New book: Dr. Gamze Erdem Türkelli, “Children’s Rights and Business: Governing Obligations and Responsibility” (Cambridge University Press, 2020)

Children’s Rights and Business: Governing Obligations and Responsibility, Gamze Erdem Türkelli (Cambridge University Press, 2020)

Children’s Rights and Business: Governing Obligations and Responsibility is a comprehensive legal inquiry into children’s rights and business. Relying on insights from various disciplines, the book illustrates the need for a children-focused inquiry on business and human rights. An analysis of the norm legalization process around the regulation of business and human rights, particularly of children’s rights follows the inquiry into existing hard and soft law regulatory frameworks on children’s rights and business. The book goes on to evaluate the promise of these frameworks in light of globalized business transactions through the lens of in-depth case illustrations on children’s rights in cotton and mineral supply chains and children’s rights in large-scale energy and transport investment projects. Finally, it concludes with a normative outlook on governing the children’s rights obligations of businesses and responsibility when violations occur, drawing on global governance approaches.

Dr. Gamze Erdem Türkelli, an LDRN member, is a Research Foundation-Flanders (FWO) appointed post-doctoral researcher at the University of Antwerp Law Faculty – Law and Development Research Group (an LDRN partner institution).

New book: Dr. Kinnari Bhatt, “Concessionaires, Financiers and Communities: Implementing Indigenous Peoples’ Rights to Land in Transnational Development Projects” (Cambridge University Press, 2020)

Concessionaires, Financiers and Communities: Implementing Indigenous Peoples’ Rights to Land in Transnational Development Projects, Kinnari Bhatt (Cambridge University Press, 2020)

Unrelenting demands for energy, infrastructure and natural resources, and the need for developing states to augment income and signal an ‘enterprise-ready’ attitude mean that transnational development projects remain a common tool for economic development. Yet little is known about the fragmented legal framework of private financial mechanisms, contractual clauses and discretionary behaviours that shape modern development projects. How do gaps and biases in formal laws cope with the might of concessionaires and financiers and their algorithmic contractual and policy technicalities negotiated in private offices? What impacts do private legal devices have for the visibility and implementation of Indigenous peoples’ rights to land? This original perspective on transnational development projects explains how the patterns of poor rights recognition and implementation, power(lessness), vulnerability and, ultimately, conflict routinely seen in development projects will only be fully appreciated by acknowledging and remedying the pivotal role and priority enjoyed by private mechanisms, documentation and expertise. This book:

  • Introduces the phenomenon of transnational development projects as a new field for multi-disciplinary research, policy making and corporate practice
  • Provides fresh, rigorous and real-life case study and documentary illustrations into the interfaces and tensions between technical, algorithmic and hidden contractual and policy mechanisms, neoliberal values and the implementation of customary rights to land
  • Provides practical recommendations for a preventative remedial agenda that can inform those engaged in private sector development, the implementation of land rights issues, and business and human rights

Dr. Kinnari Bhatt is a postdoctoral researcher on the research project ‘integrating normative and functional approaches to the rule of law and human rights’ (INFAR). The project is a cross-disciplinary initative of  the Erasmus University School of Law in Rotterdam and the International Institute of Social Studies in the Hague (an LDRN partner institution).

To obtain a 20% discount on this book, order via Cambridge University Press using the code BHATT2020

Upcoming academic opportunities: April / May deadlines

Vacancies / fellowships / scholarships

Law & Society Scholars-in-Residence | Center for Law, Society & Culture -Indiana University Maurer School of Law, USA (deadline: 15 April 2020)

Teaching fellow  – Stanford Programme in International Legal Studies | Stanford School of Law, CA, USA (deadline: 15 April 2020)

Two PhDs on urbanisation, urbanity, and urban diversity in relation to African Studies | African Studies Centre Leiden, Leiden University, The Netherlands (deadline: 1 May 2020)

Two ERC doctoral scholarships – PROPERTY[IN]JUSTICE – Land, Property and Spatial Justice in International Law | Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin, Ireland (deadline: 15 May 2020)

Assistant Professor of Sociology – Immigration | California State University San Marcos, USA (rolling deadline)

Calls for abstracts / papers

Thinking Forward | Ghent University, Belgium | 18 -20 November 2020 (deadline: 15 April 2020)

Vacancies: Assistant Professors on Law and Society and Law and Development  | Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society, Leiden Law School, The Netherlands (deadline 26 April 2020)

The Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society (VVI) seeks applicants for two

Assistant Professors on Law and Society and Law and Development 

Key responsibilities

  • Teaching and developing socio-legal courses in VVI’s academic domain of law and society / law and development. This could include courses such as Law, Governance and Development, Introduction to Socio-Legal Studies,  Law and Culture, Law, Sharia and Governance, Making Human Rights Work, and Qualitative Methodology. for the bachelors and masters programmes of Leiden Law School and Leiden University College;
  • Developing research and conducting research in VVI’s academic domain;
  • Cooperating in the acquisition and management of research and teaching projects.

