Durham University

Durham Law School

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Publication details for Professor Aoife O'Donoghue

O'Donoghue, Aoife (2012). Agents of Change: Academics and the Spirit of Debate at International Conferences. Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law 1(3): 275-297.

Author(s) from Durham


‘Agents of Change', while a flattering moniker for most individuals, carries
with it a set of challenges and responsibilities that acted as catalysts over the
course of this journal's inaugural Cambridge conference. This article aims to
digest and evaluate some of the ideas that emerged over the course of the two
days while also, hopefully, adding to the debate on agency.1 While beginning
this paper with effusive compliments may appear clichéd, this conference
unfolded in the best tradition of academic fora, generous in disagreement
and debate, while rigorous in critique. As such, the organising committee in
bringing together an excellent cohort of speakers and audience alike ensured
everyone left Cambridge more enlightened than they arrived, and are owed due
recognition. It was an honour to be asked to conclude the conference, albeit as
the programme proceeded, the task of closing became ever more daunting. This
intimidation emerged not only from the high quality of the discussion, but also
the character in which it was conducted. Thus, this article reticently attempts
to bring some of the character of that conference to this special edition of the