About the Conference
The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at the University of Texas School of Law is pleased to announce its twelfth annual conference, to take place April 7-9, 2016.
Since the current global financial crisis began in 2008, income and wealth inequality both within and between countries has come under attack from multiple perspectives. While there is much methodological debate about how best to measure economic inequality globally, many of the figures are alarming. According to a recent report by Credit Suisse, half the world’s wealth is now owned by just 1% of the population, while the least well-off 50% own just 1% of global wealth.
Poverty, wealth and economic inequality are neither natural nor innate. Processes of impoverishment and uneven accumulation are produced, stabilized and sometimes challenged through legal and institutional arrangements, market competition, and social struggles. To date, human rights approaches to social and economic rights have primarily focused on poverty alleviation and the guarantee of basic rights. While not insignificant, these approaches have rarely attended to issues of extreme wealth or the social distribution of wealth.
This international conference will bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars and legal practitioners to consider whether international human rights law, movements, and discourses have, could or should engage with the problem of economic inequality nationally or internationally. Are human rights frameworks equipped to address economic inequality? Might their promotion foreclose other, more effective, vocabularies and strategies aimed at economic justice? How might human rights frameworks need to change to contribute to a more egalitarian world?
Participants will engage in contextualized examination of key sites of struggle over the distribution of income, benefits, access, decision-making power, and risk exposure including policies and practices around taxation, money and finance, debt (both sovereign and personal), development, natural resources and the environment, education, borders and migration, and health.
The conference is free and open to the public. Registration is strongly encouraged. We are grateful to the South Asia Institute for their support of the event.
We hope that you will be able to join us for this engaging series of conversations!