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Royal Irish Academy

13 Jan 2020


We welcome proposals from scholars in all academic disciplines, as well as current and retired practitioners in foreign policy, government and civil society for the Royal Irish Academy’s annual International Affairs Conference 2020.  

Paper proposals (300 words in length) should be completed on this form by 5.00 p.m. on Monday, 10 February 2020.  

Please email with any queries.


RIA Annual International Affairs Conference: ‘The global politics of climate emergency’, 29 April 2020

Keynote Speaker: Simon Coveney, T.D., Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade

Plenary Speaker: Mary Robinson, MRIA 

As global warming occurs more rapidly than scientists predicted, the world approaches a key threshold in the rise in the average global temperature. The demand to reverse climate change is fuelling sweeping transnational protests. Those protests have also embraced broader themes related to the sustainability of the current economic model, global trade and social justice.  In that, they question the sincerity and success of traditional international politics in tackling today’s global issues.

International policy responses to climate change have proven pitifully laboured to negotiate, difficult to enforce at the national level, and incapable of addressing the societal consequences of climate change – such as an increase in migration, or the rise of violent conflicts – and global inequalities.  By way of an illustration, achieving and maintaining the current high standards of living in economically developed countries gives rise to high emissions, the impact of which disproportionally affect populous and less developed countries, which are themselves seeking to alleviate poverty and emulate the development path of wealthy countries.

Why is it difficult for countries to agree on, and implement, targets for reducing carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions? What influence and results do such agreements have? How can meaningful solutions to the climate emergency be brokered and implemented internationally? To what extent is social justice part of climate change action? How does climate change interrogate the relationship between the Global North and Global South?  These are just some of the pressing issues, which raise many complex and challenging questions around diplomacy, politics, multilateralism, law, economics, geography and technology. They also destabilise traditional concepts of development, justice and equality.

The RIA Standing Committee for International Affairs welcomes paper proposals on all aspects of global politics of climate emergency as it aims to adopt an integrated approach to discussing the key international challenge of our time. Foreign policy experts/professionals/practitioners, economists, sociologists, media studies experts, geographers, lawyers, political scientists, international relations scholars, historians and social scientists are all invited to submit proposals. The committee also strongly encourages applications from advanced doctoral students and postdoctoral colleagues.

We welcome proposals from scholars in all academic disciplines, as well as current and retired practitioners in foreign policy, government and civil society. 


Paper proposals (300 words in length) should be completed on this form by 5.00 p.m. on Monday, 10 February 2020.


Please email with any queries.


High quality papers from the conference will be considered for publication in the journal Irish Studies in International Affairs.

The submission of paper proposals requires all paper proposers to agree to publish their papers in the journal should they be accepted.

School of History

Scoil na Staire

Tyrconnell,Off College Road,Cork,Ireland.