Mandag 22. august

Kl. 09:00

Bergen Exhanges on Law and Social Transformation

22.08.22 - 26.08.22

Velkommen til årets utgave av Bergen Exchanges, arrangert av LawTransform (CMI-UiB Centre on Law & Social Transformation). Bergen Exchanges (BeEx) er en uke fullpakket med spennende faglige diskusjoner om hvordan retten brukes som virkemiddel for sosial endring. Alle seminarene er gratis og åpne for alle. Fokusområdene for #BeEx2022 er demokrati & autokratisering, kjønn, seksualitet & helse, naturressurser & klima og avkolonisering av globale kunnskapsregimer.

B ex

Praktisk informasjon

Dato: Sted:
22.08.2022 - 26.08.2022 Kulturhuset i Bergen
Pris: Sal: Innslipp: Arrangementstart: Vergeordning:
Gratis Galleriet 09:00 09:00 Ja
  • Dato: 22.08.2022 - 26.08.2022
  • Sal: Kulturhuset i Bergen
  • Pris: Gratis
  • Scene: Galleriet
  • Innslipp: 09:00
  • Arrangementstart: 09:00
  • Vergeordning: Ja

Kulturhuset i Bergen, Centre on Law & Social Transformation - University of Bergen presenterer:

Bergen Exhanges on Law and Social Transformation

Welcome to this year’s edition of the Bergen Exchanges, hosted by LawTransform (CMI-UiB Centre on Law & Social Transformation). Bergen Exchanges (BeEx) is a week packed with exciting academic discussions on how law is used as a tool for social change. All events are free and open to the public and most will be streamed. The focus areas for #BeEx2022 are democracy & autocratization, gender, sexuality & health, natural resources & climate and decolonization of global knowledge regime.


MONDAY 22. AUGUST: Democracy & Autocratization

9:00 – 9:30
Opening of the 9th Bergen Exchanges on Law & Social Transformation

9:30 – 10:45
Michael McCann:
The interdependence of liberal and authoritarian legalities in capitalist democracies.
In this keynote lecture, Michael McCann argues that in most "racial capitalist" democracies, there is an historical and structural interdependence of liberal and authoritarian legalities, which in some historical moments facilitates increasing autocratization within so-called democratic legal regimes. He shows this by discussing legal arrangements, practices, and dynamics in democracy and autocratization.
Michael McCann is Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington, He has been a leading scholar in social-legal studies since his award-winning 1994 book Rights at Work: Pay Equity Reform and the Politics of Legal Mobilization and is central to the interpretive turn toward scholarly analysis of legal discourse as a constitutive form of power. His recent book Union by Law: Filipino American Labor Activists, Rights Radicalism, and Racial Capitalism (Chicago 2020) documents Filipino immigrant workers’ struggles for socioeconomic rights and social justice, culminating in the assassination of two young activists and a 1989 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that largely killed collective worker challenges to structural race and/or gender discrimination.
Roundtable: Autocratic Legalism in comparative perspective
Participants Include: tba*
Moderator: tba*

11:00 – 12:00
Book Launch: Legal strategies in democratic backsliding and resistance in Africa
This roundtable marks the publication of two books exploring the use of law and courts by African leaders for autocratic purposes. Democratic backsliding in Africa (Leo Arriola, Lise Rakner and Nic Van De Walle eds, Oxford University Press, 2022) and Undue Process (Fiona Shen Bayh, 2022). The authors are all collaborators on Breaking BAD: Backlash Against Democracy in Africa project. The project has demonstrated how autocratic African leaders long have used – and misused – law and courts to consolidate their power, but also how, at the same time, courts have been comparatively friendly spaces for the democratic opposition. Fiona Shen Bayh, in her new book, has used a diversity of methods to explore and demonstrate the use of courts for political repression. This roundtable presents findings from the two books in conversation with scholars researching similar processes in other parts of the world.
Participants Include: Fiona Shen Bayh and tba*
Moderator: Lise Rakner
This panel is part of the CMI/LawTransform project Breaking BAD: Backlash Against Democracy in Africa. (RCN grant 2017-22)

