When the Exception becomes the rule: European Union Societies on the move
Coordinators: Wanda Capeller (Sciences Po Toulouse), Maria João Guia (University of Coimbra Institute for Legal Research (UCILeR), António Casimiro Ferreira (University of Coimbra Centre for Social Studies), Valsamis Mitsilegas (Queen Mary London)
Description of the meeting
This workshop presents an innovative perspective as it calls attention to the perverse effects of the state of exception within the EU and its consequences for all fundamental rights, opening the reflection beyond the traditional placement of the theme of exception concerning of civil and political fundamental rights. In this sense we will also have specialists of different geographic (France, Spain, Portugal, Holland, UK, Italy, etc.) and scientific areas (sociology of law, sociology of labour law, Political sciences, migrations studies and criminology). We are aware that this year there will be a workshop on this topic (“State of exception, Law and Economy: A socio-legal approach to the economic of exception in an era of crisis”, 2-3 June 2016). There is also another workshop the 14-15 april (“The Limits of Criminalization: Precursor Crimes of Terrorism – Towards an Orwellian Society throughout Precursor and Communication Conducts? A Conceptual and Legislative Analysis). Both of them seem to touch our topics. We think, nevertheless that: a) we will have a specific deeper approach on the Law in action analysis, reflecting upon how do laws may change and threaten the daily life of European citizens (and those seeking this destiny to live). B) we will also focus on recent events that are expected to have developments in 2016, such as the changes to the France Constitution concerning the “Emergency State”. In fact, we believe our discussion will be of the utmost importance and originality since France is now about to adopt new restrictive measures on the life of citizens and that will be the departure point of the debate in what concerns the restriction of freedom. At the same time, austerity is still a central topic of debate in the European Society and namely Portugal, Greece and Spain. Austerity is not only a question of social inequality, exclusion and impoverishment, but also the expression of a political and legal model of erosion regarding the fundamental rights and social and normative expectations underlying them. The new normativities of exception promote ontological, political and legal insecurity in different spheres, strengthening the mechanisms of control and penalization of citizens and restraining citizens’ capacity to access their fundamental rights. Finally, we are willing to use this workshop to deepen the knowledge exchange and academic debates promoted in other scientific events and gather the work developed individually in a book or/and a joint European project.
Our experience in Oñati
My experience organizing an academic workshop at IISJ Oñati was one of the most rewarding experiences. I did it together with 3 other older colleagues and together we took the decisions on what would be common on our academic interests to debate. It was the first moment of an interesting debate, where each one of us would have to adapt their own particular interests into a common subject. Each one of us contributed with something innovative that would arouse the interest of other colleagues. We built that common idea, presenting topics that would come from the same root and we choose to build an interdisciplinary seminar.
We invited our academic fellows from different areas of knowledge: law, sociology of law, sociology, criminology, international relations, political sciences. After having our proposal accepted, participants started to send their abstracts with their own ideas. Many of them could not meet our dates, we had the big pleasure of receiving other academic participants who were willing to join us since the topic was on their own academic interests and we got a very diverse group and incredible cohesive, at the same time.
The discussion was amazingly rich, each one presenting its own ideas and after each group of presentations, debates were even richer. It was hard controlling time, everyone was willing to contribute to the debates and this was the most perfect moments of synergic academic discussions.
The International Institute was fabulous helping with the highest professionalism in all the single details, all their contributors are the most interested ones to contribute to the highest-level results. Meals were taken together, during the evening participants would join together at the typical restaurants and bars of Oñati. The amazing library was always available to those who were willing to engage in finding some literature or to deep-in any subject.
I could be there for years, living of academic debates, it is the perfect place for organizing an international workshop – nothing at all is out solution! On the contrary, there we feel the academic pleasures of building knowledge. I am surely engaging again in organizing another workshop in IISJ Oñati! All my gratitude to IISJ and their incredible members!
Maria João Guia, Reasearcher at the University of Coimbra Centre for Legal Research