Editors’ Introduction: Indignation, Socio-economic Inequality and the Role of Law

Authors

  • Jane Matthews Glenn McGill University
  • Anneke Smit University of Windsor
  • Véronique Fortin University of California, Irvine

Keywords:

Indignation, Hessel, protest movements, socio-economic inequality, trickle-down-meanness, pluralistic dialogue, Indignados, movimientos de protesta, desigualdad socioeconómica, goteo de avaricia, diálogo plural

Abstract

This volume of the Oñati Socio-legal Series consists of revised versions of 15 of the 20 papers presented at a workshop hosted by the Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law (IISL) in May 2013. The workshop took its theme from Stéphane Hessel’s cri de coeur, Indignez-vous! and the protest movements it inspired, which we saw as protests against the social inequality that necessarily follows from economic inequality and other power imbalances. This message continues to resonate. In 2015, for example, Oxfam International’s research paper entitled “Wealth: Having it all and wanting more” concludes that by 2016, the world’s richest 1% will have more of the world’s wealth than all of the remaining 99% of people. And a Canadian observer decries the effect of this – which he labels “trickle-down meanness” – on the socio-political fabric of a country.

Because of the breadth of the workshop theme and the diversity of its participants – which included a critical mass of doctrinal legal scholars in the mix – participants were asked to choose topics which 1) raised their indignation, 2) reflected economic inequality, 3) led to a violation of socio-economic rights, and 4) involved a possible role for the law (or public policy) either in causing the violation or in providing a solution to it (or both). The papers in this volume show that the participants responded enthusiastically to this request.

Este número de la revista Oñati Socio-legal Series recoge las versiones revisadas de 15 de las 20 ponencias que se presentaron en el workshop celebrado en el Instituto Internacional de Sociología Jurídica de Oñati (IISJ), en mayo de 2013. El tema del workshop giró alrededor del lema de Stéphane Hessel, Indignez-vous! y los movimientos de protesta que inspiró, que percibimos como protestas contra la desigualdad social que resulta inevitablemente de la desigualdad económica y otros desequilibrios de poder. Este mensaje sigue resonando. En 2015, por ejemplo, una investigación de Oxfam Internacional titulada “Wealth: Having it all and wanting more” (Riqueza: Tenerlo todo y querer más), concluye que en 2016, el 1% de la población mundial poseerá más riqueza que el 99% restante. Y un observador canadiense condena sus consecuencias -que él denomina “goteo de mezquindad”- en el tejido socio-político de un país.

Debido a la amplitud del tema del workshop y la diversidad de sus participantes -que incluía una masa crítica de expertos en doctrinas legales- se pidió a los participantes que eligieran temas que 1) les indignaran, 2) reflejasen desigualdad económica, 3), diesen lugar a una violación de los derechos socioeconómicos, y 4) que implicasen un posible papel del derecho (o políticas públicas) tanto por causar el daño u ofrecer una solución al problema (o ambos). Los artículos de este volumen demuestran que los participantes respondieron con entusiasmo a esta solicitud.

DOWNLOAD THIS PAPER FROM SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2572253

Author Biographies

Jane Matthews Glenn, McGill University

Jane Matthews Glenn is an Emeritus Professor at the Faculty of Law and School of Urban Planning, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and Vice-President for North America, Central America and the Caribbean, Union Mondiale des Agraristes Universitaires. Faculty of Law. McGill University. Chancellor Day Hall. 3644 Peel Street. Montreal. Quebec. Canada H3A 1W9 jane.glenn@mcgill.ca

Anneke Smit, University of Windsor

Anneke Smit is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Windsor. She is the author of The Property Rights of Refugees and Displaced Persons: Beyond Restitution (London: Routledge, 2012) and co-editor of Public Interest: Private Rights: Law and Planning Policy in Canada (Vancouver: UBC Press, forthcoming 2015). University of Windsor. 401 Sunset Avenue. Windsor, Ontario. Canada N9B 3P4. asmit@uwindsor.ca

Véronique Fortin, University of California, Irvine

Véronique Fortin is a Ph.D. candidate in Criminology, Law & Society at the University of California, Irvine (USA). She also has law degrees in civil and common law from McGill University, Montreal (Qc., Canada). University of California, Irvine, Department of Criminology, Law and Society, 2340 Social Ecology II, Irvine, CA, United States, 92697-7080 vfortin@uci.edu

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How to Cite

Glenn, J. M., Smit, A. and Fortin, V. (2015) “Editors’ Introduction: Indignation, Socio-economic Inequality and the Role of Law”, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 5(1), pp. 1–7. Available at: https://opo.iisj.net/index.php/osls/article/view/577 (Accessed: 2 August 2021).