12:15 – 13:15
Roundtable: Political Protests and New Forms of Citizenship
This panel discusses recent political protests and revolutionary movements and explores the role of citizenship in politically charged and volatile contexts. Political protests can be seen as manifestations of people’s demands for change in the face of growing inequalities and, whether leading to actual change in civic rights or not, protests nonetheless leave a mark by changing the social fabric of societies in myriads of ways. Even in situations of fleeting change, there are lingering traces of new ways of doing citizenship. The social contract is renegotiated as citizens experience violence, transgressions, or even expulsions from the state, as well as solidarity, empowerment, and visions of a different future. In such experiences, peoples’ conceptions of citizenship may shift radically, as well as state practices of it. Analyses of political protests and their aftermath therefore provides a unique opportunity to gain novel insights into new vocabulary of justice, innovative practices of political engagement and changing forms of citizenship. This panel will look at political protest movements in Middle East and Eastern Europe and explore the various ways how citizenship is re-negotiated in such critical historical moments.
Participants Include: Tariq Dana (Doha Institute for Graduate Studies and Northwestern University, Qatar); Nelly Bekus (University of Exeter) Elina Troscenko (GRIP, UiB)
Moderator: Mari Norbakk (Senior Researcher CMI)
This event is co-hosted with GRIP (Global Research Programme on Inequality) and is part of a GRIP-CMI project on Political Inequalities (CMI-UiB fund grant)

13:30 – 14:30 LUNCH break

14:15 – 15:00
ROUNDTABLE: Academic Freedom – multifaceted contestations.
Even at the best of times, academic freedom is contested. And at present, the currents threatening to undermine academic freedom are multiple and strong, from politically motivated stifling of dissenting voices, and populist disregard for scientific knowledge, to demands for immediate usefulness of research, commercialization of research funding, de-platforming, and self-censorship. This roundtable takes as a point of departure the report of the Norwegian commission on academic freedom (Kierulf-utvalget), bringing it in conversation with challenges faced in different global contexts. A particular focus will be on the tension between academic freedom and demands for changes in knowledge regimes – do calls for decolonization of knowledge, or particular strategies, such as de-platforming, pose a threat to academic freedom? Or is the dismissal of accountability to change a misuse of academic freedom?

Participants Include: tba*

Moderator: tba*

15:15 – 16:15
ROUNDTABLE: Decolonizing Global Health Governance.
By further exposing the deep injustices in the global health system, with vaccine coverage mapping closely onto the structure of European colonialism, the Covid-19 pandemic added fuel to calls for decolonization of global health governance. This roundtable will discuss what this can mean and what it would take — how can we reimagine and transform knowledge discourses, governance structures and legal frameworks, from intellectual property to international financial regulations?
Participants Include: tba*
Moderator: Alicia Ely Yamin

16:30 – 17:15
ROUNDTABLE: Democracy and corruption. Does anti-corruption efforts aid autocrats?
Corruption endangers democratic governance, but research indicates that in some cases efforts to counteract corruption actually plays into the hands of autocratic leaders. This roundtable discusses under which circumstances this can happen and what an be done to prevent such harmful effects of anti-corruption measures.
Participants Include: tba*
Moderator: tba*

18:00 The Bergen Mayor’s Reception (by invitation)

