ACUNS-UN Workshop 2022

The Role of International Cooperation in Tackling Inequalities

London, United Kingdom | 5-11 June 2022

ACUNS is pleased to announce the return of the ACUNS-UN Workshop. The 2022 workshop will be hosted at University College London (UCL) and directed by Dr. Inken von Borzyskowski, Associate Professor at UCL, and Dr. Charlotte Ku, ACUNS Past President and Professor at Texas A&M University, on the theme The Role of International Cooperation in Tackling Inequalities.

The workshop will bring together 10 United Nations staff members and 10 early career academic researchers or practitioners from other international organizations or governments for knowledge exchange, networking, and mentoring.

The 2022 workshop envisions contributions and discussions about the role of international cooperation in the following areas:

  • Inequality in the distribution of economic resources on the global, national, and local level
  • Inequality in standing before domestic and international law
  • Inequality in states’ political ability to influence decision-making at the United Nations and other international organizations/fora
  • Inequality in states’ contribution to and harm from climate change

During the workshop, participants will focus on some of the following questions: How can international cooperation mitigate economic and other inequalities between and within states? And how do such efforts reduce instead of further widen gaps? What are the socio-economic and political consequences of states’ unequal voice and participation in international fora, and how can this be addressed? Who has standing and information to promote their case in international fora? How can these fora be reformed to reduce the inequalities of access and voice? Are we asking the right questions to get at the heart of the inequality we observe?

Workshop participants are expected to submit and present a paper of publishable quality in the workshop. Specifically, each participant will be required to submit a research or policy paper of 5,000-7,000 words (about 10-15 pages) on how international cooperation can help tackle inequalities. The deadline to submit an initial draft will be 1 May 2022. Guidance for the papers will be provided but participants should have a clear idea of the issue they will address in their written work at the time of application (see “Application Procedures” below).

For selected participants, expenses, including airfare, accommodation, and some meals will be covered. Participants will receive lowest-cost economy class return air travel between their location and the workshop site. (For UN staff participants, the UN Secretariat will cover airfare and terminal expenses; accommodation and some meals will be covered by the host institution).

Details regarding the workshop are available below. Applications for the workshop are now closed. Individuals who have been selected to participate are invited to register via the blue button below by 1 May 2022. (The former call for applications is still available for download for reference.) For any questions, please contact the ACUNS Administrative Coordinator at admin@acuns.org.

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Learning Objectives

Participants will gain research and practice-based knowledge and applied skills in the analysis of issues related to the workshop theme: international cooperation to tackle inequalities between and within states. The workshop will focus on knowledge exchange between the participating researchers and practitioner; furthering evidence-based policy while encouraging new directions and ideas in the analysis of a pressing policy issue. To some degree, the selected issues will be shaped by the research proposals of the successful applicants, but the broader themes and skills will include:

  • Addressing how international cooperation can tackle inequality between or within states. This includes scholarly knowledge regarding international cooperation to reduce inequality, and practitioner understanding regarding policies and practices.
  • Analyzing and managing the main actors, their interests and interactions, which shape processes and outcomes of international cooperation to address inequalities. These actors include international and regional actors (such as intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, businesses), national actors (states, courts), and local actors (like local civil society organizations or politicians).
  • Discussing UN and Member State progress towards the UN Secretary General’s Common Agenda, and in particular addressing inequalities through more effective multilateralism such as international institutions, agreements, and organizations, and moving from promises to policy implementation and effectiveness.

Why Attend

Young scholars and practitioners (that’s you!) will present their research. The workshop will encourage participants to improve their own skills and capacities for engaging constructively in the complex but important areas of research and practice around the workshop theme. The workshop will also feature a keynote lecture, networking opportunities to strengthen connections among scholars and UN practitioners, and mentoring.

Participant Selection and Requirements

Up to 20 participants will be selected by a review committee for the workshop. Selected individuals will be notified early March. Workshop participants are expected to submit and present a paper of publishable quality in the workshop. Specifically, each participant will be required to submit a research or policy paper of 5,000-7,000 words (about 10-15 pages) on how international cooperation can help tackle inequalities to ACUNS. The deadline to submit an initial draft will be 1 May 2022. Guidance for the papers will be provided but participants should have a clear idea of the issue they will address in their written work at the time of application (see “Application Procedures” below).

In preparation for the workshop, participants will also be expected to attend an online (Zoom) meeting mid-May to introduce themselves to other participants and to present the main idea of their paper. Prior to arrival in London, participants are expected to take the time and read each other’s papers, and arrive ready to discuss each other’s work and any common themes that may be emerging from the projects.

Participants are expected to participate fully in all aspects of the program for the full week. The workshop is designed to promote collegial exchange and networking in an intense work program. For this reason, the workshop organizers ask that participants are not accompanied by spouses, children, or other dependents. Neither ACUNS, the host institution, nor any other associated organization will be able to offer any services or support for anyone accompanying a workshop participant.

The working language of the workshop is English.

Related expenses, including airfare, accommodation, and some meals for the duration of the workshop will be covered for participants. Participants will receive lowest-cost economy class return air travel between their location and the workshop site. (For UN staff participants, the UN Secretariat will cover airfare and terminal expenses; accommodation and some meals will be covered by the host institution).

Eligibility

The workshop is designed for early-career scholars and practitioners. Senior doctoral students, postdocs, junior faculty, other academic research affiliates, and equivalent representatives from the UN system, other international organizations, government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations working in areas and disciplines relevant to the theme of the workshop are eligible to apply.

UN staff interested in applying must be employed at the P-2 to P-4 levels with Fixed-term, Continuing or Permanent appointments, and with at least two years of service in the UN Secretariat.

The application review committee will consider diversity, including professional expertise (topics, regions, methods, etc.) and personal background (world region/nationality, gender, etc.). For academics, the committee will also consider diversity of fields (international relations/political science, international law, international development/economics, etc.).

Application Procedures

All applicants must complete the application form accessible via the blue button on this page. There will be unique questions posed to applicants depending on the nature of their employment: academic, UN staff, or other international organization (IGOs, NGOs, etc.) or government.

All applicants will need to provide the following:

  • A description of their substantive area of expertise (250 words).
  • A description of how participation will help their career goals (250 words).
  • A description of the written work that they would like to present (500 words).
  • Their CV or resume.
  • The name and email of an individual who can be contacted as a reference regarding their application.

The application deadline is Monday, 14 February 2022.

Applicants will be notified by early March if they have been selected to participate. Due to the high number of applications, the review committee will not be able to provide individual feedback on applications or explanations of its decisions.

Format, Travel, and Covid-19

ACUNS and UCL are committed to organizing a fully in-person workshop and applicants should anticipate travel to London from 5-11 June 2022. All participants will be required to wear masks in all indoor spaces at the workshop venue. In addition, to ensure everyone’s safety, all participants will be required to conduct rapid antigen tests upon arrival and at least once during the workshop week. Tests will be provided for free at the workshop site. At the same time, contingency plans will be made to shift the workshop to a hybrid or virtual format if needed due to health concerns surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.