Wednesday, July 07, 2021

ICON-S Conference: PowerPoints of Paper Delivered for Panel on "Pandemic and Challenges to International Law" (COVID, Control, and Complicity in Rwanda: Human Rights Intersectionality in the Dead Spaces between Legal and Markets Regimes)


I was delighted to be able to participate in a marvelous panel, Pandemic and Challenges to International Law,  organized for the annual ICON-S Conference.

Held entirely online, this Conference seeks to make public law accessible to scholars of all types, regardless of area of interest, methodological approach, academic position, or geographic location. Over the four days of the conference, attendees will have access to Plenary Events, Social Events, dozens of Interest Groups, and nearly 300 Panel Sessions.


Pandemic and challenges to international law

Rostam J. NEUWIRTH: “Breaking [Fake] News“ and the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Global Non-Binary Perspective Expand

Stefania Baroncelli / Daniel Augenstein / Orsolya Farkas: Between Private Governance and Public Regulation: Covid-19, Workers Rights and Sustainability in Global Garment Supply Chains Expand

Oleksandr Vodiannikov :BLM, International Order and Epistemic Communities: International Organization after the Pandemic Expand

Larry BACKER: COVID, Control, and Complicity in Rwanda: Human Rights Intersectionality in the Dead Spaces between Legal and Markets Regimes Expand

Valeria Eboli: The pandemic outbreak as a reason to derogate from human rights Expand

Barbara Boschetti / Maria Daniela Poli: The soft law web in the Covid-19 Pandemic 

Chair(s): Benjamin Joshua Ong

 The panelists spoke to a number of inter-related issues that were intensified by and through the pandemic.  My own contribution  focused on the evolution of contradiction within the human rights regulatory sphere. The contradictions expose what I call the dead spaces that exist in these polycentric, fractured and dynamic trajectories of managing economic activity by, in, through, and beyond states, and that manifest themselves in those areas not holly touched by markets or law. Just as legal governance gaps gave rise to and supplied the impetus for, the framework that became the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights--as well as its progeny--so too the dead spaces between law and market, those spaces that the UNGP and related mechanism were meant to bridge (or paper over depending on one's politics), now appear subject to contradiction and movement within emerging conceptual spaces quite different from what was once anticipated to be the pathway toward solution of the problem of human rights and economic activity.  What the pandemic appeared to make clear--to the great dissatisfaction of virtually all governance groups (whatever their character)--was that binary conceptual frameworks, binaries that had fueled the debate about governance in modernity must necessarily give way to a more nuanced set of conceptual approaches over which dominance may be harder to attain and retain.

 The PowerPoint of my presentation are reproduced below.  



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