A picture of a signpost for a Tsunami Hazard zone.

Emergencies and Affected Peoples: Philosophy, Policy and Practice - a conference for theorists and practitioners working on or toward improving the lives of those people affected by an emergency (conflict, war, humanitarian or natural disaster) - will be held in July 2014 at the University of Birmingham.

The purpose of this conference is to engage theorists and practitioners in debate on the topic of informing and improving the lives of affected peoples in emergencies. We are now accepting abstracts for the conference and the deadline for these abstracts has been extended to 2 March 2014.

Philosophers, academics and theorists work on global issues that affect people. Those academics who work with or even converse with practitioners, find it rewarding and consider it to be of great benefit to the outcomes of their work. Likewise, practitioners are often caught in bureaucratic cycles with crises creating unrealistic time frames for completing work let alone providing time to research new trends in theory. The goal of both groups of professionals, however, is to aid those affected by real-world issues, in this case those affected by emergencies, broadly defined.

In an attempt to assist those who aid affected individuals, Emergencies and Affected Peoples will act as a platform for the convergence of theoretical and practical problems and thus create space for reflection and learning. Papers for Emergencies and Affected Peoples are requested which identify an affected people in an emergency situation (conflict, natural disaster, humanitarian emergency, etc.) and aim to inform a theoretical/practical conversation and thus improve theory/policy.

The conference will be arranged as a series of panels, each on a different topic. Each panel will have one theorist and one practitioner. Each panelist is requested to submit a paper suitable to their contribution in the conference. PhD students are encouraged to apply within the theorist category.  Doctoral researchers from the University of Birmingham’s Department of Philosophy will act as moderators on each of the panels and will contribute to the discussion through attempts to bridge theory and practice. All proposal topics will, therefore, be considered as long as an entire panel can be found on that topic.

1.    What is the emergency (conflict, natural disaster, humanitarian emergency, etc.)? Who are the affected people?

2.    Why are these people particularly affected? What problem does this emergency cause for these specific people? How does the problem manifest itself?

3.     How does your work contribute to improving the lives of the affected people?

4.     How can we do this work together (academics and practitioners)?

1.    To improve practice and policy by discussing current trends in theoretical research.

2.    To improve theoretical perspectives and research by discussing examples of practical expertise.

3.    To create a forum for dialogue between practitioners and theorists.

4.   To provide PGTs and PGRs with experience of working with practitioners and theorists in their field of interest thus stimulating their own research.

Please submit abstracts of no more than 500 words by 2 March 2014 to Lauren Traczykowski (email: lxt837@bham.ac.uk).

Those selected will be notified as soon as possible and will be expected to submit a full paper suitable for a 20 minute panel talk by 1 May. The conference will then be held in 4 July at the University of Birmingham, UK. For more information about the conference, please contact Lauren Traczykowski. This conference is being funded by the Centre for Learning and Development (CLAD).