Call for Papers

“Towards International Resource Fairness - Theories, Conflicts and Policies”

 4 – 6 December 2014, Vienna

Natural resources, be they agrarian or mineral, have become a key issue in international politics in recent years. This is due to a number of factors, including the increasing demand for resources by emerging economies (e.g. China), the financialization of commodity markets, the drastic price increases and high price volatility of many commodities, the rising scarcity of critical resources and hence intensified competition for access and control of resources, as well as conflicts over their distribution.  

The geopolitical competition for resources begs the question of how to conceptualize “resource fairness”, i.e. how access to, and distribution and use of natural resources can be organized in a way that takes into account the legitimate interests of all actors and institutions involved – producers, consumers, affected communities and the general public, both spatially (i.e., at the local, national and international level), and across time (i.e., between the generations). In this context, far-reaching questions emerge with regard to the current modes of production and living, and their transformation, the existing manner for dealing with conflicts around natural resources, how discourses on resources and associated problems are framed, and how processes towards greater fairness can eventually be designed.

The purpose of the conference is to analyse prevailing natural resource politics, policies and arrangements, as well as the problems associated with specific resource extraction, production, consumption and disposal patterns at various scales, as well as associated conflicts. In addition, proposals for resource fairness at different levels are to be elaborated, based on the assumption that cooperative solutions will only be possible if the interests of all stakeholders are taken into account. This will require a shared vision about the relevant normative concepts of fairness and justice with regard to resources. The conference aims to combine theoretical inputs with concrete case studies on resource conflicts.

We kindly invite you to attend the conference and submit proposals for papers for the workshops in one of the following areas:

  • Theoretical and empirical reflections on resource fairness (e.g. sociological, legal, philosophical, political, environmental justice), and on the framing of discourses on resource politics
  • Resource conflicts at various scales, their current handling, and the consequences
  • Methodologies and approaches assessing e.g. the economic, political, social, human rights, and environmental impacts of resource extraction
  • Analysis and evaluation of public and private governance of natural resources (e.g. laws, codes, standards, certification schemes, labels)
  • The geopolitical dimensions of natural resource competition (policies and initiatives related to raw materials, bilateral and multilateral trade agreements)
  • Proposals for fair benefit sharing with regard to natural resources, and for moving beyond resource-based economic development.

Proposals for papers including an abstract (approx. 300 - 500 words) and a short CV in PDF format should be submitted by May 30, 2014.

Notification to applicants will be published in mid-July, 2014. If accepted, completed papers should be submitted by October 30, 2014. We strongly encourage submissions from PhD students and young researchers.

Please direct further inquiries to: 

The full paper should have a length between 5.000-10.000 words, including bibliography and appendix. The formatting should follow standard academic practices regarding style, citations, etc. 

Please submit the paper no later than October 30th, 2014 via email to:


1st Austrian Conference on International Resource Politics | Universitätsring 1  | 1010 Wien