Learn more about Peltz-Steele v. UMass Faculty Federation at Court Listener (complaint) and the Liberty Justice Center. The case is now on appeal in the First Circuit as no. 22-1466 (PACER paywall). Please direct media inquiries to Kristen Williamson.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Scholars seek to stimulate socio-legal studies in Africa

At the global meeting of the Law and Society Association (LSA) in Lisbon earlier this month, scholars in the collaborative research network dedicated to Africa ("CRN 13") agreed to move forward with an independent Africa Law & Society Network.

Working alongside but apart from CRN 13, the "Africa Law & Society Network" has a web page and for the time being claims a mailing address at the Centre for Law and Society at the University of Cape Town (UCT). The aim, in time, is to build a vibrant organization that is representative of scholars throughout the continent. 

The network thus hopes to stimulate the coordination of socio-legal studies by African scholars in two respects in which previous efforts have floundered: to have African scholars charting their own direction for research, rather than being coordinated by Western-dominated organizations; and to decentralize and diversify leadership, overcoming the tendency to lean exclusively on South African institutions.

CRN 13 leaders at the meeting sported the slogan "#CiteAfricanScholars" on T-shirts. Citation to African scholars often is limited by structural constraints that Western researchers might not even be conscious of, such as the simple availability of the work. With limited institutional resources, African academics cannot always enter their works into the subscription databases on which researchers often over-rely. And academic writers not backed by well known institutions are disproportionately unable to negotiate copyright and access terms with publishers that favor long-term pay walls over open source.

Professor Dee Smythe (LSA, UCT, LinkedIn) addresses the CRN 13 meeting in Lisbon.
(RJ Peltz-Steele CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

 

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