Call for Papers: Exiting Institutions



Event Date: 


Location name: 

Naples, Italy


The European Society of International Law's Interest Group on International Organizations and the Interest Group on the EU as a Global Actor

Interest Group on International Organizations and Interest Group on the EU as a Global Actor Joint Workshop, Naples, 6 September 2017, 15h00 - 18h00 Exiting institutions Call for papers Recent years have seen an extraordinary crisis of confidence in international institutions. From the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union to the mooted exodus of African States from the International Criminal Court, states are reconsidering their membership in international institutions in ways that were unthinkable a short time ago. This gives rise to multiple challenges in international law, in terms of both the immediate legal issues which arise from the process of state withdrawal and the deeper questions about what international cooperation will look like in the coming years. In order to explore these themes the ESIL Interest Groups on International Organizations and on the European Union as a Global Actor are jointly hosting a workshop prior to the ESIL Conference in Naples (September 2017). The connections between the two focal areas of the Interest Groups are visible in a number of ways. For instance, the exit of states from international organizations may impact the cooperation between the EU and these organizations. At the same time, exits from the EU will have an influence on the relation between the EU and other international organizations and between the ex-EU members and these organizations. We wish to invite submissions on three sets of issues raised by the process of states or organisations exiting international institutions, namely: the rights and duties of exiting members, the legal position of individuals and the future of multilateralism. I. The rights and duties of exiting states One of the most interesting international legal issues to arise from states exiting institutions is whether exiting states have, in effect, a blank slate regarding the obligations of the institution of which they were a member. This is particularly important in the case of the EU, as the Union is party to a huge range of international instruments. Furthermore, the involvement of the Security Council in the operation of the ICC raises questions of whether exiting states will truly be able to make a clean break. II. The legal position of affected individuals Complex organizations such as the EU and the ICC have had a significant impact on the legal position of individuals within the territories of member states. It is wholly unprecedented that withdrawal from an international organization should result in the loss of the rights of citizenship or a relaxation in the enforcement of individual criminal liability. We therefore welcome submissions on how institutional exits may impact on the rights and duties of individuals. III. The future of multilateralism The issues which critical academic commentators have been raising about international organizations for over a decade - the views that international organizations are unaccountable, serve the interests of global elites and too eagerly accumulate new competences - have moved from the margins of academic debate to the centre of public discourse. Simultaneously we have seen a re-emergence of the importance of national sovereignty in domestic politics, buoyed by the resurgence of nationalism across the globe. We therefore invite submissions on how this crisis of multilateralism will shape future attitudes towards and engagement with global institutions. With regard to EU-exits, questions emerge as to the impact of these events on EU external strategies and the role the Union will be able to play in wider multilateral forums. In order to stimulate a wide-ranging discussion we encourage the submission of proposals that may be technical or conceptual, general or institution-specific, geared to contemporary or historical issues. Papers may be in both English and French. Please email a short abstract (not more than 300 words) and your CV to The deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 May. Successful applicants will be notified by 1 June and will be expected to submit papers by 15 August. Proposals will be selected by the IG Conveners. Please feel free to distribute this call to others. More information on the ESIL Annual Conference and on the ESIL Interest Groups can be found here: The IO Interest Group Conveners Catherine Brölmann, Philip Burton, Richard Collins The EU as a Global Actor Interest Group Conveners Piet Eeckhout, Christine Kaddous, Anne Thies, Ramses A. Wessel