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Prompting and Facilitating Pragmatic Conceptual Experimentation in Designerly Ways: Lessons From an Anti-hate Crime Project in India


Read the paper written by the Senior Research and Policy Advisor, Joanna Perry together with Amanda Perry-Kessaris and M. Mohsin Alam Bhat.


Hate crime—crimes motivated by hostility or prejudice towards the victim’s identity—have increasingly become integrated into the global human rights agenda. This paper explores how modes of thinking and practice that are characteristic of design-based disciplines—‘designerly ways’—might contribute to the migration and integration of legal concepts such as hate crime, by prompting and facilitating pragmatic conceptual experimentation. It uses the example of a project which invited those working against targeted violence in India to experiment with the concept of ‘hate crime’. It concludes that such experimentation is especially useful and urgent when debating the risks and rewards around the migration of globally established legal concepts, such as hate crime, into specific local contexts, such as India; and especially where the sociolegal context renders such debate risky. Designerly ways can help to ensure that any such migration is ‘provincialised’, and that the concept itself is enriched in the process.

Keywords: Legal design, hate crime, conceptual experimentation, sociolegal design.