CALL FOR PAPERS
The call for papers has closed.
The language and logic of humanitarianism occupy an increasingly central place in international law. Humanitarian reason has shaped the ideology, practice, and technologies of international law over the past century, including through the re-description of the laws of war as international humanitarian law, the framing of mass displacement and armed conflict as ‘humanitarian’ crises, the use of humanitarian justifications for intervention, occupation, and detention, and the representation of international law as an expression of the conscience of humanity.
For some, this trend is clearly positive – international law is reimagined as humanity’s law, humanity as the alpha and omega of international law. Yet critics have pointed to the dark side of these developments and of the humanitarian logic operating within international law, arguing that consolidation of the laws of war has served the interests of powerful groups and states at key moments of potential challenge to existing systems of rule, humanitarianism has been taken up as a language to rationalise the violence of certain forms of occupation, intervention, and warfare, international humanitarian law has displaced other more constraining forms of law as the world becomes imagined as a global battlefield, humanitarian NGOs have served as a fifth column that has enabled particular forms of social transformation and constrained others, and a supposedly impartial humanitarianism has displaced politics.
This conference will bring together scholars working in law, history, international relations, and political theory to think critically about the ideology, institutions, practices, and technologies that condition modern humanitarianism and its relation to international law. Selected papers will be published in an edited collection by a leading publisher.
Paper proposals related to the conference theme are now invited. Possible topics for papers include:
laws of war and the social question
international humanitarian law and revolution
decolonisation and the remaking of international humanitarian law
humanitarian intervention and occupation in international law and history
humanitarian and securitisation responses to dispossession, displacement, and refugees
international humanitarian law and the framing of civil war
international humanitarian law and national liberation movements
incidents and events in the history of international humanitarian law-making
humanitarian law and human rights law in the 'global' battle space
humanitarian organisations and the politics of intervention
the relation of humanitarianism and counter-terrorism in international law
knowledge production and international humanitarian law
humanitarian law and visual culture
international humanitarian law and practices of distinction
the technologies of humanitarian law and war
humanitarian law and algorithmic warfare
humanitarianism and the penal turn in international law
the meanings of humanitarian law across time and space
the political economy of international humanitarianism
critical geographies of international humanitarian law
international law after humanity