ISA HR NYC 2016: Call for Proposals

Human Rights in an Age of Ambiguity

The deadline for paper/panel submissions is Monday, 30 November 2015.

We are pleased to announce the fifth joint international conference on human rights, on the theme Human Rights in an Age of Ambiguity, to take place from 13 to 15 June 2016 at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus, located in New York City. The conference will be held immediately prior to the annual meeting of the Academic Council on the United Nations System (16 – 18 June), also being hosted at Fordham University.

The global political, economic, normative, structural and ideational landscape has undergone significant change in recent decades, with no signs of abating. There are new – or newly important – players, both state and non-state-based, which affect global political power asymmetries and inject competing ideas, interests, and priorities into the global political scene. New and evolving institutions and authority structures raise deep and profound questions about global (and regional and national) governance. These questions lead to an ambiguous global situation as norms, institutions and power structures are called into question and challenged on multiple levels.

Nowhere has this ambiguity been more acute and clear than in the area of human rights. A human rights regime which, while far from perfect, appeared to rest on a global consensus and seemed impervious to change, has undergone rapid and deep transformation – in ways which appear to both support and undermine the protection of human rights.

Challenges from emerging non-Western powers highlight a lack of consensus on fundamental priorities and approaches to the relationship between people and power, the governed and the governors, freedom and order. Terrorism and other security challenges pose seemingly imponderable conundrums for civilian and basic human rights protection. Climate change raises questions of intergenerational justice and poses corollary rights threats resulting in forced migration, food insecurity, and humanitarian crises.

The global refugee regime, a core set of ideas and institutions dating from the end of the Second World War, now faces unprecedented challenges and been put to tests never imagined by its creators – challenges and tests that states and international institutions have failed to adequately meet. International criminal justice mechanisms have been created with high hopes that those who commit mass atrocities will be punished and justice will be done, only to be undone by lack of adequate global support and political will. The Responsibility to Protect (R2P), which heralded a new recognition that human rights are a core part of states’ claim to legitimacy – has frequently failed to gain decisive advantage over traditional notions of sovereignty and state interest.

This combination of new players, political power asymmetries, institutions, along with deep material challenges to the contemporary global order, raises profound questions about the future of human rights norms and institutions, as well as the actual enjoyment of human rights across the globe.

We welcome paper and panel proposals on the general theme of the conference from researchers and policymakers from academia, think tanks, IOs and NGOs featuring both traditional and innovative scholarship which address the unsettled state of human rights norms and institutions. Papers might address, among others, the following questions:

  • What challenges do shifting global power structures pose to human rights?
  • Are traditional state supporters of human rights still supporting human rights?
  • Are emerging global and regional powers supporting or challenging human rights?
  • Has the global consensus on human rights changed? Was there ever a consensus in the first place?
  • Is universality under serious threat?
  • Are there regional or other political divides on human rights?
  • How will new(er) global threats (e.g. climate change, terrorism) affect the realization of human rights in the future?
  • How can resiliency in human rights be better cultivated and practiced?
  • Have the Human Rights Council and other human rights institutions lived up to their promise?
  • Do our global institutions need to be revived/renewed/reimagined in order to properly realize human rights?
  • What are the implications of ambiguity across different generations of rights (e.g. civil/political vs. economic/social/cultural)?
  • What are the implications of the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean and elsewhere?

Consideration will be given to publishing an edited volume with a select range of papers presented at the conference.

Please note that proposals must relate to the conference theme to receive full consideration. You may submit either an individual paper or a panel proposal. Each full panel proposal should include exactly 4 papers plus a chair and discussant. We will also consider roundtables, which should include four participants plus a chair. Please note that we intend to accept relatively few roundtables. Each roundtable proposal should indicate the importance of it being roundtable rather than a panel and should be directly related to the theme of the conference.

The submission site opens immediately. Please upload your paper or panel abstracts (no longer than 200 words) and all other necessary details as required through the site.

Please Note: This conference is being held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Academic Council on the United Nations System, which will have as its theme Meeting the Challenges of Development and Dignity. Individuals registering for one conference will be eligible for a 20% discount on registration for the other conference. More information will be provided.

Follow us on Twitter @HRjc2016 for updates.

Submission Types

Papers

Papers are the foundation of the conference and can be submitted individually or within a larger panel proposal. Papers generally need a title, abstract, three tags and the author(s) to submit. Titles need to be less than 50 words and abstracts need to be less than 200 words.

Note that, if you have a paper that was submitted on a panel, you should not submit the paper independently a second time. 

Panels

Panels must have a title, abstract and tag words as well as 4 papers (complete with title, tags, abstract and authors) and at least 1 chair and discussant. Titles need to be less than 50 words and abstracts need to be less than 200 words.

Please note that papers submitted on panels should not be submitted a second time independently of the panel. If the panel is not accepted, the papers submitted on the panel go into the normal wait pool with all of our other papers.

Roundtables

Roundtables are similar to panels but participants do not present papers. At least 1 chair and 4 participants are needed to submit a panel, along with title, tags and abstract. Titles need to be less than 50 words and abstracts need to be less than 200 words.

Submissions Closed

Sorry, the submission period for ISA HR NYC 2016 ended November 30th. For more information, please contact the program chair. Even if you did not submit, anyone is welcome to register and attend the conference.

See My Submissions

The International Studies Association

Representing over 100 countries, ISA has more than 6,500 members worldwide and is the most respected and widely known scholarly association in this field. Endeavoring to create communities of scholars dedicated to international studies, ISA is divided into 6 geographic subdivisions of ISA (Regions), 29 thematic groups (Sections) and 4 Caucuses which provide opportunities to exchange ideas and research with local colleagues and within specific subject areas.
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