The 7th Global Meeting on Law and Society took place in Lisbon from July 13 to 16.
Members of the Oñati Community participated in different sessions presenting their research. Here are some of the abstracts of the papers presented:
Translocal legalities: local encounters with transnational law. Marisa N. Fassi (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina), together with Matthew Canfield, Giulia Fabini, Emma Nyhan and Mariana Prand ini
The presentation was based on an article published in Transnational Legal Theory, which presents what we term translocal legalities –emergent forms of normativity constituted through grounded encounters with local and transnational legal practices, discourses, subjectivities, resistance. We shift the gaze of transnational legal scholarship away from a top-down mapping of the structures of global law, towards the situated forms of legality that are produced as legal norms from different scales and contexts circulate, interact, and encounter one another. Analyzing the phenomenology of the encounter, we develop an analytical and empirical approach to understanding these encounters by focusing on how law is constituted not solely within traditional legal organizations and institutions, but through the everyday practices, discourses, subjectivities of those mediating local, national and transnational norms.
Fostering a methodological “evergreen”: the Socratic debate into educational environments and public contexts. A practice to forge a more participatory, honest, and responsible society. Ivan Daldoss (Università degli Studi di Padova)
My contribution shows a methodological path to improve the educational environments through a specific linguistic practice, namely, the debate, conceived as a regulated relationship between opposing parties. Firstly, its great similarities with the game of chess stand out. Indeed, every chess match is played according to predetermined rules and within clear boundaries: the chessboard is the only space where black and white pieces can interact dialectically. Similarly, during a debate, opposite theses clash to confront their best arguments and thus identify which position is the prevailing one.
Secondly, in the wake of this parallel, the purpose of implementing educational processes through the Socratic debate finds inspiration in concrete learning experiences: the specific case of a debating tournament is illustrated, recently held in digital form, which has been involving Italian high school students and teachers for over a decade, registering considerable participation and results. Starting from similar realities, my paper holds that new educational avenues can be imagined and developed both in higher educational institutions –such as universities– and public contexts as well, precisely because the debate is one of the ‘best practices’ to be promoted for the creation of stimulating environments. Thirdly, the article particularly argues for the need to exercise Socratic debate as a method to reach a personal dimension of truth –the goal of ‘Parrhesia’– and thus make rationally based decisions (‘choice-based learning’). Its dialectical dynamic allows for a selective comparison among the various linguistic alternatives at stake. Moreover, the ‘socratically oriented’ debate is presented to be the ideal tool for developing in those who experiment with it a sense of community belonging, as well as a set of skills that are increasingly relevant for social participation and the public dimension of existence (‘soft skills’). Furthermore, this kind of practice favors the emergence of mediative spaces (‘common grounds’) between the positions involved in the dialectical contest, thus contributing to building a more inclusive and pluralist society. Hence, the Socratic debate is displayed as a fundamental approach to forging a more participatory, honest, and responsible society.
Women prosecuted for terrorism in the Basque Country: Deconstructing judicial, media, and NGOs discourse from a feministperspective . Malena Maceira (Universidad de Buenos Aires)
The aim of my research is to observe how ‘women terrorists’ are produced as subjects by existing discourses (Foucault,1986) and if that production implies an extra element of punishment in the convictions that these women obtain. Theproduction of subjects was observed through the critical analysis of discourses such as the ones that the justice systemproduces, the media, or the statements published by victims of terrorism’s organizations.
In the research, I selected three cases where women took part in events that were –and still are, with nuances– consideredpolitical violent acts or acts of terrorism. By using Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis (Lazar, 2007) I gathered judges’ rulingsfrom the Audiencia Nacional and the Tribunal Supremo in Spain that involved these three women. As well, as newspaperarticles from four newspapers (two regional from the Basque country and two at the national level). Finally, I gathered thevictims of terrorism’s organizations statements that were made regarding these three women.
As for the fi ndings of the research I have obtained strong evidence that women are produced as subjects that are locatedremotely from the idea of subject ‘women’ without the element of violence. It seems to prevail the idea that women are nocapable to exercise violence without being considered as a monstrosity. This viewpoint is more nuanced in the rulings butvery much openly debated within the newspapers articles and even more when observing the victims’ organizations. Inaddition, I can say that in part, the extra component of punishment that society applies to women that are considered‘deviant’ exists, and it is easily observed through how the media refl ects on the amount years of punishment that thesewomen received.
Therefore, from this starting point, I believe that further discussions remain regarding how these women are convicted andin which way their conviction is being executed. This translates into a research project that would shed light on theexecution of punishment from a feminist perspective.
Specters of Abolition: A Decolonial Reading of Slavery, Race and Law in Catalonia.
Deo Szpiga (International Institute for theSociology of Law, UPV/EHU)
My paper presents the main arguments and fi ndings of my Master’s dissertation. I examine the contribution of Catalonia tothe production of the current modern/colonial world-system. Through a genealogical analysis, and from postcolonial andpoststructuralist epistemologies, I take the case of Catalan participation in the transatlantic slave trade to reveal how lawand coloniality have co-produced a triumphalist narrative of abolition and end of slavery, while simultaneously(re)producing the ontological coloniality that was the basis for slavery in the fi rst place, and concealing its contemporarycontinuities. In this sense, understanding law as a dispositif which produces subjects of colonial governmentality, thusjustifying the dispossession and appropriation of knowledges, resources, and bodies in the Global South; the sametechnologies that, coincidentally and since late-modernity, have been employed by the imperial-colonial Spanish regime toconstitute and perpetuate the status of Catalonia as a stateless nation. The paper is structured in four main axes, with asingle unifying thread (i.e. the relationalities between race, power, and law): 1) law as a race-making regime; 2) slavery andthe law; 3) abolition and emancipation in the 19th century; and, fi nally, 4) law as abolition. In this context, the interrogationsthat drive the dissertation are the following: 1) What role did the law play in creating, defi ning, and sustaining theManichean subjectivities of slave/slave owner, colonized/colonizer?; 2) Why did the formal abolition of slavery and the slavetrade through law fail to put an end to such practices?; 3) What are the paradoxes and myths of law-as-abolition, and whichinterests did law as a discourse of abolition serve?; 4) How does Catalonia, specifi cally, fi t into these contradictoryontological modalities, being —at times inconcurrently, at times simultaneously— both a colonizing power and a colonizedpeople itself?
The coloniality of international law: The Agreement between Argentina and the IMF as a case study to critically rethink therelationship between law, power and politics.
Juan Martín Liotta (International Institute for the Sociology of Law (UPV/EHU),Universidad de Buenos Aires)
My presentation shares to my Sociology of Law master´s dissertation. I seek to contribute to the critical legal studies oninternational law and colonialism. I focus my analysis on the agreement signed between Argentina and the IMF in July 2018.This agreement has been strongly criticized for being contrary to the institution`s regulations and for supportingpresidential electoral chances of a political party in 2019.
I use this Agreement, as a case study to argue that international law legitimizes and reproduces neocolonial relationsbetween Global North and Global South states. This research is guided by the following questions: what role doesinternational law play in regulating relations between states in the global North and South? How does transnational actorsmanage to impose their private interest and refl ect them into public policies?
From a postcolonial and poststructuralist understanding of law and power, I will refer to Enrique Mari´s body of work.Especially to his concept of law as a part of a dispositif that legitimizes and reproduces power relations. I further highlightthe “colonial legacies” of modern law. This is, during the last centuries, law evolved pierced by political and social context ofcolonial expansion and adopted the strategic function of legitimizing these relations. The legal discourses refl ect anideology which aims to perpetuate dynamics of power and dominance that favor Global North states, transnational privateactors and local elites. In this context, the International Monetary Fund played a necessary and key role since de 1970s inimposing neoliberal policies in Global South states, promote a transnational governance and reduce local sovereignty. Therulemakers role was then adopted by private actors, according to its own interests. This process had as a consequence theprivatization of democracy.
The case study will be helpful to notice how this process has placed in the Argentinean context in the 21st century. I aim toreveal how international law adapts itself to legitimize neocolonial domination.
Pluralism of sources and human rights of children and adolescents . Laura Lora (Instituto Ambrosio L. Gioja, Universidad de Buenos Aires).
Following the 1994 constitutional reform in Argentina, Article 75, paragraph 17 of the Constitution establishes that Congresshas the power to "recognize the ethnic and cultural pre-existence of Argentina's indigenous peoples" and "guaranteerespect for their identity". It follows that the culture and, therefore, the identity of such communities must be safeguardedand that there is not only a legal interest in this, but also a constitutional interest. And, obviously, this culture can bemanifested through written (laws) or unwritten (customs) norms.
Likewise, Article 75, paragraph 22 grants Constitutional hierarchy to the International Convention on the Rights of the Child,which in its Article 3, paragraph 1, establishes that "In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public orprivate social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of thechild shall be a primary consideration".
I propose to refl ect on the narratives of rights based on a concrete case involving the human rights of a girl living in a Wichicommunity in Tartagal, where the conduct of a member was judged, accused of having repeated carnal access with hisstepdaughter, since her menarche, which took place when she was 9 or 11 years old, and whom he impregnated a yearlater.
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