European Society of International Law Research Forum
28 February – 1 March 2018
Hebrew University Faculty of Law, Jerusalem, Israel
Call for Papers
International Law in Times of Disorder and Contestation
The 2018 ESIL Research Forum will take place on 28 February – 1 March at the Hebrew University Faculty of Law.
The ESIL Research Forum is a scholarly conference that promotes engagement with research in progress by members of the Society. It has a small and intensive format. The Forum targets particularly scholars at an early stage of their careers, especially advanced PhD students and post-doctoral researchers. Approximately 25 papers will be selected from among the submissions and paper presenters will receive during the Forum comments on their papers from members of the ESIL Board and invited experts.
The 2018 Research Forum addresses challenges to the international legal order emanating from dynamics of disengagement from multilateral governance, a perceived erosion of support by states and other stakeholders in existing international institutions, contestation of universal values, shifts in hegemonic power at the global and regional level, and the rise in populist, antiliberal, anti-institutional and isolationist political sentiments in various regions of the world. Such processes occur in tandem with growing concerns about the suitability of the existing international legal structures and approaches to address global phenomena such as migration, cyber-security threats and climate change, and to influence the conduct of non-state actors such as corporations. It is the combination of the ‘re-emergence of the state’ from out of the shadows of multilateralism and international governance, a growing discontent and backlash from multiple sectors of society directed against existing international norms and institutions and the limited ability of the latter to address serious contemporary problems, which generate a sense of crisis and a possible plunge towards world disorder (Although, it may also be claimed that the current state of affairs creates new opportunities for introducing much needed reforms in international law).
The Forum seeks to bring together scholarly works that address questions such as whether international law can adjust to a more disordered environment and, if so, how? Can and should a new legal order emerge in the foreseeable future? To what extent has international law contributed to world disorder, and to what extent can it be part of the remedy? To what extent is the post-1945 international legal order actually eroding? And what lessons can be learned from past periods of legal and political transformation and upheaval at the international level?
The 2018 ESIL Research Forum invites the submission of papers addressing the theme of international law in times of disorder and contestation, including the following set of issues:
- International governance and reassertions of sovereignty
- Backlashes against international judicial institutions
- Challenges to the UN Charter as a global constitutional framework
- Erosion of the prohibition against the threat and use of force in international law
- International human rights and humanitarian law, institutions and concepts under new pressures
- The adequacy of international responses to the migration and refugee crisis
- Regulation of non-state actors within the existing international legal order
- International law governing areas and spaces beyond national sovereignty: in search of a new paradigm?
- New points of equilibrium in international economic law and regional economic integration
- International responses to intractable/frozen conflicts
- Universality of values underlying the international legal system
- Return to the past? Can the pre-Westphalian legal order provide lessons for a postWestphalian legal order?
Papers that address any dimensions of the call, including through interdisciplinary research and methods, and through historical, theoretical, critical or empirical approaches, will be given serious consideration. We welcome papers that propose to redefine or re-conceptualize our understanding of the terms of the call and their meaning in the current context.
Abstracts (of not more than 750 words) should be submitted to ESIL-RFJER2018@mail.huji.ac.il by 15 September 2017. Please include your name, email address and a one-page curriculum vitae with your abstract.
Successful applicants will be notified by email by 15 October 2017. Complete drafts of papers will be required by 15 February 2018. Papers may in due course be published in the ESIL SSRN Conference Paper Series.
Successful applicants will be expected to bear the costs of their own travel and accommodation. However, ESIL travel grants will be available to offer partial financial support to some speakers on a competitive basis. Further information on financial support will be distributed in due course.
Selected speakers will also be informed of several hotels that offer preferential rates to Research Forum participants. Lunch on both days will be provided, and a dinner for presenters, commentators and ESIL Board members will be hosted on the evening of 28 February 2018.