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 ldrn2020.org.za 

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!

Upcoming academic opportunities: March / April deadlines

The following opportunities may be of interest to researchers in the field of law and development:


Iowa Law Faculty fellowship | University of Iowa, USA (deadline: 5 March 2020)

Postdoctoral researcher – Development Processes, Actors and Policies | Institute of Development Policy, University of Antwerp, Belgium (deadline: 15 March 2020)

Associate professor – socio-legal studies | Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford, UK (deadline: 2 April 2020)

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

Research associate – qualitative research on New York bail reform | Vera Institute of Justice, New York, USA / remote (rolling deadline)

Visiting clinical supervisor – immigration law clinic | Brooklyn Law School, NY, USA (rolling deadline)

Conferences and workshops

Law and Digital Society: Re-Imagining the Futures – Conference of the Research Committee for the Sociology of Law | Lund University, Sweden | 24 – 26 August 2020 (deadline: 15 March 2020)

Science for Sustainable Development – Conference of the ACV International Law Institute and the Cambridge University Brazilian Alumni | São Paulo, Brazil | 2 – 3 July 2020 (deadline: 30 March 2020)

The European Convention on Human Rights Turns 70 – Taking Stock, Thinking Forward | Ghent University, Belgium | 18 -20 November 2020 (deadline: 15 April 2020)


LDRN members are welcome to announce any opportunities (e.g. vacancies, scholarships, calls for papers) by contacting the Editor.

Opportunities are updated throughout the month, so do visit LawDev.org  again, or subscribe to the LDRN newsletter to receive a monthly roundup.

Call for papers: LDRN 5th Annual Conference – “Challenges for Law and Development: Responses” | Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa | 21 – 23 September 2020 (abstract deadline: 9 March 2020)

The call for papers is now available for the LDRN 5th Annual Conference – “Challenges for Law and Development: Responses”

The conference will be hosted at Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa on 21 – 23 September 2020.

Download the call for papers here and submit your proposal / expression of interest by 9 March 2020 via the conference website. Further details on conference logistics will also be made available on the conference website.

Sign up for the LDRN newsletter to receive conference announcements and updates!


Call for Papers: LDRN 5th Annual Conference – “Challenges for Law and Development: Responses”, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 21 – 23 September 2020

The world is confronting immense challenges that place strain on people’s way of life, legal systems and domestic mechanisms of governance. Although these challenges occur worldwide, they often impact most severely on people living in the Global South. They include climate change leading to crippling droughts, floods, bushfires and rising sea levels; sustainability; poverty and inequality; gender-based violence; state-based corruption and poor governance; the confiscation of indigenous lands; conflicts, including over land, the sea and natural resources; the dislocation and isolation of populations consequent upon these phenomena; human mobility; rampant xenophobia and racism; and widespread human rights violations. Untold pressure is placed on domestic institutions responsible inter alia for health care, education, housing, social welfare, and social protection, and concerns are raised about the rule and role of law, governance, and individual well-being. Scholars of law and development are justifiably concerned about these global realities, to be addressed as the Network’s annual conference takes place for the first time in the Global South.

The 5th Annual Conference of the LDRN will explore the meaning, causes and consequences of the challenges identified and seek to identify appropriate responses from legal systems and Law and Development researchers and practitioners. Participants are invited to contribute to two specific tracks.

The first track confronts the conceptual challenges in Law and Development scholarship. Participants are invited to consider how Law and Development can respond to the global challenges to ensure the field’s continuing viability and relevance. Additionally, are there separate southern and northern perspectives on Law and Development? How do we overcome the tension between such perspectives for the benefit of the global good?

The second track of the conference invites participants to consider the more specific global challenges facing Law and Development scholars and practitioners, divided into six sub-streams, as follows:

  • Governance, human rights, and the rule of law – specifically, the protection of the rights to equality and dignity; the advancement of socio-economic rights, mainly in the Global South; the balance between civil, political and social rights; and the impact of poor governance and corruption on development and the rule of law.
  • Environment, the law of the sea and development, sustainable development and climate change – participants are asked to consider the responses required to address the global environmental challenges identified in the call.
  • Land – the protection of land rights; access to land; land reform; land conflicts; and the land rights of indigenous persons in both domestic and international law.
  • Human mobility – participants are encouraged to consider the impact of human mobility on both domestic governance and dislocated peoples and to explore appropriate legal responses.
  • Social protection – recognised in its extensive sense, as an issue of critical concern to societies both in the Global South and North, with participants considering the need for innovative approaches.
  • International economic law and development finance – participants are asked to explore key challenges in international economic law and development finance and the responses needed to address poverty and inequality in the Global South.

