dents who are able to at­tend each of the four sem­inars. You may be eli­gible for one of the six bursaries if you are:

  • A cur­rent or recently-​completed PhD stu­dent in any dis­cip­line, and not yet in a salaried full-​time aca­demic post.
  • Working in any dis­cip­line on a pro­ject which is rel­evant to the themes of this sem­inar series.
  • Able to at­tend each of the 4 sem­inars in the series during 2013 and 2014.
  • Willing to par­ti­cipate in the work of the series by (i) acting as a dis­cussant at least one of the sem­inars (ii) pro­du­cing oc­ca­sional blogs and other con­tent for this web­site as required.

If you wish to apply for one of the bursaries, please email Mairead Enright m.enright[at] ex­plaining (in 500 words max.) how your PhD re­search in­ter­sects with the aims of the work­shop. Please at­tach a CV, in­cluding a list of pub­lic­a­tions. The dead­line for ap­plic­a­tions is 14 December 2012 at 5pm.

Further de­tails, in­cluding a de­scrip­tion of all four sem­inars, is avail­able at The Public Life of Private Law web­site: http://​pub​licprivatelaw​.word​press​.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *