Seminar on protracted armed conflict and governance – 14th May 2018

About the author(s):

Katharine Fortin is an Associate Professor at Utrecht University where she teaches IHL and IHRL. Before joining Utrecht University, she worked at the ICTY, ICC and Norton Rose Fulbright. She is the author of The Accountability of Armed Groups under Human Rights Law (Oxford University Press, 2017) which won the 2018 Lieber Prize. She has written widely about the framework of law that applies to armed groups in non-international armed conflicts and is one of the editors of the Armed Groups and International Law blog.

Together with Utrecht University colleagues from cultural anthopology and conflict studies, I’m co-organising a small seminar (30 attendees max) on governance and protracted armed conflict in Utrecht on 14th May 2018. The seminar which is funded by the Utrecht Centre for Global Challenges aims to bring together international lawyers, cultural anthropologists, conflict studies scholars and practitioners to share perspectives and research on these issues.

This seminar aims to discuss questions such as: What kinds of governance arrangements emerge in areas of protracted conflict? What kinds of institutions and citizenship experiences does this produce? When and how do non-state (armed) actors attain legitimacy in such arrangements? How can and should  these actors, institutions and arrangements be acknowledged and regulated by (international) law?

Here is the programme:-

Venue: Bestuursgebouw Van Lier & Eggink room, de Uithof

Preliminary program:

9:00     Coffee

9:15     Welcome and introduction


Chair: Jolle Demmers

9.30 –  10.00   Key note: “Ubi rebellium, ibi ius: Legal Governance by Armed Insurgents” – René Provost (McGill University)

10.00 – 10.30  Key note – Kees Koonings (Cultural Anthropology, Utrecht University)

10.30 – 11.00  Q&A. Discussion

11.00 – 11.15 Break
11.15 – 12.30  From state rule to hybrid governance?

11.15 – 11.30  State building and democratisation in conflict areas. A mission impossible? Chris van der Borgh (Conflict Studies, UU)

11.30 – 11.45  Hybrid governance and layered legitimacy: perspectives from anthropology Martijn Oosterbaan & Nikkie Wiegink (Cultural Anthropology, UU)

11.45 – 12.00 Subcontracting internal security and repression during violent conflict, Ugur Ungor (History, UU)

12.00 – 12.10 Discussant

12.00 – 12.30 Discussion

12.30 – 13.30 Lunch

13:30 14:45 Hybrid governance: what role for law?

Chair: Marie-Louise Glebbeek (Cultural Anthropology, UU)

13.30 – 13.45 Law in situations of hybrid governance: A life boat or a sinking ship? – Katharine Fortin (SIM, UU)

13.45 – 14.00 Pascal Bongard (Geneva Call)

14.00 – 14.10 Discussant Brianne McGonigle Leyh (SIM, UU)

14.10 – 14.45 Discussion

14.45 – 15.00 Break 

15.00 – 16.30  Cases: Governance in conflict

Chair: Luuk Slooter (UGlobe, UU)

15.00 – 15.15 Civil society and insurgent governance: the case of El Salvador – Ralph Sprenkels (Conflict Studies, UU)

15.15 – 15.30 Brian McQuinn (ICRC)

15.30 – 15.45 The case of Kosovo Jovana Radosavljevic (New Social Initiative)

15.45 – 15.55 Discussant:

15.55 – 16.30 Discussion

16.30 – 17.00 Closing Remark

17.00 Drinks

There are a few places left. If you are interested in attending, please email Nikkie Wiegink ( to reserve a place. It would be helpful if you could explain your interest in the issue, as priority will likely be given to those most connected to the topic.


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