CfP Protection Workshop 2016

Call for Papers

Protection of individuals as a system-wide challenge for the United Nations

Workshop and network meeting

15-17 July 2016, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany


Organized by the Young Researchers’ Group on UN Studies, United Nations Association of Germany (UNA Germany)

Abstracts due: 13 March 2016

Papers due: 15 June 2016

Registration deadline (participation only): 8 July 2016


Whenever the UN Security Council mandates new peacekeeping operations, when civil society activists refer to the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P), or humanitarian organizations try to coordinate their activities; whenever the UN Human Rights Council discusses the rights of LGBTIQ*-persons, or the UN High Commissioner for Refugees calls for adequate housing for displaced persons: all of these debates center around the protection of individuals. The protection of individuals from harm has become a core responsibility of the international community. However, depending on the actor and the task at hand, concepts of protection from violence and persecution differ wildly. For some actors, prevention and eliminating root causes of violence is at the heart of protection efforts, whereas others focus on participation of local populations and governments, and yet others deal with emergency relief measures. In the absence of a common notion of protection, this lack of mutual understanding can have disastrous consequences for the efficiency of protection measures. Therefore, determining what the different understandings of protection within the United Nations System are is of vital importance.

The workshop aims at bringing together young scholars from various backgrounds, including, but not limited to, international relations, international law, sociology and related subjects who currently research the protection of individuals within the United Nations System. A combination of keynotes, conference papers and network sessions will be used to critically examine the varying conceptions of protection. We are looking for papers that examine the work of the United Nations as it relates to the protection of individuals in one of the following four policy areas: security, humanitarian aid, human rights and development. We also welcome conceptual papers exploring the notion of protection with a view of discerning differences and commonalities between different policy fields and institutional units.

Questions that we want to address through the workshop include:

  • Where can we observe interfaces and overlaps between different conceptualizations of protection and their operationalization?
  • Which actors and institutions are central to a given concept of protection, and how does it relate to other norms?
  • Is protection about mitigating or eliminating violent risks for individuals?
  • Through which programs, strategies and instruments can the United Nations System, or parts of it, improve its protection efforts?
  • What are the obstacles to and challenges in coordinating protection efforts?
  • What is the added value of a “global protection governance” aimed at streamlining existing normative and practical protection efforts into one coherent concept?

The workshop is organized by the Young Researchers’ Group on UN Studies, which is part of the United Nations Association of Germany. Its members come from political science and legal backgrounds. We want to discuss one of the most pertinent topics on the UN agenda in a relatively informal setting with a group of interested scholars who are currently working on protection issues.

Interested authors should submit an abstract (no more than 300 words) until 13 March 2016, outlining their research focus and how it relates to one or more of the questions outlined above. Full papers are due by 15 June 2016. Papers can be submitted in either English or German.

All interested participants (without papers) can register for the workshop online on our web site. The deadline for registration is 1 July 2016. Limited funding for travel and accommodation is available for paper givers upon request.

Register here.

Contact us at [email protected] and

The Call for Papers as pdf is here.