TUESDAY 23. AUGUST: Democracy & courts, water & climate & child rights

9:00 – 10:00
KEYNOTE & BOOK LAUNCH: Roberto Gargarella - “Democracy as a Conversation Among Equals”
In his keynote lecture, marking the publication of his recent book The Law as a Conversation among equals (Cambridge 2022) Gargarella argues that – at the current time of disenchantment with democracy, massive social protests and the 'erosion' of the system of checks and balances – it is important to reflect upon the main problems of our constitutional democracies from a particular regulative ideal: that of the conversation among equals. He examines the structural character of the current democratic crisis, and the way in which constitutions have been built around a 'discomfort with democracy’, critically exploring the creation of different restraints upon majority rule and collective debate: constitutional rights that are presented as limits to (and not, fundamentally, as a product of) democratic debate; an elitist system of judicial review; a checks and balances scheme that discourages, rather than promotes, dialogue between the different branches of power; etc. Based on this analysis he proposes a dignified constitutional democracy aimed at enabling fraternal conversation within the framework of a community of equals.
Roberto Gargarella is Professor of Constitutional Law at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, senior researcher at CONICET, and a LawTransform Global Fellow. Gargarella is among Latin America’s leading legal scholars and public intellectuals. Among his numerous influential books and articles are The Legal Foundations of Inequality (2010), Latin American Constitutionalism: The Engine Room of the Constitution (2013); Constituent Assemblies with J. Elster et al (2018) and The Oxford Hanbook of Constitutional Law in Latin America with C.H. Mendes and S. Guidi (2022)
Comments by: tba*

10:15 – 11:15

1130 – 12:15
ROUNDTABLE: New Paths in Climate Litigation:
Litigation is becoming a central avenue to force policy change to address the climate emergency. Climate related court cases are growing rapidly in numbers, and are brought before courts in more and more countries and at the international level. Climate litigation is also expanding with regard to the types of cases, as litigants find new ways to weaponize the law to combat climate related challenges. The emerging recognition of the international crime of ecocide - the extinction of eco-systems - is but one ambitious recent development. This roundtable will discuss some of the ways in which litigation is used as a tool to push climate related policy reform. Particular attention will be on how litigation is used to force countries to prepare their health system for climate change. A changing climate strain health systems in multiple ways. Rising temperatures, water scarcity, and vector-bore diseases such as malaria reaching into previously cooler climates increase morbidity and mortality and place heavy demands on health services. And this will not hit equally. Poorer countries are more at risk - and in all societies, poorer parts of the population carry disproportionate burden. At the same time, the distribution of health resources generally favour the richer (and on average healthier) parts of the population, adding to the inequalities. As pressures increase, this is likely to lead to a breakdown in essential health services to large parts of the population - as the pandemic demonstrated. Litigation is now undertaken in several countries to push for reform of the heath system to enable it to take on the increasing health challenges, and to do so in a way that is fair to all.
Participants Include: Thalia Viveros.Uehara, Catalina Vallejo and tba*
Moderator: tba*

12:30 - 13:30
ROUNDTABLE & BOOK LAUNCH: The human right to water v the rights of water?
This roundtable brings together researchers from two projects, both focusing on water rights, but from very different perspectives. Elevating water rights to human rights takes as its point of departure water as a fundamental human need and analyses the value of human rights protection for securing marginalized people access to adequate water resources. The Riverine Rights project on the other hand, focuses on rivers themselves and their rights. Both sets of water rights are increasingly protected by constitutions and courts across the globe and a discussion between the two projects – both comparative and cross regional – will bring out the intersections, complementarities, and tensions between the two approaches to water rights. This event also marks the publication of Villareal & Wilson’s book El agua como derecho humano: Reconocimientos y disputas en Costa Rica and will the recognition and disputes on water as a human right in Costa Rica will serve as a starting point for the discussions.
Introductions by: Evelyn Villareal and John Mc Neish.
Participants include: Arkaja Singh, Catalina Vallejo.
Moderator: Bruce Wilson

Elevating water rights to human rights is a CMI/LawTransform project (RCN grant 2017-22). Riverine Rights is based at OsloMet (RCN grant 2020-23).

