Käte Hamburger Lecture

Transnational Legal Encounters and the Politics of Protection: The Case of the Mediterranean Migration ‘Crisis’

Duisburg – 19 February 2019

Through the concept of transnational legal encounters, we can analyse how rights and obligations come to life – are mobilized, ignored, circumvented or violated in the practices of courts, states, corporations, legal advisors, human rights activists and ordinary people to pursue their projects, and protect their interests, or even lives. In the lecture, Professor Aalberts discussed the concept of transnational legal encounters as a vantage point to investigate the workings of international law. Analysing international law as an embodied practice – rather than just a body of rules –, she addressed how the rules are enacted in the encounters of people, rules and objects. This means investigating how abstract rules play out within a particular social, political and economic force field of world society. Aalberts’s most recent research on the current Mediterranean migration ‘crisis’ in terms of transnational legal encounters unravels a politics of protection, and a working of international law that is very different from the protection that the rules seek to provide, yet is facilitated by international law itself.

Tanja Aalbertsis Professor of Law and Politics and Director of the Center for Politics and Transnational Law at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterda. Her lecture was discussed by Dr Philip Liste who is currently research fellow at the Centre. Professor Dr Sigrid Quack, Director of the Centre moderated the discussion. 

February 19, 2019, 6:00 - 7:30 pm
SG183, SG Building, Geibelstraße 41, 47057 Duisburg