Call for papers & Deadlines

Important dates and deadlines:

- Call for papers closed
- Draft Papers: 29 March 2021
- Registration: 28 July 2020 - 8 April 2021
- Conference Date: 15-16 April 2021 


2021 ESIL Research Forum, Catania

15-16 April 2021

Call for Papers

Solidarity: The Quest for Founding Utopias of International Law”


The 2021 ESIL Research Forum will take place on Thursday 15 and Friday 16 April 2021 at the Department of Law, University of Catania, Italy.

The ESIL Research Forum is a scholarly conference that promotes engagement with research in progress by members of the Society. It has a small and intensive format. The Forum targets scholars at an early stage of their careers. Approximately 15-25 paper submissions will be selected. During the Forum, selected speakers will receive comments on their presentations from members of the ESIL Board and invited experts.

The 2021 Research Forum addresses the topic:

“Solidarity: The Quest for Founding Utopias of International Law”

Solidarity is a founding utopia of international law. It has long appeared in the legal discourses of leading international law scholars as a value and political concept incorporated into international legal norms and evidenced in multilateral and bilateral treaties as an essential condition of interstate cooperation. As a principle of international law, it is mostly identifiable through the trust and confidence shown by states to one another in order to reap the mutual benefits of cooperation. In a broader sense, it also reveals a highly ambiguous ethical ideal – not extraneous to the ‘civilizing mission’ – of a world order of interdependent states and communities addressing shared needs in a spirit of global cooperation and mutual responsibility.

In response to the new global challenges faced by today’s international legal system, solidarity has acquired a special prominence with unprecedented developments in various fields of international law (e.g. trade law, environmental law, humanitarian law, disaster law, health law) while its utopian dimension has been stressed and expanded towards new directions.

The 2021 ESIL Research Forum aims to inspire thoughtful reflections on the genealogy of international solidarity by focusing on the actors, norms and processes influencing its evolution over time. Beyond the search for definitions, the scope of the Forum is to explore transformations and practical manifestations of this longstanding principle in the international legal community. Special attention will be given to international solidarity as interpreted by international and domestic courts and tribunals and to the analysis of some key areas where solidaristic paradigms have led to either positive outcomes or controversial repercussions.

Preference will be given to proposals in one of the following areas:

  1. The historical boundaries of international solidarity
  2. Solidarity and private law analogies
  3. The invention of European solidarity
  4. A human rights-based solidarity? Universal vs regional approaches
  5. Peace and security: solidarity and the United Nations
  6. International solidarity in emergency situations
  7. Social solidarity economy and sustainable development
  8. Civil society and transnational solidarity
  9. International solidarity and burden-sharing: migration and refugee law
  10. International solidarity and current trends: populism, nationalism vs multilateralism

Abstracts (of no more than 750 words) should be submitted to  by Monday 30 September 2019. Please include the following information with your abstract: your name, affiliation, email address, whether you are an ESIL member, plus a one-page curriculum vitae.

Successful applicants will be notified by email by 4 November 2019. Complete paper drafts will be required by 19 February 2020. Papers may in due course be published in the ESIL SSRN Conference Paper Series.

All those who take part in the Forum are expected to be ESIL members at the time of their participation.

Selected speakers will be expected to bear the costs of their own travel and accommodation. Some ESIL travel grants and ESIL carers grants will be available to offer partial financial support to speakers who have exhausted other potential sources of funding.