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Monday, October 22, 2018 @ 12:45 pm - 2:00 pm

The Center for the Study of Law and Society 

and cosponsors The Center for Korean Studies the Robert & Colleen Haas Distinguished Chair in Disability Studies

are pleased to announce the next speaker in the Fall 2018 CSLS Speaker Series




Celeste Arrington is Korea Foundation Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University


Presenting her research

“Rights Refracted:
Disability Rights Diffusion and Evolving Legal Opportunity Structures in South Korea and Japan”



Disability rights have expanded worldwide, including in East Asia. South Korea and Japan recently enacted legislation banning disability-based discrimination. Although both governments supported and signed the 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and included disability activists in the process of drafting domestic anti-discrimination legislation, the Japanese law defined discrimination less clearly and provided weaker remedies and enforcement mechanisms. What accounts for these divergent outcomes, which opened the legal opportunity structure for rights claiming more in Korea than in Japan? International law and transnational activism helped empower domestic actors and catalyze reform in both countries, but this paper highlights domestic factors that mediated rights diffusion. Korea and Japan exhibit similarities in domestic activists’ understanding of diffused rights, the level of domestic mobilization, domestic political and discursive opportunities, and accessibility of policy-making, which prior studies have emphasized in explaining differences in rights diffusion. The comparison of disability discrimination legislation in Japan and Korea draws attention to a hitherto overlooked domestic factor: the size or breadth of advocacy groups’ reform agenda. A narrow reform agenda keeps pressure on decision-makers focused, facilitates coordination among disabilities groups, and minimizes potential conflicts with existing statutes. Most scholarship takes as given the structure of legal opportunities, including rules governing access to courts, the costs and rewards of litigation, existing statutes and judicial precedents, and the presence of allies for legal mobilization. Yet by comparing policy advocacy and outcomes and their implications for rights claiming, this paper presents a framework for analyzing change in legal opportunity structures.


Please join us on Monday, October 22 from 12:45-2:00p in the Philip Selznick Seminar Room, 2240 Piedmont Ave. 


Coffee and water are provided. We invite you to bring your own “bag lunch.”
We are looking forward to seeing you soon!


Jonathan Simon, Faculty Director

Rosann Greenspan, Executive Director



Monday, October 22, 2018
12:45 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Center for the Study of Law and Society


Philip Selznick Seminar Room
2240 Piedmont Ave
Berkeley, CA 94720-2150 United States
+ Google Map

Events are wheelchair accessible. For disability-related accommodations, contact the organizer of the event. Advance notice is kindly requested.

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