Community Blog

  • 29 Nov 2018 21:51 | Pamela Teutli (Administrator)

    Sponsored by Stanford Law School, the International Junior Faculty Forum (IJFF) was established to stimulate the exchange of ideas and research among younger legal scholars from around the world. We live today in a global community– in particular, a global legal community. The IJFF is designed to foster transnational legal scholarship that surmounts barriers of time, space, legal traditions and cultures, and to create an engaged global community of scholars. The Twelfth IJFF will be held at Stanford Law School in fall 2019 (the exact date has not yet been fixed, but it will probably be in October). 

    In order to be considered for the 2019 International Junior Faculty Forum, authors must meet the following criteria:

    • Citizen of a country other than the United States
    • Current academic institution is outside of the United States
    • Not currently a student in the United States
    • Have held a faculty position or the equivalent, including positions comparable to junior faculty positions in research institutions, for less than seven years as of 2019; and
    • Last degree earned less than ten years before 2019.

    Papers may be on any legally relevant subject and can make use of any relevant approach: they can be quantitative or qualitative, sociological, anthropological, historical, or economic. The host institution is committed to intellectual, methodological, and regional diversity, and welcomes papers from junior scholars from all parts of the world. Please note, however, that already published papers are not eligible for consideration. We particularly welcome work that is interdisciplinary.
    Those who would like to participate in the IJFF must first submit an abstract of the proposed paper. Abstracts should be no more than two (2) pages long and must be in English. The abstract should provide a roadmap of your paper—it should tell us what you plan to do, lay out the major argument of the paper, say something about the methodology, and indicate the paper’s contribution to scholarship. The due date for abstracts is Friday, February 15, 2019, although earlier submissions are welcome. To submit your abstract, please complete our ABSTRACT SUBMISSION FORM.
    After the abstracts have been reviewed, we will invite, no later than the end of March 2019, a number of junior scholars to submit full papers of no more than 15,000 words, electronically, in English, by mid-May 2019. Please include a word count for final papers. There is no fixed number of papers to be invited, but in the past years, up to 50 invitations have been issued from among a much larger number of abstracts.
    An international committee of legal scholars will review the papers and select approximately ten papers for full presentation at the conference, where two senior scholars will comment on each paper. After the remarks of the commentators, all of the participants, junior and senior alike, will have a chance to join in the discussion. One of the most valuable—and enjoyable—aspects of the Forum, in the opinion of many participants, has been the chance to meet junior and senior scholars and to talk about your work and theirs.
    Stanford will cover expenses of travel, including airfare, lodging, and food, for each participant. Questions should be directed to ijff@law.stanford.edu.

  • 19 Oct 2018 17:52 | Pável H. Valer Bellota

    La revista de Derecho YachaQ -del Centro de Investigación de los Estudiantes de Derecho (CIED) de la Universidad Nacional de San Antonio Abad del Cusco (Perú)- ha lanzado su Call of Papers. Reúne artículos de distintas ramas del Derecho, y otorga un espacio especial a las investigaciones de Sociología Jurídica. La revista de Derecho Yachaq, es una importante publicación, que desde su primera edición en el año 2000 ha brindado importante contenido de creación y difusión del conocimiento del campo jurídico. El CIED invita a académicos, investigadores, del Derecho a presentar sus trabajos para la 9na Edición de la Revista de Derecho YachaQ. 

    Más Información:  CALL OF PAPERS

  • 16 Oct 2018 16:54 | Izabela Zonato Villas Boas

    Interviewed by: Izabela Zonato Villas Boas

    Lucero Ibarra Rojas is Professor-Researcher at the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE – México). She holds a PhD in Law & Society at the University of Milan (2015), a Master's in Sociology of Law at the Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law (2010), and a First Degree in Law at the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo (2008). She is editor of Sortuz Oñati Journal of Emergent Socio-Legal Studies and founding member of the Latin American Network on Sociology of Law and the Collective Emancipations on Critical Studies of Law and the Humanities. She has developed and published research on intellectual property, cultural policy, women on the legal profession and feminist mobilization.

    How did you get to where you are today?

