Call for papers: global security challenges of the 21st century

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The aim of this conference is to discuss some of the key global security challenges of the 21st century, including disarmament and non-proliferation, and possible solutions, generating interest on the subjects raised amongst Brazilian scholars and scholars of Brazil. The conference aims to be an innovative and hybrid combination of traditional academic debate with interactive policy workshop. It aims to give a strategic overview for academics and policy makers, bringing new and innovative suggestions to a wider audience.

The Chevening Network in Brazil* and Oxford University invite scholars of the social sciences, especially those with a focus on international relations, political science and public policy, to submit abstracts for papers on the three topics below.

Authors are invited to submit a paper or an extended abstract (written in English) to, no later than 15 September 2019. Accepted papers will be notified no later than 15 October 2019. Papers accepted for presentation will be invited to submit for a special issue of a policy-focused academic journal. Limited funding will be available to cover travel expenses to Rio de Janeiro.

Keynote speakers

Andreza de Souza Santos, Director of the Brazilian Studies Programme, Oxford University Vijay Rangarajan, British Ambassador to Brazil


a. Global geopolitical challenges

Global geopolitical challenges are many and varied. Two trends are increasingly apparent across many debates: The first is the questioning, testing and reforming of post World War II and post Cold War defence and security architecture, including counter proliferation and disarmament mechanisms. What is the future of these forums and what is Brazil’s role in strengthening them? The second is the tension between global challenges requiring multilateral solutions and domestic political challenges that encourage an inward looking foreign policy. Can the two approaches be compatible? How can Brazil position itself within this context?

b. Regional security challenges

Within the Latin American region, cross-border security challenges are complex and ever changing. Two aspects of this landscape are particularly pertinent to Brazil now, both requiring regional cooperation and coordination. The first is the trafficking of people, arms and drugs by criminal organisations and the proliferation of small arms light weapons. How can Brazil utilise innovative law enforcement innovations to tackle these longstanding issues? What impact does Brazilian domestic legislation have on the region as a whole? The second is the crisis in Venezuela and the movement of migrants and refugees across the region. How has Brazil responded and what lessons can be shared with the wider region? Where is regional coordination working and where could it be furthered?

c. Technology and security

The future of many global challenges will be affected and perhaps even determined by the adoption and development of new technologies. The proliferation of cyber attacks and vulnerabilities within every day systems is increasingly capturing public attention. What challenges does the ordinary Brazilian face and what can be done to support them? Often our attention is focused on the fear of future risks, but in what ways can technology help to improve security? Where is the area of greatest positive potential that Brazil can utilise and share with others?

Key Dates

15 September 2019 deadline for abstract/paper submissions
15 October 2019 deadline for decisions on abstracts/papers
29 November 2019 conference

With support from:

Chevening and University of Oxford Latin American Centre

Global Security Challenges of the 21st Century – Conference in Rio de Janeiro (PDF, 229KB, 2 pages)

  • Chevening Scholarships are the UK Government’s global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations. The scholarships support study at UK universities – mostly one year taught master’s degrees – for individuals with demonstrable potential to become future leaders, decision-makers, and opinion formers whilst also gaining access to a wide range of exclusive academic, professional, and cultural experiences.

Over the last 35 years, 50,000 outstanding professionals have had the opportunity to develop in the UK through Chevening. There are more than 1,500 scholarships on offer globally for the 2019/2020 academic year, demonstrating the UK’s ongoing commitment towards developing the leaders of tomorrow.

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