Organised by the Student Salon of the Centre for the study of Colonialism, Empire and International Law (CCEIL) at SOAS, University of London, 16 March 2013
The purpose of this symposium is to assess critically the role of law as a technology in imperialist projects and in shaping world inequalities. While our use of the term ‘technology’ is informed by Foucauldian ideas of power structures it also signifies the tangible tools used to pursue imperialist endeavours. It is within the interstices created by these two definitions that the symposium will approach the notions of technology. The event is intended to provide a space for interdisciplinary dialogue on the intersection of imperialism, law, and inequality.
This symposium is for Masters students. It provides a unique and exciting opportunity for masters students to present and discuss their research at an international conference that includes renowned academics in the field. The idea is to create a collaborative space where master students and academics can interact and exchange and discuss ideas. The masters meet the Masters…
Provisional panels and themes include:
1. International Law, Security, Violence — what is the connection between the development of state weaponry and surveillance methods tested in the peripheries? With the advent of new forms of weaponry (eg, drones, bio and genetic weaponry) do we need a new conceptualization of the “law of war?” To whom does the “law of war” apply in a racialised world? Does the “state of exception” reinforce colonial power structures?
2. Property rights and the Law of Contract — were property rights instrumental in the development of international law or notions of sovereignty? What role did they play in the exclusion of indigenous peoples? What is their legacy in land disputes in the post-colonial state? What is the relationship between property rights and contract? Does contract theory have anything to tell us about global inequality?
3. The Rule of Law and Development — How might rule of law discourse and practice, as the object of strenuous programmatic exertions and privileged policy attention by multilateral and bilateral development agencies, carry on and specially inflect the standing categories and established hierarchies of ‘development’? How is the orderliness of a legal order identified and measured for purposes of comparative evaluation and ranking? How is a polysemic and indeterminate concept like ‘rule of law,’ the semantic reference of which has long been vigorously and variously disputed, employed in both policy documents of institutions like the World Bank and the academic literature? Has a legal criterion now become incorporated in the very idea of development itself? What have been the ideological and practical consequences of the ROL moment in development?
Please submit a 300 word proposal by 8 February 2013 to:
Selected papers will be contacted by 15 February 2013 with further details.