CfP Glasinburgh 2020: International Law and Distribution

In April 2019 the University of Edinburgh hosted ‘Edingow’ – the inaugural conference marking a new collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow in the field of International Law. This call for papers is for Glasginburgh 2020 – the second conference in this series – to be held at the University of Glasgow on Monday 8th – Tuesday 9th of June 2020.

Questions of how goods and resources are to be distributed between competing social factions have traditionally been regarded as a matter for domestic politicians to grapple with, rather than a matter for international lawyers. As a discipline that purports to be principally concerned with adjudicating relations between sovereign states, many would argue that international law has—or at least should have—a limited role to play with regards to the determination of distributional concerns. It may be true that many of the powers and competences for taking decisions on distributional issues still reside with sovereign states, and it is certainly true that the domestic plane is where many people consider that the locus of responsibility for decisions affecting the economy and access to resources should reside. However, as the dramatic developments in geo-political relations in recent years would attest, the ‘mission creep’ of international law into matters than many citizens feel ought to be determined within state boundaries is something that international lawyers must respond to.

Our aim in this conference is to explore the relationship between international law and questions of “distribution” – broadly conceived. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) commit the international community to working towards an agenda of eradicating poverty and hunger; to effecting massive improvements in health, sanitation, and education; to combating climate change; and to achieving greater equality. Achieving this agenda necessitates engagement with questions of how best to pursue sustainable economic development, and how to (re)distribute natural, economic and political resources at a global level, in a way that does not lead to violence, environmental degradation and social exclusion. Distributional issues and competing claims on resources also lie at the root of many conflicts worldwide—conflicts that international lawyers are seeking to prevent and to mediate. This two-day event will promote a dialogue about the myriad ways in which current ‘distributions’ inform or even determine the development of international law, and how, in turn, the practices of international legal institutions may impact upon distributions of income, resources, and power in the world.

We welcome applications from the critical, doctrinal and visionary traditions of international law that would enable a serious scholarly reflection on this topic. Proposals for panels and roundtables on topical themes will be considered, and we are also eager to receive submissions from postgraduate students.

We are particularly interested to receive applications in the following areas:

* International law and the governance of natural resources
* Socio-economic rights at the bilateral, regional and global levels
* Distribution of power within, and by international institutions
* International economic law, development, and distribution
* Distributive effects of knowledge production in international law
* Distributive impacts of the climate change regime
* Access to water and the distribution of water-based resources in international law
* Conflict, security and distributional issues
* Theoretical reflections about distributive role of international law
* Self-determination, nationality and distributions of territory
* SDGs and the sources of international law
* The MDG/SDG Agenda in the UN reform process
* The triple nexus of humanitarian aid, development, & peace-building

The event is free of charge, but participants will be expected to cover their own accommodation and travel costs to Glasgow.

We are currently exploring funding options with the hope that we may be able to extend a limited number of small grants to presenters travelling from the Global South. Please indicate in your application if you require such assistance and whether you would be able to attend without it or having received partial support only.

Abstracts of 500 words should be sent to the email account glasginburgh@gmail.com by 30th November 2019.

If submitting a panel proposal, please submit a 300 words overview of the panel and include the relevant abstracts in your submission.

Selected presenters will be informed by 31 January 2020.

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