13:30 – 14:30 LUNCH break

14:30 – 15:15
ROUNDTABLE: Weaponizing Nature.
Regulation of natural resources not only change ecosystems, but fundamentally change societies. Privatisation of water can result in water apartheid, as we see for example in the US city of Flint. And in the middle east, Israel’s conservation policies have radical geopolitical consequence. In this roundtable research on the social consequences of water policies and water rights, from the Elevating water rights to human rights project, meet Irus Braverman’s work on Settling Nature: The Conservation Regime in Palestine-Israel. The event marks the publication of the Special Issue "Water and Sanitation as Human Rights: Have They Strengthened Marginalised Peoples’ Claim for Access?" (Water 2021, Brinks, Singh and Wilson eds.)
Participants include: Irus Braverman, Jacke Dugard, Inga Wikler, Namita Wahi
Moderator: tba

15:30 – 16:15
ROUNDTABLE: The international anti-liberal right versus Barnevernet?
We know that some of the organisations accross Europe who actively oppose sexual and reproductive rigthts, also voice criticism against the Norwegian Child Protection Services (Barnevernet). But does this mean that the international mobilisation against Barnevernet is part of a “culture war” from Europe’s anti-liberal right? Or that international actors play a role in the almost 40 cases brought to the European Court of Human Rights? What do we know about those who challenge the Norwegian Child Protection Services – in social and traditional media, on the streets of Europe and beyond, and in courts? This roundtable presents preliminary findings from the DIPA/LawTransform research project LEGITIMACY CHALLENGES and discusses how we best should go about uncovering the (potentially) missing links.
Participants Include: Neil Datta, tba*
Moderator: tba*
This event is a collaboration with the Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism, Department of Government, UiB.

16:30 – 17:15
ROUNDTABLE: How to build/erode trust in child protection systems.
The roundtable discusses results from a Norwegian-Romanian collaborative research project investigating trust in child protection services (Cosmopolitan turn and democratic sentiments, CONSENT). How are the rights of the child conceived, expressed, and trusted in laws and policies - and their implementation – and in the media and among the public in the two countries? And to what degree are Norway and Romania committed to bringing child protection services through a cosmopolitan turn that enforces the rights of the child?
Participants Include: tba*
Moderator: Asgeir Falch-Eriksen (OsloMet University)

17:30 – 18:30
ROUNDTABLE & BOOK LAUNCH: Can courts bring democracy and social justice?
This event marks the launch of the new book Broken Promises? Taking stock of the Judicialization of Politics in Latin America, edited by D. Brinks, S. Botero and E. Gonzalez-Ocantos, (Cambridge University Press 2022) analysing the role of courts in Latin America’s new constitutional dispensations. The presentation of the book is followed by a conversation with contributors to the book and to three other new volumes analysing the same phenomenon from different angles: The Oxford Handbook of Constitutional Law in Latin America and The Oxford Handbook of Caribbean Constitutions.
Introduction by Sandra Botero and Daniel Brinks.
Participants Include: Roberto Gargarella, Conrado Hubner Mendes, Leiv Marsteintredet and tba*
Moderator: tba*

THURSDAY 25. AUGUST: Transitional justice, child rights, land & climate litigation

9:00 – 9:45
23. Keynote: Angana P. Chatterji: The role of counter-memory in contexts of majoritarian nationalism and illiberal democracy.
History-writing, remembrance, and erasure are powerful political tools in the hands of victors and rulers – but also serve as modalities of resistance for subaltern and oppressed groups. In this keynote, Dr. Chatterji discusses the role of counter-memory and the archive, in establishing foundations for accountability in political conflict, situated within the context of majoritarian nationalism and illiberal democracy. Particular focus will be on Indian-administered Kashmir.
Angana P. Chatterji is Research Anthropologist and Founding Co-chair of the Political Conflict, Gender and People’s Rights Initiative at the Center for Race and Gender, University of California, Berkeley. She is also a Research Fellow at the Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford University and leads the creation of the Archive on Legacies of Conflict in South Asia. Her recent publications include: BREAKING WORLDS: Religion, Law, and Nationalism in Majoritarian India; The Story of Assam (2021) and Majoritarian State: How Hindu Nationalism is Changing India (2019). For the second semester of 2022 she will be a Global Fellow at LawTransform.

