Friday, March 13, 2015

Call for Submissions: Symposium on Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL)

AJIL Unbound has issued a call for submissions for a symposium on Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL). Here's the call:

AJIL Unbound, the online-only publication and forum of the American Journal of International Law, which features scholarship and commentary from pre-eminent scholars on developments in international law and international relations, invites submissions for a symposium on Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL).

Third World Approaches to International Law constitute a distinctive voice in international law. These approaches have emphasized the centrality of colonialism and imperialism to the field. TWAIL has challenged the manner in which first world scholarship monopolized the production of knowledge about international law and, in so doing, has brought to the fore questions of race, culture, power relations, and class.

While some TWAIL approaches have critically evaluated the continuities of colonialism and imperialism in post-cold war neo-liberal policies through a variety of lenses including Marxism, others have emphasized international law’s philosophic and theoretical features including its contingency, particularism, and indeterminacy. TWAIL scholars acknowledge that they are engaged in simultaneously critiquing and exposing the limits and the biases, blind spots and unanticipated bad consequences of international law, on the one hand, and embracing possibilities embodied in the guarantees of individual rights and self-determination, on the other.

For these and other reasons, TWAIL has been criticized for relying on the same underlying assumptions as the system it sought to transcend, for under-emphasizing the continuing marginalization of many women and of indigenous peoples, and for offering no positive agenda for the reform or transformation of international law.

AJIL Unbound invites essays of no more than 3000 words reflecting on Third World Approaches to International Law along the foregoing non-exhaustive list of themes. Essays should be lightly footnoted. Because AJIL Unbound essays will be available in both PDF and HTML formats, authors should provide both Bluebook citations and hyperlinks to all references. Submissions will be selected for publication through a peer-review process comprised of American Journal of International Law Board of Editors members, including the Co-editors in Chief and AJIL Unbound Committee members. This symposium is convened by Journal Board members Christine Chinkin, Henry Richardson, and James Gathii.