Selection criteria

  • Relevant Masters degree in Law, and/or Social Sciences, and/or Humanities;
  • PhD degree directly relevant to VVI’s academic domain and approach;
  • Teaching experience; proven record as good, inspiring teacher;
  • Experience with developing new teaching modules;
  • Experience with socio-legal research on the national and local level in the Global South and/or the Global North;
  • Good publication record commensurate with career stage;
  • Good language skills, including an excellent command of English. Knowledge of Dutch is considered an advantage;
  • Team player with strong proven organizational skills, and relevant networks;
  • Willingness to travel.

See the vacancy notice here for full details. 

Deadline: 26 April 2020

LDRN 2020 & COVID-19: LDRN 5th annual conference postponed to September 2021

In the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Law and Development Research Network (LDRN) has had to take the difficult decision to postpone its 5th annual conference to September 2021. The conference was to be held on 21 – 23 September 2020 at Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. This plan is no longer deemed viable given our collective responsibility to participate in ensuring public health and safety, as well as the need to acknowledge the uncertainties brought about by this situation.
The network fully supports the host university in this difficult moment, and is grateful for the considerable work that has already been put into organizing the conference, as well as Nelson Mandela University’s continued commitment to hosting in September 2021.
We are also grateful for the interest and engagement of all the researchers who already submitted abstracts and panel proposals, and will be reaching out to all of you individually.
While we await our next in-person events, we aim to create opportunities this year to bring the LDRN community together online to engage with each other’s work, including around the original timing of the 2020 conference.

We will be delighted to share these plans with you via the LDRN website and newsletter – please do subscribe to stay in touch.

LDRN 5th annual conference: ten extra days to submit your proposal! (new deadline: 20 March)

The submission deadline for the 5th annual LDRN conference has been extended to 20 March 2020 – ten extra days to send in your abstract or panel proposal! 

Visit the conference website for more information, and/or to send your submission. The website now allows for multiple submissions per individual (e.g. abstract + panel proposal).

A limited number of travel stipends are available – applications should be submitted together with the abstract/panel proposal.

The LDRN 5th Annual Conference – “Challenges for Law and Development: Responses” will be hosted at Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa on 21 – 23 September 2020.

Download the updated call for papers here!

LDRN 5th annual conference: 10 days left to submit your abstract / panel proposal!

Proposals and expressions of interest are due on 9 March 2020 for the LDRN 5th annual conference – don’t miss out!

Visit the conference website for more information, and/or to submit your abstract or panel proposal. A limited number of travel stipends are available.

The LDRN 5th Annual Conference – “Challenges for Law and Development: Responses” will be hosted at Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa on 21 – 23 September 2020.

Download the updated call for papers here.

New book and online course on mining and development by Tracy-Lynn Field, University of the Witwatersrand School of Law (Edward Elgar Publishers / edX)

State Governance of Mining, Development and Sustainability (Edward Elgar Publishers, 2019)

States in mineral-rich jurisdictions promote mining as a development industry, and at the same time attempt to protect people and the environment from the worst excesses of extractivism and neo-extractivism. Exploring how the State’s role in facilitating a developmental and sustainable mining industry has been defined, this book provides a world-first global, comparative analysis of the principal narratives framing mining, development and sustainability in developed and developing countries. The book illustrates how these themes are woven into technical governance areas of property, taxation, environmental assessment and mine closure. Ultimately, this book shows how the promotional and protective role of the State constituted by the advocacy, policies and laws of international financial institutions, industry associations, activists, and mineral-rich jurisdictions supports an unsustainable system of global mining production. 

Mining for Development: The Taxation Linkage (online course,

Tax revenues are likely to be the core benefit of mineral extraction for host States. To promote mining for development, States must design mineral fiscal regimes that consider the interests of a wide range of stakeholders. Their choices have major implications for public finance, development and sustainability. This course will help policy makers, managers in private sector companies, and activists understand these choices and their implications.

This book and online course were authored by Prof. Tracy-Lynn Field of University of the Witwatersrand School of Law (an LDRN partner institution).

LDRN 5th Annual Conference: dedicated conference website launched

The conference website for the LDRN 5th Annual Conference – “Challenges for Law and Development: Responses” – has been launched at 

Visit the conference website for more information on conference themes and submission formats, and to submit proposals and expressions of interest by 9 March 2020.

The conference website will also be updated with further details on conference logistics, and will serve as the main point of contact between participants and the local organizing committee.

The LDRN 5th Annual Conference will be hosted at Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa on 21 – 23 September 2020.

Download the call for papers here!