Call for Submissions: The Visible C of the Invisible College – Classism and the International Legal Profession

Call for Submissions: The Visible C of the Invisible College – Classism and the International Legal Profession

International lawyers do debate class, but not necessarily in their own professional milieu. There is significant literature on ‘bourgeois’ international law, while the discussion as to what a ‘proletarian’ international law might look like is still alive and well (see for example here, here, and here). Despite these long-standing ties between international legal scholarship and the question of class, there is still a missing link: how class and classism affects our scholarship, our everyday interactions, our professional development, and finally our community as an ever-expanding network of academic precariat.  

It is a truism that classism’s presence in the international legal field is omnipresent. Institutions sitting at the top of this field boldly advertise their internships or other short -term posts, which require their participants to travel and to live in some of the world’s most expensive cities, with the infamous line of text: “Please note that internships at [organization] are unfunded. Applicants must therefore be able to support themselves for the entire duration of their internship”. Another pertinent example we can offer, is the gross inequality between the various participants in international conferences, workshops, and other similar fora where participants, and especially ECRs, are not given any financial assistance either by the organizers and/or their host institutions. Who can self-fund and attend such events amplifying their voice, improving their scholarship, and engaging into networking? How can you be visible in the invisible college and still be able to make ends meet?  

These two, among many, examples beg the question: where is the C (class) in the invisible college? Is it only contemporary international institutions that are deeply bourgeois, or should we also explore our own condition of ‘petty bourgeoisie’, to use Nicos Poulantza’s pertinent expression, as scholars, researchers, practitioners, and students of international law?  

To that end, Opinio Juris opens this call for papers to lawyers, scholars, academics, researchers, and students who have felt like a career in this profession is a dream for which they simply could not afford a ticket. What would you say to those selling entry, what would you change, what would you fix?  

We particularly encourage colleagues who have felt classism in its patriarchal, racialized, and sexist manifestations to consider participating in this dialogue. Co-authored posts are welcome. Furthermore, if necessary, anonymized or pseudonymized submissions will be considered.  

Please submit a tentative title and abstract of 250 words to Chris Carpenter ( and Dimitrios A. Kourtis ( by 20 August 2022. We will select 8-10 submissions, for which we commit to being inclusive in our evaluation criteria. If successful, you must submit a blogpost in the range of 1,800-2,000 words by 1 October 2022, complying with Opinio Juris contributors’ guidelines. Opinio Juris will publish the invited submissions as a symposium in November 2022.  

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Calls for Papers, Critical Approaches, Featured, Featured Announcement, General, Public International Law, Symposia, Themes
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