School of Politics and International Studies

Responsibility to Protect Student Journal

*EXTENDED DEADLINE* Call for Papers: Autumn 2020

The R2P Student Journal is welcoming submissions for its second issue of 2020 on the subject of gross human rights violations pre-, during, and post-Covid19. Deadline: 31 October 2020.

The ruthlessness of the Covid-19 pandemic has shown how fragile and fluctuating the global context is and the disastrous effects irresponsible leadership may have. It is both striking and catastrophic how rapidly the pandemic has affected each continent, and how Covid-19 has performed an X-ray examination of our deeply unequal international and domestic systems of governance, exposing yet again the routinised structural violence in our world.

Whilst we have all in some way been affected, the coronavirus has had a disproportionate impact on vulnerable populations. The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect has highlighted the desperation of refugees in overcrowded camps, among which are the Rohingya refugees. Human Rights Watch has brought attention to the potential increase of government abuse and atrocities whilst the international community has been focusing on fighting Covid-19. Meanwhile, Trial International has concluded that as a consequence of the pandemic human rights violations are more difficult than ever to report.

Government abuse of minority groups across the globe, particularly through force, has been increasingly evident and states of emergency have become commonplace. At a time when international cooperation is most needed to combat our pandemic, Covid-19 is often being instrumentalised to further discriminatory agendas. In May, Myanmar submitted its first report to the International Court of Justice on what has been done to protect its Rohingya population from genocide, whilst using the pandemic to increase restrictions targeting this minority. In Europe, the coronavirus crisis has increased destitution and stigmatisation of the Roma people, the continent’s largest minority.

The securitisation of the pandemic and the  language of ‘war’ employed to define national and international responses hide the structural violence that pre-dates the crisis and will persist beyond it. The coronavirus has been referred to by many as a ‘war’, ‘fight’ or ‘battle’, using a militarised language in order to tackle the ‘enemy’ in a joint, international fashion. Yet other wars have not been put on hold by Covid-19. In Libya, the notion of implementing a lockdown to protect the population against Covid-19 whilst airstrikes, drones and shelling persist remains incomprehensible. 

Against this background, the R2P Student Journal is welcoming submissions for its second issue of 2020 on the topic of gross human rights violations pre-, during, and post-Covid19, from current and recent undergraduates and postgraduate students.

Submissions may focus on atrocity prevention, international justice, peacekeeping and peacebuilding practices, the Women Peace and Security agenda, transitional justice, supportive and coercive responses to humanitarian crises. This list is by no means exhaustive. We are looking for diverse analytical essays, book reviews, photo articles, poems, videos and artwork related to these topics for our journal and blog.

The Journal accepts papers between 2500 and 6000 words, in line with our submission guidelines. For the blog, analytical pieces should be between 500 and 800 words – we leave the creative ones up to you! Please don’t forget to attach the submission form when you submit your manuscript.

If you would like to learn more about our journal, see our eight previous issues on the R2P Student Journal webpage. The deadline for submissions is 31 October 2020. Don’t hesitate to get in contact if you have any questions, our team can be reached at We look forward to your submission!


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