Save the date: annual general meeting and keynote Sarah Dezalay

Dear members and those of you interested in VSR activities,

Please safe the date of January the 15th for our annual general meeting of member and the preceding keynote address by Dr. Sarah Dezalay,

As indicated before the annual VSR conference cannot take place in the way we are used to because of the uncertainties surrounding the COVID 19 pandemic. Therefore the meeting of the members will be held online. Preceding the meeting dr. Sarah Dezalay, Senior Lecturer at the Cardiff School for Law and Politics will deliver a keynote address. A number of very interesting respondents will comment on her speech before the floor will be opened for discussion with dr. Dezalay.

The preliminary schedule is as follows:

Friday January 15

13:30-14:15 – Intro & Keynote

14:15-15:00 – Discussion

15:00-15:15 – Break

15:15-16:45 – meeting of the members

The keynote will address the theme of the globalisation of the legal profession and below you may find an abstract of the address.

Africa’s lawyers: between imperial legacies and transformations in global capitalism

Politico-ideological projections on the prominence taken by Africa as the “world economy’s last frontier” raise particularly acute challenges for the researcher interested in the relationship between law, politics and globalization on the continent. Combining political sociology with global history, Dezalay’s research aims to expound the entanglement between legal evolution, political change and transformations of capitalism in the uneven and unequal relations between Africa and the world economy. Drawing on multi-sited research, her micro focus on the roles played by lawyers in state transformations offers an entry-point to trace how the asymmetrical yet interconnected relations between the African South

and the global are justified and renegotiated in the longue durée. Building on a case-study of the “Africa bar” in Paris, as a key site for the negotiation of extractive contracts between multinational corporations and Francophone states on the African continent, her presentation will examine ongoing legal corporate globalization dynamics into the continent as a layered process embedded in national palace wars, in the North and the African South, and molded by the competition between imperial pasts and presents.

We hope to be able to organise a gathering this spring or summer to also facilitate another important aspect of the yearly conference, seeing each other live and catching up. More news on that will follow. The zoom link to the meeting will also be provided for later. The annual meeting itself will only be accessible for members of the VSR but Sarah Dezalay’s keynote is open to all.

Kind regards,

Phil Paiement & Tobias Arnoldussen