Call for Papers: Rethinking global ethics in a changing world

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This event will take place in-person on Friday 8 December 2023 at the University of Sussex. Registration will open after the call for papers closes.

Ethics and World Politics scholars inhabit what seem to be rapidly and radically changing worlds. Politically, climate breakdown and exponential increases in inequalities are making normative questions increasingly urgent. At the same time, a nationalist turn and international/multipolar normative contestation are challenging assumptions of a world order shaped by shared universal values. Intellectually, international studies have taken a distinct post and decolonial turn. This calls on us to consider how to make global ethics truly ‘global’ in terms of the traditions and scholarship it draws on: highlighting power dynamics underpinning purported universal values and unpicking the value and purpose of the cosmopolitan-communitarian binaries that still permeate the field. Institutionally, the role of academics is also changing as higher education institutions are challenged by declining public funding. This has increased pressures on scholars to commercialise scientific discovery, pursue non-public research funding opportunities, and focus research around pre-defined multidisciplinary challenges. While perhaps opening horizons in some respects, this may also close off the available space for fundamental research, inhibit academic freedom, and limit intellectual debate. Scholars thus face both new professional challenges and ethical questions concerning the kinds of ‘impact’ one’s research should have and the dynamics of working with non-academic partners.

This one-day workshop will engage with these changing political, intellectual, and institutional environments in which ethics and world politics scholars operate.

We invite papers that broadly address any of the above themes.

Abstract Submission deadline: Monday 30 October 2023, by e-mail to

Co-sponsored by the Centre for Rights and Anticolonial Justice, University of Sussex

Submission Process, Timeline, and PGR/ECR bursaries

  • Deadline for submission of 300-word abstract: 30 October 2023.
  • Please indicate in your e-mail if you wish to be considered for a PGR/ECR travel bursary of up to £200. If so, please confirm: (a) your PGR/ECR status, (b) your institutional affiliation, (c) that you are a BISA member or intend to become a member by the date of the workshop if accepted, (d) expected total costs of accommodation (if required) plus train travel.
  • Acceptance decisions: Tuesday 31 October 2023.
  • Workshop open for registration: 1 November 2023.
  • Circulation of draft papers to discussants / other panellists: 1 December 2023.
  • Workshop: Friday 8 December 2023.
  • Submissions and questions to the co-convenors of the Ethics and World Politics Working group
  • Submissions will be considered by the working group co-convenors: Robin Dunford (University of Brighton), David Jason Karp (University of Sussex) and Susan Murphy (Trinity College Dubin).


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