Tuesday, April 28, 2015

LSA International Award to Shamir

The Law and Society Association has selected Ronen Shamir (Tel Aviv University) as winner of its 2015 International Award ("for significant contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the field of law and society"). Here's the citation:
Professor Ronen Shamir has published three monographs and dozens of articles that have had significant influence on the law and society field as well as sociology, history, middle eastern studies and anthropology.  Shamir’s projects locate law in the historical struggle of political forces within, before, and beyond the nation state.  His first book, Managing Legal Uncertainty: Elite Lawyers in the New Deal (1995) explored how legal realism moved from a minor but much ballyhooed movement in legal academia to a significant role in the building the legal infrastructure of the New Deal.  Shamir used a close study of these elite lawyers in action to illuminate the fraught debates about legal realism (and about the nature of law) animated by World War II and the holocaust and continuing to echo in the 1980s and 1990s in debates about legal determinacy.  His second book, The Colonies of Law: Colonialism, Zionism and Law in Early Mandate Palestine (2000), once again takes a close look at a particular jurisprudence and group of lawyers, to understand the formation of the nation state, and the larger antinomies of colonialism, religion, and race; this time in the context of mandatory Palestine and the Zionist state building effort.  In his most recent book, Current Flow: The Electrification of Palestine (2013), Shamir deploys Actor/Network theory, a framework of growing significance in the law and society field, to examine how the technical assemblage of the electrical grid in Palestine operates as much as legal and political institutions in shaping the state and its lines of conflict.  Shamir is also the author of dozens of articles addressing issues of globalization, neoliberal governance, and corporate social responsibility.  Shamir is a socio-legal scholar and social theorist who has brought empirical light to basic issues of normative and social ordering by bringing little known and telling historical examples into the historical record and general discussion. Shamir has done this in a region of the world and on a historical topic in which the risks of free investigation and expression have become increasingly manifest.
Congratulations to Professor Shamir!