    I’m a professor-researcher in Mexico City. I think that I’ve been very luck, that’s important to say. One of the biggest lesson that I’ve learned is that you need to be prepared and you need to be good, but there is a lot of luck also involved. When I was in high school I had a very good professor in Social Economical Problems in Mexico and he recommended, based in a paper that I wrote, that I should study Sociology of Law, starting by Law and going on to Sociology, what would give me a better approach. Besides this, at the time in Mexico, there was not many people doing research in law, so financing and PhD were easier to get. So I did. I went to Law School, and as soon as I finished, I started to look for a master in sociology and Oñati came up on the search. Here I met a lot of people, I expanded what I knew about so many things. After finishing the master, I did a PhD in Law and Society in Milan, in the Renato Treves program. Finishing the PhD I think was the hardest part of my academic career, because you face a lot of uncertainty. I was again very lucky, because CIDE was looking for someone that fited in my profile, a social-legal researcher that did qualitative work, so I applied and I work there now and it is one of the best institutions in México to do socio-legal research.

    What is the experience of giving classes where you have already taken classes?

    Honestly, is like a dream come true, because Oñati was a big opportunity for me. It was the first place where, academically speaking, I felt very comfortable. It happened because of the connection between the institution, students, professors and the Oñati environment. So being the editor of Sortuz or coming to teach is particularly significant to me, more than if it was any other institution. Coming here I met the most brilliant and interesting people that I’ve ever met. The best researchers and the most talent students. When in that environment, having them also think that you can do this, that you are able to bring something to this academic environment, is one of the biggest satisfactions. It is also great to see how capable the students are. And also because this community has helped me grow a lot. Every time that I’m involved with something that has to do with Oñati, I learn a lot. The kind of academic environment of many of the Oñati graduates, former and visiting scholars is one that is not the predatory sort of academic environment which wants to bring people down. To me every environment related with Oñati is about ‘how to help others and to be better myself’. I’ve grown a lot thanks to the Institute.

    Do you think that the fact of being in the other side of the table before helps you to understand the students?

    I hope so, because this program is very particular, different of what you can get in other places, and I hope by the fact that I’ve done this before, and other professors have done this before, it helps to be more sensitive or more sensible about how people are living this experience; and help bringing understanding but also encouragement. Because we know this is not an easy program, but we also know that is very worthy. That you will look back 10 years from now and say “that was a good decision where I grew and learned a lot, that changed my life”. This Master helps, it makes you better as a scholar, but maybe also as a person.

    What do you wish that you knew before starting as a professor/academic?

    Perhaps, I think, I wish that I could met you guys before, know the students, their context and interest. That could be helpful also in the way that you think a course. You want to make your course into something that is interesting for the students, because I don’t believe in the notion that it’s my course and I decide what is interesting or what is important. To an extent I do those things, but to another extent I want the students to be interested, I want to deal to the kind of issues and problems that the students find important. So one thing that could be useful would be to know a bit more about them; but on the other hand, it is good to know you in the interaction. One good thing about being a former student is the fact that I knew that you are coming from different parts of the world, that language can be an issue. We need to consider that you have different perspectives.

    What advice do you give to students who want to pursue an academic career like you?

    The first thing is that you have to enjoy this process and this fantastic opportunity, and to think about what you want to be, the world is full of opportunities. Enjoy the space of curiosity and try to find what makes you passionately interested and that you want to pursue and you want to know more. I think that it is a very enjoyable thing, and sometimes we are so concerned with getting the paper, getting the project, that you don’t stop to say “well, I’ve learned so much and I’m having so many questions and this is awesome”.The second one is being more kind with yourself. Especially because of the pressure of academic life, we tend to be very hard and often punish ourselves when we fail.

  • 4 Sep 2018 15:59 | Anonymous

    September has come with exciting news - on the one hand, The IISL is proud to announce that ANVUR, Italy's National Evaluation Agency for University and Research, has acknowledged the scientific level of Oñati Socio-legal Series and placed it in the category of upper class journals (Class 'A' journals) in both the legal-philosophical and sociological sectors. This is an important achievement, which has been the result of the hard work of Luigi Cominelli, Vincenzo Ferrari and Cristina Ruiz, among others.

    On the other hand, on 1 September has come a third output of the journal, which, under the title Les enjeux de la ritualisation judiciaire. Une réflexion sur les formes du procès, deals with several issues that surround the judicial ritualisation. The monograph has been coordinated by Diane Bernard (Saint-Louis University of Brussels, Belgium).

