ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

Saturday 11 February 2017

CALL FOR PAPERS: Evaluating the ‘Turn to History’ in International Law - ESIL CONFERENCE 2017 (Naples, 7-9 Sep 2017); DEADLINE 15 MAR 2017

(image source: Wikimedia Commons)

On the occasion of the ESIL 13th Annual Conference (Naples, 7-9 September 2017) the ESIL Interest Group on the History of International Law hereby invites submissions, in English or in French, for its annual Workshop.

Call for Papers

During the past two decades the history of international law has evolved from a relatively marginal enterprise into a core professional concern and, in certain fields, a controlling vocabulary. The phenomenon, which is often captioned as a “turn to history”, is marked both by an exponential growth in publications and activities (journals, conferences, interest groups, blogs) and a re-invention of historical work as mode of critical analysis. One could begin to list several characteristics of the turn to history: the move away from trans-historical evolutionary accounts towards global, micro-, and subaltern histories; critiques of Eurocentrism; the emergence of histories of sub-fields of international law; socio-historical accounts of the international law profession; a renewed interest in archival work; an unprecedented interest in methodological questions; the role of historical accounts in judicial decisions; and so on. The purpose of the Workshop of the ESIL Interest Group on the History of International Law is to trace these disciplinary developments and evaluate their impact on contemporary international law scholarship and practice.

In this context, the IGHIL invites submissions by scholars working within the fields of international law, history, and politics on the following inter-related themes:

·       The impact of the historical turn on the methods of international legal history
·       The impact of the historical turn in sub-fields of international law (e.g. human rights, international criminal law, diplomatic history etc)
·       The impact of the historical turn on evaluating the historical function of international courts and tribunals
·       The impact of the historical turn on Eurocentrism
·       The impact of global, micro, subaltern, and other histories on international law historiography

Each submission should include
a)     An abstract of no more than 400 words;
b)     The intended language of presentation;
c)     A short curriculum vitae containing the author’s name, institutional affiliation, contact information and e-mail address.

Abstracts must be submitted no later than 15 March 2017 to on behalf of the Steering Committee of the Interest Group, which shall collectively supervise the blind peer-review process of the abstracts. Applicants will be notified on the outcome of the selection process by 30 March 2017.

Selection will be based on scholarly merit and with regard to producing an engaging workshop, without prejudice to gender, seniority, language or geographical location. Please note that the ESIL Interest Group on the History of International Law is unable to provide funds to cover the conference registration fee or related transport and accommodation costs.

The IG currently investigates publication possibilities for selected abstracts. The European Society of International Law has its own SSRN Paper series for every conference or research forum (, which can maximise the visibility of your research.

See also ESIL website.