CfP: Workshop Institutional Architecture

by | 12 Jul 2022

One of the most iconic and concrete encounters one can have with international law is to visit its institutional buildings. Whether by eye-catching design or as dilapidated office, buildings make law physical and visible. One can see a building, maybe even touch it. Sometimes it is possible to visit an institutional building, access it, be part of its space, or experience its boundaries. Through their concrete materiality buildings make international law tangible for its audiences and constituencies. At the same time, international institutional buildings such as the Peace Palace in The Hague and the UN headquarters in New York embody international law’s norms, values and histories. As icons in and of themselves, these buildings play into international law’s imaginaries too.

This CfP invites contributions on institutional architecture for a 2-day workshop at VU Amsterdam. We welcome papers for discussion on topics such as, but not limited to: the physical architecture of signature international law buildings; the encounter between institutional architecture and ‘the public’; architectural icons as (tourist) attraction; the architectural embodiment of international law’s imaginaries; the (re)production of stories through interactions at institutional buildings and architectural sites; the manifestation of institutional ideals, functions, and values in architecture and design; law residing in physical objects and (re)creating a material world; architecture as part of institutional ‘image building’; institutional buildings as literally international law in concrete.    

19-20 October 2022, VU Amsterdam (in person)

Abstracts (250 words) can be submitted via email by August 22, 2022 to: Renske Vos (

Contact: Sofia Stolk, Renske Vos, Miriam Bak McKenna


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