Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Call for Papers: Writing Crisis in the History of International Law

The Interest Group on the History of International Law of the European Society of International Law has issued a call for papers for a workshop on the occasion of the 12th ESIL Annual Conference in Riga. The theme is: "Writing Crisis in the History of International Law." Here's the call:

On the occasion of the ESIL 12th Annual Conference (Riga, 8-10 September 2016, titled “How International Law Works in Times of Crisis”) the ESIL Interest Group on the History of International Law hereby invites submissions, in English or in French, for its annual Workshop.

Call for Papers

The idea of crisis is a permanent feature of international law debates, increasing in popularity over the past few decades. There are many possible explanations for this phenomenon. One is that the discipline of international law is constantly experiencing a state of crisis, crisis being an analytical tool measuring stable content. Another explanation is that crisis is no more than an epithet, deployed to single out an event or situation as exceptional or dramatic, thus paving the road for transformation and renewal. Other examples also exist. The intersection between crisis and international law, however, inevitably infers questions of time and history. It raises questions about the normal and the exceptional; about continuity and rupture; about the direction of history, and its periodization. It prompts questions about whether the history of international law can be written as a history of crises and questions about what is at stake each time ‘crisis’ is used to characterize a situation as exceptional.

In this context, the IGHIL invites submissions by scholars working within the fields of international law, history, and politics on the following inter-related themes:

    a) To (re)tell the stories of events (situations, phenomenal, linkages) that have captured the imagination of international legal historiography as paradigmatic instances of crisis;

    b) To examine questions of method and epistemology involved in the history writing of crises (e.g. questions of teleology, narrative, tropology) in international law;

    c) To reflect on the relationship between crisis, exceptionalism, and projects of legal reform, and what is to be learned by studying past crises for the present and future of international law.

Each submission should include:

    a) An abstract of no more than 400 words;

    b) The intended language of presentation;

    c) A short curriculum vitae containing the author’s name, institutional affiliation, contact information and e-mail address.

Abstracts must be submitted no later than 15 February 2016 to both Thomas Skouteris ( and Inge Van Hulle ( on behalf of the Steering Committee of the Interest Group, which shall collectively supervise the peer-review process of the abstracts. Applicants will be notified on the outcome of the selection process by 15 March 2016.Selection will be based on scholarly merit and with regard to producing an engaging workshop, without prejudice to gender, seniority, language or geographical location. Please note that the ESIL Interest Group on the History of International Law is unable to provide funds to cover the conference registration fee or related transport and accommodation costs.

The IG currently investigates publication possibilities for selected abstracts.