Kent academic inspires new research methods at university in Ecuador

Academics and students at a university in Ecuador have been inspired to employ new interdisciplinary research methods and seek greater international collaboration following a visit by Kent Law School Senior Lecturer Dr Luis Eslava.

Dr Eslava was visiting the Universidad del Azuay, in Cuenca, where he delivered a presentation to students at the Faculty of Juridical Sciences on Kent’s distinctive critical approach to studying and teaching law. He also delivered a lecture to academics from across the university, had informal conversations with researchers and met with key Faculty and Law School staff.

During his visit, Dr Eslava ran a three-day workshop on ethnographic research methods and interdisciplinary perspectives for academics. The workshop on ‘Global (Dis)order and Critical Thought: Ethnography, History and Law’ included a short fieldwork exercise held in the city centre and was attended by staff from the schools of economics, medicine, engineering, psychology, architecture and law.

Faculty of Law Vice Dean Dr Sebastián López Hidalgo said that whilst critical approaches to law are beginning to be employed across the curriculum and in research projects at the Universidad del Azuay, interdisciplinary methodologies are still new: ‘Our institution is pursuing the professionalisation of faculty, and is particularly interested in creating international networks to put researchers in contact with experienced academics all over the world. In this context, Dr Eslava’s visit was a great opportunity to support junior faculty members in positioning their perspectives and methodologies.’

Dr Eslava has research expertise in international law. He is,Co-Director of the Centre for Critical International Law (CeCIL) at Kent, a Senior Fellow at Melbourne Law School in Australia and an International Professor at Universidad Externado do Colombia. He also serves as a core faculty member of the Institute for Global Law and Policy at Harvard Law School.