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New Directions in the Theory & History of International Law


1-2 juin 2022


Prof. Susan Marks, London School of Economics Prof. Andrew Clapham, Graduate Institute


The field of international legal history finds itself at a crossroads. After some decades, the tone of the literature on the "turn to history" has turned from celebration to self-critique. Indeed, the last couple of years have witnessed increased calls to pursue new directions in international legal history, departing from the "well-worn paths" initially explored. In this vein, some urge for a localized approach to the study of "legal politics," while others push for a "history of international law in the vernacular," a "grassroots analysis," or a "radical historical critique." In my own work, I have argued for a (new) materialist approach, which resonates with other broader drives for the retrieval of Marxist perspectives in international legal history. Moreover, the "marked absences" of class, gender, and race from the traditional canon of the discipline seem like an increasingly inexcusable exclusion. In sum, the stage is set for a profound reconsideration of the aims, methodologies, and archives of contemporary international legal history. With this in mind, the interdisciplinary workshop series "New Directions in the Theory & History of International Law" aims to create a space where emerging and senior scholars of different traditions can meet and rethink on the past, present, and future of the theory and history of the discipline. For this purpose, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva, Switzerland) will host a series of two-day academic workshop to promote productive conversations between different disciplinary sensibilities and perspectives along three core issues over the next three years. These three cross-cutting themes are: - Political Economy, History, & International Law – June 2022 (tentative date) with Professor Susan Marks, London School of Economics - Aesthetics of the International(s) - October 2o23 (tentative date) with Professor Kate Miles, University of Cambridge - Space and Scale in International Legal History - Spring 2024 (tentative date) with Professor Luis Eslava, University of Kent Thanks to the generous support of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the Global Governance Centre, and the International Law Department, we will be able to invite one senior scholar to each workshop. She, he, or they, will deliver a public lecture and provide general feedback to the draft papers presented by the participants. Professors based at the Graduate Institute will serve as discussants, moderators, and will intervene in roundtable sessions. For the last session, a roundtable of last-year PhDs will be convened instead. We hope that these workshops will serve as incubators of long-lasting networks of heterodox and innovative scholarship in the field of global governance. The speakers will be chosen from a public call for papers, considering the importance of a diverse mix of participants from different disciplinary and geographical sensibilities, along with a balanced composition between scholars of different genders and career-stages. Sadly, in principle, we will not be able to fund the travel and accommodation costs of the participants. Scholars who would like to present a paper at the first workshop on "Political Economy, History, & International Law" are invited to submit a title and abstract (250500 words) to [email protected] before September 3, 2021 (23:59 Geneva Time - CEST). A decision on acceptance of the abstract will be communicated by late September. We expect to host these workshops in person, but hybrid participation might be considered depending on the overall sanitary situation.





Délai d'inscription 01.06.2022
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