The British International Studies Association (BISA) holds our professional conference to enable our members to advance the field of International Studies through the free exchange of scholarly opinions and evidence-based research. To provide all participants – including members, invited speakers, exhibitors, staff, and volunteers – the opportunity to benefit from the event, we are  committed to facilitating a harassment-free environment for everyone.

As a scholarly association, we are strongly committed to diversity, equity, and the free expression of ideas as expressed in our Equality and Diversity Policy (hyperlink TBC)  and Code of Conduct for Members (hyperlink TBC). We firmly believe in the value of freely exploring ideas and concepts through scholarly discourse – with a fundamental respect for the rights, dignity, and value of all persons regardless of actual or perceived gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, socioeconomic status, age, or religion. We therefore remind BISA conference delegates that all professional academic ethics and norms apply as standards of behaviour and interaction at our events.

We aim to provide a conference environment in which diverse participants may learn, network, and enjoy the company of colleagues in an environment of mutual respect. We recognise the shared responsibility to create and maintain this environment for the benefit of all. Therefore, some forms of behaviour are unacceptable. 

Unacceptable behaviours include:

  • persistent and unwelcome solicitation of emotional or physical intimacy
  • persistent and unwelcome solicitation of emotional or physical intimacy accompanied by real or implied threat of professional harm
  • aggressive, intimidating, harassing, abusive, derogatory or demeaning speech or actions
  • prejudicial actions or comments related to actual or perceived gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, socioeconomic status, age, or religion that coerce others, foment broad hostility, or otherwise undermine professional equity, or the principles of free academic exchange
  •  deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following
  •  harassing photography or recording
  •  sustained disruption of talks or other events
  •  physical assault (including unwelcome touch and/or groping)
  •  real or implied threat of physical harm and/or professional reputational damage.

All participants are expected to observe these rules and behaviours in all conference venues and conference social events. This may include proactively helping to mitigate or avoid unacceptable behaviours if there is the potential for such harm to take place. Participants asked to stop a hostile or harassing behaviour are expected to comply immediately.

BISA Trustees will be available for consultation with conference participants who believe that they have experienced harassment, or have concerns about violations of the BISA 2020 Code of Conduct while onsite at the conference.

If any conference attendee wishes to pursue a complaint, our General Complaints Procedure (hyperlink TBC) will be followed.

If we believe that there is a risk of immediate physical harm or danger, we will act to ensure the safety of conference participants regardless of whether a complaint is pursued.

Please note that nothing in this policy shall be construed as restricting the ability of BISA members and conference participants to constructively critique one another’s work, unless this intersects with the unacceptable behaviours noted above.