The Genocidal Crimes of Imperialist Regimes. From the Second World War to Ukraine | call for papers - Instytut Pileckiego



08.12.2022 (Thu) 09:00

The Genocidal Crimes of Imperialist Regimes. From the Second World War to Ukraine | call for papers

We hereby extend an invitation to a conference constituting the summary of a five-year project. Conference will be held on December 8-9, 2022 in Warsaw. The deadline for submitting applications is September 30, 2022.

We hereby extend an invitation to a conference constituting the summary of a five-year project implemented by the Pilecki Institute with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science. In the course of the conference we shall, among others, hold discussion panels reviewing the various activities performed and present the results of the program.


The 20th century, and specifically the period of the Second World War, brought with it the greatest number of civilian victims – defenseless and terrorized – in history, countable in the tens of millions. The mechanisms of terror were aimed against various groups, communities, and entire nations, all of which were consigned to annihilation on the basis of political decisions grounded in totalitarian ideologies: Nazism and Communism. The crucial factor which led both Hitler and Stalin to strive for dominance in Europe through armed force and terror was their stated hatred of the Versailles Order. At the same time, the first half of the 20th century witnessed the gradual development of international law and the concept of ensuring effective protection for peace and human rights – not only those of the individual, but also of whole communities and groups. Rafał Lemkin – best known as the author of the concept of “genocide” – was in the forefront of these activities from the early 1930s. The international legal milieu of the interwar period, of which Polish scholars and judicial practitioners constituted an important part, gave birth to new, pivotal concepts of law. The present year’s conference, constituting the final installment of the research project titled “The Input of Polish Legal and Scientific Thought into the Development of the Concept of the Crime of Genocide. Rafał Lemkin and the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the Polish Experience of Occupation by National Socialist Germany”, which was implemented under the “Szlakami Polski Niepodległej” program, is an excellent opportunity to analyze and compare the various crimes against
humanity that were committed in the 20th century – along with their perpetrators and victims – and also study the horrors of the contemporary era, and particularly the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine. The point of reference will be Lemkin’s theoretical concept, which was intended to stigmatize, punish and at once prevent the occurrence of genocide in future. Actions aimed at saving lives, presented on specific examples of assistance granted to victims of the total wars waged against the civilian populations of Europe and the world, will provide an additional angle of study. Ultimately, and such is the intention of the organizers, these analyses will engender a discussion on new international legal and political mechanisms that will help protect the right to life of individuals and entire nations. Prospective participants are invited to submit papers on topics broadly relating to the development of international law in a comparative approach, outlining the results of both individual and group research.

1. Only the Second World War? – Global, National and Individual Experiences of Total War.
2. Genocide – Examples from the 20th and 21st Centuries. Civilian Populations as the New Target of Regimes.
3. Contemporary Armed Conflicts From the Perspective of the Tragic Experiences of the 20th Century.
4. The War in Ukraine in the Context of Infringements of International Law.
5. To the Rescue. The Activities of Lawyers, Diplomats and Politicians – The Case of the Polish Legation in Switzerland.
6. The Stigmatization and Reckoning of Crimes – Perpetrators and Victims.
7. Transitional Justice – Successes and Failures. Examples and Future Prospects.


  • The conference will be held in Polish and English (simultaneous interpreting will be provided).
  • We intend the conference to be held at a specified location in Warsaw, however various forms of virtual participation will be permitted (video recordings, on-line videoconference (zoom)).
  • Time allocated for individual presentations – 15–20 minutes.
  • The organizer admits of the possibility of holding a part of the conference on-line in the event of changes in the pandemic situation or any other unforeseen developments.

• Applications should be sent in by e-mail using the application form (attached hereunder).
• Candidates from Poland are requested to complete the form in Polish, unless Polish is not their mother tongue. In such an event we request that the form be completed in English.
• The deadline for submission of applications will elapse on 30 September 2022.
• The order of submission of applications will be of importance, and the selection and qualification of applicants will also be conducted during the recruitment process.

All selected applicants will be informed of the acceptance of their applications. We ask that you contact us as soon as possible. Conference applications and
all queries should be sent by e-mail to


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