Newcastle Civic Centre

Call for papers

Can the world survive?

The world faces some of the most dangerous and intractable challenges and threats it has ever been subjected to. Beyond the long-standing concerns of international relations, including nuclear annihilation, conflict, terrorism, and global inequalities, the fate of humanity rests on the international community’s ability to prevent and respond to new and continuing global emergencies, frequently human-made, such as climate change and unregulated technological and scientific advances (for example artificial intelligence), and others which may arise with less, or at least more ambiguous, human intervention, such as health pandemics.

There are serious questions about the world’s ability to address, mitigate and reverse climate change, the upcoming COP26 global climate conference notwithstanding. Furthermore local and national responses to the COVID pandemic have raised many new questions about the ability of states, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, and individuals, to organise and cooperate to address the most pressing of global issues. Vaccine nationalism clearly illustrates the limits of global cooperation in times of crisis – and the lack of far-sightedness on the part of leaders. The issue of cooperation vs. competition has been at the heart of the study of international relations for 100 years, and current events put in high relief the fact that this conundrum has not been solved – either on a practical level in global diplomacy, or on a theoretical level within international studies.

Meanwhile, the past 18 months has also seen major changes in how global citizens engage in international politics; how states govern their people; how regional and international diplomacy is played out, and how global corporations and international institutions operate. Governments have imposed draconian measures on their populations over extended periods of time. The national lockdowns which began in March 2020 stopped global activism around climate change in its tracks, as well as high-profile public protests in France, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere. States have over-extended their borrowing, and the prospect of a bigger global economic downturn than the 2008 financial crash is very real – even as some economies have shown remarkable resilience after the initial downturn in 2020.

At the same time, global citizens have entered into an expanded and deepened digital age of interconnectedness, which has seen the increased use of digital spaces and digital technologies, and calls to ‘return to a new normal’ are optimistic and full of hope. But is the digitisation of international politics enabling or hindering? With global attention turned towards managing the pandemic and facilitating post-pandemic recovery, what major shifts in global politics are taking place out of sight? Does the digitisation of international politics create new forms of hybrid activism and change, or does it augment existing divides and inequalities? How, as scholars, do we access international politics?

The conference organisers invite papers and panels which address these – and other – contemporary issues in international studies. We encourage submissions which are topically, empirically, theoretically, and methodologically diverse and adventurous.

01 Face-to-face or virtual?

Our 2022 conference will take place face-to-face in Newcastle, however, there will be a virtual stream taking place the day before the main conference begins. The virtual stream will not replicate the experience of a face-to-face conference, but does give those unable to travel an opportunity to present their work. Face-to-face delegates will be able to stream the virtual panels. However virtual delegates will not have access to face-to-face panels and therefore the conference fee for virtual delegates will be significantly reduced to reflect this.

The decision as to whether to apply as a face-to-face or virtual participant needs to be made at the outset. You will need to submit your paper, panel or roundtable to your chosen stream – face-to-face or virtual. It will not be possible for delegates to change between streams once the call for papers has closed. Find out more on our FAQ page.

The rest of this page applies to both face-to-face and virtual submissions.

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 2022 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 five 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 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

  • 6 October 2021: Submissions open
  • 15 November 2021: Deadline for all submissions - papers, roundtables and panels
  • 17 January 2022: Provisional programme published and notification emails sent out
  • 17 January 2022: Registration opens
  • 17 January 2022: Bursary applications open - deadline 18 February 2022
  • 4 March 2022: Presenter, Chair, and Discussant registration closes
  • 4 March 2022: Last day for changes to the programme (please check name/affiliation are correct)
  • 4 March 2022: Deadline for funding letters
  • May 2022: Final programme published
  • 1 June 2022: Registration for non-presenting delegates closes
  • 15 June 2022: 46th conference begins

05 Costs and bursaries

As always, BISA members will receive a big discount on the fees paid by non-members. This year up to 55%. We will also be offering bursaries for members for both the main conference and the virtual stream to be held on Tuesday 14 June.

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. This works in the same way for both the main face-to-face conference taking place in Newcastle, and the virtual mini-conference taking place via Zoom the day before. Please ensure you are submitting to the correct stream.

07 Ready to submit your paper, panel or roundtable?

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

Submissions for 2022 are now closed however you can still register as a delegate whether you are presenting a paper or not. Find out more about different ticket types before registering on our 'Costs' page.