CALL FOR PAPERS: Critical Legal Studies: Ideology and Objectivity in Law

INSCRIPTIONS '04: an arts and culture conference and festival
at Eastern Mediterranean University
in Famagusta, on the island of Cyprus
June 3rd- 4th, 2004

            The Critical Legal Studies (CLS) movement that crystallized in
the United States in the late 1970s and 1980s brought together aspects of
European social theories (Marx, Weber, Gramsci, the Frankfurt school, etc.),
French post-structuralism and literary theory (Foucault, Derrida), and
various threads of North American jurisprudence-in particular the legal
realism of the New Deal era, which argued against the formal artificiality
of legal case precedents and in favor of informed judgments based on the
contextualization of law as social policy.
            Arguing that law (with its attendant institutions and
representatives) is not neutral or objective, but legitimizes the
prejudicial power relations and hierarchical structures of class, economics,
gender, and race in the society by which it is itself determined,
legitimized and maintained, the various branches of CLS have engaged in
critiques of the law understood as narrative or as a rhetorical-ideological
construct-with a view to demystifying and dismantling the social structures
of injustice which inform its doctrines and policies.
            Although CLS developed in a specifically North American context,
many of its premises and questions have gradually filtered into European and
international law; the island of Cyprus, entangled in decades of
international power games, political/religious intrigue and legal wrangling,
presents itself as a fitting venue for debating some of the problems and
promises of the law in its relation to lived experience in a global context:

- what points of intersection exist between literary and legal judgments?

- what defines, delimits, or authorizes the will of the mysterious
"international community" which is frequently invoked in various contexts as
grounds for international military or political action?

- what determines the relations between the politics of nations, the law of
nations, and justice or fairness?

- by what logic do treaties, agreements, obligations and promises retain
legal force if the historical, social, and political circumstances under
which they were made have changed?

- to what extent, if any, can the engagement of Derridean deconstruction or
versions of "postmodernism" with legal theory result in the development of
norms for social change and development?

- does law require moral justification in normative terms (Habermas) or is
it an autopoietic system requiring no normative justification (Luhmann)?

Submissions are invited for a Panel Discussion exploring any of these
questions or others related to CLS, including its ramifications for European
and International Law, and the situation of Cyprus.

            Prospective panelists are invited to send 250-word
abstracts/proposals for 15-20 minute presentations on any aspect of these
areas to
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by 31st January, 2004.
. We look forward to learning about your research, and to a provocative

For more information about INSCRIPTIONS '04,
please visit our website at
Please also check out our links to "Individual Research Presentations" and
"Creative/Performance Work."

The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Assistant Editor:  Karen Eng
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
Info available at: