Whose international studies?

As global crises multiply and intensify, so too do the pressures on international studies to keep pace. To stand any chance, it is incumbent upon the international studies community to put the diversification of our academic practices, our scholarship, our discipline, and the academy more widely at the forefront of our efforts toward knowledge creation and change. Conversations about equality, diversity and inclusivity in international studies are not new, but talk outstrips action. At BISA 2024, we ask whose international studies are we teaching, researching, writing, and contributing to?

Against a political backdrop of ideological and financial threats to the social sciences, international studies must foster strength in our diversity, and be willing to lead by example. Further critical questions abound: Who researches and who teaches international studies, and who are the researched? Who do we do our international studies work for, and with? Which histories are foundational to our disciplinary identities, and which are marginal? How accessible is our scholarship to the world beyond the academic discipline of international studies? Where are the centres of power in our discipline, and what are we doing to shift them? How might our work inadvertently reinforce the very structures of power that we seek to analyse or critique?

Submissions are welcomed which take up the challenges expressed in these questions, and of any other topic relevant to the advancement of international studies widely defined. The format for submissions will include individual papers, panels, and roundtables. We encourage submissions which demonstrate multiple perspectives, diverse panels, and a range of innovative formats. Panels and roundtables should be diverse including (but not limited to) gender, ethnicity, career stage, methodological approach, institution, and geographical location. The online system for all submission types will open on 10 October 2023.

01 An in-person conference

Our 2024 conference will take place in person in Birmingham. There won't be a virtual or hybrid option. BISA Chair Kyle Grayson issued a statement detailing the key factors that shaped our view. We do offer many virtual opportunities for participation in events throughout the year, and you can find out more on our events page. We continue to be the only International Studies Association to offer coffee breaks, lunches and a networking reception as part of the conference fee, as well as conference fee and childcare bursaries. #BISA2024 will be no exception. We will also continue to invest in a comprehensive programme of virtual events throughout the year.

02 What we’re looking for

Hear from BISA Conference Programme Chair, Dr Nick Caddick, on what makes a good submission in this short three-minute video.

03 How it works

For BISA 2024 we will accept three submission types:

  • Individual paper submissions
  • Panel submissions
  • Roundtable submissions

We accept scholarly research papers and policy analysis on any topic related to International Studies in its broadest definition.

Panel - A panel is an opportunity for a group of experts working in a specific area to share papers or papers in progress. Panel submissions should ideally include four papers, a discussant and a chair, however you may also submit panels with no discussant and either four or five papers with a chair.

Roundtable - A roundtable is an opportunity for a group of experts to discuss a particular issue in depth without the constraints of having to speak to a paper. Roundtable submissions should include a minimum of four participants and a chair, up to a maximum of six participants and a chair.

Across panels and roundtables, you must give due consideration to diversity of participants including (but not limited to) gender, ethnicity, career stage, methodological approach, institution, and geographical location.

Each submission (whether a paper, panel, or roundtable) may only be made to one working group. On the proposal submission form this is called a 'track'.

The review process

Once the online submission process is closed, individual paper/panel/roundtable submissions are peer reviewed by the conference programme committee.

Initial peer review is done by BISA working group conveners who are assigned submissions based on the working group, or 'track', identified in the proposal.

Working group conveners can accept, decline or refer submissions during this process. They can also build panels composed of individual papers submitted to their working group.

Where there are individual papers with scholarly merit but for which there is no good panel fit within a working group track, the conference chairs will attempt to construct interdisciplinary panels.

Three key points to note are:

  • Selection is first and foremost based on academic quality
  • There is no limit as to the number of times an individual can appear, but we would like to give as many people as possible an opportunity to participate and will bear this in mind when making selections
  • Where there are two papers of equal academic quality and one is not a BISA member, the BISA member will be given preference.

04 Timeline

  • 10 October 2023: Submissions open
  • 21 November 2023: Deadline for all submissions - papers, roundtables and panels (extended deadline)
  • 23 January 2024: Provisional programme published and notification emails sent out
  • 23 January 2024: Bursary applications open – deadline 1 March 2024
  • 12 March 2024: Presenter/Speaker, Chair, and Discussant registration closes
  • 12 March 2024: Last day for changes to the programme (please check name/affiliation are correct)
  • 1 May 2024: Final programme published
  • 1 May 2024: Registration for non-presenting delegates closes
  • 5 June 2024: 48th conference begins

05 Costs and bursaries

As always, BISA members will receive a big discount on the fees paid by non-members. Take a look at this year's prices. We will also be offering bursaries.

06 Our conference management system

We currently use a conference and event management system called Indico. When you click to submit your proposal you will be taken to the conference management system where you will be prompted to create an account. Once you are logged in you can submit abstracts (single paper), panels or roundtables.

We will be on hand to help with any system queries. Please contact conferences@bisa.ac.uk should you experience any difficulties.

07 Ready to submit your paper, panel or roundtable?

We encourage all scholars with an interest in International Studies to make a submission.

Submissions are now closed for the 2024 conference, however registration is now open and we welcome speakers as well as observers.

Note you will be taken to our conference management system.


Top photo by Stan Asgarov on Unsplash