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Politics # 2018 : A New “Nomos of the Earth”? International Governance, Development and Humanitarian Aid


When N/A
Where N/A
Submission Deadline Jul 16, 2017
Notification Due Jul 31, 2017
Final Version Due Sep 24, 2017
Categories    politics   international relations   development   humanitarian aid

Call For Papers

Since the end of World War II the measure of development – together with the assumption that foreign relations among States depend on their domestic political and economic institutions and structures – has allowed ‘developed’ States to continue to interfere with ‘underdeveloped’ States’ domestic affairs, even if within the context of a radically new framework of legitimacy.

Previously a means for promoting the mise en valeur of the colonised territories, the promotion of the development of the ‘non-developed’ people has become a universal, cooperative and morally qualified goal for all the free States in the post-colonial discourse. A goal promoted by States who have assumed the role of leaders and of ‘developers’, no longer as colonisers but generously, as donors; not through direct domination or solely through diplomatic and commercial relations, but through aid, assistance and the extension of their political, institutional and economic models. In 1962 Carl Schmitt unsurprisingly identified in the partition of the earth in industrially developed and underdeveloped regions and populations, and in the related foreign aid politics, the new “nomos of the earth”. This new measure has produced a peculiar space of governance that is complementary to the classical dimensions of international politics.

Over the years, the concept of development has extended and enlarged. It has nurtured the continuous process of (re)formulation and (re)definition of the content, objectives, knowledge and relations that structure this specific space of relations between and among States. From modernization theory, to the basic needs approach and the disastrous neoliberal policies of the 80s; from the promotion of human rights, gender equality and human capabilities, to the reframing as ‘sustainable’, ‘human’ and the strategic link to the issue of security in its various meanings, the concept of development has assumed varied and variable contents. More recently, in public debate and through policy-making, the concept of ‘aid’ has started to be critically investigated also in light of the principles of reciprocity, and of respect for the principle of equal sovereignty and non-conditionality. In this sense, the 2030 Agenda includes an innovative universal approach beyond the developed/non-developed cleavage, for instance aiming at reducing poverty in all States.

In this theoretical framework, we invite articles that discuss the above issues from the perspectives of: political philosophy, history of political thought, history of ideas, history of institutions, cultural studies, postcolonial studies, political theory and international relations. We welcome articles – both from academics and practitioners – critically analysing the political productivity of humanitarian and development policies together with their impact on international governance. Interdisciplinary approaches are particularly welcome.

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

theoretical and practical connections to the symbolic, cultural and institutional colonial apparatus;
competition and comparison between Western and non-Westerns doctrines, programmes and political models;
new theoretical configurations of the concept of sovereignty, State and sovereign equality (i.e., the Responsibility to Protect or the category of failed State);
new ideas on international relations among States and new configurations of the relationship between politics and economics;
ties with the concept of security, in particular the concept of security governance and of human security;
new meanings of the concepts of peace and war. In particular, the relation between peace/order and development and between war/disorder and development;
global, transnational and local forms and practices of resistance and resilience;
legislative and social dimensions of different approaches to the concepts of development, aid, etc.;
other reflections on how international aid policies influence the conceptualisation of international governance through their institutional apparatus, their narratives and knowledge.

For article proposals, send a detailed abstract (min. 2500 and max. 3500 characters including spaces) and a short bibliography (max. 10 references) to the following email address:


16 July 2017: article proposal submission;
31 July: abstract selection;
24 September: submission of full articles (max. 35.000 spaces);
5 November: double blind peer review deadline;
26 November: completion of revised versions of articles;
18 December 2017: publication.

Citation method: The Chicago Manual of Style 16 (Author-date).

The issue will be edited by: Annalisa Furia and Bernardo Venturi.

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