2015-2016 Residential Fellows

Mostafa Haider

Mostafa Haider (Bangladesh)

Enacting Equality and Inequality: The Politics of Global Anti-Poverty Programs

Mostafa Haider is currently a doctoral candidate at Sydney University Law School. Before commencing his PhD, Mostafa taught as a Lecturer at BRAC University Law School. He is an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh and has worked on constitutional matters at Dhaka-based law firm Dr Kamal Hossain and Associates. Mostafa holds an LLM from SOAS, University of London, and LLB (Hons) and LLM in international law from Chittagong University.

Mostafa’s doctoral thesis is a critical legal intervention into interdisciplinary debates surrounding global poverty. It argues that poverty is understood in these debates through a certain anti-poverty logic. This logic renders conditions of poverty clearly identifiable, manageable and removable by way of a discourse of global poverty eradication. Underlying this interdisciplinary discourse is a politics of law and normativity that authorises a particular distribution of equality and inequality. Against the logic so identified, this thesis contends that existing legal methodologies are insufficient to understand the juridical politics of global anti-poverty programs or the implications of that politics for the reproduction of global inequality. Combining ethnographic fieldwork on microcredit operations in rural Bangladesh with a theory of politics informed by the work of Jacques Rancière, this thesis offers a new conceptualisation of the rationality common to global anti-poverty programs.

Onur Ozgode

Onur Ozgode (Turkey / United States)

Policymaking-In-The-Wild: Economic Expertise at the Limits of Neoliberalism

Onur Ozgode completed his Ph.D in Sociology at Columbia University in February 2015. He specializes in the areas of sociology of expertise, historical, political and economic sociology, and critical social theory. Originally from Turkey, he studied Operations Research, Economics, and Middle Eastern Studies at the undergraduate level at Columbia. Since 2007, he has been a member of the Vital Systems Security research group, a multidisciplinary research collaborator that focuses on emergent forms of expertise concerned with the security of infrastructure systems vital to the economy, such as the financial, energy and telecommunication systems.

Onur’s research traces the emergence of techno-political and -economic problems at the intersection of expertise and governance. As part of this agenda, he investigates the transformation of liberal forms of economic governance as experts problematize and subsequently solve emergent governmental problems. He is currently working on a book manuscript, Governing the Economy at the Limits of Neo-Liberalism: The Genealogy of Systemic Risk Regulation in the United States, 1922-2010. This work examines how systemic (financial) risk was assembled as a monetary pathology of the economy between the 1970s and the 1980s, and how the new systemic risk regulation regime, instituted under the Dodd-Frank Act, rearticulates monetary government with the systemic tools developed for resource and mobilization planning during the New Deal and the Cold War. At IGLP, Onur will be launching a new project that will investigate the connection between neoliberalism and systemic risk at the global scale. Focusing on the formulation of structural adjustment reforms and macro-prudential regulation policies at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, this project will examine the transformation of international economic governance in response to the collapse of the Bretton Woods monetary system in the 1970s, and the subsequent emergence of the global financial system as a governmental entity.

Mai Taha

Mai Taha (Egypt)

‘A Court of Exception’: International Law, Foreign Capital, and the Mixed Courts of Egypt (1919-1949) 

Mai Taha was a Visiting Assistant Professor and Catalyst Fellow at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University (2014-2015) before joining IGLP. She recently completed her doctoral degree at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. Her dissertation was on nation and class subjectivity in international law and its institutions in the interwar Middle East. Her research broadly explores the historical relationship between international law, empire and capital. She received her LLM from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, and her M.A. in International Human Rights Law from the American University in Cairo. She worked briefly in international criminal law at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, and as a legal adviser for refugees at Africa and Middle East Refugee Assistance (AMERA) in Cairo.

At IGLP, she is working on a new research project on extraterritorial colonial legal institutions, specifically the Capitulations and the Mixed Courts of Egypt from 1875 to 1949. It is a socio-legal history of colonial legal regimes that studies the context of these specifically modern and liberal legal experiments as signposts for a parallel transformation in the political economy of the country. Her project addresses a specific moment in the life of the Mixed Courts, specifically when their jurisdiction expanded radically from cases that involved foreign nationals to include cases involving any foreign interest. This meant, among other things, that foreign companies became legally protected from domestic legislation and judicial scrutiny. Through archival-based research and the decisions of the Mixed Courts, Mai studies how the transformation into capitalism was reflected in law through this modern, yet colonial and capital-driven legal regime. The project shows how extraterritoriality through a colonial legal system created a novel juridical universe to accommodate the expansion of foreign capital coming into Egypt from the metropolis.

Lina M. Céspedes-Baez

Lina M. Céspedes-Baez (Colombia)

Idealized Women, Idealized Harms: Governance Feminism and the Narrowing of Women’s Experiences in Colombia’s Armed Conflict

Lina M. Céspedes-Baez is a Colombian lawyer, currently pursuing her S.J.D. degree at the James E. Beasley School of Law, Temple University as a Fulbright Scholar. Her research has focused on the interactions between private law, international law, human rights and gender. Lina received her law degree from Universidad del Rosario (Colombia). She has a specialized degree in tax law from Universidad del Rosario, a Masters in Gender Studies from Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and an LL.M. with a concentration in international law from Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University. She has been a law professor at Universidad del Rosario since 2005, where she teaches Obligations (Obligaciones), Sources of Obligations (Fuentes de las Obligaciones), and Legal Theory, and where she has been a member of the university’s Democracy and Justice Research Group since 2011. She is currently part of the Colombian Observatory of Rural Real Property Restitution and Regulation (Observatorio de Restitución y Regulación de Derechos de Propiedad Agraria), an academic initiative among Colombian universities and scholars to monitor and conduct research about the implementation of land restitution measures approved by the Colombian government in 2011 to redress harms to victims of Colombia’s internal armed conflict.

Lina’s research explores the impact the theoretical body of radical feminist scholarship has had on the identification, understanding and management of harms women face in the Colombian armed conflict and in transitional justice initiatives in Colombia and other post-conflict settings. She is interested in how radical feminism has narrowed the scope for understanding what constitutes gender-based violence in conflict. Her work explores how radical feminism has limited this understanding to sexual violence and related offenses, and how the overarching employment of the sexual domination matrix is used to explain the full range of harm women experience in this setting. In particular, Lina’s project focuses on how the radical feminist narrative has been deployed in the context of women’s land deprivation and massive displacement in the Colombian conflict, and advances alternative explanations to comprehend this phenomenon through the exploration of the intersection between feminism, theories of property and transitional justice.

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