Call for papers: Multidisciplinary futures of United Nations peace operations

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UN peacekeeping

We invite papers, panel and roundtable submissions for a two-day conference on Multidisciplinary Futures of United Nations Peace Operations, taking place on Monday 20th and Tuesday 21 February 2023 at The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.

Sponsored by the BISA Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding Working Group and the Centre for Global Challenges and Social Justice at The Open University, the conference seeks to bring together scholars developing new theoretical and empirical research on the future of UN peacekeeping operations. Research may be drawn from multiple disciplines, including but not limited to, international relations, political science, history, law, anthropology, economics, human geography, leadership studies, sociology, and may adopt a range of theoretical approaches including gender, postcolonial and critical race theories.

The conference comes at a time when UN peacekeeping and peacebuilding are significantly underfunded and when implementation of the UN’s Sustaining Peace Agenda and the Secretary General’s Action of Peacekeeping Initiative is taking place amid multiple and compounding risks including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, climate change, health emergencies and threats posed by new technologies. At the same time, missions are experiencing difficulties maintaining positive relations with host states, maintaining consent among local populations and adapting to financial and operational realities.

Suggested topics for the conference include:

  • Critical appraisals of UN efforts to empower local communities and groups, including women, and future practices that could be adopted.
  • The division of responsibility between the UN, regional and sub-regional actors.
  • Future approaches to UN peace operations amidst conflation of stabilization and peacebuilding.
  • Conflict between stabilization and other goals of UN peace operations.
  • Assessments of the relationship between the UN development agenda and UN peace operations.

There will be an on-campus networking event including food and drinks in the early evening of Monday 20 February 2023.

Travel Bursaries

Contributions from postdoctoral and early career researchers are particularly encouraged. We are able to offer £200 travel bursaries for five postgraduates who are members of BISA. Details on how to apply for these will be sent to those participants whose papers are accepted.

Conference fees

The event is free for members of BISA. Non-members will be required to pay £45. Virtual attendance for standard non-member is £13. Student/ECR non-member virtual attendance is £10. While this is primarily a face-to-face conference, participants who are unable to travel will be able to present virtually. However, we look forward to being able to engage and network in person.

Papers, panels and roundtables should be submitted to the BISA Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding Working Group at deadline for submissions is Wednesday 7 December 2022. Paper abstracts should be max 250 words.

Conference organisers

Dr Georgina Holmes, Department of Politics and International Studies, The Open University; Dr David Curran and Dr Nancy Annan, Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University.


Image by Mikhail Evstafiev licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons