Monday, August 12, 2013

Call for Papers: Africa 2013 - Was There Something Missed in the Decolonization Process? The International Law Perspective

The Faculty of Law of the University of Trento has issued a call for papers for a Young Scholars Workshop on "Africa 2013 - Was There Something Missed in the Decolonization Process? The International Law Perspective." Here's the call:

Call for Papers

Young Scholars Workshop on International Law

XI Edition

Africa 2013 – Was There Something Missed in the Decolonization Process?

The International Law Perspective

Trento, 6-7 December 2013

The initiative

The Young Scholars Workshop on International Law is a periodic initiative taking place in Italy since 2003. It is aimed at providing a critical discussion forum in which early career academics, doctoral students, and young legal professionals are encouraged to present their research on specific topics of international law. The XI edition of the Workshop will be hosted by the Faculty of Law of the University of Trento.

Theme for the 2013 Workshop

The decolonization of Africa has been praised (including by several African States) as a success story of the United Nations. Nevertheless, recent phenomena of relevance for international law may cast shadows over this suggestion, especially if the decolonization process is considered from a broader economic, cultural and institutional perspective. More than half a century from the adoption of the fundamental General Assembly resolutions on self-determination and on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the OAU, the call for papers intends to address a fundamental research question: Has formal independence released African States from patterns of dominance by former colonial powers, other States, and transnational corporations?

Applicants are welcome to submit unpublished proposals that stand up in favor or against the research question by exploring, from an international law perspective, one or more of the following thematic areas:

a) The theory and practice of the use of force in Africa

− military coups

− intervention in civil wars

− achievements and failures of peacekeeping missions

− boundary and territorial disputes

− the role of regional organizations

b) Economic and social self-determination in Africa

− economic conditionalities and the role of international financial institutions

− achievements and failures of regional economic integration

− issues related to the exploitation of natural resources

− environmental protection and sustainable development

− issues concerning development cooperation (e.g. EU/USA/China-Africa relations)

− the participation of African States in international economic organizations and in their systems of dispute resolution

− problems related to foreign investments

c) Human rights and criminal justice: the African viewpoint

− international criminal justice v. traditional models of reconciliation

− achievements and failures of international criminal justice

− the specificity of the regional system of human rights protection

− gender and cultural issues

− indigenous rights

d) The circulation of legal and institutional models: Africa as champion or recipient?

− models of regional integration

− the legal regime applicable to the activities of transnational corporations (public and private international law perspectives)

− harmonization of private international law, business law and commercial arbitration


Submissions should include a short abstract in English (max. 600 words), the author’s affiliation and full contact information. They will be selected through a competitive process based on scholarly merit and originality. Subject to peer review and editorial discretion, selected submissions may be considered for publication in a leading journal of international law. The organization will cover accommodation costs for successful applicants.

Applications should be submitted in Word format to Marco Pertile ( and Julinda Beqiraj (

Deadline for abstract submission: 22 September

Notification to successful applicants: 1 October 2013

Deadline for submission of draft papers: 17 November 2013