Call for Paper - Degrowth and Law

Call for Paper - Degrowth and Law

Organization Name: National Law University Delhi

Apply By: 31 Jan 2023

Location: Online

Presentation Date: 27 Apr. 2023 - 28 Apr. 2023

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About the Organization

National Law University, Delhi is a National Law University in India, offering courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

The primary objective of the University is to evolve and impart comprehensive and interdisciplinary legal education that is socially relevant. Through this education, we aim to promote legal and ethical values and foster the rule of law and the objectives enshrined in the Constitution of India. Furthermore, the University works toward dissemination of legal knowledge and its role in national development, so that the ability to analyse and present contemporary issues of public concern and their legal implications for the benefit of the public is improved. These processes strive to promote legal awareness in the community and to achieve political, social and economic justice.

Many believe that the path of liberalization we embarked upon in the early 90s unleashed India’s potential. Undoubtedly the country has undergone vast changes in all spheres and we see a more confident India asserting itself on the global stage. However, this progress has come with very significant challenges to the country. India’s various social classes are yet to be assimilated; their participation in the process of governance remains fractured. Cumulative progress needs to be fair and equitable. And integral to that is a legal system that empowers the marginalised, is just and fair in letter and spirit, and most importantly, does not use the law as a tool of oppression.

About the Conference

Economic growth under capitalism is predicated upon the continuous use and plunder of the planet, particularly from the Global South. Perpetual growth has been central to the rapidly escalating socio-ecological and climate crises. However, there is now an established strand of scholarship and activism on degrowth, post-growth, and other alternatives to growth (such as Buen Vivir), that critique this global economic system that pursues growth at all costs. Such perspectives advocate for a transition to live well under a politicaleconomic system with a radically smaller resource throughput and mass redistribution of wealth and power. Cognisant of South-North inequalities, and inequalities within economies, it calls for a different model of development, one that is premised on a rapid scale down of resource throughput of Global North and transformation of colonial extractive processes. It also calls for a focus on human wellbeing within ecological boundaries rather than on perpetual growth.

Despite the emergence of post-growth and degrowth, which grew from social movements and academic discussion but has recently entered mainstream policy debates, there is a gap in legal research that engages with such theories and approaches. This is surprising, given we know that law has facilitated and driven growth-led, unequal, socio-ecological collapse and in the context of emerging critical scholarship on law and the environment. Legal scholarship has developed a rich body of work on environmental justice, climate justice and human rights; there is now a need to examine these ideas through the lens of alternative political-economic systems.

How to Apply

This workshop is an initial mapping of different perspectives and possible engagements from a legal perspective. The workshop requires participants to write a short paper (1500-4000 words) that will be shared with other participants.

We welcome perspectives that examine the law and reimage a world beyond current systems of growth. This includes, but is not limited to, perspectives that examine:

  • North-South dimension of degrowth and other alternatives to growth-based approaches, including from a TWAIL, and/or a critical race or post-colonial perspective.
  • Human rights, particularly socio-economic rights and environmental rights, in the context of (de)growth and inequality;
  • International economic law, investment law and trade law, in the context of the ecological crisis and (de)growth;
  • Climate change and environmental law, from international, transnational or domestic perspectives, and the challenge of growth and inequality;
  • Regional perspectives on post-growth approaches (such as Buen Vivir or Gross National Happiness) and law;
  • Energy law and a just transitions from fossil fuels, in the context of degrowth;
  • Technology, including ICT and artificial intelligence, and law/rights beyond growth;
  • Feminist, queer and intersectional approaches to degrowth;
  • Law and political economy, law and Marxism, law and ecosocialism; and
  • Critiques of sustainable development law.

We aim for this workshop to be a launchpad for further work in this area, including, building a network of researchers working on the intersections of degrowth and other alternatives to growth with law; and future larger conferences.

This workshop will be held ONLINE on 27-28 April.

Please email your abstract with the subject title ‘Degrowth and Law’ to Dr. Birsha Ohdedar, bo6@soas.ac.uk by 31 January.

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