European responses to global crises: Call for submissions for DynamInt Doctoral Conference 2024

The annual DynamInt Doctoral Conference will be held in Amsterdam on 28th and 29th August 2024 and is co-organised by the Graduate School DynamInt (Humboldt University of Berlin) and the Amsterdam Law School (University of Amsterdam). It takes place in the context of the European Law School’s Summer Academy. We invite early career researchers (doctoral and postdoctoral) working in European Union law to come together and to discuss responses to the most pressing crises currently facing the European Union, its Member states, and citizens. Within the framework of the three topics outlined below, participants may present their work and engage in discussion with fellow scholars. In addition, Faculty specialised in EU, international, and comparative law will give in-depth feedback on the contributions submitted prior to the conference.

In recent years, the resilience and adaptability of EU law and governance has been tested by a myriad of challenges that have effectively put the bloc in a constant state of crisis. The already strained balance between unity and diversity increases the necessity for a multifaceted legal framework able to endure challenges, adapt to changing circumstances, and continue to function effectively while upholding the EU’s core values and objectives.

With this conference, we aim to develop a better understanding of the diverse unfolding crises and the unique challenges they pose against the background of an ever-evolving EU legal order. We also seek to explore potential responses and mechanisms that can ensure the EU’s resilience to future crises. For this purpose, we are pleased to invite contributions from both public and private law perspectives on the following topics:


Topic 1: Climate crisis

The ecological crisis caused by climate change represents the defining challenge of our time, posing an existential threat to human societies and the planet. As a cross-sectoral problem, climate change implicates all aspects of social and economic life. Mirroring the scope of the problem, legal responses to climate change must encompass and activate the entire spectrum of the law, ranging from public to private law and beyond. Over the past years, the EU has developed an ambition to emerge as the major player in the fight against climate change. Within the framework of the ‘European Green Deal’, a broad range of legislation, both current and planned, is deployed to achieve the goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Notably, some of these legislative projects devise mechanisms of both public and private enforcement, such as the proposed Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive. Yet, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s repeated warnings that global warming will likely exceed 1.5°C in the near term give cause for concern. At the same time, they provide a reason to scrutinise and indeed challenge the EU’s response to the ecological crisis. Do the legislative efforts currently underway adequately address the problem of climate change, which is inherently polycentric, scientifically uncertain, dynamic, and steeped in socio-political conflict? And how do the current legislative efforts fit into the growing landscape of national and international, public and private, as well as top-down and bottom-up responses to climate change?


Topic 2: Inequality crisis

Rising inequality is emerging as a recurrent and prominent theme amongst the crisis facing the European Union. Private law traditionally emphasises principles such as autonomy, efficiency, and justice in exchange, often sidelining concerns related to economic inequality. Conversely, public law, focused on vertical relationships, fails to engage with the underlying factors that give rise to inequality in the first place. The orthodox view holds that distributive objectives should be managed primarily through the fiscal system and welfare state infrastructure. However, this paradigm is increasingly contested by the realities of mounting inequality despite the existence of public governance mechanisms to alleviate it. A critical re-evaluation of these approaches and their historical underpinnings may unveil the root causes of inequality and its institutional dimension. In this vein, recent scholarship has pointed to the instrumental role of legal institutions in “coding” assets into capital thereby creating wealth and perpetuating inequality. Emerging asset classes like data and the environment are following the same pattern, potentially paving the way for future crises. Moreover, recent developments in economic organisation, such as the rise of digital platforms and the gig economy, have widened the gap between individuals and corporations in terms of bargaining power and access to justice.


Topic 3: Armed conflict crisis

The rise of armed conflicts and acts of aggression worldwide has led the EU to shift its internal and external policies in light of these crises, some of which have recently reached its borders. The EU has intensified its efforts to strengthen economic resilience, enhance energy security, and enforce a robust sanctions regime against those undermining peace and international law. This recalibration includes tightening financial regulations to prevent the flow of funds to sanctioned entities and enhancing the bloc’s capacity for economic diplomacy to mitigate the impact of geopolitical tensions. Furthermore, the EU’s adaptation of its policies underscores the necessity of a coordinated approach that not only addresses immediate threats but also anticipates future challenges, ensuring the stability and integrity of the Union. At the same time, these policies bring about inadvertent consequences for private legal relationships, such as insurance policies, energy sector contracts, and within the shipping industry. What are the legal and ethical implications of the EU’s use of economic measures, such as sanctions, from a public and private law perspective? How has the legal framework of the European Union adapted to address the security challenges posed by the geopolitical tensions near its borders? How are these regulatory shifts and the geopolitical strategy of the Union normatively legitimated?


Submission timeline

We welcome submissions in the form of an abstract (max. 500 words) by 15th April 2024. The issues and questions touched upon in the descriptions of the topics are intended to serve as thematic guidance, but are by no means meant to be exhaustive. Please send your submissions via the following form:

Successful participants will be contacted by 15th May 2024 at the latest and are expected to submit their full paper (max. 8,000 words including footnotes) by 15th July 2024. They will be sent to established scholars who will provide feedback during the conference. The abstract and the paper may be submitted in English, French, and German. However, the presentations and discussions during the panels will be held in English.


Logistics and funding

The conference will be held as an on-site event only. The accommodation costs for panellists will be covered. Further information will be offered at a later stage to the selected speakers. Participation in the entire workshop is free of charge. General registration for the entire workshop will open in early summer 2024.

Any question may be directed to