CFP Sustainability Transitions: Non-state Perspectives

Lundi, 12 Mars, 2018 - 10:48

12th WIRE (Workshop on International Relations) & 1st POLLEN workshop, Brussels, Belgium, June 25-26, 2018

Analytical theme

Sustainable development transitions are not recent phenomena in international affairs. However, their diversity (in the energy, agricultural, transport sectors etc.), their scope and their pressing need constantly put the topic back on the research agenda of numerous academic disciplines (political science, law, sociology, economics, etc.). While these transitions are of increasing priority, it becomes clear that they have to be supported by all interested stakeholders, including non-state actors such as local communities, citizens’ movements, non-governmental networks, firms, or public-private partnerships to cite but a few.

Yet, few studies have been conducted on sustainability transitions at the international level with a special focus on non-state actors. This workshop therefore brings together specialists of these transitions to highlight their characteristics, as well as the factors favouring their development or, on the contrary, constituting barriers to them, mostly from a non-state perspective.

More precisely, we are looking for original contributions offering a theoretical argument combined with an empirical investigation. The papers can, among others, analyze:  

  1. The level of participation of non-state actors in sustainability transitions;
  2. The effectiveness of non-state actors in supporting transitions;
  3. Learning across sustainable development transitions from a non-state perspective;
  4. Justice and equity with regards to transitions;
  5. The specificity of the role of non-state actors for sustainability transitions compared to other types of transitions (demographic, democratic, etc.).

Workshop format

This workshop is the first POLLEN workshop and is part of the WIRE series (Workshops on International Relations, see As for previous WIRE editions, the number of papers is limited to about ten papers. Full papers will be distributed long before the event, and authors will only speak at the closure of the forty-five-minute group discussion of their paper. This format offers an opportunity for extensive and in-depth discussions, provides authors with detailed feedback on their on-going research, and allows participants to get acquainted in an informal setting. In addition to the speakers, the workshop is open to the public.

Submission of proposals

To submit a proposal, send a one-page summary, a biographical notice, and full contact information by email to by Monday April 2nd, 2018 at the latest. Authors will be informed by the selection committee of its decision by Monday April 9th, 2018. Selected candidates are expected to send a complete version of their papers (between 7.000 and 9.000 words) by Monday June 4th, 2018 at the latest. Authors who fail to send their paper on time will be removed from the program.

Practical details

Meals will be covered during the workshop for authors and discussants. Upon request, and depending on funding availability, we will also provide a financial contribution for accommodation and travel costs. When submitting your paper proposal, please indicate whether you want to apply for such funding and indicate clearly your city of departure.

There is no registration fee.


The organizers intend to publish a selection of papers as a special issue in a leading peer-review journal. Previous WIRE editions have led to special issues in Global GovernanceCooperation and Conflict, the British Journal of Politics and International Relations, and International Studies Review. Publication plans will be discussed during the workshop.


This workshop is part to the Jean Monnet Module project POLLEN (EU Environmental Policies & Law, awarded by the European Commission.

Workshop organizers

  • Amandine Orsini (Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles)
  • Loïc Cobut (Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles)
  • Elena Kavvatha (Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles)

Additional members of the steering committee

  • Christian Olsson (Université libre de Bruxelles)
  • Denis Duez (Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles)
  • Nicolas de Sadeleer (Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles)
  • Benjamin Denis (Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles)