Call for papers: Human Dignity and Human Security in Times of Terrorism - International (Human Rights) Law Challenges and Opportunities



Event Date: 


Location name: 

The Hague


T.M.C. Asser Instituut

According to the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2016, “a complex and rapidly changing set of dynamics in global terrorism” can be identified these days, with a considerable number of countries improving their GTI scores, but with many moderately affected countries also experiencing record levels of terrorism. Although “over 90 per cent of all terrorist deaths occurred in countries already engaged in some form of conflict whether internal or international” – with Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria suffering most – a lot of attention is focused on Europe, where “ISIL’s transnational tactics in combination with lone actor attacks inspired by the group drove an increase in terrorism to its highest levels ever.” This, in turn, has led to what Amnesty International has even termed a “disturbing “Orwellian” trend”, in which context “the boundaries between the powers of the state and the rights of individuals are being redrawn and Europe’s human rights framework, which was so carefully constructed after the Second World War, is being rapidly dismantled.”

On 12 December 2017 (provisional date), the T.M.C. Asser Instituut will organise an international conference on ‘Human Dignity and Human Security in Times of Terrorism: International (Human Rights) Law Challenges and Opportunities’. This conference will critically analyse human dignity and human security challenges in the lead up to terrorism and in the responses to terrorism (both legal frameworks and specific issues). It aims to map how human dignity and human security can be secured, and how law can constitute a source of trust, in times where Europe and the rest of the world continue to be plagued by terrorism.

More specific topics one could think of:

  • UN Security Council Resolution 2178 and its implementation
  • the new EU Directive on Combating Terrorism
  • national emergency regimes: the new normal?
  • administrative measures in the context of countering terrorism
  • terrorism, mental health and the law of patient confidentiality
  • the right to non-discrimination and its effect on radicalisation
  • terrorism kill teams versus the protection of nationals abroad
  • incitement to terrorism, a comparative analysis

The organisers invite the submission of abstracts addressing the above-mentioned themes. Abstracts (of maximum 1000 words) should be submitted to Dr. Christophe Paulussen,, by 23 September 2017. Please include your name, e-mail address and a CV. The authors of the selected abstracts will be invited to present during the conference, provisionally scheduled to take place on 12 December 2017.

Full papers (of around 10,000 words, including footnotes) are to be submitted by 1 March 2018. For their final paper, authors are expected to deliver a critical legal reflection, to make an explicit link to the concept of human dignity and human security, and to think out of the box. The organisers will collect the final papers in a book, which will be published by T.M.C. Asser Press and distributed by Springer in March 2019

The T.M.C. Asser Instituut carries out research on developments in international and European law and its potential for serving the cultivation of trust and respect in the global, regional, national and local societies in which the law operates. This conference and the ensuing book are activities of the institute’s research strand on ‘Human Dignity and Human Security in International and European Law’.