Law and the City: Shaping Resilience in Urban Crises

Legal scholarship has only in recent years turned its focus to the emerging challenge of progressive urbanization. This session centers on a juridical perspective on the urban, focusing on how the legal shapes the urban condition, how legal structures impact and are mobilized in urban power struggles and how law performs in urban crises of different nature. In some cases a surplus of law is argued to stifle urban sociality, in some cases a lack of rule of law is argued to impede urban justice. Notably, in its dual potential as both sword and shield, law does not by definition rally to the dominant party. Whichever way though, law reflects the uneven power geometries that form the urban constellation.

Urbanization acts as a cause for vulnerabilities, violence and hostility. Vulnerabilities pose a continuous challenge to securing and ensuring the implementation of public international and national law into the affected urban context. Therefore, one has to pose the question: What role can law play in promoting resilience and reducing existing vulnerabilities?

The panel session puts in focus (legal) channels for the promotion of resilience. Addressing this research aim needs to be premised on the identification of vulnerable groups as well as on applicable national and international regulations pertaining to their protection. A second focus lays on rights’ enforcement and promotion, particularly emphasizing legal enforcement and complaint mechanisms. Presentations contribute to understanding how the legal shapes the urban, and how such understanding can offer input to calls for global urban justice. The panel invites innovative approaches and methods of furthering resilience of the affected vulnerable groups. We further invite research papers from legal research and/or neighboring disciplines that can among others, consider different country- or city contexts or put in focus specific vulnerable groups or communities identified, such as (illegal) migrants or refugees, women, children, and minorities. The session is geared towards starting a conversation between scholars working on juridical dynamics, and to connect research taking place in both the Global North and the Global South.

 

Danielle Chevalier, University of Amsterdam D.A.M.Chevalier@uva.nl

Charlotte Luelf, Ruhr-Universität Bochum charlotte.luelf@ruhr-uni-bochum.de

Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Heintze, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

 

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