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CFP: International Law and the Challenge of Populism (2023 Workshop Series)

Mar 1, 2023

International Law and the Challenge of Populism:
2023 Workshop Series


Boris Johnson is gone (for now), but the fall-out of Brexit and populist discourse on immigration remain central to British politics, and extreme right-wing parties have taken power in Italy and Sweden. Donald Trump is no longer president, but MAGA remains a potent force in US politics. Jair Bolsonaro has lost the Brazilian presidency to the Workers’ Party’s Lula, but the recent angry protests of his supporters speak to the continuing influence of Bolsonaroism. The shifting fortunes of populist politicians are matched by an equally turbulent period in international law, with overlapping economic, geopolitical, health and environmental crises demanding international attention, cooperation and action.

This workshop series will reflect on the relationship between right-wing populism and international law in light of both recent events and longer term trends and structures. We are seeking to build on our research into international law’s contribution to the rise of populism, as well as inviting reflections on what forms of trans-border organisation and action might best respond to right-wing populism in the context of present crises. We are particularly interested in critical theoretical perspectives, and analyses which foreground gender and sexuality, race, and political economy. As the ‘Lexicon’ series of workshops held as part of this project in 2020 revealed, populism itself can operate as a (sometimes inadequate) proxy or placeholder for other themes, concepts and phenomena. As such, we welcome reflections on broader themes and issues as well as direct engagements with the concept of populism and its relationship to international law.

Format and Aims

The workshop series will provide an opportunity to present and discuss draft papers of between 3000-5000 words, with the aim of producing an edited collection or special issue of a leading international journal (or both, depending on the interest), with final contributions around 6000 words.

Locations, Dates and Times (all times are local)

Workshop 1: Cardozo Law School, New York, Wednesday 17 May 2023, 2pm-6pm (in person)

Discussion – “Discounting Life Necropolitical Law, Culture, and the Long War on Terror” by Jothie Rajah

Workshop 2: Department of Political Science, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, Wednesday 24 May, 2023, 10am-5pm (in person)

Workshop 3: Faculty of Law, Monash University (City Chambers), Melbourne, Thursday 15 & Friday 16 June 2023, 10am-5pm (in person and virtual)

(Possible Workshop 4: London, July 2023 – Details TBC)

To register your interest, please indicate by email to Elisabeth Lopez Desvars ( by 1 March 2023:

a) which of the workshops you would like to attend;

b) whether you would like to attend as author/presenter, discussant, or both; and

c) whether you would prefer to contribute to an edited book collection, or a special
issue of a journal (we will factor those preferences into our decisions in approaching
publishers and outlets).

For any queries about the content of potential contributions, please contact Richard Joyce at

The workshop series forms part of an Australian Research Council funded project:
‘International Law and the Challenge of Populism’, led by:

• Dr. Richard Joyce (International Law, Faculty of Law, Monash University)

• Professor Sundhya Pahuja (International Law, Melbourne Law School)

• Professor Andrew Benjamin (Philosophy, Monash University)

• Professor James Martel (Department of Political Science, San Francisco State

For more information, visit: