Oregon Review of International Law

Second Annual Symposium:
Multiscalar Civil Society?: Legal Pluralism and Inequality

Friday, February 15, 2008
University of Oregon School of Law

This symposium will build upon the Oregon Review of International Law's spring 2007 symposium, Complexities of Scale: The Role of the Subnational in International Law, by examining the increasing range of actors engaging in new ways in the process of making international law and policy. Under the traditional Westphalian model, nation-states serve as the primary subjects and objects of international law. However, as globalization continues apace, numerous scholars from a range of disciplinary perspectives have proposed more pluralist models for how law is and should be made. Moreover, a substantial body of scholarship interrogates the meaning of the term scale--beyond its conventional usage to refer to level of governance (subnational, national, supranational)--and this conference will contribute to that dialogue.

This pluralist vision, which regards nongovernmental actors, corporations, and supra- and sub-national governmental actors as lawmakers, has profound implications for issues of citizenship and democracy. When people have multiple affiliations to place across scales, how should their citizenship be characterized? What are the implications of such characterizations for immigration, emigration, and transnational governance? To the extent that nonstate actors may have less formal accountability than governments, does involving them in formal international decisionmaking support or hinder the democratic process? How should the boundaries of formal international law be drawn and how much does it matter what formally counts?

These issues have particular saliency in the context of indigenous peoples' rights. Understandings of legal pluralism emerged from the interactions that occurred between legal systems during colonial rule. As the indigenous peoples' rights movement grapples with the legacy and ongoing structures of colonialism, a continuing exploration of pluralistic dynamics remains critical. A core part of the symposium's engagement of multiscalar civil society will thus include an engagement of colonialism and the complex legal issues that continue to face countries' original inhabitants.


All Sessions Are in the Lewis Lounge, Law School, 4th Floor Unless Otherwise Noted

9:00-9:30 am
Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • C. Atha Mansoory, Editor-in-Chief, Oregon Review of International Law
  • Hari Osofsky, Assistant Professor, University of Oregon School of Law

9:45-11:15 am
Conceptualizing Legal Pluralism, Scale, and the Nature of International Law

Moderator: TBD

  • Kunal Parker, James A. Thomas Distinguished Professor,
    Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
    Spaces, Times and Legal Pluralism: Some Historical Lessons
  • Mark Goodale, Assistant Professor of Conflict Analysis and Anthropology, George Mason University The Anthropology of Human Rights and International Law
  • Hari Osofsky, Assistant Professor, University of Oregon School of Law
    Is Climate Change an "International" Legal Problem?

11:45 am-1:00 pm
Dean's Welcome and Informal Lunch Gathering, Law School Commons, First Floor

1:00-2:30 pm
Legal Pluralism and the Evolving World Order

Moderator: Professor Kyu Ho Youm, University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication

  • Ibrahim Gassama, Professor, University of Oregon School of Law
    R.I.P. The Unipolar Movement
  • Elena Baylis, Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Law
    International Interventions in Conflict and Post-Conflict States
  • Angela Banks, Assistant Professor, William & Mary School of Law
    Teaching Compliance: Human Rights Treaty Bodies & State Behavior

3:00-4:30 pm
Structuring Inclusion and Exclusion at Multiple Scales

Moderator: Michelle McKinley, Assistant Professor, University of Oregon School of Law

  • Lillian Aponte Miranda, Assistant Professor,
    Florida International University College of Law
    Indigenous Peoples as International Law-Makers
  • Ileana Porras, Visiting Professor, Arizona State University College of Law
    Re-placing community: the city and sustainable development in the third world
  • Johanna Bond, Associate Professor, University of Wyoming College of Law
    Pluralism, Gender, and Constitutional Dialogue in Commonwealth Africa


Angela Banks, Assistant Professor of Law, William & Mary School of Law. Before coming to William & Marry, Professor Banks was the Reginald F. Lewis Fellow for Law Teaching at Harvard Law and served as a legal advisor to Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald at the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal. Professor Banks' scholarship uses gender as a lens to explore the role of law, specifically human rights law, in facilitating social change in post-conflict states and states transitioning to democracy.

Elena Baylis, Associate Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh. Professor Baylis studies the interactions between international, national, and sub-national legal systems and communities. Much of her work has focused on religious and ethnic groups and on transitional justice. Her most recent article, "Sending the Bureaucracy to War" (co-written with David Zaring), critiques U.S. efforts to redirect ordinary administrative agencies from their usual tasks to counter-terrorism activities.

Johanna Bond, Associate Professor of Law, University of Wyoming. In 2001, as a Senior Fulbright Scholar, Professor Bond traveled to Uganda and Tanzania to conduct research on the rights of women in Africa. Her research and publications have focused on women's rights, sexual harassment, trafficking in women, and domestic violence in numerous national settings.

Mark Goodale, Assistant Professor of Conflict Analysis and Anthropology, George Mason University. Professor Goodale specializes in legal anthropology, human rights and culture, comparative ethical practice and epistemology, the anthropology of morality, and conflict studies. He has been conducting research in Bolivia since 1996, and during 2003-2004 he studied Romania's efforts to reform their political and legal institutions in preparation for accession to the European Union in 2007.

Lillian Aponte Miranda, Assistant Professor of Law, Florida International University. Professor Miranda teaches courses in Indigenous Peoples and International Law, Civil Procedure, and Complex Litigation Her current research focuses on the status and rights of indigenous peoples under international law with a particular emphasis of indigenous peoples' rights over their traditional lands and resources.

Kunal Parker, Professor of Law, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Professor Parker has written extensively in the area of colonial Indian legal history and U.S. citizenship and immigration history and theory. He is currently at work on a book-length project on the emergence of historical context in late nineteenth century American jurisprudential thought. Teaching Areas and Interests: Bankruptcy, Conflict of Laws, Immigration and Nationality Law, Legal History, Property, Race and American Law, Trusts and Estates.

Ileana Porras, Visiting Professor of Law, Arizona State University.Professor Porras has taught at the University of Utah and Universite Paris V, Faculte de Droit. She has also served as a delegate and legal adviser to the Delegation of Costa Rica to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) and to the Intergovernmental Committee Negotiations on Climate Change. Professor Porras' research explores the relationship between the global economy and the environment, international human rights, and religion.

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