Glasgow at dusk

Call for papers

What can International Studies contribute to a Summit of the Future?

In conjunction with the publication of the UN Secretary-General’s report Our Common Agenda, the Secretary-General proposed a Summit of the Future to coincide with the meeting of the UN General Assembly. The Summit will take place in 2024. Our Common Agenda provides a wide-ranging look at a variety of challenges facing the world today, along with proposed areas for development. While necessarily a high-level overview of such challenges, it can serve as an impetus for academics to consider what they may contribute to addressing such challenges. As such, it provides a useful organising principle for the BISA 2023 annual meeting.

The Secretary-General makes 12 key proposals for states to consider:

  1. Leave no one behind
  2. Protect our planet
  3. Promote peace and prevent conflicts
  4. Abide by international law and ensure justice
  5. Place women and girls at the centre
  6. Build trust
  7. Improve digital cooperation
  8. Upgrade the United Nations
  9. Ensure stable financing
  10. Boost partnerships
  11. Listen to and work with youth
  12. Be prepared

These proposals are further situated within broader frames:

  1. A renewed social contract anchored in human rights
  2. Accounting for the interests of future generations
  3. Managing the global commons and global public goods
  4. Reforming the United Nations

2023 is the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It thus seems an appropriate time to consider achievements in human rights and what still needs to be done to ensure that all people around the world enjoy human rights. Intergenerational justice has come to the fore as attempts to deal with economic dislocation and crisis may leave future generations footing the bill. And there are real questions as to whether the United Nations is up to the challenges – and whether there are any other alternatives. Indeed, while part of the focus of the document is on making the United Nations work better, the UN is only part of an expanding network of global governance. What role do other institutions and states play in addressing the issues raised by the Secretary-General?

These proposals are extremely wide-ranging, but immediately pose questions for those who study international relations, including: Do the Secretary-General’s proposals leave out any key issues? Are they realistic? What actors are required to implement the proposals? How might our theories and analytical frameworks approach these issues? Do they pose any challenges for the way we study international relations? As scholars of international studies, are we doing enough to set the agenda?

The conference organisers invite papers, panels, and roundtables which address these key challenges laid out by the Secretary-General, as well as other contemporary issues in international studies. We encourage submissions which are topically, empirically, theoretically, and methodologically diverse and adventurous. Panels and roundtables should be  diverse including (but not limited to) gender, ethnicity, career stage, methodological approach, institution, and geographical location.

Our Common Agenda lays out a series of challenges which are complex and multidimensional. Further, the issues identified by the Secretary-General (and indeed many of the issues we examine as international relations scholars) require looking at both the local and the global. We thus encourage proposals which are multidisciplinary and which make an effort to break out of the sub-disciplinary silos in which we often find ourselves working. This might, for example, entail engaging across working groups, thinking about how the local and the global interact, or how studying micro and meso levels can help us to understand macro-level issues in international relations. The theme of the conference also provides opportunities to engage with policy discussions, and thus academic-practitioner submissions are warmly welcomed.

Note you will be taken to Indico.com where conference submissions are being managed.

01 An in-person conference

Our 2023 conference will take place in person in Glasgow. There won't be a virtual or hybrid option. We know this will be disappointing news for some of you, but the decision has not been taken lightly. BISA Chair, Professor Ruth Blakeley, has issued a statement detailing the key factors that shaped our view. Rest assured our other conference highlights will carry on as normal. 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. #BISA2023 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 Vice-Chair Kyle Grayson on what makes a good submission in this short three-minute video.

03 How it works

For BISA 2023 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 include four papers, a discussant and a chair, or five papers and 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 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 2022: Submissions open
  • 17 November 2022: Deadline for all submissions - papers, roundtables and panels
  • 17 January 2023: Provisional programme published and notification emails sent out
  • 17 January 2023: Registration opens
  • 17 January 2023: Bursary applications open - deadline 17 February 2023
  •  6 March 2023: Presenter, Chair, and Discussant registration closes
  •  6 March 2023: Last day for changes to the programme (please check name/affiliation are correct)
  •  6 March 2023: Deadline for funding letters
  • 1 June 2023: Final programme published
  • 1 June 2022: Registration for non-presenting delegates closes
  • 21 June 2023: 47th conference begins

05 Costs and bursaries

As always, BISA members will receive a big discount on the fees paid by non-members. We will also be offering bursaries. More details will follow when submissions open.

06 Our conference management system

When you submit your proposal you will be taken to our conference management system, Indico, where you will be prompted to login. If you've not used Indico before you can create an account by clicking 'create one here' underneath the username and password fields.

Once you are logged in you can click to submit abstracts (single paper), panels or roundtables, and then complete the submission form.

07 Ready to submit your paper, panel or roundtable?

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

Note you will be taken to Indico.com where conference submissions are being managed.