27 September 2019

CALL FOR ENGAGED LISTENERS: The Individual in International Law – History and Theory (Berlin, 25-26 June 2020) (DEADLINE: 30 November 2019)

The Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law has a call for engaged listeners.


Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law

Harnack-Haus, Berlin
25th– 26th June 2020

Call for Engaged Listeners
Deadline: 30th November 2019

The interrelationship between international law and the individual has been the subject of a great
and growing interest by scholars in recent years. In many or most of international law’s subfields
and specialisms, the appropriate relationship between the interests of individuals and those of
other actors is the subject of important debates. On the other hand, we are currently witnessing a
return to statist principles in the debate and practice of international law, with an emphasis on
sovereignty, territory, and boundaries. Human rights and the idea of rights more generally are
under attack. Yet the analyses conducted of the individual’s position remain, in the main,
examinations of the positive law. A number of questions thus remain to be answered which go
beyond the individual’s treatment by various fields of international law in the present moment, in
particular from the perspectives of history and theory.

On the 25th-26th June 2020, an international workshop will be convened by Professor Anne
Peters and Dr Tom Sparks at the Max Planck Society’s premier conference venue, Berlin’s
Harnack-Haus. Selected scholars will present and discuss their papers on topics relating to the
individual in the history and theory of international law (a draft list of topics and speakers is
included below). These papers will subsequently be published as an edited volume under the
same title.

The Individual in International Law: History and Theory

Call for Engaged Listeners

A limited number of places are available for engaged listeners, who will participate in the
workshop as audience members and commentators (not as speakers). The organisers would like
to extend a warm invitation to participate to all those with an interest in the topics to be
discussed, in particular history of law, history of ideas, jurisprudence and legal theory, and critical
approaches to (international) law.

If you are interested in participating in the workshop as an engaged listener and thus in
contributing to our discussions, please send an application with a short letter of motivation
(maximum 400 words) explaining your interest in the conference and any links to your current
research, together with an up-to-date CV, to Ms Anette Kreutzfeld and Dr Tom Sparks, c/o We particularly welcome applications from early-career scholars,
including current doctoral students, and from scholars working in institutions in the
global south.

The deadline for applications is 30th November 2019. Successful applicants will be notified
before 20th December 2019.

Participation in the workshop is free of charge, but will in general be at the expense of the
participant. Admitted engaged listeners will need to cover the costs of their own accommodation
and to arrange their own travel, and are strongly advised to do this early.

Thanks to the generous support of the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung für Wissenschaftsföderung we have a
small amount of funding available to contribute to the travel and accommodation costs of a
strictly limited number of scholars taking part in the workshop as engaged listeners. Due to our
intention to facilitate the attendance of early-career scholars and those without access to
funding, we kindly ask those that are able to do so to cover their own costs.

Date and Time: The workshop will take place from 09.00-18.00 on the 25th-26th June, 2020.

There will be an informal pre-conference get-together for speakers and engaged listeners on 24th

Venue:Harnack-Haus, Ihnestraße 16-20, 14195 Berlin, Germany
For updated information on the workshop, see:

Anne Peters and Tom Sparks

The Individual in International Law: History and Theory
Call for Engaged Listeners

Provisional list of Topics and Speakers
(note: a confirmed programme with speakers and titles will be available online ahead of the workshop)
The Individual and International Law in Historical Perspective:
▪ International Law in Antiquity – Dr Eleanor Cowan, University of Sydney
▪ International Law 500-1500 – Dr Dante Fedele, KU Leuven/Professor Alain Wijffels,
KU Leuven
▪ International Law 1500-1648 – Dr Francesca Iurlaro, University of Milan
▪ International Law 1648-1789 – Dr Mark Somos, MPIL Heidelberg
▪ International Law 1789-1914 – Dr Inge Van Hulle, University of Tilburg
▪ International Law 1918-1945 – Professor Umut Özsu, Carleton University
The Individual in the Theory of International Law:
▪ The Individual in Contemporary International Legal Positivism – Professor Gleider
Hernández, KU Leuven
▪ The Individual in Contemporary Natural Law: Sacred Natural Law – Professor Rafael
Domingo, Emory University
▪ The Individual in Contemporary Natural Law: Secular Natural Law – Dr Tom Sparks,
MPIL Heidelberg
▪ The Individual in Third World Approaches to International Law – Professor B.S.
Chimni, Jawaharlal Nehru University (Emeritus)
▪ The Individual in Feminist Approaches to International Law – Dr Ruth Houghton,
Newcastle University
▪ The Individual in Marxist Approaches to International Law – Dr Ntina Tzouvala,
University of Melbourne
▪ The Individual in Global Law – Professor Ludovic Hennebel, Aix-Marseille/Ms Alice
Monicat, Aix-Marseille
▪ The Individual in the Constitutionalisation of International Law – Professor Başak Çalı,
Hertie School of Governance
▪ The Individual in Law and Economics – Professor Anne van Aaken, University of
▪ The Individual in Anthropological Approaches to International Law – Professor Miia
Halme-Tuomisaari, University of Helsinki

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