Thursday, September 29, 2016

Ruminations 65: Good Breeding--The Racialization of Dogs and the Discourse of Differentiation

(Pix © Larry Catá Backer 2016)


Human organization is no stranger to the mania for classification, and the construction of hierarchy and social management on the basis of those classifications.  Every society on Earth and at all times have sorted itself out this way for a long time.  And each society approaches the legitimization of these classifications--and the organizational and regulatory consequences of the society created--through a number of devices.  Human have invoked powers beyond the individual or society, usually divine forces of some sort or other, that in some way manifests the requirements for classification and the consequences of these impositions.  Theocracy provides a quite efficient means of creating those formulas necessary for segregating people and establishing a social order based on those characteristics that are the markers of difference. Societies sometimes invoke themselves--democratic social orders, from those of the West to Marxist Leninist regimes, and form monarchies to oligarchies--each in their own way ground their segregation on themselves (the will of the people exercised directly, or through their customs and traditions, or exercised through a monarch or by a vanguard). Both theocracy and democratic orders will on occasion rely on science--however that is understood, to buttress whatever framework system of classification that are imposed.  These are meant to extract essential characteristics (the domain of the social sciences), behavioral traits and predilections (the realm of genetics and perhaps psychology), social rules for engagement (customs and traditions and their preservation), and trait development (the domain of the "practical sciences" of husbandry)

This post considers the way that one can observe the extraordinary and unconscious strength of the propensity of human societies to build classification systems on constructed difference.  More specifically, it considers the way that the old rhetoric and "sciences" of race have been deployed unconsciously in recent efforts to ban "breeds" on dogs from particular areas. The most interesting aspects of these breed banning movement may be the way that it serves to reinforce and reapply with extraordinary strength the old mechanisms that once supported race slavery and segregation.  The ease with which our societies racialize dogs suggests the strength and depth of societal willingness--everyone, not just those at the top of particular hierarchies founded on race--to keep racial classification alive and to use its structures in ordering societal spaces (e.g., here). The dog, in this case, might well serve as a reminder of the power of racialization as a fundamental basis of human society and perhaps a litmus test of social claims to have moved beyond race in the classifications and ordering of social systems. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

On the Nature of the Foreigner and Chinese Law--Drawing a Distinction Between the National and the International in an Era of Globalization




I have been considering the issue of the foreign scholar in China--and especially in the context of the development of Chinese law and jurisprudence. That is understood, in the Chinese context as both a legal and a political engagement that has a long and turbulent history--on both sides. From the West one can discern a pattern of "types" of Western scholar engagements in China.: Missionary, Expert, Sycophant, Colonizer, Expatriot, Entrepreneur, and Company Official. On the Chinese side, the "useful stranger," the "invited influence," the "friend of China," and the "enemy of China" (HERE).

I presented a preliminary version of these ideas earlier this summer at Tsinghua University (see 中国,法律与外国人:国际舞台上的相互交往 (更新版本) Transcript of Remarks: "China, Law, and the Foreigner: Mutual Engagements on a Global Stage"). And I was delighted to have a chance to refine those ideas on September 27, 2016 at a Seminar on The Role of Foreign Scholars in the Study of Chinese Law, sponsored by the Confucius Institute, the Università degli Studi di Napoli L'Orientale and the Instituto Confucio Napoli.

This post considers an unexplored wrinkle in the development of the mapping of the terrain of engagement between China and Western scholars--and that is the quite distinct emerging interactions between Western engagements with China on its internal development, and Western engagement with China in the context of global norm making.

No.167-2 : 雷磊 : 再访拉德布鲁赫公式(下); No. 167-2 Lei Lei: Revisiting the Radbruch formula (Part 2)


This is another in the series of essays that were presented at the “来华外国人与近代中国法” 国际学术研讨会 "Foreigners and Modern Chinese Law" International Symposium Conference

No.167-2 : 雷磊 : 再访拉德布鲁赫公式(下); No.167-1: Lei Lei: Revisiting the Radbruch formula. This is Part 2 of the series. Part 1 may be accessed HERE.

