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Welcome to the Law and Society Review Blog

The current editors of Law and Society Review have started this blog with the goal of facilitating broader dissemination of socio-legal research. We hope that this blog allows us to discuss scholarship and teaching issues that may not make it to academic journals quickly.  We invite everyone to contribute; we ask all authors to summarize their recent articles. The new blog will also allow us to discuss the changing research environment.  We’d like to hear more people contribute to pressing conversations around research and publishing.  Many of us already have these conversations among smaller groups of scholars. A blog will allow a larger conversation with more participants and, we hope, a greater diversity of views.   

The questions to weigh in on are many.  Professional associations and funding agencies occasion talk about the press for data access in both Europe and North America.  What do you think about this issue, in every dimension from ethical to epistemological t…
Recent posts

How Are Women Faring in Islamic Courts? Anthropological and Historical Perspectives from Malaysia

By Michael G. Peletz
Department of Anthropology, Emory University


We live in a time when headlines about Boko Haram in Nigeria, the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq dominate many Westerners’ understandings of Muslims, Islam, and Islamic law (sharia) in particular. We typically hear very little if anything about “ordinary Muslims”, who are neither political nor religious elites and are not in the forefront of political or religious movements. Our understandings of Muslims and the lived realities of sharia are further limited by two additional factors. First, most discussions of Islam and sharia that unfold in Western media and other venues of Western culture focus on the Middle East and North Africa, largely ignoring South and Southeast Asia, home to more than half the world’s Muslims. And second, many of these discussions fail to critically engage -- indeed, some of them actively reproduce -- centuries-old Western stereotypes suggesting that, throughout …

Call for Participation - C4: The Conference on Contemporary Celebrity Culture

I came to the study of celebrity because I was fascinated by the cultural obsession with celebrity pregnancy that I observed among women in the United States, and had a growing concern that such an obsession was facilitating the surveillance, commodification, and regulation of pregnancies for regular, every day people.   Since the publication of my book Pregnant with the Starslikeminded law and society scholars have seemed to come out of the wood work – admitting, sometimes a bit bashfully, that they, too, are interested in celebrity culture.  And why not? Or, why bashfully?  Celebrity is a particularly important phenomenon for law and society researchers to grapple with.

Happily, in the past three years, I’ve engaged in conversation with scholars interested in the phenomenon of celebrity as it relates to our contemporary political moment, and the construction of reality stars as viable sources of truth and authenticity; I’ve spoken with friends and colleagues who care very much about …

“When they come for you”: How Lawyers Resist Authoritarianism in Russia

By Freek van der Vet, PhD. Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, University of Helsinki, Finland
Honorary Research Associate, Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia, Canada



Following Vladimir Putin’s return to the Presidency in 2012, the Russian State Duma (parliament) passed a string of repressive laws. The Duma installed fines for those participating in unauthorized demonstrations, amended extremism laws, and passed a law that curtailed the work of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) by cutting their ties with their foreign—primarily, North American—donors.

This “law on foreign agents” forces Russian NGOs to register as “foreign agents” (inostrannye agenty) with the Ministry of Justice when they receive foreign funding and engage into political activities. NGOs registered this way have to label all their publications with “foreign agent”. NGOs that fail to comply can expect a surprise inspection, often…

A difficult road ahead for asylum rights advocacy

A commentary on Matter of A-B and family membership as a protected ground

by Philip Kretsedemas UMass-Boston, Sociology

          Just a few weeks ago, on June 11, Attorney General Jeff Sessions released Matter of A-B, an opinion that dramatically curtails asylum protections for survivors of domestic violence, and for many other people who have been persecuted by non-state actors. Matter of A-B has been described, and for good reason, as ushering a return to the dark ages of U.S. asylum law, especially for gender asylum advocacy.

           However, of the many concerns that have been raised about Matter of A-B, there has been no mention made of the ambiguous position it has taken on family membership as a protected ground, and how this protected ground applies to the kinds of asylum claims it is seeking to restrict. This issue is important because the opinion begins by defining domestic and gang violence survivors as victims of “private crime,” and then goes on to deliberate on wh…

A Summer Recap of Recent Popular Articles: “See What Your Colleagues are Reading in LSR.”

For some of us, in theory anyway, the summer months bring more time for reading and reflection. So, in between summer novels, you might wish to take a look at this selection of outstanding and recent articles published in the Law and Society Review.

The special issue is posted on the journal’s home page: “See What Your Colleagues are Reading in LSR.” We encourage you to take a look at this diverse and engaging collection of law and society scholarship. 
The range of issues covered is wonderful and collected from across our issues—migrant workers’ right, immigration processes and sanctions, rights coalition building, reexaminations of procedural justice claims, counter-terrorism work, and legal cynicism and situational trust.  Remember, if you see something you wish to comment on or engage with, the Law and Society Review Blog is just the place to do that.
Best,
Margot Young
Co-Editor
UBC Law

Thank You to our 2017 Reviewers

This journal would not exist without the many reviewers that contribute their time and energy to providing our authors with excellent feedback. Many thanks the following people who provided reviews in 2017.
Abel, Richard. Abraham, David Abrams, Jamie R.Abrego, LeisyAdams, TraceyAddler, LibbyAdediran, AtinukeAguiar-Aguilar, AzuleAhmed Zaki, HindAlbonetti, CelestaAli, ShahlaAliverti, AnaAlygaon Darr, OrnaAmaral-Garcia, SofiaAmorim, MarianayAnderson, Irina Anderson, KristinAnderson, Leslie E.Anleu, Sharyn RoachAriel, BarakAnleu, Sharyn RoachArmaly, MilesArmenta, AmadaArthur, RaymondArthurs, HarryArtis, Julie E.Asad, AsadAsh, ElliottAshford, JoseAshok, KrithikaAspinwall, MarkAtwell, Mary W.Augustine-Adams, KifAugustyn, MeganAviram, HadarAyano, MekonnenBaar, CarlBailey, Michael A.Baird, VanessaBaker, David V.Baker, ThomasBakiner, OnurBall, JeremyBallucci, DaleBarak, Gregg Barker, VanessaBarlow, AngelaBartels, BrandonBattalora, JacquelineBaum, LawrenceBaumgartner, FrankBaye, TemesgenBaz…

Europeanization or National Specificity? Legal Approaches to Sexual Harassment in France, 2002–2012

By Abigail Saguy, UCLA

Sexual harassment represents a massive problem for working women worldwide. A recent social media campaign has brought increased awareness to this fact. In late 2017—after three-dozen women accused Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, assault, or rape—millions of women posted “Me Too” on Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, and other social media platforms. Taking inspiration from African American activist Tarana Burke—who, in 2007, started an offline “Me Too” campaign to let sex abuse survivors know that they were not alone—actress Alyssa Milano launched this online Me Too campaign to shift the focus from Weinstein to victims. She hoped this would “give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”[1] While some posted simply, “Me Too,” others provided wrenching detail about abuse they had sometimes never before shared publicly. In France, a similar social media campaign flourished, under the hashtag “balance ton porc,” loosely translated as “sq…