10:00 – 11:00
ROUNDTABLE: Truth Commissions, Sexual Violence and Children Born of War
Sexual violence committed during war or internal armed conflict, and children born of war are global challenges, yet often neglected during transitions from conflict and repressive regimes. Some governments have tried to address conflict-related-sexual-violence and issues concerning children born of war through truth commissions, whose job it is to document human rights violations and provide recommendations to remedy the past and prevent future violations. This rountable discusses how truth commissions have dealt with sexual violence and children of war, and to what extent changing international norms and legal frameworks have shaped this agenda. And how have truth commissions contributed to advancing the Women, Peace and Security agenda (set by UN Security Council Resolution 1325) and its focus on the gendered experience of conflict?
Participants Include: tba*
Moderator: tba*
This Roundtable presents ongoing work from the CMI/LawTransform project Truth Commissions and Sexual Violence (RCN 2021-24) and is a collaboration with the DIPA centre

30 min break

11:15 – 12:15
ROUNDTABLE: Indigenous Truth Commissions
Indigenous peoples across the globe have increasingly demanded accountability for the human rights violations that have been committed against them, and in some countries, truth commissions have been set up as a mechanism to document abuses and further reconciliation – including in Norway, where the there is an ongoing process to investigate abuses against the Sami and Kven minorities. This roundtable discusses research findings from the Norwegian experience in comparative perspective.
Participants Include: tba*
Moderator: tba*
This Roundtable presents ongoing work from the project TRUCOM: The Sami Truth Commission in Norway - RCN 2020 – 2023)

12:30 – 13:30
ROUNDTABLE: “Pushing pads”- does it work?
Several international aid organisations claim that girls in low-income countries do not attend school when on their periods due to a lack of access to sanitary products such as pads, tampons, or menstrual cups. Many menstrual hygiene management (MHM) campaigns therefore distribute free sanitary products to “keep girls in school” and end period poverty. Do these initiatives work? Why or why not? How does MHM deal with the environmental impact of menstrual product waste?
Participants include: Inga Winkler; Stella Nyanzi; Maya Unnithan
Moderator: Karine Aasgaard Jansen

13:30 – 14:30 LUNCH break

14:30 – 15:00
INTERVIEW: Child Protection Systems Across the World
Child protection services are organised very differently across the globe – but how significant are these differences for child rights protection? This interview presents the new UiB/DIPA/LawTransform project Child Protection Systems Across the World
Participants: Jill Duerr Berrick and Marit Skivenes

15:15 – 16:00
ROUNDTABLE: Child marriage and the significance of global norm diffusion
What should be the lower age limit for marriage? Countries differ in how they regulate this – and other matters defining when childhood ends. How important are human rights and international norms diffusion in how countries deal with these matters – in law and in practice?
Participants Include: Kerstin Hamman and tba*
Moderator: Liv Tønnessen

16:15 – 17:15
ROUNDTABLE: Contesting indigenous rights against climate change policies.
Climate change mitigation and adaptation policies – such as development of energy sources to replace fossil fuels – are almost invariably land-demanding. And hydroelectric dams and windmill parks are often constructed on land belonging to and used by indigenous peoples, resulting in conflicts where indigenous peoples’s land rights are challenged by states’, who has the right - and obligation - to expropriate land in the public interest, and who often operate in tandem with corporate interests. From India to the Amazon, there are myriad such conflicts- and in Norway the State recently lost a case in the Supreme Court to reindeer herders over windmills on their grazing lands. This roundtable discusses how conflicts where indigenous rights and climate-related projects are negotiated in different legal and social contexts. This Roundtable presents ongoing work from the CMI/LawTransform project PluriLand: Theorizing Conflict and Contestation in Plural Land Rights Regimes (RCN grant 2020–25)
Participants Include: tba*
Moderator: tba*

