Call for Proposals: Frontiers of Prevention III April 17-18, 2020
We are now accepting proposals for our annual international conference. Submit your proposal today!
The Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention (I-GMAP) invites proposals for its third annual conference, Frontiers of Prevention. The goal of the conference is to create new spaces for dialogue and collaboration between genocide and mass atrocity practitioners and academic researchers.
Rather than presenting papers, panelists engage in discussions about the contributions and limits of their work, and the assistance they need from each other. The goal is to advance our understanding of effective atrocity prevention strategies based on knowledge gained from the intersection of research and practice.
Frontiers of Prevention III takes place on April 17-18, 2020, at the Binghamton University Downtown Center, in Binghamton, New York, USA.
Conference attendance is free. Registration (including on-site registration) is required. Participants are responsible for their transportation and lodging expenses, except in the case of invited guests and Global South participants who are selected for full or partial support.
Submissions for conference presentations will close on December 15, 2019.
Proposals for Individual Presentations
Both academic researchers and prevention practitioners are invited to submit proposals for individual presentations. For academics, the proposal should indicate the research program or project’s relevance for prevention efforts, and, where possible, how this relevance might lead to specific forms of academic-practitioner collaboration. For practitioners, the proposal should indicate the distinctive prevention work of the organization or agency and, where possible, how this work might benefit from collaboration with academic researchers.
Proposals for Participation in Thematic Panels
Frontiers of Prevention III will include the following thematic panels. If you wish to be considered for inclusion in one of these panels, please make sure your submission explicitly addresses how you would contribute to the discussion of the theme with respect to atrocity prevention in terms of research, practice, or teaching.
Corporate Responsibility to Prevent: Views from the Boardroom to the Classroom
In this panel, we bring together representatives from corporations that have demonstrated a commitment to factor atrocity prevention as a key criterion in policy, product and/or investment decisions, those who would like to do so but are finding it challenging to persuade their colleagues or shareholders, scholars who examine the role of corporate actors in facilitating or preventing atrocities, and teachers of business. The goal is to discuss concrete strategies which can be used to encourage more corporate social responsibility explicitly incorporating an atrocity prevention lens, identify what types of research would support those efforts, and generate ideas for how to incorporate atrocity prevention into the teaching of business for the next generation of corporate leaders.
Protecting Indigenous Rights as an Atrocity Prevention Strategy
In many parts of the world, indigenous peoples are simultaneously dealing with the effects of past genocides, confronting ongoing systematic and widespread discrimination resulting in disproportionate poverty and violence, and at risk of future mass atrocities due to existential threats to their lands, languages and cultures. Atrocity prevention efforts which ignore these complexities or which seek to develop solutions for rather than with indigenous peoples, perpetuate the problems. In this environment, it is important to celebrate and learn from promising examples of atrocity prevention, with an emphasis on understanding how the State and indigenous actors worked together, how institutional resistance was overcome, and to what extent academic scholarship helped or hindered the processes. In this panel we highlight the Canadian example and focus on lessons for other countries and contexts.
US Southern Border as an Emergent Atrocity Prevention Site
Over the past year numerous voices have declared conditions that the US government imposes on undocumented migrants at its southern border as meeting the definition of atrocity crimes. This panel explores a series of questions assessing these claims and pressing the question of what follows from a prevention agenda. How do local, regional, national and international NGOs and civil society organizations respond to real atrocity risks at the US southern border? What international accountability mechanisms, if any, may be relevant? What forms of protection, and rights status, can detained refugees and their legal representatives appeal to?
Climate Change and Atrocity Risk
This panel explores the nexus between climate change and atrocity risk, focusing specifically on the idea of climate change as a 'threat multiplier' (Caitlin Werrell), magnifying structural risks such as political instability, resource inequality, and ethnic tension. Topics of interest include: long-range and mid-range forecasting combining climate and atrocity risk predictions; ideas for reconceiving and broadening the strategic and security aspects of climate change by adopting an 'atrocity prevention lens;' roles of state, civil society and corporate actors in addressing the climate-atrocity nexus; case studies including Myanmar/Bangladesh, Sahel, or MENA.
Communication Technologies and New Social Media as Atrocity Drivers and Prevention
Social media, specifically online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, have emerged as powerful incitement tools in the runup to mass atrocities, as in the widespread use of Facebook to disseminate hate speech against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar. This 'weaponization of social media' raises urgent questions about the corporate responsibility of media platform providers, analyses of the further risk potential for the misuse of social media by both state-based and civilian perpetrators, and dialogue about a range of constructive responses.
