Socio-Legal Studies Association
Conference – Lancaster 2016
Tuesday 5th April – Thursday 7th April 2016
This theme aims to approach the categories of Law, Empire and Colonialism from a variety of angles: Law within Empire and the Empire within Law; Law within Colonialism and Colonialism within Law; as well as the multiple theoretical and historical links between these categories. It will address how the instrumentality of law is employed by Empire and Colonialism to initiate and strengthen the control of the dominant regimes. Law in these context(s) becomes tied with the creation of a particular kind of knowledge – one based on classification, differentiation, enumeration and creation of hierarchies of culture, power, customs and normative orders.
This ‘violent’ and ‘totalising’ control by colonial regimes led to the fossilisation of local normative orderings, but also dramatically altered the nature of law and justice (as well as the state) in the colonies. But this introduction of a particular tendency in relation to law and the state did not end with the ‘de-colonial’ moment; rather, it has continued in the ‘age of Empire’ as well. This does not imply that colonialism and Empire should be considered as specific, disparate historical events, but also as conceptual categories that are interwoven in history and interconnected in their logics.
In this regard, the theme will request scholars and researchers working in this field to approach the issue from a variety of standpoints. Possible topics might include: the legal experiments in (Empire’s) colonies; the encounters between local and hegemonic legal and normative orders; legal histories; gender, law and colonial; nature of the state in (pre/post)colonial environment; the creation and governance of the colonial/Empire’s subject; transplantation of law and justice from Metropole to the colony, and so on.
The deadline for submissions is Monday 18th January 2016.
Further details available at