Call for Papers - “International Law: Between Internationalism, Transnationalism and Cosmopolitanism”


We are pleased to announce that the third Dean Maxwell & Isle Cohen Doctoral Seminar in International Law will take place on Saturday, August 23, 2014, at the Faculty of Law of McGill University, in downtown Montreal. This year, the seminar will delve into “International Law: Between Internationalism, Transnationalism and Cosmopolitanism.”

The Dean Maxwell and Isle Cohen Doctoral Seminar in International Law offers approximately twelve doctoral and post-doctoral researchers with a keen interest in international law the opportunity to present and discuss their research ideas with fellow researchers and professors from the Faculty.

This year's Maxwell Cohen Seminar will be an opportunity to explore doctoral work on ongoing transformations of international law. International law has traditionally been understood as public international law, a law regulating the coexistence and cooperation of sovereigns. Increasingly, however, that model is being challenged as part of law's planetary transformations. The seminar will explore the extent to which international law can be reimagined as a global, transnational or cosmopolitan project, with a focus on both theory and applied legal research.

The various themes that conference papers might address include (but are not limited to):

(i)   The extent to which public international law is increasingly produced or implemented by non-state actors. Is this a desirable or a worrying development? How significant is it?

(ii)  The impact of human rights in reframing the normative foundation and doctrinal construction of international law: is it real? Is it superficial? How does it translate in terms of specific institutions of international law?

(iii)  The way in which the movement of people and peoples (migrants, diaspora, etc) is reframing old issues of jurisdiction. What about the extraterritorial reach of international human rights law? Or the evolution of concepts such as universal or diasporic jurisdiction?

(iv)   The degree to which global problems (environmental, economic) force a shift in notions of responsibility and in the nature of governance. Is state responsibility still an adequate cornerstone for the international regulatory order? What is the legitimacy of international institutions?

The selected participants will be expected to prepare and submit in advance a paper in pre-publication work-in-progress form. Participants may also prepare a PowerPoint presentation and/or a handout to be distributed to other participants. The papers (with presentations and/or handouts, where applicable) will be posted on the McGill website and will be circulated to all participants. All participants will be expected to read the conference papers and to prepare to engage in discussion of them. 

The Faculty of Law will pay for two nights’ accommodation for each of the selected participants, and will also provide meals during the conference itself. Participants will be expected to cover their own travel costs to and from Montréal and other incidental expenses.

Instructions for Abstract/Paper Submission

Doctoral and post-doctoral researchers wishing to participate in the conference must electronically submit an abstract, by June 16, 2014, to Professor Frédéric Mégret: frederic.megret [at]  Abstract submissions MUST include the following:

  1. Name and contact details of the presenter;
  2. Title of the presentation;
  3. Abstract of the presentation (600 words);
  4. A short biographical profile of the presenter for dissemination (not more than 5 lines);
  5. A one-page bio of the presenter.

The final papers must be submitted for posting on the website and circulation among participants no later than August 15, 2014.

For further information, please contact:

  • Frédéric Mégret (frederic.megret [at];
  • Olivier Barsalou (olivier.barsalou [at]; or
  • Marika Giles Samson (marika.gilessamson [at]