Mass Atrocity Prevention from the Grassroots
Typically, mass atrocity prevention has been framed as a complex of actions performed by state actors. Indeed, many of the tools in the so-called "atrocity prevention toolbox," such as sanctions, military or humanitarian intervention, and preventive diplomacy, require state participation. A broader view of prevention, however, calls us to examine structural risk factors that pervade every sector of a society. Likewise, mitigating these risk factors requires an "all hands on deck" approach that is not only state-led, but which emerges from the grassroots through the initiatives of local civil society movements. This panel will examine the role that hyper-local civil society organizations play in the mitigation of risk and the prevention of mass atrocities. Potential panelists are invited to submit proposals to discuss how grassroots initiatives contribute to mass atrocity prevention, broadly understood. Panelists can take a comparative approach or focus on a specific organization or movement. We especially invite founders or leaders of local CSOs who think about their work through an atrocity prevention lens.
National Mechanisms for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities
Since 2014, the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation [AIPR] has issued an annual report, "National Mechanisms for the Prevention of Genocide and Other Atrocity Crimes" and 2019 was the first year of a multi-year transition of the project to I-GMAP. The annual publication series provides a comprehensive overview of efforts by states to adopt a new, "all-of-government" approach to atrocity prevention. This approach calls for a coordinated national strategy, in which representatives from all relevant governmental offices, agencies and ministries – including a country's legislature, security and intelligence services, human rights offices, and others – can communicate and coordinate. The National Mechanism forms an institutional hub where the full range of government agencies can share the work of data gathering, risk assessment and monitoring; developing and implementing training for civil servants; forming policies for the protection of vulnerable populations; and connecting with partner states to form regional and global networks. In this session, we will present the 2020 publication, which includes both a status update on emerging national mechanisms and an exploration of the extent to which they work with local actors.
Proposals for PechaKucha Event
Those who seek an opportunity to share a big idea or question in a more condensed and casual forum are invited to submit proposals to the PechaKucha event. This presentation format was designed by a pair of architects and first appeared in Tokyo in 2003. Each presenter will put together a slideshow with exactly 20 images, and each image will be pre-set to run for 20 seconds. Presenters will present their ideas without notes as the presentation runs on its own. This means that each presenter will have exactly 400 seconds (6 minutes, 40 seconds) to present their idea. This fast-paced event will be followed by a cocktail hour, where everyone will have the opportunity to discuss the presentations.
Logistical Information (additional details to follow)
Registration will open for the 2020 conference, Frontiers of Prevention III, after we close the Call for Proposals.
Once the program has been arranged we will post the schedule here.
Frontiers of Prevention III takes place in the Binghamton University Downtown Center (UDC) [Google map pin]. This is Binghamton's single-building downtown campus, and is not to be confused with Binghamton University's main (Vestal, NY) campus [Goolge map pin], which is located approximately five miles west of Binghamton, NY. When you receive the conference program we will also include a map with all relevant locations.
UDC Address: 67 Washington St, Binghamton, NY 13902
Travel to Binghamton
Since the workshop begins promptly on the morning of Friday, April 17, we request that you plan on arriving in Binghamton on Thursday, April 16. The workshop continues until the evening of Saturday, April 18, so you should plan on a stay of three nights, with a departure on Sunday April 19.
Travel to Binghamton NY can be challenging, but we are prepared to assist you in any way we can with information and assistance in arranging your travel.
Consult the University's detailed maps and directions for arriving at the University Downtown Center.
The Greater Binghamton Airport (BGM) is currently serviced only by Delta Airlines. Two flights (commuter jet) arrive daily from Detroit International Airport, one in the early evening (around 5:20 PM) and the second in the evening (around 10:20 PM).
If you are planning to fly on Delta Airlines to Binghamton, the trip via taxi or Uber/Lyft from Greater Binghamton Airport to the University Downtown Center and Conference Hotel should cost around $30.00.
You may also plan to fly into either Syracuse Airport (SYR) or Ithaca Airport (ITH). Both of these have jet service from multiple airlines. Both Syracuse and Ithaca airports are approximately one hour by car from Binghamton.
Shortline Bus Company and Greyhound offer regular bus service from New York City's Port Authority Bus Terminal to Binghamton. The travel time is approximately 3.5 hours. The Conference Hotel is either a very short cab ride or a ten-minute walk to the Conference Hotel.
Binghamton, New York, is at the confluence of two major interstates: Route 17/86 and Route 81. Travel time by car from New York City or Philadelphia is approximately 3 hours; from Boston approximately 4.5 hours, and from Washington D.C. approximately 5 hours.
We will provide additional information about the conference hotel when registration becomes available in December.