As in prior conferences, we aim to promote a dialogue between scholars and practitioners from the Global South and North and especially welcome participants from the Global South.

SUBMISSIONS: We invite proposals for individual papers or panels on any topic or theme in the two tracks. Proposals for panel discussions should indicate potential participants. Proposals should contain an abstract of 200-300 words. Book launch panels are also invited.

DEADLINE: Proposals and expressions of interest should be submitted by 9 March 2020 via the conference website. Please note that you will first be asked to register on the website and then to submit your abstract.

CONTACT: Please submit your submissions via the landing page on the conference website. Questions may be addressed via the conference website or to Tanya.Stephens@mandela.ac.za

TRAVEL STIPENDS: A limited number of travel stipends for speakers based in the Global South are available. Applications should be submitted with proposals for papers or panels in accordance with the criteria published on the conference website.

DECISIONS on papers and panels will be announced by 30 April 2020.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION on conference themes, submissions and stipends, please see the conference website.

Upcoming academic opportunities: February deadlines

The following opportunities may be of interest to researchers in the field of law and development:

Vacancies / fellowships / scholarships

Research fellow – property as habitat: reintegrating place, people, and law | Melbourne Law School, Australia (deadline: 3 February 2020)

Assistant professor – globalization and development | Maastricht University, The Netherlands (deadline: 6 February 2020)

Assistant professor – sociology | University of San Francisco, USA (deadline: 10 February 2020)

Program Officer – American Institutions, Society, and the Public Good | American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Cambridge, MA, USA (deadline: 11 February 2020)

Department chair & professor/associate professor + assistant professor – race, ethnicity & gender studies | University of Missouri Kansas City, USA  

Conferences and workshops

Thirteenth International Junior Faculty Forum  |  Stanford Law School, USA | October 2020  (deadline: 7 February 2020)

The Sexual Politics of Freedom | Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland, Galway | 22 – 23 May 2020 (deadline: 21 February 2020)

Indigenous Private Law | Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada | 8 May 2020 (deadline: 28 February 2020)

Call for abstracts: 17th Development Dialogue Conference – Engaged Scholarship for Development: Building Solidarity, Peace and Social Justice | International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague, The Netherlands | 29 June – 2 July 2020 (deadline: 15 January 2020)

The International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), an LDRN partner, is  pleased to announce the call for abstracts for the 17th Development Dialogue conference.

The Development Dialogue (DD) is a yearly ISS conference organised by and for PhD researchers in development studies and related fields. The theme for the DD17 conference is ‘Engaged Scholarship for Development: Building Solidarity, Peace and Social Justice’ to take place on 29 – 30 June 2020 at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague, The Netherlands. The upcoming DD17 will also serve as a pre-conference of the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) triennial conference, taking place on 29 June – 2 July 2020 and also to be hosted at ISS.

The rationale behind the conference’s theme comes from the idea that we are living in an era of multiple crises –of widespread inequality, violence, poverty, climate change, the rise of extreme nationalism, racism, war, human rights violations, etc. – which are systemically linked. Conventionally, PhD researchers are expected to theorise, explain, predict and suggest recommendations for their selected topics. As young researchers, our attempts to fulfil our academic obligations often result in our being confined to our specific areas of study. Whereas our intellectual projects provide us with in-depth knowledge and insights into the issues that we investigate, it is crucial that we also reflect on the implications of our work in the context of the current globalised struggles. All of these require building alternatives for social change, as well as our engagement with counter narratives and other forms of resistance.

In this year’s DD, we seek contributions that critically engage with broader global development issues, particularly those in line with the EADI 2020 conference themes of solidarity, peace and social justice.

See the full call for abstracts and application information 

Deadline: 15 January 2020

Call for papers: Glasginburgh 2020: International Law and Distribution: Sustainable Development, Security and the Governance of Resources | University of Glasgow, UK | 8 – 9 June 2020 (abstract deadline: 30 November 2019)

In collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, the University of Glasgow will host a conference titled “International Law and Distribution: Sustainable Development, Security and the Governance of Resources” on 8 – 9 June 2020, with Priya Lal (Boston College, USA) and Margot Salomon (London School of Economics, UK) as keynote speakers.

