Call for Panel and Papers - ECPR Standing Group on Human Rights and Transitional Justice - ECPR Virtual General Conference

General Conference

31 August – 3 September 2021, Virtual event


The year 2020 has been exceptional in many ways. The world has faced new challenges, while the existing ones became even more urgent. Existing challenges, like armed conflicts, have been exacerbated in spite of urgent appeals for a global ceasefire to focus on defeating the Covid-19 pandemic. Whether old or new challenges, these are not neutral from the perspective of human rights violations and social inequalities, which are rooted in historical marginalization and exclusion. Furthermore, new vulnerabilities and inequalities have emerged, both within national borders and internationally. It has further unsettled existing ways of living together, working and researching. This raises the question of what the implications are for interdisciplinary approaches to human rights and transitional justice.
For ECPR 2021 we seek to reflect upon the varied intersections between “traditional” and new challenges, to human rights and transitional justice, the majority of which are directly or indirectly related to responses to Covid-19 pandemics. There is a need for empirical, in-depth explorations of these intersections in specific contexts, as well as comparative case studies across regions. At the same time, we aim to reflect critically upon narratives of exceptionality and crisis, reflecting on the positionalities and power relations that define which crises come to matter, and for whom, in order to discuss what a transitional justice and human rights ‘lens’ can specifically offer analysis and research on the varied experiences of the current times.
We therefore invite contributions addressing themes that may include but are not limited to:
1. Pandemic-related issues such as:
- Balancing the right to life vs. the right to privacy in responses to Covid-19
- (In)visibilities of human rights violations in times of a global pandemic
- Exacerbation of armed conflicts and the practicalities and ethics of calls for ceasefires
- Justice under lockdown or justice postponed? Advocacy and participation in transitional justice processes
2. New problems, new contexts such as:
- Abuses of emergency powers in authoritarian contexts
- Challenges to human rights in the context of rising populism, post-truth and democratic backsliding
- Narratives of exceptionality and temporalities of crisis from (post)colonial perspectives in transitional justice and human rights research
- Human rights and environment
- The use and abuse of transitional justice
3. Methodological reflections such as:
- Field research and international academic collaborations in human rights and transitional justice in the context of Covid-19
- Building bridges between research and practice: application of the public policy “toolbox” to analyse and improve transitional justice
Building on the annual successful sections sponsored by the Human Rights and Transitional Justice Standing Group, the Section Co-Chairs encourages early career as well as established scholars to participate in ECPR General Conferences. This section promotes scholarly exchange and debate, and provides a forum for testing new ideas, aiming to help establish continued scholarship and new generations of political scientists and human rights activists.