Lawyers in Africa: builders of the state, brokers of globalization

Sara DEZALAY, Lecturer at the Cardiff School of Law and Politics

Law in Africa often conjures the question of colonial legacies or the image of a legal vacuum. Counter to this deceptive representation, Sara Dezalay will discuss the challenges and opportunity of furthering a political sociology of lawyers on the African continent. Her open research agenda underscores the roles played by lawyers in state transformations and as brokers of globalization on the African continent. Tracing the social characteristics of lawyers, their professional strategies and their political mobilizations points to connected histories that help explain the uneven and unequal connections between Africa and the world. This underscores, meanwhile, that it is in these so-called African peripheries that major legal, political and economic revolutions may be at play.

This presentation will be based on two publications: S. Dezalay, ‘Les juristes en Afrique: entre trajectoires d’État, sillons d’empire et mondialisation’, Politique africaine, 2015, 138, pp. 5-23,

S. Dezalay, ‘The ‘Africa’ Bar in Paris: Extractive economies and connected histories of globalization’ Forthcoming in: C. Greenhouse and C. Davis (eds.), Landscapes of Law: Practicing Sovereignty in Transnational Terrain

Event details
Jeudi, 7 Décembre, 2017 - 12:30 - 14:00
13 rue de l’Université, 4th floor, meeting room (410T)
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