  • 3 Jul 2018 19:18 | Tanya Monforte

    The 2018 Law & Society meeting held at the Toronto Sheraton must have been one of the largest meetings of the association. It was an extremely well organized, massive conference with enriching panels throughout. However, one can get lost in the shear numbers of panels and bodies. I found myself circulating through the various hallways, winding up and down the many levels to find the meeting rooms—searching out a new bit of research, a refreshing new twist on method. By the end, hitting maximum conference saturation I was not sure I could meet one more person or discuss one more research topic. However, there was one dinner I would not miss irrespective of my level of conference fatigue—that was the Oñati gathering. 

    Irene Torres, our resident Torontonian, generously organized the dinner, and we gathered, most of us strangers, to drink a few beers and eat dinner together. In classic Oñati fashion, we did not remain strangers for long. As people trickled in, bags of Oñati paraphernalia kept materializing filled with t-shirts, chocolate bars, and book bags until Angela Melville decided she would conduct a quiz to distribute the Oñati loot. Santiago Amietta remembered some of the questions that were asked such as,

    Name a professional cyclist from Oñati; How do you say red wine in Euskera; What is the capital of Russia; Name a gastronomical society you know

    Over the chocolate bar Santiago won and shared with the group, I asked several people how they ended up in Oñati. My natural desire to document and categorize these stories led me to one anecdotal observation: many of the stories of the ways people passed through the Institute started with love. One person had to finish his military service before meeting up with his partner who was in Madrid and found Oñati as a refuge for him to be with his partner, another because of love of a mother who came from the Basque Country, and another because she fell for a Basque boy. These stories were compelling, but what was even more striking was that even the stories that started out by a chance encounter such as a flip comment that changed one's trajectory, turned into a love relationship in the end.


    The stories of the institute kept coming back to love and the emotional ties that bind us to this place because of affection for the institution, the town, and the people we know or knew there. These are the bonds that make Oñati special and enduring. Lucero Ibarra Rojas very elegantly put it like this,

    The Oñati Dinner was the social activity that I was most looking forward to in Toronto during the LSA, not only because it is a great opportunity to see old friends, but also because I got to meet some new Oñati friends. While the Oñati crowd does tend to look for each other in academic activities, it is my experience that since these dinners are organised we are more aware of who is around and it is very good to have a set time in which we are sure we will meet. It is also great to share a space in which we get together regardless of age differences or our roles. This is very much like Oñati: students, young scholars and very well established professors sharing anecdotes and fond memories of a place that gives us something in common.

  • 13 Jun 2018 14:06 | Johannes Feest

    Short presentation by Johannes Feest (University of Bremen, Germany)
    at the international Seminar on “Justicia Restaurativa y Prisión”, organized by the Ministry of Justice of the Basque Country, June 4, 2018.

    The author is part of a group of criminologist from different parts of Europe. In the context of the conference “Abolitionist Futures: Building Social Justice Not Criminal Justice” (ICOPA 2018) we are presenting the book
    Massimo Pavarini & Livio Ferrari (eds.) NO Prison. London: EGPress 2018. 

    I. Prison as a punishment is an obsolete social technology

    The invention of the prison as a penal institution (pentitentiary) dates back some 400 years. It can be seen as a step in the right direction when the main task was to abolish the death penalty as the main form of punishment. But today, we must admit that it has become obsolete for several reasons. I will make a long story short, but you will be able to check the details in our book.

    • ·         The deprivation of liberty as a punishment does not fulfill its proclaimed goals, i.e. rehabilitation, deterrence, reduction of crime. It is instead known as a powerful instrument of de-socialization
    • ·         Furthermore, imprisonment violates fundamental human rights: it involves forced labour, forced celibacy and imposed poverty. Long term imprisonment must even be seen as a form of torture.
    • ·         Finally, imprisonment leads to the co-punishment of third parties: children, spouses, parents, friends, employers etc.

    All of this is well-known. There exists a lot of research to prove what I have just said. While some researchers still try to prove that imprisonment has some beneficial effects in some cases under special conditions, they leave aside the other negative effects mentioned. But, among politicians and the general population the prison institution is still widely considered to “work”.

    II. How shall we deal with these findings?

    Those of you, who agree more or less with what I have said so far, will ask: what can we do with, how can we react to such a failed institution?

    The usual answer will be: we have to find alternatives to the prison institution. There is some truth to that, as I will explain in a moment. But I believe that, before looking for alternatives, we need to adopt an “abolitionist stance” (to use a word coined by the great Norwegian sociologis and abolitionst Thomas Mathiesen). That means: saying NO to all inhuman institutions.

