Call for Papers

Conference Theme

These years, laws, rules, and existing norms at the international, regional, national, and local levels are confronting intense and significant challenges from the dynamic landscape of social forces, economic developments, and technological evolutions. Currently, numerous social movements are playing a prominent role around the world, focusing on issues such as climate change, LGBT rights, social justice, social impacts from artificial intelligence, and political change. We encourage submissions that explore this broad theme from a socio-legal perspective and employ empirical methods of investigation (quantitative or qualitative), including mixed methods and big data analytics.

Some examples of research papers that fit the theme of the conference might include those that explore: (a) the role of social movements and other social forces; (b) the attack on democracies and rise of authoritarianism; (c) the threat of new technologies to society, politics, and governance; (d) innovations in the economic order and institutions; (e) current developments of international legal order and global governance; (f) the interplays between legal cultures, legal institutions, and legal actors; (g) issues of crime, race, gender, immigration, and human rights; (h) climate change and sustainability. Papers related to other interpretations of the theme are also welcome. Authors are encouraged to explain how their proposal is relevant to the conference theme.


Graduate students, post-graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, teaching fellows as well as
recent graduates who are not faculty members are eligible to apply. As this is an interdisciplinary
conference, we welcome applicants from law, social science, and other fields.

Submissions and Selection

Junior researchers are invited to submit paper proposals to by
February 9, 2020. Submissions must include:

  • an abstract of up to 400 words, with 3 to 4 keywords describing the research paper
  • the author’s CV (no more than 2-3 pages)
  • the abstract and the CV must be in English and in a single PDF file

We also request that you submit your proposals using the following naming convention:
(Last Name)_(First Name)_SPLS 2020_Paper Proposal e.g. Doe_John_SPLS 2020_Paper Proposal

Proposals will be selected based on their quality and connection with the conference theme. All applicants will be informed of the decision by March 2, 2020. All selected participants must submit their final paper by April 13, 2020, so that it can be shared with the other members of their panel and their discussant for feedback.

The final paper should be no longer than 10,000 words (including footnotes). Each paper should be an unpublished work. We will consider papers that have been accepted for publication, so long as they have not been published and the author may still have an opportunity to incorporate feedback from the conference.

Financial Aid

A very limited amount of money is available to help cover participation costs. Only participants
from outside the San Francisco Bay Area are eligible to receive such assistance. Unfortunately, in no case will financial aid cover all the travel and lodging expenses and so we strongly encourage participants to seek financial support to attend the conference in their home countries and institutions.


The SPLS presents the Best Paper Award to the paper that best represents outstanding law and society research.


Please feel free to direct any question or comment to: For further information on the Conference and on the Stanford Program in Law and Society visit:

Stanford Program in Law and Society