Call for Papers – Young Researchers Workshop


The 10 years of the EDEM research team :
Young researchers workshop
"Between Borders and Territories: Law or Migration"

Monday May 9th, 2022 (08:30 AM – 1 PM), UCLouvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

Side-event to the international conference "The Time of Territories"

This workshop, organised by the EDEM research team, precedes and accompanies the international conference "The Time of Territories" which will be held in Louvain-la-Neuve on 9 and 10 May 2022. These two-day conference will bring together migration law experts from various geographical backgrounds while integrating an interdisciplinary perspective. The workshop on Monday morning is addressed to young researchers (PhD students and post-doctoral fellows). The conference’s audience is welcome to attend the workshop. All seminar speakers are invited to the international conference.

“The Time of Territories” focuses on the polymorphic effects of borders in migration law. Border closures raise questions about the ability to think rationally and humanely about mobility. The reflection intends to confront this reality – from which it cannot be abstracted – but also to discuss possible alternatives.

Law without politics or politics without law, migration seems to escape more and more from the rule of law, in terms of methods, and from the search for an effective protection of human rights, in terms of safeguards.

Call for Papers "Between Borders and Territories: Law or Migration"

The evolution and involution of asylum and migration law take place in a climate of cyclical crises – both political and diplomatic – and humanitarian emergencies. The political and legal management of mobility raises questions about the respect for human rights, despite the reaffirmation of their guarantee. Human rights prominence is increasingly discussed and even questioned on a territorial as well as on a substantive level. The sovereignty of States clashes with migrants’ self-determination and the search for a balance between human rights and State sovereignty is proving delicate.

The law itself is challenged, between extreme complexity, protection gaps and legal holes. It is precisely the partial or imperfect implementation of the law that highlights its many ambiguities. This leaves open questions about the role of the law itself and the effectiveness of the protection guaranteed by the law.

Territories and borders have regained a disruptive force, both symbolic and real, which is difficult to reconcile with mobility as a feature of humanity and a value of the globalised world.

The protection of the human rights of migrants is linked to pragmatic and non-transparent solutions to irregular migration. In border areas, the fact that refoulement practices are widespread and systematic reveals a climate of impunity. In this context, no convincing alternative is emerging in the political arena which are based on the respect for international obligations and responsibilities.

In their article "From the 2015 European 'Migration Crisis' to the 2018 Global Compact for Migration: A Political Transition Short on Legal Standards", Jean-Yves Carlier, François Crépeau and Anna Purkey asked:

Does this migration governance leave open too many policy and practice spaces where State action is subject to very limited oversight, if any? Pushed to the extreme, can this shift come to erase the legal subjectivity, the legal personhood of migrants, thus denying them any capacity for empowerment? 

The call for papers focuses on the distances between reality and law. It opens the discussion on the dynamic, complex and volatile notions of border, territory, margin of discretion and legal certainty. Above all, it aims to leave room for alternatives or new questions.
It addresses to those whose research contributes to these reflections.
Researchers are encouraged to achieve these purposes with examples from their own research fields and to approach these topics from different angles and through different disciplines (law, political science, anthropology, sociology, geography, history, etc.).

Working Languages

French and English. The workshop and the conference will be held in French and English. Passive skills in both languages are required.

Scientific Committee

Jean-Yves Carlier, Sylvie Saroléa, Delphine Nakache, Trésor Maheshe, Francesco Luigi Gatta, Eleonora Frasca, Francesca Raimondo.

How to Submit the Proposal

To submit a proposal for a paper, please send an abstract (in French or English, between 500 and 800 words), as well as a short biography (maximum 200 words) indicating your affiliation, by Monday 31 January 2022 at the latest to

Selection and Follow-up Procedure

Proposals will be reviewed by the Scientific Committee which will communicate its decision by 15 February 2022. After the event, researchers will be invited to send their contribution (5000-6000 words including footnotes) which will be published in a special edition of the Cahiers de l'EDEM to be issued in August 2022. Contributions must be sent to the scientific committee by Monday 13 June 2022 (more detailed information will follow after the selection procedure).

Participation in the Seminar

Participants will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs. Some grants will be available for selected applicants. Further information on financial support will be distributed in due course. Speakers will also be informed about the existence of hotels that offer preferential rates to participants. Coffee and lunch breaks on the 2-day conference will be offered.

Researchers, PhD Candidate, Post-doctoral researchers
University of Louvain (UCLouvain), Law Faculty, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
 9 May 2022
Abstract proposal by 31st January 2022 (500 to 800 words + bio)
Selection by February 2022
Presentation at the workshop on 9th May 2022
Full short paper by 13th June 2022 (5000-6000 words including footnotes)
Publication in a Special Edition of Les Cahiers de l’EDEM in August 2022

For more information please contact

Published on December 16, 2021