Legalizing Social Movements - L8285
Tuesdays 4:20 - 6:10
Room: William and June Warren Hall, Room 600 (corner of Amsterdam Avenue and 115th Street)
After formulating goals and strategies in the political, cultural and social domain many social movements turn to law to advance their collective aims. This has prompted an increasing legalization of contemporary politics that redefines the terms, means, and aspirational horizon of social and political movements and causes. This course will examine a fundamental question: What does it mean to translate/reformulate political claims into the language of law and rights? It will consider the ways in which the turn to law:
- narrows or channels a movement’s demands into terms recognizable to a liberal regime of rights, while transforming their political substance and normative aspirations;
- turns the communities affected into rights-holders increasingly concerned with legal technicalities, and thereby flattens or erases an analysis of relations of law and power, injustice, and structures of oppression;
- generates an attachment by relevant community members to a kind of injury recognized by rights-based claims and the identities associated to them, wittingly or unwittingly reinforcing essentialized identity politics;
- privileges precedent, causation, individualized harm and other legal values over critiques of power structures imposing a binary logic of winners and losers on the more radical, democratic, and richer debates and approaches to socio-legal change embraced by movement actors outside of the legal context;
- facilitates the rise of elites such as lawyers and other “experts” to the position of leaders who then shape the movement’s goals in place of the expertise and goals of grass-roots movement leaders.
- uncritically values the kind of victories law can deliver, thereby obscuring the processes by which strategies of redress can become technologies of domination.
To examine the meaning, significance, and impact of a social movement’s turn to law and shed light on these tensions and contradictions the seminar will take up relevant legislation and legal practices, court cases, and critical scholarship related to four case studies: Indigenous peoples’ movements in North and South America; the U.S. gay rights/marriage equality movement; labor movements; and the Palestinian liberation movement.
No laptops are permitted in this class.
Class attendance is mandatory.
Students will be evaluated based upon class participation, and a final paper.
Professor Franke's Coordinates:
Office: Room 627
Office Hours: Mondays, 3:00 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. (sign-up sheet on my door) or by appointment
Professor Franke's Assistant: Elizabeth Boylan, email@example.com, 212.854.0167
Professor Dabed’s Coordinates:
Office: JG 811-4
- Course reader available at the Secretariat on the 7th floor of the law school
January 19th: General Introduction
- Susan B. Boyd, The Perils of Rights Discourse: A Response to Kitzinger and Wilkinson, Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2004, pp. 211—217.
January 26th: Introduction to some elements for a critical study of law
- Pierre Bourdieu, The Force of Law: Toward a Sociology of the Juridical Field, 38 Hastings L. J. 805 (1987).
- Clifford Geertz, Fact and Law in comparative perspective, in Local Knowledge. Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology, Basic Books, United States, 2000, pages 167-184.
- Foucault, Michel, Two Lectures, in Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972-1977, (Colin Gordon ed. New York: Pantheon 1980), pp. 78-108.
February 2nd: What’s At Stake When Social Movements Turn To Law
- Nancy Fraser, From Redistribution to Recognition? Dilemmas of Justice in a Postsocialist Age, in Nancy Fraser, Adding Insult to Injury. Nancy Fraser Debates her Critics, (Kevin Olson Ed. Verso, New York 2008) pages 9-41.
- Wendy Brown, Suffering the Paradoxes of Rights, in Left Legalism/Left Critique, (Duke University Press, Durham, 2002), pages 420-434.
- Derrick Bell, Serving Two Masters: Integration Ideals and Client Interests in School Desegregation Litigation, 85 Yale L. J. 470 (1976).
February 9th: What Rights Do
- Michel Foucault, Two Lectures, in Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972-1977, Colin Gordon ed., Pantheon Books, New York, 1980), Lecture Two, pp. 92-108. (Printed in previous reader).
- Wendy Brown, Wounded Attachments, in States of Injury (1995)
- Judith Butler and Athena Athanasiou, Recognition and survival, or surviving recognition, in Dispossession. The Performative In The Political, (Polity Press, Cambridge, 2013) pages 75-91
- Judith Butler, The Life and Death Struggles of Desire: Hegel and Contemporary French Theory, in Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth-Century France, (Columbia University Press, New York, 1999), pages 175-238.
February 16th: Case Study: Indigenous Peoples’ Movements in Latin America
- Subcomandante Marcos, I am as I am and you are as you are, The Utne Reader; Jul/Aug 2001; 106; ProQuest pg. 46.
- Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, Conclusions, Grove Press, New York, 2004, pages 235-239.
- Gerald Torres and Kathryn Milun, Stories and Standings: The legal Meaning of Identity, in After Identity, (Dan Danielsen and Karen Engle (Ed.), Routledge, New York, 1995) pages 129-142.
- Marc Becker, Correa, Indigenous Movements, and the Writing of a New Constitution in Ecuador, Latin American Perspectives, 38, A Second Look At Latin American Social Movements 47 (2011).
- Mark Goodale, Dilemmas of Modernity. Bolivian Encounters with Law and Liberalism. Stanford University Press, 2009. Introduction, Excerpts.
- Anaya S. James and Claudio Grossman, ͞The Case of Awas Tingni v. Nicaragua: A New Step in the International Law of Indigenous Peoples͟ Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law, 2002, 19: (1) 1-15.
- Case of the Kichwa Indigenous People of Sarayaku v. Ecuador, (Merits and reparations), Judgment of June 27, 2012, Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Series C No. 245, Excerpts.
- Case of the Saramaka People v. Suriname. Preliminary objections, merits, reparations and costs. Judgment of November 28, 2007. Series C No. 172, Excerpts.
- Norín Catrimán et al. (leaders, members and activist of the Mapuche indigenous people) v. Chile, (merits, reparations and costs),judgment of May 29, 2014, Inter- American Court of Human Rights, series C No. 279, Excerpts.
- Shannon Speed, At the Crossroads of Human Rights and Anthropology: Toward a Critically Engaged Activist Research, American Anthropologist, Vol. 108, No. 1 (Mar., 2006), pp. 66-76.
- Speed, Shannon. Collier, Jane Fishburne. 2000. Limiting Indigenous Autonomy in Chiapas, Mexico: The State Government's Use of Human Rights. Human Rights Quarterly, Volume 22, Number 4, pp. 877-905
February 23rd: Indigenous Peoples’ Movements in North America
- Interview with Taiaiake Alfred, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgq19l6tM_s
- Johnson v. McIntosh, 21 U.S. (8 Wheat.) 543, 585 (1823)
- Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, 30 U.S. (5 Pet.) 1, 14 (1831)
- Taiaiake Alfred, Sovereignty, in Joanne Barker, Sovereignty Matters: Locations of Contestation and Possibility in Indigenous Struggles for Self-Determination pp.33 51
- Glen Sean Coulthard, Red Skin/White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition 151-179
March 1st: Case Study: Movements for Economic Justice
- Aryeh Neier, Only Judgment: The Limits of Litigation in Social Change, Chapter 8
- Charles Reich, Individual Rights and Social Welfare: The Emerging Legal Issues, 74 Yale L.J. 1245 (1964)
- Austin Sarat, ".. The Law Is All Over": Power, Resistance and the Legal Consciousness of the Welfare Poor, 2 Yale J.L. & Human. 343 (1990)
March 8th: Case Study: Movements for Economic Justice
- Martha Davis, Brutal Need (1995) (Available for Purchase from the Columbia University Bookstore)
March 15th: Spring Break
March 22nd: Case Study: Gay Liberation
- Kendall Thomas, Beyond the Privacy Principle, in After Identity, (Dan Danielsen and Karen Engle (Ed.), Routledge, New York, 1995) pages 277-293
- Harry Hay, Radically Gay: Gay Liberation in the Words of Its Founder (1996)
- Statement of Purpose: Gay Liberation Front (1969)
- Serving Social/Political Change Through A Gay Window: A Position Paper
- The Proud Descendants of Generations of Gender Outlaws
- Gayle Rubin, Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality
March 29th: Case Study: Gay Liberation
- Judith Butler, Is Kinship Always Already Heterosexual?,13 Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies (2002)
- Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. (2015)
- Katherine Franke, Wedlocked: The Perils of Marriage Equality (2015) Chapter 5
April 5th: Case Study: Palestinian Libreration Movement
Today’s Dominance of Law and Human Rights Discourse:
- Lori Allen, The Rise and Fall of Human Rights. Cynicism and Politics in Occupied Palestine, Stanford University Press, 2013, Introduction, pages 1-32.
Original Political Claims:
- PLO Charter 1964, Excerpts.
- Fatah Charter 1968, Excerpts.
- PLO Charter 1968, Excerpts.
The First Step Towards Law and Human Rights:
- Palestinian National Council Declaration of Independence (November 14, 1988), Excerpts.
- Palestinian Communiqué attached to the Palestinian Declaration of Independence, 1988, Excerpts.
- Arafat’s Speech at the UN Geneva, 1988, Excerpts. Arafat’s Clarification of the Geneva Speech, 1988, Excerpts.
- Palestine liberation organization: letter transmitting the national council's resolution to amend the Palestinian national charter fulfilling the PLO obligations, 1997.
April 12th: Case Study: Palestinian Liberation Movement
The Turn to Israeli Law:
- David Kretzmer, The Occupation of Justice. The Supreme Court of Israel and the Occupied Territories, State University of New York Press, Albany, 2002, Introduction, pages 1-18, Excerpts; Chapter Fourth, The Benevolent Occupant, pages 57-74, Excerpts.
- Tobias Kelly, Jurisdictional Politics in the Occupied West Bank: Territory, Community, and Economic dependency in the formation of legal subjects, Law & Social Inquiry, Vol. 31, No. 1 (Winter, 2006), pp. 39-74, Excerpts.
- Samera Esmeir, Memories of Conquest: Witnessing Death in Tantura, in Sa'di, Ahmad H., and Abu-Lughod, Lila, eds. Nakba: Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory. New York, NY, USA: Columbia University Press, 2007.
- Tobias Kelly, Documented Lives: Fear and the Uncertainties of Law during the Second Palestinian Intifada, he Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol. 12, No. 1 (Mar., 2006), pp. 89-107.
- Samera Esmeir, Juridical Humanity. A colonial history, Stanford University Press, 2013, Introduction, Chapter 1.
The Turn to Post-Oslo Palestinian Law:
- Emilio Dabed, A Constitution for a Non State. The false hopes of Palestinian constitutionalism. Journal for Palestine Studies, 2014.
- Amnesty International, TRIAL AT MIDNIGHT: Secret, summary, unfair trials in Gaza, 1995, Summary, Excerpts.
- PHCR, Presidential Decree Destroys the Judicial Authority and the Civil Life and Militarizes the Society, 2007
- Emilio Dabed, Constitutional Making and Identity Construction in Occupied Palestine, Confluence Mediterranee, 2014.
April 19th: Discussion of Student Papers
April 26th: Discussion of Student Papers