Friday, April 05, 2013

Conference--Business and Human Rights: Moving Forward, Looking Back--Call for Papers

I am delighted to pass along a call for papers to what is expected to be a truly path forging conference: Business and Human Rights: Moving Forward, Looking Back.

(Anthony Ewing, Teaching Business and Human Rights: Challenges and Opportunities, Institute for Human Rights and Business, 19 Oct. 2011)

Jena Martin (West Virginia College of Law) is the conference chair and is planning a challenging and innovative program with a substantial amount of engagement.  The Conference will be held on the grounds of the delightful campus of the University of West Virginia in Morgantown 23-24 September 2013.  Please mark four calendars.

What follows is the call for papers

Business and Human Rights: Moving Forward, Looking Back
Call for Papers
September 23 – 24, 2013
West Virginia University College of Law, Morgantown, WV
***SUBMISSION DEADLINE: June 1, 2013***

Conference Chair: Jena Martin (WVU College of Law)

The West Virginia University Festival of Ideas in conjunction with the West Virginia University College of Law invites the submission of papers and abstracts for its conference entitled “Business and Human Rights: Moving Forward, Looking Back.” The conference will examine the United Nation’s recent work on business and human rights issues, an area that has grown substantially in the last ten years. Highlights of the subject’s growth include the United Nations’ establishment of a Working Group on Business and Human Rights and its adoption of the Guiding Principles for business and human rights. Participants will use these two major events as a focal point for discussing the roles that corporations, civil society and states can all play in advancing the cause of human rights.

Potential topics for the conference include: Implementation - a discussion of best practices for implementing the Guiding Principles; the History of Business and Human Rights - examining the history of business and human rights as a precursor to the work in its present form; and The Framework - examining what principles or philosophies should be used to guide the business and human rights agenda.

For the second day of the conference, a special discussion group will bring together experts from a disparate number of fields, such as labor, trade, investment, and corporate social responsibility. The aim is to spotlight the impacts a business and human rights agenda has on different disciplines. Rather than following the format of a typical panel, the discussion group will be a less structured session that will allow both experts and participants to engage in a lightly moderated but productive conversation.

Please submit papers on substantial, original, and unpublished research related to all aspects of business and human rights, including but not limited to the topics discussed above. In addition, we encourage submissions of interdisciplinary research including research in law, practice, and economics. Papers that are selected for the conference are expected to be published as part of an edited volume on the subject. Initial submissions in response to the Call for Papers can be either full drafts (of no more than 15,000 words) or detailed abstracts (of no more than 1,000 words). Scholars that have their abstracts accepted in lieu of a paper are expected to have a final draft submitted by September 1.


Each paper submitted should be original previously unpublished work.

Student Poster Competition and Session

We are also accepting abstracts for a student poster session. The top three poster winners will present to the body of the conference in a special session. First place will receive a $500 prize. Second place will receive a $200 prize. Third place will receive a $100 prize. Finalists will be invited to convert their posters into papers for potential publication in the edited volume. To be eligible for the competition, students must be enrolled at an institution of higher education and be in good academic standing at the time of the conference.

Submission Information

Important Dates

-Paper Submission Deadline: June 1, 2013
-Notification of Acceptance of a Paper: June 30, 2013
-Poster Submission Deadline: August 15, 2013
-Conference Dates: September 23 – 24, 2013

Conference Venue

West Virginia University is one of the nation’s premier institutions of higher education. The Princeton Review has ranked West Virginia University College of Law as a “Tier 1 Law School,” and it is a Top Institution for Public Interest Law. Located in beautiful Morgantown, WV, West Virginia University boasts both the beautiful scenery of pastoral life with the progressiveness of a large college town. This is the first conference of its kind in the United States, and West Virginia University hopes to continue its promotion of freethinking and human rights throughout the world.


If you have any questions regarding this conference or this call for papers, please e-mail

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