International economic law (IEL) as an arena of scholarship, policy and practice has developed exponentially over the past three decades, evolving from a sub-field of public international law into a multi-layered, highly specialised discipline of its own. As a field of study, IEL encompasses a broad range of issues relating to the law, regulation and governance of the global economy, including trade, investment, finance, intellectual property, business regulation, energy and competition law. Despite this phenomenal expansion, there remain significant questions over the plurality and diversity of methodologies, voices and viewpoints in the discipline. Importantly, thinking, teaching and doing international economic law without recognition or understanding of these broader structural forces is to confer ‘epistemological privilege’ (Santos, 2014: 152) to sites of knowledge production and to knowledge producers rooted in historical and contemporary asymmetries of power and patriarchy.
At a time when academic institutions and disciplines are challenging the lack of pluralism and representation, in terms of gender, race, geographical locations and epistemologies in general, there is a need to reframe the lens through which conventional international economic law is produced, epistemically and operationally. There is an imperative to contextualise and historicise the scholarship on IEL and render visible the otherwise marginalised perspectives, particularly those which speak to precarity, vulnerability and inequality in the global economic order. This will contribute towards a richer and more comprehensive understanding of IEL and its impacts on the constituencies it regulates, governs and disciplines. An important component of this project to disrupt, decolonise and diversify the epistemic landscape of IEL is providing platforms to engage and enable traditionally neglected narratives and voices, including women, ethnic and sexual minorities, indigenous peoples and postcolonial communities from the south.
The IEL Collective was launched to provide a space for critical reflection on these complex interactions in the growing field of international economic law. It aims to explore how epistemological and methodological diversity in the discipline can contribute towards the development of a more holistic landscape of scholarship on law and the governance of the global economy. We aim to stimulate conversations about plurality, representation and criticality in researching, teaching and practising international economic law and spark new conversations about the future of the discipline.
Our inaugural conference aims to bring together scholars as well as other stakeholders, including policymakers, campaigners and practitioners, to contribute towards the development of The IEL Collective and to springboard and further new and existing conversations about the past, present and future of the discipline.
We welcome papers and contributions that speak to the themes of the Collective and invite critical and contextual reflections of teaching, research and practical engagement with the broad sphere of international economic law. This can include explorations of thematic or substantive areas of international economic law, broadly conceived; contributions towards or challenges of methodological diversity within the discipline; engagements with the policy and practice of international economic law; and issues relating to the engagement of a broader community of scholars, students and stakeholders in the field of international economic law.
The deadline for paper proposals is 31 July 2019. Please send us a title and a brief abstract (250 words maximum). Applicants will be notified about the outcome in September 2019.
There will be no fee to attend the conference. There are limited spaces for on-site accommodation during the conference for accepted paper presenters. There may be also limited travel funds available for participants from developing countries and for early-career researchers, including doctoral students. Please indicate on your registration form if you wish to be considered for accommodation and/ or travel support.
For more information, please email: ielcollective at warwick dot ac dot uk