[URBANTH-L]CFP: 'Soft Law' Practices, EASA 2008, Ljubljana

filippo zerilli zerilli at unica.it
Tue Feb 19 08:18:36 EST 2008

Workshop at the 10th Biennial Conference of the European Association of
Social Anthropologists (EASA) Ljubljana, Slovenia, 26 - 30 August 2008


'Soft law' has undoubtedly acquired a prominent position in the making of a
global legal order. Designating quasi-legal instruments, such as 'principles
of conduct', 'guidelines', 'code of practices', 'declarations', it is widely
used by non-state actors such as the IMF and the WTO and by transnational
political institutions such as the UN, the EU and even the G8. This panel
invites empirical (ethnographic) case studies of its concrete functioning
within any politicised social field (migration policies, trade agreements,
bioethics, security and anti-terrorism strategies, human rights etc).
Relevant questions include: how does soft low operate in the realm of social
relations, how is it concretely fabricated and by whom? From which sites do
its principles and codes of practices emanate? What is the interconnection,
if any, between hard and soft law? What is the social logic of their often
unquestioned separation? To which extent can soft law be considered the
product of a paradigmatic shift from the sovereignty of state law to the
supranational legal order of 'fast capitalism'? Is soft law an expression of
an increasing economisation of the juridical typical of neoliberal ideology?
Who benefits from it and why? We also very much wish the panel to be taken
as an opportunity to reflect upon the diversity and mutuality which exist
between the disciplines of law and anthropology today, asking how they
respectively contribute to the understanding of the contemporary
transformation of law (and anthropology) and the production of a global
legal order.

Workshop convenors (contact information):
Filippo M. Zerilli (University of Cagliari) zerilli at unica.it
Marie-Benedicte Dembour (University of Sussex) m.dembour at sussex.ac.uk

To propose a paper submit an abstract (up to 250 words) at

Conference details at

Deadline for paper proposal is March 31st, 2008

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