Call for abstracts: the neglected methodologies of international law

We invite proposals of early career researchers for papers at a workshop on ‘The Neglected Methodologies of International Law – Empirical, Socio-Legal and Comparative’.

Methodologies of international law remain predominantly doctrinal. However, new approaches to international legal research are emerging. These range from pioneering socio- legal studies in the fields of international economic law and investment to quantitative studies of UN Security Council’s practice to transplantation techniques in the field of international criminal law and global constitutionalism. The aim of the workshop is to critically assess the potential long-term implications for the development of international law as a discipline.

We welcome submissions that engage with innovative, non-dogmatic approaches to the study of international law either in the form of theoretical analysis or case studies. Possible topics for the workshop include, but are not limited to:

  1. Critical approaches to research methods: is there an international law methodology?

  2. Traditional vs. modern research methodologies in international law: advantages and


  3. Doing international comparative research

  4. Doing international socio-legal research

  5. Doing qualitative research in international law

  6. Doing quantitative research in international law

  7. In defence of doctrinal analysis of international law

The workshop will be structured in two sessions.

(1) Roundtable: The morning session consists of the discussion of papers presented by invited speakers. The aim of this session is to discuss both the theoretical underpinnings of the three neglected methodologies and concrete case studies. Topics include:

  1. the relation between theory and method in the study of international law,
  2. the epistemological need for socio-legal research in the field,
  3. quantitative analysis of the practice of international organizations,
  4. transplantations techniques in global constitutionalism, and
  5. the transatlantic divide.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Dr Ingo Venzke (University of Amsterdam)

  • Prof. Fiona de Londras (University of Birmingham)

  • Dr Celine Tan (University of Warwick)

  • Prof. Mary Footer (University of Nottingham)

  • Dr Rossana Deplano (University of Leicester)

  • Prof. Nicholas Tsagourias (University of Sheffield)

  • Prof. John Linarelli (Durham University)

(2) Early career researchers workshop:
In the afternoon session we will discuss current research projects applying neglected methodologies.
Preference will be given to doctoral candidates and early career researchers.

The workshop will conclude with the keynote speech delivered by Prof. Eyal Benvenisti (Whewell Professor of International Law, University of Cambridge).

The workshop is funded by the Society of Legal Scholars (SLS).

Submission of Proposals

Abstracts of proposed papers of 1,000 words (approximately) should be sent via email to the organising committee (Dr Rossana Deplano, AND Dr Paolo Vargiu, by 15 November 2017. Abstracts must include the institutional affiliation of the author.

Papers will be selected by 1 December 2017. Invited participants must confirm their attendance by 8 December 2017. If we do not hear back the invitation to the workshop will be regretfully withdrawn and the place offered to a proposal on the waiting list.

Please do not hesitate to contact the organisers via email if you have any questions.


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