Third Annual Conference: The Excessive Use of Force

When? Wednesday, October 30 - Friday, November 1, 2024

Where? Justus Liebig University Gießen

Call for Papers

The excessive use of force has been a recurring phenomenon over time and throughout different regions in a broad variety of contexts as part of transformations of political violence. Integral to our agenda as a Research Center are efforts to analyze, to better understand and to reduce or at least manage the many conflicts that have again increased in intensity. We are faced with new forms of war and terrorist violence, and there is a systematic disregard for international humanitarian law (and human rights law). Humankind is under pressure in light of these developments that challenge existing norms and practices for containing political violence. However, historically such excessive uses of force have not been unique. It is challenging to socio-culturally (historically and empirically) understand these phenomena, and to ask for normative responses to such developments.

Our annual conference will be held at Giessen, Germany, from October 30, 2024, until November 1, 2024. We want to organize the conference alongside four sections:

  1. socio-cultural (including historical) analyses of excessive use of force;
  2. empirical studies of excessive use of force;
  3. the role of international law to avoid excessive use of force;
  4. normative responses to excessive use of force beyond international law. In each of the four sections we want to cover a variety of situations extending from revolutionary and post-revolutionary violence, across civil wars, up to international armed conflicts.

Propositions covering history, social science, political theory, international relations and international law (both international humanitarian and international human rights law) can be sent in English (yet, French, German and Spanish can be also accepted) by email to raphael.cahen(at) and thilo.marauhn(at) All applications must be sent by June 7, 2024 (extended deadline), with an abstract of 250 words and a short CV. Accepted papers will be informed until the end of June 2024.

The Research Center “Transformations of Political Violence” (TraCe) is an inter­disciplinary research network of five Hessian research Institutions: The Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF), the Goethe University Frankfurt, the Justus Liebig University Giessen, the Philipps University Marburg and the Technical University of Darmstadt. The proceedings will appear in a peer-reviewed publication. We aim at covering transportation and accommodation for accepted panelists.

*The deadline for abstract submission as been extended until June 7, 2024*