    In the past such a primarily moral stance has worked with other institutions. Who would have thought that slavery could ever be overcome as an economic device? Who would have predicted that torture would be outlawed as an instrument of criminal law? Who would have believed that Europe could ever be an area free of capital punishment?

    If such fundamental changes were possible in the past, why not in the future a society. Even a world without prisons?

    III. Some prisons are here to stay a little longer

    But to convince a sufficient part of the population to abandon the idea that prisons serve a useful purpose will take a long time. In order not to appear naive, we should admit that not all forms of imprisonment are doomed to be redundant. At least the following types of confinement have at least some future:

    • ·         as long as we conduct criminal trials, we will want to have some forms of pre-trial detention (if there are no other ways to secure the presence of the accused at the trial)
    • ·         as long as we have people that pose a concrete and grave danger to themselves or to others, we will want to have some form of quarantaine (and try to keep that as short as possible)
    • ·         and as long as we have wars and make prisoners in that context, we will want some sort of P.O.W. camps (and make sure that the standards of international humantitarian law are upheld).

    In what follows, I will concentrate on the question how to get rid of penitentiaries, i.e. prisons as a form of punishment. This should not make us forget the evil of administrative detention, which, in some states (e.g. Egypt, China, Israel and USA/Guantanamo) constitutes a form of extra-judicial punishment.

    IV. Practical strategies to abolish penitentiaries

    There are a number of ways that are available to achieve this goal. And they are not mutually exclusive, but should be used simultaneously, e.g.

    • ·         a first step is to reduce the total character of the prison institution, i.e. to adapt the conditions of confinement as much as possible to outside standards. A prison sentence should consist in the deprivation of liberty and nothing more (as it is laid down in the European Prison Rules).
    • ·         another step would be give sentenced offenders the option to “do time” outside institutions. Instead of serving a prison sentence, they could spend the time doing community work, reparation, therapy, training etc.
    • ·         even more important: large scale decriminalization is called for. A logical starting point would “crimes without victims” like drug offences, which could be dealt with as a health problem rather than a crime problem. This alone would eliminate about half of the present prison population in Europe.
    • ·         another approach would be to release all prisoners who do not pose a clear and present danger to society. That does not mean that they will go unpunished, but that they serve their sanctions in the community (see above).
    • ·         as I said before: only those who present a grave danger to themselves or to others need to be confined in some sort of quarantaine. But because of our limited ability to predict future behavior, we need new principles, e.g. a presumption of non-dangerousness (in analogy to the presumption of innocence).

    V. Brief reminder of the Massachusetts experiment

    To get rid of penitentiaries, we will first of all need courageous and creative civil servants and politicians Let me therefor conclude with the example of one such person: Jerome Miller (1931-2015).

    Jerome Miller became in 1970 head of the Youth Services in the State of Massachusetts. Among other things, he was responsible for the two juvenile prisons of the state, one called “reformatory”, the other “industrial school”. He decided to do away with both of these institutions. His way to go about this seems to me very instructive. He formed a committee of academics and practitioners, which held its sessions at the university. One by one the juvenile delinquents were brought before this committee. There, the committee members looked carefully into every single case and decided what was best for the juvenile (e.g. therapy? education? Work counselling? Placement in a foster family?). At the end of two years, they had found alternatives for every single person. And the prisons were closed down (and never reopened). I think that the Massachusetts experiment can serve as a model for doing away of other prison-like institution (for juveniles as well as for adults). There may be obstacles to such a procedure in other parts of the world. But the main lecture we can learn from it is this:
    We need not think of a “perfect” system of alternatives beforehand, but rather find the alternatives in a case-by case process.  This would be in keeping with the notion of „the unfinished“, which constitutes a central part of Thomas Mathiesen’s philosophy of abolition (see: The Politics of Abolition Revisited. Routledge: London and New York 2015, 21 ff).

  • 6 Jun 2018 10:14 | Anonymous

    Dear readers,

    Oñati Socio-legal Series has just published the second issue of the year:

    Critical Prison Studies, Carceral Ethnography, and Human Rights: From Lived Experience to Global Action.

    The monograph has been edited by Sarah Turnbull (Birkbeck, University of London, UK), Joane Martel (Université Laval, Québec City, Canada), Debra Parkes (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada) and Dawn Moore (Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada), and it includes contributions by Laura Piacentini & Elena Katz, Luigi Gariglio, Gillian Balfour & Joane Martel, Keramet Reiter, and Bree Carlton & Emma K. Russell.

