Call for Papers: The Paths of Change in International Law
Workshop, 6 and 7 June 2019
Nico Krisch, Professor, International Law, Graduate Institute
Ezgi Yildiz, Postdoctoral Researcher, Global Governance Centre, Graduate Institute
This workshop is a part of the European Research Council funded PATHS project, where we investigate the ways in which international law changes informally (through reinterpretation or shifts in custom).
International law is traditionally seen to erect high hurdles for change – typically unanimity or a uniformity of practice of states – and this high threshold has provoked much criticism for hindering the pursuit of justice, the provision of public goods, and the democratic revision of political choices. Yet in different areas, such as international criminal law or the law of international organizations, international law has in recent times undergone more rapid change than the traditional picture would allow, and often in informal ways that do not fit classical categories. However, this greater dynamism has found little sustained attention in scholarship so far. The PATHS project seeks to fill this gap and understand when and how international law changes, how this change is registered among participants in legal discourses and how the pathways of change differ across issue areas and sites of international legal practice.
In the workshop, we seek to bring together leading and rising scholars from different disciplines – law, international relations, and political sociology – to explore these issues in a small and interactive format. We are particularly interested in sharpening the contrasts between different theoretical and methodological approaches, and invite participants to develop distinctive arguments rather than ecumenical accounts.
We invite submissions that tackle the following questions:
– What are the factors behind change (and stasis) in international law?
– How does political change translate into legal change in the international realm?
– What role do powerful and less powerful states, international institutions, and courts play?
– When is international legal change rapid, when incremental?
– Who can block change in international law?
We invite interested scholars to submit an abstract of no more than 300 words by 10 January 2019 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proposals will be selected based on their quality, originality and engagement with the workshop themes. Accepted submissions will be notified by 10 February 2019.
We expect to receive a draft of your papers by 30 May 2019. We do not expect fully-developed papers, but rather short, crisp pieces of 10 to 15 pages that speak directly to some of these questions on the basis of your theoretical and empirical expertise.
The workshop will be held at the Graduate Institute of International and Development in Geneva, Switzerland. We will cover your travel expenses (economy airfare) and accommodation in Geneva.
24.4.2017 Interview with Dr. Nico Krisch on his new ERC project studying when and how international law changes
Is international law an overly rigid instrument that handicaps change in international politics and global public policy? International lawmaking tends to be cumbersome, and many critics have emphasised the negative effects on justice, public goods or the democratic revision of political choices that this entails. However, in different fields such as international criminal law or the law of international organisations, international law has developed rapidly, going beyond its traditional image, and often informally. Understanding this contradiction is at the heart of a new project led by Nico Krisch, Professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute. Entitled “The Paths of International Law: Stability and Change in the International Legal Order (PATHS)”, it has been awarded a five-year advanced grant of the European Research Council (ERC). Read the full interview here.