The organizers are particularly interested to receive applications in the following areas:

* International law and the governance of natural resources
* Socio-economic rights at the bilateral, regional and global levels
* Distribution of power within, and by international institutions
* International economic law, development, and distribution
* Distributive effects of knowledge production in international law
* Distributive impacts of the climate change regime
* Access to water and the distribution of water-based resources in international law
* Conflict, security and distributional issues
* Theoretical reflections about distributive role of international law
* Self-determination, nationality and distributions of territory
* SDGs and the sources of international law
* The MDG/SDG Agenda in the UN reform process
* The triple nexus of humanitarian aid, development, & peace-building

Deadline for abstracts: 30 November 2019

For further details, see the full call for papers.

*UPDATED* Upcoming academic opportunities: December / January / February deadlines

Conferences and workshops

Law & Society Association Graduate Student & Early Career Workshop | Denver, Colorado, USA | 26-27 May 2020 (deadline: 16 December 2019)

Sixth Annual Junior Scholars Conference | University of Michigan Law School, USA | 17 – 18 April 2020 (deadline: 3 January 2020)

Thirteenth International Junior Faculty Forum  |  Stanford Law School, California, USA | October 2020 (date tbc) (deadline: 7 February 2020)


American Bar Foundation / JPB Foundation Access to Justice Scholars Program | 15-month faculty scholarships (non-residential) & 2-year post-doctoral scholarship (residential – Chicago, USA) (deadline: 15 January 2020)


Assistant Professor of International Affairs and Global Studies | The New School, New York, USA (deadline: 1 December 2019 / open until filled)

Assistant Professor of Global Health and Social Justice | University of California Santa Cruz, USA (deadline: 14 January 2019)

Early career researchers’ workshop: Law, Rights, and Governance in Africa | Leiden University, The Netherlands | 28 – 29 January 2020 (deadline: 10 November 2019)

Applications are open for the two-day workshop “Law, Rights, and Governance in Africa. A look to the Future”, which will take place at Leiden University, The Netherlands on 28 – 29 January 2020.

The workshop will facilitates exchange and dialogue between 12 early career researchers (PhD candidates & post-docs) working on topics of law, (human) rights and governance in Africa. Researchers from a wide range of
disciplines – i.e. African studies, law, anthropology, sociology, geography, political science and development studies – are welcome to apply in order to meet and exchange ideas and findings. Through adopting an interdisciplinary approach, the aim is to bring together researchers from different universities, faculties, and departments to exchange and work on new research agendas from diverse perspectives.

For further details on themes, submission guidelines and participation costs / grants, please see the full call for papers

Deadline for submissions: 10 November 2019


Upcoming academic opportunities: vacancies, fellowships, calls for papers (rolling / end October / November deadlines)

The following academic opportunities may be of interest to members of the LDRN network – for further information, please visit the relevant links below:


Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice – 2 positions – Norwich University, USA (starting 1 July 2020; applications open until position is filled)

Assistant Professor of Criminology & Socio-Legal StudiesUniversity of Toronto, Canada (deadline: 31 October 2019)

Assistant Professor of Global Labor and Gender – Department of Sociology and the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies (GSWS) program – College of William & Mary, USA (deadline: 1 November 2019)


Residential Fellowships,  Program in Law and Public Affairs (LAPA)Princeton University, USA (deadline: 13 November 2019)

Calls for papers / submissions

Law & Society Association Annual Meeting – Rule & Resistance – 28 – 31 May 2020, Denver, USA (deadline: 6 November 2019)

Call for submissions and active participants (by 17 June): Workshop on “Resistance to development projects in Latin America: Taking stock of the role of law” | Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá, Colombia | 9 August 2019

On 9 August 2019, a workshop on “Resistance to development projects in Latin America: Taking stock of the role of law” will be organized at Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá, Colombia by LDRN member Dr. Giedre Jokubauskaite (University of Glasgow) and Prof. Johanna Cortes Nieto (Universidad del Rosario).

Researchers interested in presenting at the workshop are asked to send a 300 word abstract to the organizers by 17 June 2019. Those interested in attending without presenting are asked to send an e-mail indicating their interest by the same date. Contact details and further information are available here in the full call for submissions.

The workshop will cover questions including (but not limited to):
– Recent case law that invokes constitutional rights to challenge extractive industries, infrastructure projects, agricultural development projects (e.g. in the context of the current transitional justice process), overall what has come to be termed as mega-development projects;
– Recent trends in applying administrative procedures relevant to development projects, e.g. consultation requirements or environmental impact assessment;
– Role of law in public-private partnerships;
– The role of international investment law in conditioning government policies and spending;
– The role (and usefulness) of national and international environmental law in contesting development planning;
– Recent trends in the governance of the relationship between projects and communities, e.g. governance by contracts;
– Public interest litigation as an attempt to challenge development projects;
– The relationship between negotiation and formalisation processes of development projects, and the efforts of peace-building at the local level.