Global Governance Centre and International Law dep
11 December 2023

Call for Papers: Social Hierarchies in Catastrophic Times

Workshop to take place on 3-7 September 2024 in Kochi, Kerala, India.

How should legal scholars articulate critique in catastrophic times? Should critical voices tone it down, when faced with deteriorating social conditions, growing inequality, protracted violence, planetary collapse, authoritarianism, and xenophobia? Or, are they more urgently needed than ever? Critical scholarship has long warned of the limits of international law, and its complicity with structures and relations of domination. Yet, contemporary catastrophes have led to its revitalisation as a language of both expert counsel and political demand, drowning out calls for structural change for the sake of realism and stability.

We invite contributions that think through international law and social hierarchies in interplay with nature, capitalism, and borders. We particularly seek work that exposes the ways in which international law relates to existing relations of power, and the role it plays in sustaining them, or, in pointing to new emancipatory alternatives.

Our goal is to think collectively through different forms of critique of, and with, international law to offer frank assessments of their potential and limits, and to explore possibilities for international lawyers to contribute to emancipatory politics and structural change at the present conjuncture.



The workshop titled: "Social Hierarchies in Catastrophic Times: International Law, Critique, and Structural Change" will take place from 3-7 September 2024 in Kochi, Kerala, India

This workshop will include several components including work-in-progress sessions, panel discussions, and small-group discussions on various subjects related to the broad theme of the workshop.


Logistics, Process, and Timeline

Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words and a bio of 200-300 words through this form by 2 February 2024. Selected participants will be notified by mid-February at the latest and will be invited to submit a 3,000- to 5,000-word draft paper by 15 August 2024. Submissions from participants based in the region, and in the Global South, are particularly encouraged. The workshop will be held on 3-7 September 2024 in Kochi Kerala. Limited funding to cover travel and accommodation costs is available, and priority will be given to regional participants and participants without institutional funding. Following the workshop, there may be publication opportunities. We are currently exploring possibilities to this end.



This workshop is organised by Dr Lys Kulamadayil (Helmut-Schmidt University/Geneva Graduate Institute) and Dr Tor Krever (University of Cambridge). It is part of the project ‘Law by Colour Code: Locating Race and Racism in International Law’ funded by the Swiss National Sciences Foundation (PZ00P1_216005).

Read the full call for papers here

Photo credit: Suhas Dutta @flickr