Bergen Exchanges on Law & Social Transformation 2017

21 aug 17 09:00 - 25 aug 17 18:00 ENG ,

Gender, Sexuality & the Law.

The Bergen Exchanges on Law & Social Transformation is a meeting place for scholars and practitioners who want to understand how law serves as an instrument of social change and how it shapes, and is shaped by power relations. Through a week of public discussions, we examine the strategic use of rights and law and how legal institutions function as arenas for political contestation (lawfare).

The multi-disciplinary and international nature of the Bergen Exchanges makes it a unique space for developing better research strategies and methods to grasp the effects of law and lawfare.

Bergen Exchanges is organised by Centre on Law and Social Transformation.


Topics in focus at the 2017 Bergen Exchanges include:

  • How law shapes and changes gender relations – through abortion laws, migration laws, equality legislation, sexual and gender identity rights, criminalization of gender based violence and child marriage. And what is the currency of law in the political economy of gendered morality? Effects of transitional justice processes. How do transitional justice institutions (truth commissions, trials) travel? And what makes a good victim?
  • Child rights. Is Norway fulfilling its international commitments? And how are child welfare services in different countries exercising discretion ‘in the best interest of the child’?
  • Law, democracy & authoritarianism. What is the role of law in current processes of democratic backlash? How is law used to defend democracy – and to undermine it, for example through anti-terror, NGO-, libel- and “immorality” laws? And how can we study effects of law in authoritarian settings?
  • Law & inequality. Does the human right to water help the poor? Has land reforms brought social justice? Does court involvement increase inequality – and how can we know?
  • What decides how judges rule – for example in cases concerning speech rights – or rape? Can we reform courts to make judges more independent not only vis-à-vis the political branches and corrupt influences, but also from their own biases?
  • Law & society in Latin America