    According to the editors, "the papers explore some of the challenges and possibilities of critical prison research, ranging from issues arising in university research ethics reviews to the limitations of penal reform efforts to end the practice of solitary confinement. Each essay is embedded in a different penal context: Australia, Italy, Russia, Canada, and the United States; and each contributes to broader discussions of critical prison research, utilizing new and old methods and sources, including the ‘netnography’ of prisoner websites and the archives of anti-carceral feminist campaigners. Collectively, the essays bring new insights and methods into scholarly and activist conversations aimed at understanding and responding to the harms of incarceration".

    I hope that you enjoy reading (and sharing) these papers!


  • 22 May 2018 12:06 | Narith NON

    “Sociology of Law” is the term that starts everything about what I want to share here with what I have learned from Basque Culture. I am currently a master’s student of Sociology of Law at the International Institute of Sociology of Law located in a small and beautiful city called Oñati, in the Spanish Basque Country. The experiences I acquired from living in Oñati have changed my life.

    The program is more interesting than I could have ever imagined. The professors and master’s students attending the program come from different countries around the world, which has allowed me to learn not just a particular knowledge of Sociology of Law, but also from different cultures and diverse social experience from every corner of the world and apply a theoretical perspective in class.

    At the same time, we all get to know a beautiful culture from the very place where we live: The Basque Culture. Beside the basic thing we learned which is Euskara, the Basque language, everyone appreciates and loves “Pintxo Pote,” every Thursday, which is the way you buy a drink in a bar and you get one Pintxo for free. A pintxo is kind of small sandwich or snack, the very typical food in most parts of the Basque Country. This culture encourages socialization in the whole society regardless of age, race, sex, and so on.

    I am most grateful for the three different kinds of grants I received during the course, especially the three months grant for resident stay from the institute and the grant for a meal and a trip around the Basque country from a professor who taught in the program. As I come from Cambodia, located in South-East Asia, it has been a great opportunity to travel to different places as much as I can. Regardless of my limited financial means, the generous professors in the program left some money for students in need. I am not the only one who received the aforementioned grants. With the grant to travel around the Basque Country, I had the chance to learn more from their culture and history especially their solidarity and kindness. It would have been a shame for me to travel from my country to here without being able to know such beautiful places and rich culture. I have learned so much from the Basque people. I travelled to the northern part, which is in France,(San Juan De Luz) to parts further South, close to Bilbao (San Juan De Gaztelugatxe). I also learned how to cook Basque food.

    Currently, I am back in my home country doing field research for my thesis. I brought back many memories and experience and ready to go further with working life with confidence and proud. 

  • 3 May 2018 02:55 | Emma Hyndman

    Classes may have come to an end but that doesn’t mean we are done publishing interviews with this year’s students! Most have returned home to complete their thesis, due for completion in August. This edition of "Meet our Kuadrilla” features Jolanta Sawicka from Białystok, Poland, a philosopher simultaneously completing her Ph.D. from the University of Warsaw; and Nick Frijns, from Maastricht, Netherlands, completing his third master’s here in Oñati. He previously studied Dutch law, Criminal law and Criminology & Forensics at Maastricht University. This is the last interview from our series, we hope you enjoyed learning more about the 2017-2018 students! Enjoy and share!

    Jola: How are you feeling, Nick?

    Nick: I feel exhausted!

    Jola: I  feel exhausted, too. Since December I’ve been sick with a cough.

    Nick: I’m more exhausted from the work but I see where you are coming from. What are you going to miss the most?

    Jola: You!… And I will miss the stress.

    *Everyone laughs*

    Jola: I will miss to a certain extent this changeability every two weeks…And for sure I will miss Oñati in general.

    Nick: Same for me. I will really miss this town. I’ve never experienced a town like this…

    Jola: It’s quite interesting. You come from a really big metropolitan European city --

    Nick: --It’s not that big!

    Jola: How big is it?

    Nick: Maastricht is small, 150.000 people tops

    Jola: Oh similar to my town [Białystok], about 300,000 thousand people… But even coming from a small city, I can go even smaller… and even then I can get lost!

    Nick: After a week I thought I had the town figured out but even now I’m discovering something new.