The essay considers the Radbruch formula (Radbruchsche Formel) in the Chinese context.This was developed by Gustav Radbruch in reaction to the jurisprudence of the German NAZI period and suggests a relationship between the judge, the law and justice. It permits a judge to disregard a statute that cannot otherwise be interpreted as producing an unbearably unjust result or deliberately disregards human equality before the law (see e.g., here).

The essay was posted to 叁會學坊, the San Hui Fang Workshops microblog and it follows below 中国语文 only.

No.167-1 : 雷磊 : 再访拉德布鲁赫公式(上) No.167-1: Lei Lei: Revisiting the Radbruch formula


This is another in the series of essays that were presented at the “来华外国人与近代中国法” 国际学术研讨会 "Foreigners and Modern Chinese Law" International Symposium Conference

No.167-1 : 雷磊 : 再访拉德布鲁赫公式(上) No.167-1: Lei Lei: Revisiting the Radbruch formula.

The essay considers the Radbruch formula (Radbruchsche Formel) in the Chinese context.This was developed by Gustav Radbruch in reaction to the jurisprudence of the German NAZI period and suggests a relationship between the judge, the law and justice. It permits a judge to disregard a statute that cannot otherwise be interpreted as producing an unbearably unjust result or deliberately disregards human equality before the law (see e.g., here).

The essay was posted to 叁會學坊, the San Hui Fang Workshops microblog and it follows below 中国语文 only.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Ideological Basis of a Comprehensive Treaty on Business and Human Rights: Choosing Among Status Quo, Evolutive and Transformative Visions


(Pix © Larry Catá Bacer 2016)


I have been considering the ideological foundations of the comprehensive treaty for business and human rights, the elaboration of which is the principal task of the U.N. appointed  Open-Ended Intergovernmental Working Group on Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises (IGWG) (Revealing Ideologies for a Comprehensive Treaty for Business and Human Rights).  The context is the broader conceptual issue of treaty elaboration in general--and more specifically on the relationship between principle and pragmatism in the conceptualization, drafting and interpretation of treaties (see Can Pragmatism Be Principled? With Application to the Elaboration to Comprehensive Treaty for Business and Human Rights).  

What has become clear is that the Mandate of the IGWG does no so much express a single set of restructuring principles for the elaboration of a comprehensive treaty so much as it  appears to invite the elaboration of such principles in the course of elaborating a treaty.  That is, form the perspective of the sort of careful work required so so complex a project either an invitation to build a monster from out of whatever mismatched parts various stakeholder groups with power can live with or use strategically (according to their calculus).  Or it will require the elaboration of a set of coherence reinforcing structuring principles as a preliminary to the elaboration of the treaty provisions that will serve to give these principles effect

But the mandate also constrains the choices among the universe of structuring principles that might be embraced in the treaty draft process. This post considers the three likely competing ideologies that will produce three distinct sets of structuring principles for the elaboration of the comprehensive treaty.  Together they suggest the possibilities if three radically different elaborations of a treaty for business and human rights. 


Monday, September 19, 2016

No.166-2 许小亮 : 朝向敌人本身; No.166-2 Xu Xiaoliang: toward the enemy itself

 

This is another in the series of essays that were presented at the “来华外国人与近代中国法” 国际学术研讨会 "Foreigners and Modern Chinese Law" International Symposium Conference 


No.166-2  许小亮 : 朝向敌人本身;  Xu Xiaoliang: toward the enemy itself.

The essay considers the meaning of the enemy in China. It adds another perspective first raised in No. 166-1. Both are worth reading together.

The essay was posted to  叁會學坊, the San Hui Fang Workshops microblog and it follows below 中国语文 only.


No.166-1 周林刚 : 敌人与现代政治; Zhou Lingang: Enemies in Modern Politics






This is another in the series of essays that were presented at the “来华外国人与近代中国法” 国际学术研讨会 "Foreigners and Modern Chinese Law" International Symposium Conference

No.166-1 周林刚 : 敌人与现代政治; Zhou Lingang: Enemies in Modern Politics.

The essay considers the meaning of the enemy in the context of Chinese thought. 

The essay was posted to 叁會學坊, the San Hui Fang Workshops microblog and it follows below 中国语文 only.