UCLA’s Critical Race Studies Program, Promise Institute for Human Rights, International and
Comparative Law Program and Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs are planning a one-day
conference at the UCLA School of Law on Friday, March 8, 2019, exploring critical topics in
contemporary international human rights law from the joint perspectives of Critical Race Theory
(CRT) and Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL). Contemporary global and
national political crises, many of which threaten the human rights of millions and even the
international human rights system itself, call for novel, radical ways of re-imagining the role of law
and legal institutions for a more just and humane future. The national oppression of politically
marginal groups cannot fully be understood apart from the global structures that condition national
dynamics. Similarly, global systems cannot fully be understood apart from the national contexts that
give them content. Racial structures and systems central to colonization and neo-colonialism are
crucial dimensions of the overall framework. The aim of this conference is to foster a transnational,
interdisciplinary academic dialogue among human rights, TWAIL and CRT scholars on some of the
most pressing issues of our time.
We invite interdisciplinary paper submissions from across disciplines and methodologies with an
emphasis on the following three cluster of topics:
- MIGRATION: This theme includes displacement as a consequence of climate change; rights and
protection regimes for economic migrants; and the fraying system of protections for refugees,
among other topics. We invite submissions that, among others, address such topics with
particular attention to the racial dimensions of migrant exclusion, the historical roots of
contemporary trajectories; criminalization and detention; the political economy of the drivers of
migration, including labor migration; and the institutional and normative responses to migration.
- POLITICAL EQUALITY: This theme invites engagement with the myriad criticisms of the claims
to universalism in the human rights system, including those that address the normative framing,
the institutional structure and allegations of the fundamental ineffectiveness of the human rights
system. We invite submissions that, among others, engage such topics as: the international
sovereignty regime and Third World claims to equality and effective participation in the
international order; the function of the norm of non-intervention in an age of militarized
humanitarianism; reconstructing or challenging the emancipatory potential of human rights; and
intellectual histories of human rights.
- SOCIO-ECONOMIC EQUALITY: This theme engages with the especially pointed challenge to a
human rights system that has failed to adequately address economic and social rights during the
seven decades since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted. We invite
submissions that address, from CRT and TWAIL perspectives, such topics as: transnational
labor protections in an era of free trade; social backlash to neoliberal globalization and its
implications; the global rise of populism; health protections and environmental sustainability in
the international human rights system; multilateral governance of the international economic
order; and critical engagements with paradigms of "development."
Deadline for submissions is Monday, October 1, 2018, 5:00 pm (Pacific Time). Please consult the call for papers for complete information.