Call for papers ‘International law in times of transformation: How does international law deal with systemic change?’

Workshop, University of St Andrews 
Friday, 8 November 2019
Deadline for abstracts: 15 July 2019
Organisers: Dr Mateja Peter and Dr Adam Bower, on behalf of BISA International Law Working Group and the Centre for Global Constitutionalism, School of International Relations, University of St Andrews 
International law has developed in spurts, often following a dramatic reordering of power structures precipitated by the conclusion of major wars. The existing international legal order emerged at conferences held at the end of the First and Second World Wars, and through increased interaction following the end of the Cold War. Each shift in power structures brought new regimes and institutions across economic, environmental, developmental, human rights, and security-related spheres. Changes experienced between these reordering moments have been more gradual and incremental, but still possess cumulative impact. Today, core elements of the contemporary multilateral global order are arguably under increasing pressure due to a new systemic reordering. Not only are we experiencing a switch from a unipolar to a multipolar order, but the system is also under serious strain from pressures emanating from non-state actors (terrorism, organised crime, refugees) and new technologies. 
In this vein, we invite participants to reflect on how international law deals with systemic change. We welcome contributions from scholars from a range of disciplinary backgrounds and encompassing a plurality of theoretical and methodological approaches that shed light on one or both of the guiding questions that will orient the workshop: (1) What can past power transitions teach us about contemporary challenges to international law?, and (2) What adaptations of existing international rules and institutions are we already seeing and are these sufficient to respond to a systemic change in power relations?
We welcome proposals from scholars at any level, and we strongly encourage early-career researchers (advanced PhD students, postdocs, and junior staff) to apply. A limited number of bursaries towards travel and accommodation expenses will be available (£200 for participants from UK/Europe; £400 for participants based outside Europe) for those with limited resources. If you wish to be considered for a bursary, please provide a brief rationale for why you need a grant with your abstract submission. Successful recipients of a bursary must be registered members of BISA by the time of the workshop.
Important dates:
15 July 2019: Deadline for abstracts. Please submit these to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
1 August 2019: Notification of acceptance
28 October 2019: Deadline for paper submissions
British International Studies Association


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