Brussels School of International Studies

BSIS Annual International Conference 2017



Each year, the BSIS Graduate Student Union organises the International Conference

The University of Kent: BSIS International Conference 2017

6 - 7 April 2017


The Disappearing State? Contested Governance in the 21st Century

This year’s conference will involve a number of panels and discussions exploring the evolution and contestation of responsibility between the state and non-state actors in the provision of ‘public goods’.




  • The Development Dilemma: who's responsible for aid?
  • The Taliban Shadow Justice: a challenge to the state or an opportunity to reinvent the judiciary?
  • Writing the textbooks in crisis situations: the Iraqi case
  • Beyond Internet access: Developing Countries and citizens' data protection
  • Forced migrants in Austria: who's responsible?
  • Armed Groups and Humanitarians: a de facto partnership?
  • Shifting the security monopoly: EU counterterrorism and the State


This conference, through exploring the aspects linked to the provision of public goods slipping away from state's hands to those of other actors, aims at understanding the ways in which the state is challenged in the context of globalisation. We believe a constructive way to understand the evolving concept of the state lies in the attempt to grasp other actors' attempts at substituting state's traditional responsibilities. Under the effects of both liberalisation and globalisation, the provision of public goods that traditionally underlined a state's legitimacy has turned 'global' in its scope, sources and impacts. Although this process is often seen as the cause of a state's disengagement, it is also one of its main spin-offs. However, this represents then a great opportunity for other actors to gain legitimacy in the eyes of the population and to claim new forms of power/governance. 

It seems that we are witnessing a dispersion of governance, and of its modes of legitimisation. The lack of debate and political perspective on who is providing what in different contexts involving the territorial entities called states is preventing informed discussions about what we should and could expect from states and is hindering policy-makers from developing coherent and efficient frameworks for the treatment of particular global issues. 

Some of these issues will be covered throughout the two days of our conference. The first day will be coloured by a reflection on development politics, through a panel questioning the problems of legitimacy and effectiveness raised through the multi stakeholder approach to development policies, a panel on alternative local forms of justice in Afghanistan, and a panel on actors' interests in the provision of education. The day will end with a discussion on the state's role in the provision of access to Internet and of personal data protection in developing countries. Essentially, the first day will look at the 'development' aspect of these policies aiming at providing these diverse public goods. The second day will be more concerned with conflicting governance claims and what it might mean regarding a potential hierarchy of public goods in their values for legitimacy claims. For that purpose, we will cover the cases of providing goods in a conflict situation and toward a migrating population. We will conclude with a panel debating the provision of security to European citizens through EU counterterrorism. 

Each of these discussions, through their specific angle, will participate in the overall discussion about the state's role and how governance is adapting to a globalized world and to the emergence of local and international's power claims. The sum of these angles and case studies will guarantee our conference's original contribution to this debate.



The International Conference is a student-run event.


Conference Committee

Chairs: Salomé Ietter and Andrew Dunn

Team members: Francesca Grandolfo, Anette Brenden, Daniele Fabbro, Chantelle Boduel, Manoela Moraes, Fotis Kapsalis, Fernando Lozano Vazquez, Alyssa Pek, Nicole Foster, Bahar Çamözü, Alazne Irigoien, Joanna Drew, Rob Quealy, Nadine Vermeulen, Mara Miano


Event Partners

Young European Leadership (YEL) 


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Last Updated: 04/04/2017