Talk: 'Legal activism and deportation resistance'
November 16, 2016
4:00 pm-6:00 pm
UMass Amherst Campus
Lelia Kawar speaks on "Legal activism and deportation resistance: Comparative and historical perspectives" as part of the Resistance Studies Initiative Fall Speaker Series.
An assistant professor of Political Science and Legal Studies, Kawer researches the politics of legal expertise at both the national and international levels, with a focus on questions relating to migration, citizenship, and labor. Her book, Contesting Immigration Policy in Court: Legal Activism and Its Radiating Effects in the United States and France (Cambridge University Press 2015), received the Law and Society Association's Herbert Jacob Book Award for best book in law and society in 2016 and also the APSA Migration and Citizenship Section award of Best Book in 2016. Kawar holds a Ph.D. in law and society from New York University.
Since the 1970s, networks of progressive attorneys in both the United States and France have attempted to use litigation to assert rights for noncitizens. Yet judicial engagement – while numerically voluminous – remains doctrinally curtailed. Kawar’s research offers new insights into the role of law in immigration policy making by focusing on the complex webs linking legal doctrine, lawyer advocacy, and movements for social change. Challenging the conventional wisdom that "cause litigation" has little long-term impact on policy making unless it produces broad rights-protective principles, her work shows that legal contestation can have important radiating effects on policy by reshaping how political actors approach immigration issues.
Refreshments will be served.