Call for papers: Stanford Law School Conference for Junior Researchers

Program in Law and Society
Conference for Junior Researchers
Law School, Stanford, CA
May 16 –
17, 2014
On Law and
Call for
The Stanford Program in Law and Society (SPLS)
at Stanford Law School is pleased to announce its Inaugural Conference for
Junior Researchers. As there are limited opportunities for the international
community of aspiring scholars to meet and discuss their current projects on
law and society, this conference is intended to provide a forum specially
designed for junior researchers to share their work in progress, receive input
from faculty and other participants, and develop professional skills through a
series of workshops.
Conference theme
The Inaugural Conference for Junior
Researchers invites papers from junior researchers (graduate students,
post-graduate students, post-doctoral researchers as well as recent graduates
from law schools and social science departments) that explore the limits of law
and the legal system. How does society function where there is a lack of formal
legal structure, where order may be maintained through social norms, customs,
or other informal rules of behavior? How is society governed when laws are not
enforced, or when actors (state or citizens) operate outside of the law,
resorting to extralegal options to achieve social order? What is the connection
between law and informality? And somewhere in between these two ends of the
spectrum, what happens at the blurred edges or limits of law? In other words,
we seek to investigate if, when, and why law matters.
Law and society research has always been
concerned with the limits of legal structures governing a particular society.
This line of research has illuminated situations where the formal legal system
doesn’t necessarily govern human behavior. It may refer to spaces in society
where there is a lack of public or private enforcement of formal legal rules.
It may also refer to situations where social or cultural norms, rather than
formal legal ones, provide social order. Or it may indicate areas where chaos
or violence is the pattern defining a particular social system. Other
definitions of the term may be imagined, which indicates that this is a broad
and ongoing research agenda.
The conference invites junior researchers to
submit research papers that analyze, discuss, or reflect on the abovementioned
themes. As this is an interdisciplinary conference, empirical research projects
from all social sciences are encouraged.
Details about the conference
The two-day conference will combine panel
discussions, workshops, and an internationally renowned keynote speaker.
Participants will have opportunities to share their work, receive feedback from
faculty and other participants, develop their professional skills, and network
with other junior researchers.
Submissions and selection process
Junior researchers are invited to submit an
abstract of between 350 and 400 words, together with their CV. All abstracts
and CVs should be submitted to [email protected] by January
20, 2014. Conference participants will be selected by a panel based on the
quality of their proposals. All applicants will be informed by email of the
decision by February 3, 2014. All selected participants must submit their
final paper by April 14, 2014 so that it can be shared with other
members of their panel and their discussant for feedback. The final papers
should be between 10,000 and 15,000 words (including footnotes). Papers should
be an unpublished work in progress. We welcome papers that have been accepted
for publication, as long as they are not yet published and the author still has
the opportunity to incorporate feedback from this conference.
Financial aid
Limited financial assistance to cover travel
expenses will be available to some participants. Only participants from outside
the San Francisco Bay area are eligible to receive such assistance, and only in
those cases where they do not receive funding from their own institutions.
Together with the notification of acceptance, selected participants will
receive a financial aid request form. Participants will have to submit such
form in order to be considered for the limited financial assistance.
Please feel free to direct any question or comment to:
For further information on the Inaugural Conference for Junior
Researchers and on the Stanford Program in Law and Society visit:

Written by
Abhinav Chandrachud
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