Authoritarianism and Genocide:
Narratives of Exclusion
The decades following the end of the Cold War saw a rise in democratization of governance across the globe. Many nations in Latin America, the Asian-Pacific region, the Middle East, and Africa saw the replacement of strongmen by more representative forms of government. Along with such improvements in governance came the hope for greater inclusivity and respect for human rights. The last decade has demonstrated that these hopes might have been premature. We have seen a rise in authoritarianism on every continent, though sometimes presented in the guise of majoritarian democracy. Even in nations purportedly with long-established democratic traditions, the threat of authoritarianism, often in the form of populist or right-wing nationalism, has grown in power and poses a real threat to democracy and the rule of law. With the erosion of the rule of law, an ever-growing risk of mass atrocities and genocide have emerged. At the same time, while it is often argued that democratic institutions and cultural factors tend to dampen genocidal tendencies within societies, democratic states have committed their share of genocides against external as well as internal minoritized target groups. Thus, the question of the relationship among authoritarianism, democracy, and mass violence remains complex. Authoritarian movements have marshaled social media and the world wide web to facilitate the propagation of hate and dissemination of genocidal violence. Human rights and social justice activists are responding to this authoritarian wave in myriad creative ways. More and more people around the world now see the urgency of the challenge authoritarianism poses. The theme of the conference, Authoritarianism and Genocide: Narratives of Exclusion, is a growing concern of researchers and activists dedicated to the prevention of genocidal violence.
Submissions on any aspect of the relationships between authoritarianism and genocide and democracy and genocide are welcome. As always, we also welcome submissions on any topic within the broad field of genocide studies and related areas. We encourage contributions from practitioners who work on the legal, social, cultural, and scientific aspects of genocide, mass atrocity, and crimes against humanity. Topics related to the conference theme may include but are not limited to the following:
Societal factors leading to the rise of authoritarianism and genocidal violence
Social media and the propagation and legitimation of genocidal violence
The shortcomings of transitional justice in addressing the reemergence of racial and ethnic violence
The subversion of the law for the concentration of power
Lessons from the history of past authoritarian violence against ethnic groups
Right-wing populist movements in the digital age
Gender and sexuality -based violence in authoritarian regimes
Scapegoating of minorities and immigrants by populist movements and majoritarian governments
Specific country analyses of the consolidation of power in authoritarian regimes
Hate speech as incitement of genocide in authoritarian regimes and in democratic states with free speech protections
Persecution and restriction of rights of LGTBQ+ people
Again, submissions on any topic in the field of genocide studies are most welcome. Possible but not limited to the following categories: Comparative Genocide, Genocide, Ethnic Cleansing, Mass Atrocities, Denial and Distortion, Hate Speech, Children, Nationalism, Authoritarianism, Democracy, Populism, Transitional Justice, Media, Technology, Specific Case Study, Gender, Indigenous Genocide, Resistance, Reparations, Education, Arts and Literature, IGOs and NGOs, Law, War and Genocide, Environment, Colonialism, Human Rights and Genocide.
We welcome abstract proposals that showcase submissions that utilize innovative delivery formats. In addition, IAGS is committed to efforts to diversify prevailing understandings of all aspects of genocide, and we encourage proposals that employ novel methods and address a wide variety of cases, concepts, theories, methods, practices, traditions, and topics relevant to the study of genocide, genocide education, and prevention. We strongly encourage submissions from the Global South, minoritized and marginalized groups, and emerging scholars and on under-researched issues, comparative analyses, and critical and creative work that addresses lacunae in the field.
Proposals for artistic or other creative installations, readings, public performances, screenings, workshops, exhibitions, and pop-up events will also be considered.
In addition to individual presentations, we are interested in proposals for thematic panels consisting of three to four presentations. Consistent with IAGS’ commitment to diversity, the program committee takes into account diversity as a selection criterion, so presenters are strongly advised to ensure that proposed panels are as inclusive as possible.
IAGS will offer a limited number of travel awards for or scholars from the Global South, graduate students and emerging scholars. Unfortunately, IAGS is not able to offer financial support for completion of projects, performances, exhibitions, or other research.
There will be a number of excursion opportunities in and around Barcelona for conference attendees. More details will be available closer to the conference dates.
PLEASE NOTE: The organizers of the conference are closely monitoring the world-wide situation about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and other contingencies. We will make adjustments to the conference that prioritize the health and well-being of the participants. Whether it is the direct result of health concerns, the financial consequences of the pandemic’s aftermath, or other travel limitations, the organizers welcome proposals that utilize digital platforms for sharing scholarship, especially from those who cannot be physically present in Barcelona.
Individual proposals should be no more than 300 words long and include a presentation title, and 3-5 descriptive keywords. No provision is possible for simultaneous translation but submissions in Spanish will be considered. Panel proposals (comprised of three to four presentations) require individual proposals (200 words) from each of the panel presenters and an overarching description of the panel (300 words). Artistic proposals should include links to samples of the proposed work and detail any specific technical, spatial, or other requirements. All proposals will undergo an initial blind-review. Accepted presenters must be members of IAGS to participate in the 2023 conference.
Regardless of format, all conference presenters should plan to speak for a maximum of 20 minutes. Although multiple submissions are permitted, the organizers reserve the right to accept only one presentation.
All proposals for the international conference should be submitted online using the following link:
Questions may be addressed to the conference organizers at: firstname.lastname@example.org
All submissions must be received no later than midnight (Central European Time), December 1, 2022.