    Jola: Even here I have had so many first times….my first guitar concert at Txaketua, without any professional lessons.

    Nick: You only know two chords but you know how to play them well!

    Jola: Three maybe… There was also the first time I played the drums (its quite interesting). My Euskera lessons. I will miss this first times here. It puts a stamp on my life.

    Nick: Life changing moments, it makes you nostalgic. I’m already nostalgic with this last week!

    Jola: It’s situation like then when something stuck in your throat. „No more pintxo-pote? Oh no!” We can agree that this town, is a really special place. What about the Institute?

    Nick: The Institute is quite peculiar.

    Jola: But what about the idea to organize courses with people from around the world. Is it helpful to learn something more or new from the socio-legal field and to have people from other contexts: social, cultural, philosophical? Is it helpful, or not, from your perspective?

    Nick: Some people found this master’s to be too sociological, some find it too focused on the law. So already people are approaching this all from different perspectives. It’s very interdisciplinary. It’s not just sociology, not just law, and sometimes it’s very political.

    Jola: Hmmm… I was also thinking about the reason why I came here. It was to learn about the relations between law and sociology since my background is in philosophy. I am the only person here who studied only philosophy with no experience in law or sociology. When you have the possibility to talk to people from different countries, you can see the different approaches. Moreover, in Poland, we don’t have such a mixed class. Even when we have people from Erasmus, they are usually organized in one group. But here we have America, Australia, Latin America, and you can see differences not only in approaches but even in the education process. In two weeks we are finishing an essay! In Poland you have a semester that is few months long and not every course is finished by an essay but rather  ends with an exam. Or maybe because of my philosophy background I need more time to rethink of a topic and write and this two-week rhythm was too fast sometimes.

    Nick: I thought I knew what an international environment was…Maastricht is very diverse but not as compared to here. In Maastricht people come from Europe for the most part. But you notice here that Europe is in the minority and you can see the similarities within Europe and then other cultures outside of Europe that are way different as well. That for me was a real eye opener!

    Jola: Full of experiences. No regrets, Nick?

    Nick: Of course not, I will return.

    Jola: You should, just for pintxo-pote.

    Nick: You came in here as a philosopher, so are you going home with more questions?

    Jola: Yes, yes that’s true. More questions and more doubts.

    Nick: I thought so.

