28 Feb 31 Oct
Call for papers

Narratives, Frontier Technologies & the Law



The swift and profound advancement of technology in the contemporary world poses distinctive challenges for the law, especially in the realm of frontier technologies. These technologies encompass robotics, the internet of things (IoT), big data, artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous systems, genomics, and augmented/virtual reality, and their rapid development presents unprecedented opportunities and risks.

While crucial for addressing global challenges (climate change, e.g.), these technologies also carry the potential to exacerbate inequality and disrupt societal norms. Ethical and social considerations in regulating technology often clash with prevailing narratives, influenced by culture, society, religion, mass media, and the law.

Narratives such as the belief in technological progress shaping a better future can overshadow potential risks. Similarly, the notion that technology is neutral and its use depends solely on humans overlooks the inherent biases in its design. These narratives influence perspectives on technology regulation, with supporters of progress narratives often advocating for deregulation, while those concerned about risks lean towards stricter oversight.

In this call for papers for a Special Journal Issue for ‘Law, Technology and Humans’ (https://lthj.qut.edu.au), we seek high-quality scholarly perspectives and theoretical investigations into the relationship or correlation between Narratives, Frontier Technologies, and the Law. Our objective is to provide valuable insights for international legal scholars to analyse and conceptualise the evolution of technology law.

Focus and Expectations

The central focus of this call for papers is the interplay between Narratives, Frontier Technologies, and the Law.

Encompassing a broad spectrum of topics, paper submissions may delve into:

• Technology governance and its narrative foundations
• The influence and impact of narratives on legal frameworks & legal discourse
• Technology law as a narrative and narratives as a means to regulate technology
• Media & Societal expectations shaping technological advancements
• Narratives in policy and law-making in the digital age
• Narratives as tools for social understanding and political change
• Futurism and Thought-Experimentation in Science Fiction and its implications
• Technology as a tool for oppression & narratives of technological singularity or apocalypse
• The humanisation versus dehumanisation 
narratives in technology law
• Bias, intersectionality, and diversity in the age of technological transformation
• Divergent international approaches to technological regulatory frameworks
• Law and technology from perspectives of the Global South
• Situating law and technology within global health crises, climate change, or geopolitical conflicts

Researchers are invited to submit  one-page proposals for their papers. Upon acceptance, these proposals will be transformed into full-length papers to be submitted in advance for pre-conference reading by fellow participants. Following the conference, the papers will undergo a double-blind peer-review process, with the possibility of revisions or rejection. Selected papers will be published in a special symposium edition of 'Law, Technology and Humans' (https://lthj.qut.edu.au/). Given the intended publication in this journal, we expect submissions of original, unpublished work.

Practical Details

Submission and acceptance of proposals shall be on a rolling basis with no new proposals considered after 28 February 2024.

Full papers for accepted proposals are to be delivered by 31 July 2024 to allow for a pre-read conference. The conference will likely be held in a hybrid format at Maastricht University, Faculty of Law, in Sept/Oct 2024. The hybrid format will enable online participation.

The pre-read format allows for a more focused and engaging discussion during the presentations, which should be limited to 15 minutes to allow for 30 or more minutes of discussion. Publication in the Law, Technology and Humans journal is slotted for April 2025.


The suggested timeline is as follows:

Date Activity
28 Feb 2024 Deadline for submitting one-page paper proposal
30 Apr 2024 Confirmation of acceptance of a proposal
31 Jul 2024 Deadline for submitting a full paper for the conference
Sep or Oct 2024 ‘Narratives, Frontier Technologies & The Law’ Conference – presentation & workshop of papers
Nov 2024 Deadline for submitting finalised papers for publication
Dec 2024 – Mar 2025 Papers undergo peer review and editing
Apr 2025 Publication in Symposium edition of ‘Law, Technology and Humans’

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