All posts by Aden Knaap

CFP: Institutions and International Law in Eastern Europe (Leipzig, September 28-29, 2017)

For readers interested in the history of international law and international institutions, here’s a call for papers with a particular focus on Eastern Europe:

International law is enjoying increasing popularity among historians of global and international affairs, due to a re-reading of legal norms and rules that questions a state-centered approach. Instead of seeing law as an outcome of state behavior, recent scholarship has examined the transnational character of law and legal communities, and the oftentimes complex negotiation processes that precede the codification and subsequent ratification of international conventions. This perspective aligns with the focus on border-crossing relations and on professional and nonstate actors and institutions that has become essential to global and international history. Moreover, connections forged between the history of international law and discussions of the limits of legal universalism have increased the legal dimension’s relevance for historians of empire and decolonization. Encircling notions of hegemony, imperialism, and civilization, and scrutinizing the role of international law in imperial and civilizing missions, this strand of research has given rise to regional histories of international law.

Scholars have begun to explore the relationship between legal and regional developments by asking how international law has been tailored to serve specific regional interests, problems, or conflicts. This approach complements the focus on the law’s imperial bias and acknowledges the entanglement of legal and political agendas while also emphasizing the agency of regional actors. It also concedes that regional appropriations of international law could serve these actors’ own agendas or be a vehicle for emancipation.

The workshop unites research on the history of international law with studies on Eastern Europe to investigate the controversial role of international law in the complex and contentious reordering of the region since the Congress of Vienna. The workshop proposes that the extraordinary density of political, social and ethnic conflicts and the decades-long struggles over territorial boundaries in Eastern Europe have left clear traces in international law. More specifically, the workshop addresses these issues through the lens of international institutions, which offer a starting point from which to identify topics; single out involved states, groups, and transnational actors from East Central and Eastern Europe; and reveal how regional constellations were universalized in the process of negotiating and implementing international norms and rules.

The workshop stems from a research project at the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO) that deals with processes of juridification in international relations. The project advances the argument that the history of conflict in Eastern Europe has shaped modern international law to a significant degree. This contention holds for the results of the Crimean War (1854–1856) and the regulations formulated by the Congress of Berlin (1878), as well as for minority protections after World War I and the status of the Free City of Danzig, to mention a few examples. The main output of the research group will be “Law and History in Eastern Europe,” a three-part handbook to be published by de Gruyter in 2020. The handbook’s second part seeks to illuminate the relationship between law and international institutions from an Eastern Europe perspective. To this end, workshop participants might contribute chapters to the handbook.
The workshop welcomes contributions that cover the 19th and 20th centuries. Papers should focus either on legal issues in international institutions in Eastern Europe, or on the representation of Eastern Europeans in international institutions concerned with international law. Regarding subject matter, we invite papers presenting case studies from within the region that also connect to the wider topic of the legal transformation of international relations. Inter-regional comparisons are particularly welcome.

Participants are asked to submit their papers no later than two weeks before the start of the workshop. The workshop will be held on 28 and 29 September 2017 at the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO) in Leipzig, Germany. Travel and accommodation costs will be covered.

Proposals (max. 750 words) and a short CV should be sent by 10 March 2017 to Isabella.loehr@leibniz-gwzo.de.

CFP: Fascism and the International: The Global Order Today and Tomorrow (Mexico City, June 18-20, 2017)

For readers interested in the international dimensions of fascism, here’s an exciting (and topical) call for applications for an interdisciplinary workshop  to be held at the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City:

Paper proposals for this workshop on the international dimensions of fascism are warmly invited from scholars, artists and activists working in and across the fields of international law, history, history of art, international relations, postcolonial studies, sociology, anthropology, political theory, geography, feminist studies, queer theory and critical race theory.

In light of the recent and very rapid re-centring of fascist discourse and iconography across the world, the workshop aims to take fascism and its concept of the international seriously as distinctive, perhaps even inevitable consequences of the unification of ‘the world’ as such since 1492.

While the workshop leans towards the field of international law, its character is strongly interdisciplinary. Interventions (including textual, visual and aural interventions) from individuals and groups working in all disciplines are welcome.

We are delighted to say that the workshop is being hosted by the Museo de Arte Moderno (MAM) in Mexico City. The MAM, itself a landmark in modernist architecture, is home to one of the most important collections of anti-fascist art in Latin America. An introduction to and tour of this collection will be included in the workshop’s activities.

The topics we expect to be investigating include (but are by no means limited to):
** The international dimensions of neo-fascist groups like Golden Dawn and the ‘Alt-Right’, together with their historical connections to(and disconnections from) inter-war fascist movements;
** The innovations made by fascist international lawyers and theorists of the international in the1920s and 1930s in Italy, Japan, France, Germany, Argentina and elsewhere;
** The relationship between decolonisation, fascism and anti-colonial theory in Indonesia,Martinique, Ethiopia and elsewhere in the Third World;
** The political economy of fascism;
** The influence of fascist ideas and practices on post-War dictatorships, both in the Third World and in the West;
** The fascist and anti-fascist history of everyday concepts such as environmentalism,motherhood, freedom, space and accumulation;
** The relationship between fascism/anti-fascism and Futurism, Dada, Surrealism and other art movements both during the inter-war period and today.

Abstracts should be sent to the workshop’s organiser, Rose Sydney Parfitt (Melbourne Law School/Kent Law School), at rose.parfitt@unimelb.edu.au no later than 1 March 2017. The organizers of the conference note that spaces are “very limited,” so apply soon! For more information, see the workshop Facebook page.