Monday, June 1, 2009

The Mile-High City

I just got back from the Law and Society conference in Denver. Colorado, USA. This conference is multi-disciplinary. Sociologists, anthropologists, political scientists, and lawyers discuss research interests in a socio-legal way.

The conference was excellent. I attended many interesting sessions on, for example, international law, South Africa, and the Global Financial crisis. Coffee was generously available. Also, the drinks party, Thursday night on the 38th floor of the Hyatt, had the most spectacular view of the Rockies. But is this of any interest to the international community? I don’t think so.

The LSA 2009 was very American. One new friend of mine from Canada suggested that the Europeans did not find a trip to DENVER to be attractive. Given the fact that UK television plays old US Westerns incessantly, I don’t think that was it. I think it had to do with the Global Financial Crisis or the GFC. Researchers could not find the funding, so they stayed at home.

This resulted in a distinct lack of ‘diversity’ so to speak. Numerous sessions concerned New Governance, the GFC, and how the US could better regulate their markets. There was an effort to be international but it was….feeble. There was little discussion about what was happening to securities and company law regulations elsewhere, besides the UK. I was a little disappointed.

This is only my second LSA. Last year it was held in Montreal and the discourse was lively and varied.

I presented my paper on Socially Responsible investing on Saturday. It went well and I received many constructive comments. I enjoyed Denver and the conference. The food was good as was a local amber ale called Fat Tire. I simply found the conference US-centric which managed to stifle the conversation somehow. The LSA 2010 will be held in Chicago. I may give that a miss.

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