  • 26 Apr 2018 15:27 | Lucero Ibarra Rojas (Administrator)
    April 26th is the World Intellectual Property Day and, this year, the celebration goes under the theme “Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity”. With this, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) seeks to highlight women’s role in the creative field, both in arts and in science.
    “The time is ripe to reflect on ways to ensure that increasing numbers of women and girls across the globe engage in innovation and creativity, and why this is so important.”[1].
    This call to show women’s contributions remains necessary. There are plenty of cases in history in which artists have used pseudonyms to hide or disguise that they are women, and accounts of female scientists that have made great contributions to science only to be ignored while their male colleagues were recognized (Marie Curie herself almost didn’t get her Nobel). As a consequence, our voices have been much less heard.
    While contemporarily many aspects have improved, others continue pending. The International Labor Organization (ILO) study “Towards a better future for women and work: Voices of women and men”[2]indicates that gender disparities in the work sphere are reduced as education increases, however, women remain with less access to both education and payed work. The same study also indicates that there are still over 20% of people worldwide who think that women in fact shouldn’t work outside the household.
    In the academic field, women’s creativity and intellect continues to face huge challenges expressed in well known problems such as the payment gap, the glass ceilings or the maternity penalty. Women are paid less, occupy less higher positions and face grave consequences in our career because of poor conditions for motherhood. In addition, a series of studies have documented “what we already know” about the subtle (and not so subtle) ways in which our work is undervalued: from less favorable student evaluations[3], less quotations[4]and syllabus inclusion, to excessive representation in administrative duties[5]and even the fact that the notion of imposter syndrome (as the constant fear to be found as a fraud) was coined in a study on the psychology of women in academia[6]. This without even mentioning the sexual harassment in academia cases that have come to light and that recently motivated the creation of a Special Committee against Harassment in the Latin American Studies Association (well done LASA!). Despite all this, and without a doubt, the creative processes of academia are widely acknowledged and legitimated.
    If we join the World Intellectual Property Day as “an opportunity to highlight how the intellectual property (IP) system can support innovative and creative women (and indeed everyone) in their quest to bring their amazing ideas to market”[7], we must look beyond academia’s Ivory tower, which is actually rather favoured by intellectual property models. A wider view shows that there are female creativities and knowledges that are even further from recognition, that intellectual property’s coloniality is particularly damaging for women, and that a feminist critique calls for a reconsideration of intellectual property.
    As in many other productive aspects, women are only recognized as we generate value in spaces that are historically male; while historically female spaces are kept invisible. The intellectual property rights system based on the author’s genius and disregarding of collective creativities that share a closer link with tradition, hinders creative environments that are frequently female dominated, as can be artisanship (as a field that is conceptually different from art, and valued differently as well) or all the everyday knowledges that are unnamed by science (like the medicine of common wisdom or the one resulting from activities of caring for the family and home).These are the knowledges outside the books.
    The matter, however, is not that the creativity of many women cannot fit the intellectual property rights system, but rather that creative experience shows the limits of the law. To begin with, not all extraordinary ideas belong in the market, nor are monopolies (which is what intellectual property establishes) the only way to acknowledge the value of an idea. Although those of us who know Mexican artisans also know that the lack of recognition is based on a classist and racist undermining of the work of many women on profoundly unfair economic conditions. Women who live their creativity in collective process that go beyond personal talent, who sometimes argue and who often organize themselves. The many female artisan cooperatives that one can find are not always, or not necessarily, an expression of harmony, but rather an acknowledgement of shared needs and creativities. Several arguments are built from these spaces for an acknowledgement made from sharing logics, as can be seen in Santa María Tlahuitoltepec’s statement[8]against the improper appropriation in the hands of French fashion brands.
    In the same sense, open access feminist theories hold that ideas are not independent, as people create in social relations networks. Therefore, author’s rights should establish interaction rules with the users, instead of enabling exclusion mechanisms[9]. But far from being an isolated and exceptional view on creative processes, it is shared by different collectives and scholars who favor collaboration with social actors. Indeed, at the center of collaborative and activist methodologies one can find an ethics of shared production that has little to do with the exclusion strategies that are later expressed, rather thoughtlessly, by the assertion of authorship from traditional forms of intellectual property.
    Thus, to the problems that privileged women who decide to develop in historically male environments face, we must add the complete disregard of any value for the spaces, creativities and intellectual endeavors developed in historically female environments. In the earlier we are yet to achieve equality; the latter remain unnamed. In that sense, a true appreciation of women in creativity and innovation requires that we think over the paradigms of intellectual property and other aspects of regulation in which law determines what we consider knowledge, art or science. And in this endeavor, it is fundamental we engage with the feminist critiques and the proposals that are made from recognition ethics that do not entail monopolies.

    Lucero Ibarra Rojas

    (Professor at the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics - CIDE)

     “I do not think I ever opened a book in my life which had not something to say upon woman's inconstancy. Songs and proverbs, all talk of woman's fickleness. But perhaps you will say, these were all written by men."

    "Perhaps I shall. Yes, yes, if you please, no reference to examples in books. Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything.”

    Jane Austen, Persuasión, 1818.

    [1] http://www.wipo.int/ip-outreach/en/ipday/

    [2] Gallup Institute y International Labour Organization, Towards a better future for women and work: Voices of women and men (Geneva: International Labour Organization, 2017).

    [3] Kristina M. W. Mitchell y Jonathan Martin, “Gender Bias in Student Evaluations”, PS: Political Science & Politics, 2018, 1–5.

    [4] Daniel Maliniak, Ryan Powers, y Barbara F. Walter, “The Gender Citation Gap in International Relations”, International Organization, 67.4 (2018), 889–922.

    [5] Cassandra M. Guarino y Victor M.H. Borden, “Faculty Service Loads and Gender: Are Women Taking Care of the Academic Family?”, Research in Higher Education, 58.6 (2017), 672–94.

    [6] Pauline Rose Clance y Suzanne Ament Imes, “The imposter phenomenon in high achieving women: Dynamics and therapeutic intervention.”, Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice, 15.3 (1978), 241–47.

    [7] http://www.wipo.int/ip-outreach/en/ipday/

    [8] https://twitter.com/MunicipioTlahui/status/606142512235823104

    [9] Carys J. Craig, Joseph F. Turcotte, and Rosemary J. Coombe, “What’s feminist about open access? A relational approach to copyright in the academy”, Feminist@law, 1.1 (2011), 1–35.

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