Sur - International Journal on Human Rights
Possible Futures: Is there a new normal?
Conectas Human Rights is launching a call for contributions for the 32nd edition of Sur – International Journal on Human Rights, to be published in December 2022. Preference will be given to voices of the Global South.
This edition will focus on understanding the scenario that the current geopolitical context creates for the promotion and defence of human rights and for organizations in their multiple forms of action in this field. This scenario has been marked by the worsening of an economic, migratory and climate crisis; important global feminist and antiracist mobilizations, on one side, and the action of ultraconservative groups, on the other; processes leading to the breakdown of democracy, which have been influenced by disinformation campaigns and hate speech in different parts of the world; and more recently, the escalation of military confrontation with the war in the Ukraine, which has brought significant changes in the configuration of global power to light.
Human rights organizations are grappling with the challenges raised by this (post)pandemic panorama of political tension, economic uncertainty and shifting paradigms of power. And these challenges, limitations and possibilities, as well as the various ways in which possible futures are being imagined and built, primarily in the Global South, are precisely what this edition aims to explore.
Therefore, we are interested in in-depth and critical discussion on the following subtopics:
1. New configurations of global power: The rise of the far right all over the world continues to be an enormous challenge for civil society. This phenomenon has been going on for decades,11. Benjamin R. Teitelbaum, War for Eternity: Inside Bannon’s Far-Right Circle of Global Power Brokers (Nova York: Dey Street Books, 2020); Camil Ungureanu and Alexandra Popartan, "La revolución conservadora y la transformación del estado de derecho". CIDOB, 2019, accessed August 31, 2022, https://www.cidob.org/es/articulos/cidob_report/n1_3/la_revolucion_conservadora_y_la_transformacion_del_estado_de_derecho. and despite the reactions and actions of the human rights movement, the cases of setbacks are increasing, specifically in the sexual and reproductive rights and LGBTI+ rights agenda. Authoritarian governments have been dismantling rights and persecuting minorities while they attack democratic institutions. Furthermore, the Covid-19 pandemic underscored the need for a strong state capable of responding quickly to crises, as well as the need to strengthen social welfare policies.
New power dynamics have emerged in a global context that, with the Ukraine war as its apex, exposes the growing antagonism between Russia and China on one side and the United States and the European Union on the other. Besides the recognition of an emerging multipolarity, there are the challenges inherent to this new space of coexistence between divergent powers and values.
In view of the above, we would like to receive pieces that seek to answer or dialogue with the following questions:
2. Structural challenges for NGOs: New work models adapted to the current global context, initiatives to address inequality, anti-racism policies, mechanisms for combatting all forms of discrimination and harassment, and new organizational models in terms of hierarchy and structure were central concerns, heightened in the (post)pandemic context, for human rights organizations around the world.
Recognizing these challenges is an important step to (i) understand the internal impacts of a scenario of change and uncertainty; (ii) know and analyze the processes and/or mechanisms that organizations used to respond to the crisis and restructure themselves (when possible); and (iii) instigate reflection on the possibility of building institutional and inter-institutional processes of well-being and cooperation. Some questions that interest us in this debate are:
3.Technologies, disinformation and democratic processes: The information war is undoubtedly a defining issue of our times. Aggressive fake news campaigns contributed significantly to the promotion of misleading information on Covid-19 and the low adherence to vaccine schedules in many countries. Similarly, electoral agendas around the world have been strongly influenced by the questionable use of social media and digital media. Contamination of the informational ecosystem happens on different levels and has become an urgent task on the democratic human rights agenda. In regards to this issue, we are interested in responses to the following questions:
Contributions (in Portuguese, English or Spanish) of between 7,000 and 20,000 characters (with spaces) should be submitted to the Sur Journal via the email email@example.com. The following formats will be accepted:
The final deadline for submissions is October 2, 2022.