YIHL Vol. 26 (2023) Call for Papers

Call for Papers - Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law Vol. 26 (2023)

Theme: Humanitarian Actors

International Humanitarian Law arguably originates with the neutralization of battlefield medical assistance in the late nineteenth century. Humanitarian actors have since diversified and amplified their work far beyond their founders’ imagination, in a process that has contributed fundamentally to shape contemporary International Humanitarian Law (IHL). The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in particular, has played a fundamental role in the drafting of IHL instruments, and has expanded its membership and mandate globally to cover humanitarian crises directly or indirectly linked to armed conflicts in all corners of the world.

For volume 26, the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law invites contributions that investigate the law, history, and politics of humanitarian action. We are, of course, interested in shedding light on the “special role” of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as the “guardian” of IHL, particularly given the contemporary paralysis in international legislation and fast new developments in military technology. But we also encourage submissions that look beyond the ICRC into the large and highly complex contemporary constellation of humanitarian actors operating in contexts of hostilities, both within and outside the United Nations system, in regional and national contexts.

Common to this contemporary constellation of humanitarian actors is the espousal of a distinctive set of fundamental principles: humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence. In keeping with these principles, humanitarian actors have often prioritized access to populations in need in conflict areas, and consequently operated with discretion and confidentially. Likewise, humanitarian actors are forced to engage with all sorts of de facto powers in conflict areas, be it High Contracting Parties, non-state opposition groups, terrorist organizations, or drug trafficking gangs with military capabilities. How do they maintain their loyalty to principles in contexts that bear so little resemblance with historical battlefields—and in a political and legal world that increasingly demands criminal accountability and counter-terrorist action? How do these actors deal with practices of organized or systemic violence, particularly in situations of protracted crisis? Are their efforts unduly restricted by the applicable legal frameworks? How do humanitarian actors incorporate and adapt to new technologies, such as the military technology they encounter on the battlefield or the information technology they use for their purposes? What do critical or postcolonial perspectives on the fundamental principles of humanitarianism reveal?

Interested authors should send an abstract of 500 words to the Managing Editor of the Yearbook, Dr Stavros Evdokimos Pantazopoulos (s.pantazopoulos@asser.nl) by 15 June 2023. This abstract should include (i) a working title; (ii) your main research questions and hypotheses; (iii) what gap your analysis/argument would fill in the literature; (iv) the provisional structure of your contribution.

Authors of selected abstracts will be notified by 30 June 2023, and the deadline for the submission of final papers, which should be no longer than 13,000 words (including footnotes), is 1 November 2023. Submitted articles should conform to the YIHL guidelines and will be sent for double-blind peer review. The Editorial Board aims to publish Vol. 26 (2023) at the end of the ensuing year. The publisher of the Yearbook is T.M.C. Asser Press, working in partnership with Springer Nature as regards the production and distribution.