17:30 – 18:30
ROUNDTABLE: Plural governance: when do indigenous rights prevail?
Minority protection is a central element of constitutional democracy - and vulnerable minorities are particularly at risk when populists mobilise against liberal-democatic constraints on power. Rights and legal norms of indigineous peoples and other traditional communities are recognized by countries in all regions of the world, and at international level. These hard fought legal victories centrally include rights to self governance, and to natural resources. Yet, in many cases these protective legal regimes are rendered ineffective, and are easily - and in many cases increasingly - trumped by other concerns, often helped by countervailing legal provisions. In this roundtable, research on plural legal regimes from different regions discuss the challenges of making indigenous rights and autonomy stick.
Participants Include: tba*
Moderator: tba*

FRIDAY 26TH. AUGUST: Gender & sexuality, activism, education

9:00 – 9:45
Keynote: Svati Shah:
Postcolonial Queer and Trans Theory: The Country, the City, and Rural Imaginaries
As LGBTQI+ movements and visibility gain momentum in South Asia and Africa, these spaces take shape as urban, developmentalist, and, in some respects, homonationalist and homocapialist. In their keynote, Dr. Svati Shah reads work by South Asian historian Neeladhri Bhattacharya with political theorist Lyn Ossome's work on gender, land rights and political enfranchisement as sites of a potentially countervailing theory of the rural and non-urban for postcolonial queer and trans theory. The talk places these issues within the broader context of anti-democratic governance and battles over historical memory in India.
Svati Shah is a feminist anthropologist who works on questions of sexuality, gender, migration and caste capitalism in India. They hold adjunct appointments in the Departments of Anthropology and Afro-American Studies at UMass-Amherst. Dr. Shah’s ethnographic monograph, Street Corner Secrets: Sex, Work and Migration in the City of Mumbai (2014, Duke University Press and Orient Blackswan, India) discussed sex work as an aspect of labor migration that is mediated by the politics of space, urbanization and caste. They are currently researching the rise of authoritarianism and the histories of new left social movements, queer feminist critique, and anthropology in South Asia.

10:00 – 11:15
Sexuality Politics and Queer Lawfare in Africa: Queer identities as political currency in autocratization processes & resistance
Participants Include: tba*
Moderator: tba*
- Book launch of Queer Lawfare in Africa

11:30 – 12:30
Sexuality Politics, Lawfare and Violence: Global Contestations

12:45 – 13:30

Human Rights Activism in Challenging Circumstances (NOT STREAMED)
Human rights activists are under threat in many parts of the world. Not least those who work on economically or culturally sensitive issues such as indigenous rights, environmental and labour rights, gender equality, and sexual and reproductive rights. What makes them persist with their work under these extremely challenging conditions? How do they navigate – and what influences their choice of strategies? These questions will be explored in the new CMI/LawTransform research project Rights ACT, starting with this panel, where activists will share their experiences and insights.
Participants Include: tba*
Moderator: tba*

​​13:30 – 14:30 LUNCH break

14:30 - 15:15

Rethinking law & democracy education.
Democracy, human rights and liberal values such as academic freedom are under increasing pressure, also in what has long been considered consolidated democracies. In these circumstances, universities worldwide are challenged to rethink our teaching and our democratic obligations. How can we enable students to learn in ways that not only give them knowledge about liberal democracy and its underpinnings, but that render them engaged, critical, and with useful resources for defending, reassessing, and enhancing democratic values? And how do we balance an orientation towards defence of liberal-democratic values, with critical openness to other epistemologies and lines of democratic thought.
Participants Include: tba*
Moderator: tba*

15:30 - 16:15
PhD-students session
What can we learn from this year’s Bergen Exchanges PhD-course - Effects of Lawfare: courts and law as battlegrounds for social change? In this session, the PhD students will lead the discussion.
Participants Include: tba*
Moderator: tba*

16:15 - 17:00
Closing and mingling