The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

Read more about the RIA

Multilateralism and Interdependence: Prospects and Challenges

06 February 2018

Call for papers for the 2018 International Affairs conference - deadline extended to 16 March 2018.

Year of anniversaries

2018 is a year of anniversaries: the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the 70th anniversary of the first United Nations peacekeeping operation; the 60th anniversary of Ireland’s first participation in a UN peacekeeping operation; the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the 45th year of Ireland’s membership of the European Union.


The contemporary world is profoundly shaped by multilateral institutions and processes of cooperation and interdependence between states. But the multilateral order faces mounting challenges. These include a renewed emphasis on state sovereignty, rising nationalism, calls for protectionism and a changing global balance of power in an increasingly multi-polar world. Current issues such as climate change, information and communications technologies, cyber security, international terrorism, transnational crime, forced displacement, conflict, food security and inequality generate demands for multilateral solutions, but also generate global divergences. As a strong supporter of multilateralism and a committed member of the UN and the EU, these issues are of particular relevance to Ireland and timely as it campaigns to be elected to the UN Security Council for the term 2021-22.

Conference themes

This conference will explore the evolution, current state and future prospects of multilateralism and interdependence and also the implications for Ireland as a State and as a member of the EU and the UN. Papers may address any or all aspects of this issue, including general and theoretical issues of multilateralism and interdependence, regional multilateralism and institutions, case studies of institutions or issue areas, reinventing or reimagining multilateralism for the 21st century and Ireland’s engagement with multilateralism in promoting its values and advancing its strategic interests. Foreign policy experts/professionals/practitioners, economists, sociologists, media studies experts, geographers, lawyers, political scientists, historians, social scientists are all invited to submit proposals. The committee also encourages applications from advanced doctoral students and postdoctoral colleagues.

The International Affairs Conference is always a highlight of the Academy's calendar. Previous speakers include:

  • the US Special Envoy to the Middle East, Mr George Mitchell;
  • former EU Counter- Terrorism Coordinator, Mr Gijs de Vries;
  • Research Director for Chatham House, London Patricia Lewis,

Speaking places are conditional on contributors’ willingness to submit article manuscripts to peer review for Irish Studies in International Affairs, if requested.

Submission of abstracts: abstracts of 300 words should be submitted on this brief form extended to 16 March 2018. Please email with any queries.

Stay up to date with the Royal Irish Academy newsletter

Sign up now