IAUNS Forum Call for Papers:

The Impact of Science and New Technologies on International Peace and Security

Iranian Association for UN Studies’ Blog (IAUNS Forum) is seeking entries to its interdisciplinary symposium on "the Impact of Science and New Technologies on International Peace and Security."

The advance of Artificial Intelligence, robots, digital technologies, digitisation, and automation comes with a potential for positive change in international politics. At the same time, it poses threats and challenges to international peace and security. Despite its historical presence and effect, the latest progress – such as quantum computers with the ability to decode the most complex systems in less than a second – create a series of ethical, legal, and political questions about the international system, the concept of power, and technology within the international order. The possible effects of technologies on international peace and security have been on the United Nations agenda for years. For example, in addition to periodical reports and activities of the UN's specialised agencies, Resolution 54/50 of the UN General Assembly (adopted on 23 December 1999) recognised the military and civilian use of scientific and technological advances and encouraged its civilian use while expressing concerns about its military usages. It urged the member States to join efforts to manage challenges and threats. The velocity and complexities of scientific advances and the possibility of misusing them led the UN Secretary-General to call out the "dark side of the digital world" as one of the four main threats in the twenty-first century. In May 2021, the Security Council held its first-ever session on the impact of emerging technologies on international peace and security. While reiterating the positive effect of technologies on peace operations and humanitarian assistance, the members expressed concerns about security challenges such as non-state armed groups being equipped with 3D printing technologies.

The UN System is developing strategies to embrace new technologies to achieve its goals while facilitating its alignments with the values enshrined in the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, crucial questions remain unsettled. These questions derive, among others, from divergent approaches of States and non-state actors on the subject challenges to traditional concepts such as sovereignty and jurisdiction, as well as the rise of new concepts such as biotechnological security. They manifest themselves, for example, in the establishment of two parallel forums within the UN to delineate principles of cyberspace or in opposing views on the required level of human agency in the conduct of hostilities.

The symposium intends to analyse these issues through an interdisciplinary perspective. It invites researchers of international law and international relations and other related disciplines to submit their entries to contribute to the literature on this topic.

The main themes are:

● The impact of science and new technologies on international system and concepts such as power, the balance of power, etc.;

● Technological transformations and redefining the role of States in international law and politics;

● The impact of science and technology on international cooperation, security, and responsibility;

● Science, technology and its implication on sovereignty;

● Peace and new technologies;

● Cyberspace and security in international law and international relations;

● Space technologies within the context of peace and security;

● The use of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence in war;

● The role of technologies in peacekeeping operations, humanitarian assistance, and development;

● Opportunities and challenges of biotechnology for international peace and security; and

● The role of big data in international security: legal and political consequences.

The deadline for submission is 16 March 2022 via emailing iauns.ir.2011@gmail.com. The submissions would be peer-reviewed, and selected entries will publish as an open-access/online collection. Submissions should be between 800 to 1500 words, with all citations and references provided in hyperlink format. The submissions should also include a short bio of the author (3-4 sentences, not included in the word count) and a headshot picture to be appended to the post.