IGLP Regional Workshop 2016: Africa | January 17-23, 2016 | Cape Town, South Africa

About the African Regional Workshop

From January 17-23, 2016, the IGLP will hold our first African Regional Workshop in Cape Town, South Africa, co-hosted by the University of Cape Town Faculty of Law and convened in collaboration with Bowman Gilfillan. This Workshop is the second in a series of new regionally focused and concentrated academic programs being launched by the IGLP.

The 2016 IGLP African Regional Workshop in Cape Town will bring together doctoral scholars, post-doctoral scholars and junior faculty from Africa and from around the world for thought provoking research collaboration and debate alongside IGLP junior and senior faculty from universities across the globe.

Through our Regional Workshops, we seek to identify and support aspiring junior faculty, doctoral scholars and post-doctoral scholars in Africa and Latin America who are developing innovative ideas and alternative approaches to issues of global law, economic policy and social justice.

Modeled on the IGLP global Workshop, and following the success of the IGLP Latin American Regional Workshop in Bogota, the African Regional Workshop aims to promote innovative ideas and alternative approaches to issues of global law, economic policy, and social justice with an emphasis on how they relate to ongoing legal and policy debates throughout Africa. Our aim is to strengthen the next generation of aspiring scholars in this region by placing them in collaboration with their global peers.

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 Workshop Structure

The Regional Workshop is an intensive week-long program in which participants will meet in small groups to discuss their work-in-progress with one another over the course of five days. Throughout this time period, there will additional programming, ranging from plenary roundtables to mini-courses (streams) convened by senior scholars. The primary engagement is peer-to-peer conversations in small groups with careful mentoring from the faculty. 

IGLP Writing Workshops

Intensive writing workshops will form the core of our time together at the IGLP African Regional Workshop. Each day, participants will meet in small groups to share their own scholarship and discuss their own ongoing research. The IGLP writing workshops are organized to promote learning from others working on similar projects as well as to promote cross training by engaging with projects quite different from one’s own. The smaller group format allows participants to engage on a one-on-one basis with their peers and specialist faculty members, as well as to share ideas and receive feedback on their work. Each of the writing workshop groups will be led by a member of the IGLP’s Junior Faculty.

Each Participant will be assigned to a group and paired with a partner. Partners are expected to comment on each other’s papers during one of their group’s sessions. A member of the IGLP’s Senior Faculty will be present during each Writing Workshop session to give feedback on the papers being discussed that day.

Learn more about The IGLP Approach to Giving Feedback on the papers of colleagues.

How Much Does it Cost to Attend the Workshop?

The Institute for Global Law and Policy is committed to keeping the Workshop as low-cost as possible for admitted applicants.

More information to come shortly – please stay tuned!

Workshop Faculty

Faculty members from institutions around the globe will join us during the African Regional Workshop to contribute in a variety of ways. Faculty will include:

Mohammed Amin Adam, Africa Center for Energy Policy

Waheeda Amien, University of Cape Town

Penny Andrews, University of Cape Town

Diamond Ashiagbor, SOAS, University of London

Raymond Atuguba, University of Ghana

Mashood Baderin, SOAS, University of London

Adelle Blackett, McGill University Faculty of Law

Danwood Chirwa, University of Cape Town

Cyra Choudhury, Florida International University

Jean Comaroff, Harvard University

John Comaroff, Harvard University

Matt Craven, SOAS, University of London

Dennis Davis, High Court of Cape Town

Julia Dehm, University of Texas at Austin

Wesahl Domingo, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Karen Engle, University of Texas School of Law

Jorge Esquirol, Florida International University

Guenter Frankenberg, Goethe University Frankfurt

Chris Gevers, KwaZulu University

Evance Kaluia, University of Cape Town

Sylvia Kang’ara, Riara University

David Kennedy, Harvard Law School

Martti Koskenniemi, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Law

Vidya Kumar, University of Birmingham

Sandy Liebenberg, Stellenbosch University

Rashida Manjoo, University of Cape Town

Achille Mbembe, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Zinaida Miller, McGill University

Joel Modiri, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Horatia Muir Watt, Sciences Po Law School

Kibet Mutai, Kenya Industrial Property Institute

Vasuki Nesiah, New York University School of Law

Thandabantu Nhlapo, Former Deputy VC of University of Cape Town

Rugemeleza Nshala, Lawyers’ Environmental Action Team

Kate O’Regan, University of Cape Town

Sundhya Pahuja, Melbourne Law School

Nicolas Perrone, Universidad Externado de Colombia

Debora Posel, University of Cape Town

Nikolas Rajkovic, Tilburg Law School

Kerry Rittich, University of Toronto, Faculty of Law

Hani Sayed, The American University in Cairo

Dee Smythe, University of Cape Town

Karin van Marle, University of Pretoria

Robert Wai, Osgode Hall Law School

Lucie White, Harvard Law School

Mikhail Xifaras, Sciences Po Law School

Workshop Streams*

*Please note: this list of streams is tentative. Please check back soon for a finalized list of workshop streams.

The Challenges of Legal Diversity

A critical inquiry into the conjuncture and disjunctures of multiple legal cultures, founded on dissimilar principles, coexisting within a single nation-state and it’s implications for citizenship and the rule of law.


Legal Thought and Method

This stream will explore the range of intellectual and analytic methods that have animated innovative, heterodox and critical work in global law and policy. We will pay particular attention to the traditions of social thought and philosophy as they have influenced legal and policy analysis, of socio-legal and sociological analysis, and of critical traditions within the legal field.

Development and Labor

This Stream investigates legal reform strategies geared towards inducing economic growth and social welfare. We will explore the role of law in economic and social theories of development, the global and intellectual context that channels the range of development reform, and recent shifts in development theory and state practice as they impact labor and the working environment.


Human Rights and Social Justice

This stream will explore the human rights framework, its historical debates and contemporary preoccupations. Substantive areas of inquiry may include contemporary anti-violence work, post-conflict reconciliation efforts, and economic and social rights advocacy.

Law in a Global Economy

This Stream explores theoretical approaches to plural economic governance and examine examples (such as the trade regime or international investment law) that illustrate how transnational /a>economic regulation advances various and sometimes conflicting policy objectives ranging from facilitation of cross-border transactions to local development and social regulation.

International Law in a Diverse and Unequal World

This stream will consider the history and destiny of universal norms and collaborative governance in a diverse world of struggle. We will consider the way Africa has been portrayed in legal histories by both Non-African and African scholars, investigating the question of the right focus for such histories – slavery, indigenous political communities and empires, “colonial treaties”, protectorates, decolonization, state building, war and civil war, and investment. It will inquire on the significance of Eurocentrism for legal history writing and the role of histories in African present development.

Property and Land Use

This stream will explore the relationship between property structures and economic inequality in the region. With a few leading property law texts in the background, we will examine contemporary debates over agrarian reform and land titling in Africa. We will explore whether how new thinking and new solutions require more penetrating perspectives on the operation of property as a distributional regime of power and wealth across society.

Resource Extraction, Poverty and Development:

This stream will examine resource extraction, economic development, and wealth distribution in African nations through the critical analysis of development ideologies, legal frameworks, and distributional consequences.  Through theoretical readings and case analyses, we will map such issues as colonial origins of contemporary extraction patterns, ideological foundations of extraction / development policies, and distributional effects of legal instruments like international extraction contracts, domestic concession statutes, bi-lateral investment treaties, and international trade regimes.  The stream’s goals will be both to give an overview of critical legal methods and to apply those methods to an industry that might drive equitable development on the African continent.

Postcolonialism and Law:

This Stream will explore the history, meaning and significance of unequal encounters in global society with particular reference to Africa’s history of engagement with and by other regions of the world.   In particular we will ask how we might deepen our understanding of the history of colonialism to enrich our understanding of contemporary patterns of global legal ordering, as well as political-economic ordering.