Call for Papers: Practising Reflexivity in International Law



Event Date: 

11/23/20 to 11/24/20

Location name: 

Department of Law, Villa Salviati


European University Institute

The Law Department of the European University Institute (EUI) is delighted to share this call for papers for a two-day Doctoral Forum on International Law which will be held at the Department of Law, Villa Salviati on the 23 & 24 November 2020 with the support of the European Society of International Law. THEME International lawyers entering the field of international law today are met with a competitive field and challenges such as the rise of populism, growing economic inequality, climate change, and unraveling global cooperation. In addressing these challenges, the situation of international lawyers—e.g. their position in the field, race, or gender—and its influence on what they do or think is seldom considered overtly. Building on this reflexive attitude, long productively discussed in the social sciences, this Forum invites contributors to practise reflexivity in their own work and in the field of international law. The practice of reflexivity takes the international lawyer as an object of research, examining their situation and how it influences what they do or think, and it can also extend to an examination of the field itself and the scholarly endeavour. This Forum seeks to investigate how the practice of reflexivity could uncover disciplinary routines and create possibilities for new or alternative interventions in response to the field’s most pressing challenges. Papers may consider engaging with one or all three levels of analysis and their impact on positioning including research selection, approach and methodology, or interpretation and thinking more generally:

• First, papers could focus on the situation of the international lawyer. This may include the role of gender, race, socioeconomic background, or the location of the international lawyer in the Global North or the Global South. It could also include the production of research in a non-native language or about topics with particular emotional intensity, or the practice of fieldwork and teaching.

• Secondly, papers could adopt a reflexive orientation to the field of international law and its subfields. This may include how international lawyers in sub-fields compete for power, how they draw the divide between practice and theory, or the ways a sub-field is self-contained, builds authority, or reproduces the Western and colonial heritage of international law.

• Thirdly, papers could examine the scholarly endeavour in international law, exploring the pressure to publish or the possible distortions brought by the act of thinking about the world compared to its practice. This may include discussing scholarly strategies to engage with practical challenges and a range of institutions and stakeholders. 2 Papers could also discuss any other topic that falls within the general theme of this Forum. Contributions from all traditions of international law are encouraged. This Forum is open to emerging scholars including doctoral candidates and those that have recently defended.


The Forum will be organized as a series of panel discussions led by speakers. The organizers are delighted to announce that the following speakers have been confirmed for the event: • Professor Jean D’Aspremont, Professor of International Law at Sciences Po Paris School of Law and Chair of Public International Law at the University of Manchester. • Professor Gleider Hernández, Professor of Public International Law at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and Open Universiteit Nederland. • Professor Neha Jain, Professor of Public International Law at the EUI. • Professor Sarah Nouwen, Professor of Public International Law at the EUI (as of September 2020) and currently Reader in Public International Law at the University of Cambridge.


Abstracts of around 500 words should be sent together with a CV to on 13 September 2020. Selected presenters will be notified via email by the end of September. The authors of selected papers will be required to submit an extended abstract/paper of at least 2,500 words by 15 November 2020. An eventual volume on the theme of the Forum may be considered.


We are hoping and planning for the event to take place in person with as many participants as possible. However, we realize that the Covid-19 crisis may continue to pose restrictions to travel and non-virtual gatherings. Even if travel is generally possible, this still may not be the case for everyone. The organizers of the Forum are therefore committed to keep monitoring the situation and are open to remote participation for those who require it. If the event cannot take place in November due to the evolving crisis, the organizers of the Forum will consider postponing the event to April 2021 and will communicate this to the selected participants by the end of September.


The Forum unfortunately cannot cover expenses related to travel and accommodation for all participants. It aims, however, to have a diverse range of participants. As such, it offers a limited number of scholarships to contribute to the travel expenses of participants who do not have access to sufficient funding. To apply for a scholarship, please explain your request in a few lines. For any questions or inquiries please contact the Forum convenors Daniel Litwin and Sophie Schiettekatte at

Contact email: