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!

A dedicated conference website will be launched soon with further details – sign up for our newsletter to stay updated.


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 – in accordance with the formats described on the conference website [forthcoming – in the meantime, please consult for updates].

CONTACT: Please submit your submissions via the landing page on the conference website. Questions may be addressed via the website or to [from 1 February 2019] or

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 see the conference website [forthcoming – in the meantime, please consult for updates].

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)

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)

Upcoming academic opportunities: January deadlines

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

Vacancies / fellowships / scholarships

PhD position – UN, indigenous peoples and interlegal translation | ERC RIVERS project, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain (deadline: 14 January 2020)

Two research associates / fellows | Oceans Law and Policy Programme & Oceans Governance Research Programme, National University of Singapore Centre for International Law (deadline: 20 January 2020)

Ad Astra fellowship – lecturer / assistant professor  | Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin, Ireland (deadline: 24 January 2020)


Note: Some opportunities in our previous monthly roundups are still open! Check on previously announced opportunities here and here

LDRN member publications – December 2019

Kennedy Kariseb and Chairman Okoloise “Reflections on the African Governance Architecture: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities” in Michael Addaney, Michael Gyan Nyarko & Elsabé Boshoff  (eds) Governance, Human Rights, and Political Transformation in Africa  (2020) Palgrave MacMillan 41-68. 
Jennifer Lander, Transnational Law and State Transformation: The Case of Extractive Development in MongoliaAbingdon: Routledge, 2020. (20% discount on the hardback price for orders via the Routledge website, using the code FLR40).
Chairman Okoloise “Balancing National Security and Human Rights in the Fight Against Boko Haram in Nigeria” in  Michael Addaney, Michael Gyan Nyarko & Elsabé Boshoff  (eds) Governance, Human Rights, and Political Transformation in Africa  (2020) Palgrave MacMillan 309-331. 


LDRN members are welcome to announce their latest publications via this list – please send references and links to the Editor by the final Monday of the month.  (Submissions for the next list can be sent until the final Monday of January 2020).

Vacancy: Assistant Professor Law & Society | Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society, Leiden University, The Netherlands (deadline: 12 January 2020)

The  Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society (VVI) at the Leiden Law School is seeking an Assistant Professor of Law & Society. 

Key responsibilities

  • Teaching and developing socio-legal courses in VVI’s academic domain, 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 North and/or the Global South;
  • 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.

Deadline: 12 January 2020

For more information and to apply, please see the full vacancy notice

Scholarships available: EDOLAD Summer School | North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa | 1 – 6 March 2020 (deadline: 20 December 2019)

The European Joint Doctorate in Law and Development (EDOLAD) will hold its annual summer school for doctoral researchers on 1 – 6 March 2020 at North-West University (NWU) Potchefstroom, South Africa.

The week-long summer school is targeted at doctoral researchers and early-career academics in the broadly defined area of Law and Development. The school brings together doctoral candidates from the South and North together in small groups for intensive interaction and broader knowledge-community building.

The school is comprised of skills training in conducting qualitative fieldwork and in communicating research findings; it combines this with writing workshops, in which participants will critically engage with one another about their own work. In addition, the summer school includes keynote lectures, panels and roundtables on a selected theme. This year’s theme is made up of two pressing topics: decolonising our field, and data justice.

Six scholarships are being offered to candidates based at African institutions. These scholarships will cover travel, accommodation and other expenses up to a maximum of € 1000.

Deadline: 20 December 2019

For further details on applying, please see the full call for applications.

Two vacancies at University of Warwick School of Law: Professor and Reader in Law (deadline: 8 December 2019)

The University of Warwick School of Law is advertising two full-time, permanent positions:

– Professor in Law

– Reader in Law

Successful candidates will be expected to play a leadership role in research and teaching, and to make a significant contribution to the academic governance of the School and/or University. Expertise in common law subjects may be advantageous, but the Law School strongly welcomes applications from outstanding scholars in any legal or legally-related field of study. Experience of empirical research and/or a record of success in obtaining research funding would also be welcomed.

Application deadline: 8 December 2019

For further details and to apply, please see the full vacancy notices for the professor position and the reader position 

*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)

Dates confirmed for 5th Annual Conference of the Law & Development Research Network (LDRN) | 21 – 23 September 2020 | Nelson Mandela University, South Africa

LDRN is pleased to announce that the dates for the 5th annual LDRN conference  – to be hosted at Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa – have been confirmed for 21 – 23 September 2020.

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Upcoming academic opportunities: vacancies and fellowships – November/ December / January deadlines

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


Law and Humanities Junior Scholars Workshop | UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, USA | 7 – 8 June 2020 – scholarships available (deadline: 2 December 2019)


Diversity Fellowship Programme | Ithaca College, NY, USA | 16 August 2020 – 31 May 2021 (deadline: 2 December 2019)

Visiting Fellowships – Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World | Harvard Law School, Cambridge MA, USA | 2020 – 2021 (deadline: 15 January 2020)


Associate Professor / Professor in International Law and Human Security | Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada (deadline: 8 January 2020)

Executive Director, Center for Advancement of Rule of Law in the Americas (CAROLA) | Georgetown University Law Center, Washington DC, USA (deadline: rolling)

Two Assistant Professor positions, Department of Legal Studies | College of Public Affairs and Administration, University of Illinois Springfield, USA (deadline: 2 December 2019)

Assistant Professor of Law and Society | John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, USA (deadline: 16 November 2019)