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Annual Conference 2018 - Call for Conference Proposals


Annual Conference 2018

The Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law will host its Annual Conference on 13 September 2018.

The Annual Conference brings together the brightest minds in the security and rule of law community and beyond to critically engage with the most pressing questions in the field. Through interactive exchanges in workshops, debates and discussions, the Platform aims to extract lessons and best practices that will help to shape security and rule of law policy.

The content of the Annual Conference is split between sessions conceived and organized by the Secretariat and the sessions that result from this call, submitted by members of the Platform network.

In 2017, more than 200 people from 20 countries attended the Annual Conference, ranging from academics to policy makers, and from artists to entrepreneurs. The Annual Conference is a platform for you to open yourself to new ideas, connect with peers from across the globe, and help to build a cutting-edge body of knowledge in our field.

We encourage you to share your ideas for panels, workshops, trainings, debates, or any other session you have in mind. This document offers guidance on what we’re looking for in terms of content, format and how to submit your proposal.


Theme - Inequality


Often when we discuss violence and injustice, we find - at its core - it is a story about inequality: unequal protection, unequal access, unequal treatment, unequal opportunity. Inequality in the security sector drives some into violence and others into vulnerability. Inequality in the justice sector undermines the rule of law and dissolves public trust in institutions. Inequality and exclusion in the political sphere has, time and again, left states unprepared to meet the needs and aspirations of all their citizens and leaves them without a say in their future. These imbalances, if left unattended, can tip communities, states and entire regions into long-lasting conflict and fragility. And while inequality is certainly not the only driver of violent conflict, reducing inequality is an essential part of sustainable peace.

This year’s Annual Conference will focus on these many faces and facets of inequality. Discussions around ‘inequality’ often focus on economic inequality, which is only one side of the issue. By shedding light on the broader spectrum of inequality and injustice, we hope to deepen the discussion around, and the commitment to, addressing inequality as a central tenet of strengthening security and rule of law in fragile and conflict affected settings. The Secretariat would thereby like to invite its community to put forward discussion topics, workshop ideas, research findings, creative expressions, pilot programs, debate statements, and new tools that explore the many sides of inequality.

What kind of topics are relevant? The door is open for your ideas! We are looking for sessions that are creative, topical, possibly contentious, and multi-dimensional:

  • What do police deployment patterns reveal about structural inequalities in cities? How could we track that?
  • Access to justice is often addressed with infrastructure projects, but are social inequalities a more important barrier?
  • How do we develop fair and equal land rights frameworks in places with widespread social and political inequality?
  • Why is ‘grievance theory’ suddenly so chic again? What are its main critiques and do they still stand?
  • Can we measure exclusion from ‘power’ or ‘politics’? What would such an indicator look like?
  • Do current migration policies improve poor economic opportunity in origin countries, or preserve economic advantage in Europe?
  • Is the ICC rigged? How does inequality in international and transitional justice impact these instruments’ ability to address conflict?
  • Traditional development seeks to address poverty and promote inclusive growth. How can modern development policies go further in addressing other forms of inequality?
  • Can art help give a voice to the socially excluded? What are the upshots of such projects?
  • How can we harness the egalitarian ideals of new technologies to address social inequality or unequal access to justice mechanisms?
  • Do patterns of (gender, ethnic, religious) inequality predictably correlate with indices of fragility and violence?
  • Can we predict the onset of conflict by looking at perceptions of inequality? How should inequality factor into early-warning mechanisms?


Guidelines for Annual Conference Panels





With this call, the Platform is soliciting applications from its network to contribute to the Annual Conference by hosting a session. Sessions can take various forms, including – but not limited to – workshops, panel discussions, trainings, or presentations.

Sessions will range from 60-90 minutes and must address an important issue within the field of security and rule of law. While we are open to any ideas for proposals, the following characteristics for sessions will be weighed more heavily/favorably:

  • Partnerships between organizations (particularly Global South) – We encourage cooperation and feel that collaboration between organizations – especially those from different regions – stimulates better responses to tackling the important questions in our field of work.
  • Relevance to the theme – Where possible, linking sessions to the theme (Inequality) will benefit the cohesiveness of the Conference.
  • Diversity of perspectives: “two sides of the story” – We value willingness to present and critically engage with differing, even controversial, opinions.
  • Innovation or creativity – New technologies? Alternative formats? Ice-breakers? Innovative ideas for sessions have our preference.
  • Depth over breadth: better to be specific than superficial – Sessions should aim to get to the core of the issue at hand, rather than rehashing common talking points.
  • Allow time for discussion – Everyone at the Conference should have the opportunity to have their say. We'd like more discussion and less presentation.
  • Audience interaction – With such a wealth of experience at the Conference, we’d like to see audiences interact or directly engage in sessions.




We encourage sessions to present a diversity of views and perspectives. Speakers should represent different backgrounds, including non-Western voices, local actors, various sectors, and different organizations. We strive to maintain a gender balance in speakers at the Conference.


Important Dates




23 March

Opening of call for applications

31 May

Proposals for sessions due

18 June

Notification of acceptance

25 June

Announcement of Annual Conference panels

7 July

Confirm session title and short blurb

21 July

Confirm session speakers and submit full description for Annual Conference program

10 August

Speaker bios due

24 August

Communicate final AV requirements

6 September

Submit session media (PowerPoint, videos, audio, etc.)

13 September

Annual Conference




  • Please note that acceptance by the Platform Secretariat of a panel proposal for the Annual Conference does not imply financial support from the Platform Secretariat. Financial support can be discussed with the Secretariat in certain cases.
  • Due to the large amount of proposals, not all submissions will be accepted. If we determine that proposals address similar topics, we may encourage applicants to work together or combine sessions where possible.
  • Not all AV requirements can be met. Please ensure that your proposal contains all AV requirements.

If you have any further questions, please get in touch with the Secretariat for more information.




Applicants with accepted proposals:

  • Provide contact information and bios of speakers before aforementioned deadlines.
  • Develop proposed session, including:
    • Submitting electronic copies of session media (PowerPoint, videos, audio, etc.) no later than 6 September.
    • Submitting session title and blurb no later than 7 July.
    • Submitting session speaker names, titles and organization, as well as full session description to be reproduced in Annual Conference program, no later than 21 July.
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