Our Work


RIVERS draws on Lieselotte’s research in Guatemala, Colombia, Ecuador:

Invited guest co-editor with Denisse Roca Servat (Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Colombia) Special Issue Antípoda. Revista de Antropología y Arqueología N34 (2019) Water and other Knowledges: Making the Plurilegality of the Right to Water Visible, Available at: Antípoda

Viaene Proyecto hidroeléctrico Xalalá y DDHH maya q'eqchi' Guatemala




LViaene and GFernández-Maldonado Legislating legal pluralism in Ecuador - 2018-1


  • Viaene, L. and Fernández-Maldonado G, 2018, ‘Legislating coordination and cooperation mechanisms between indigenous and ordinary jurisdictions: reflections on progress and setbacks in Ecuador’, in Corradi, G., De Feyter K., Desmet E. and Vanhees K. (eds.), Critical indigenous rights studies. New directions in indigenous rights research, Routledge, pp. 201 – 226. Available at Researchgate and Academia.edu

Rivers Events


Empirical dialogues in human rights

Getafe, University Carlos III Madrid


Siri Gloppen, University of Bergen (Norway)

Human Rights Research Methods and Across Disciplines: Interdisciplinary and Multimethods Research

Traditionally there has been a major cleavage between legal scholars and the social sciences: the former have examined the structure and normative content of law from the perspective of legal theory and jurisprudence. The social silences, on the other hand, to the extent that they have been concerned with the law at all, have largely disregarded the normative content. Focus has been on explaining judicial decision and legal developments based on factors beyond the law (such as who appointed the judges), and on the social and economic consequences of various forms of legal ordering. More recently this has started to change. Increasingly disciplinary barriers are growing more porous. Legal scholars are collaborating with political scientist, anthropologists, psychologists, economists, computer scientists and others, to integrate empirical methods with legal scholarship. This lecture will present some examples of interdisciplinary and multimethod work into human rights from projects based at the CMI-UiB Centre on Law & Social Transformation, focusing on the right to water; land; health; and sexual and reproductive rights.  As well as projects enquiring into the role of courts and law in democratic backlash.

Bio note

Siri Gloppen is Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Bergen, Senior Researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute for research on global development and justice,  and Director of the CMI-UiB Centre on Law & Social Transformation. She has been research coordinator at PluriCourts (Oslo University Law School); visiting researcher at Harvard University and affiliated researcher at the Centre for Policy Research in Delhi. Gloppen’s main focus is theory building and empirical research into the social function of law and courts. This includes the dynamics and effects of lawfare processes: the use of law as a political strategy where social contestation is played out by mobilizing rights and law in different spaces. This ranges from litigation in domestic and international courts and tribunals to legislation, constitution-making and ‘rights talk’, and is engaged by actors within government and political parties as well as civil society actors.


Bergen Exchanges 2019

19-23 August 2019
Bergen, Norway

Can we develop new ways of thinking about water beyond the modern divides of nature/culture, and reconceptualising human rights? The coordinator of RIVERS Lieselotte Viaene and post doctoral researcher Marta Rica Izquierdo  presented the project during this year Bergen Exchanges on Law and Social Transformation. The main themes for Bergen Exchanges 2019 were Natural Resources, Corruption, Indigenous Rights and Law and Technology.

 To learn more about RIVERS project, you can watch the 20 minute talk of Lieselotte Viaene, RIVERS coordinator, sharing RIVERS research design with an introduction by Rachel Sieder (CIESAS-CMI) and followed by reflections by Marta Rica (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid) Angela Ocampo (University of Louvain); and Camila Gianella (CMI) and a Q&A with the distinguished public of Bergen Exchanges 2019   (22 August 2019). You can find the link of the video is below.

Other Events

RIVERS in UN Human Rights Council: Rivers Fieldwork

17-19 September 2019

Lieselotte Viaene, coordinator of RIVERS,  and Paulo Ilich Bacca, post-doctoral researcher in the project participated at the 42 session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. They also attended side events on indigenous justice and human rights, the first year of the transitional justice system in Colombia, and the annual panel discussion on rights of indigenous peoples in Ecuador. Lieselotte and Paulo met with Victoria Tauli-Corpus, member of RIVERS Scientific Advisory Board and current UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

In this context, Tauli-Corpuz presented her report on issues related to access to justice for indigenous peoples, exploring the contentious relationship between ordinary and indigenous justice systems and analysing the opportunities and challenges of legal pluralism. Subsequently, an interactive dialogue among the Rapporteur, the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the UN member states was developed. Read the Report to Human Rights Council, Indigenous Peoples and Justice (2019) here