BISA2023 delegates at Kelvingrove Museum for the conference reception

Featured events

At #BISA2024 there’ll be more than 325 panels and roundtables. There’ll also be several exciting satellite and networking events. It can be difficult to know where to start, so use this page to take a look at some featured events. You can then use the conference programme to search by speaker, working group or keyword, and create your own personalised programme.

01 University of Birmingham sponsored events

Is the foreign policy of democratic states facilitating the global decline of democratic and human rights standards? – This free public lecture, sponsored by the University of Birmingham and CEDAR, takes place on Tuesday 4 June, 6.15-8.30pm at The Exchange. Registration is required.

This panel asks what the connection is between foreign policy and global democratic decline. Speakers include: Professor Nic Cheeseman (University of Birmingham), Dr Toby Greene (Visiting Fellow, London School of Economics), Professor Catherine O’Regan (University of Oxford), Dr Mwita Chacha (University of Birmingham), Professor Toni Haastrup (University of Manchester).

Explaining and Preventing Civil War Recurrence – Wednesday 5 June, 9-10.30am, Room 103, Library

Authoritarian futures? International politics and future-oriented foreign policymaking in authoritarian regimes – Thursday 6 June, 10.45am-12.15pm, Sonata, Hyatt

The foreign policy and international relations of authoritarian middle-powers – Thursday 6 June, 1.15-2.45pm, Soprano, Hyatt

‘Making the Sandwiches’: Gender, Race, Social Reproduction, and Academic Labour – Thursday 6 June, 3-4.30pm, Soprano, Hyatt

The politics of development: Institutions, interests, and ideas – Thursday 6 June, 4.45-6.15pm, Room 101, Library

What does the future hold for the US and UK’s ‘Special Relationship’? Examining the transatlantic partnership in the year of elections: roundtable followed by drinks reception. Sponsored by the Foreign Policy Centre, University of Birmingham and BISA – Thursday 6 June, 6.30-9pm, The Assembly Room, The Exchange

The event will begin with a keynote address from Sir Peter Westmacott, the former British ambassdor to the United States (2012 – 2016), to be followed by a panel discussion involving academics, journalists and Liam Byrne, MP and Shadow Minister of State for Work and Pensions. This free public event is open to all, but you must register in advance.

02 Special events

Art exhibition: Academics and artists addressing social challenges - Hyatt first floor foyer, Wednesday 5 - Friday 7 June
Academics can spend their entire careers working on big social problems, but struggle to communicate their work to everyone else. Artists often engage the general public in topical issues, but without access to the latest research. What could they achieve by working together?

This exhibition of cartoons came out of a collaboration between The Open University, King’s College London and the Philippine cartoon collective Pitik Bulag, which paired up academics and artists from around the world paired up to reinterpret research as art. 

CPD Early Career Prize panel  Wednesday 5 June, 10.45-12.15pm, Jane How Symphony Hall

Learning and teaching café – Wednesday 5 June, 10.45-12.15pm, Exec 10 ICC

Birmingham: The war years – Wednesday 5 June, 12.15-1.15pm, Justham, Symphony Hall. This talk explains the history of wartime Birmingham and explores some of the reporting restrictions and the stories of these cities that are rarely reported or mentioned today.

Film screening: ‘Youse are so brave’ - Wednesday 5 June, 12.45-1.15pm, Jane How, Symphony Hall

This film is a feminist retelling of women’s military history as ‘front line’ combatants in Northern Ireland, decades before the British Army’s lifting of the ban on women in ground close combat. It showcases the ‘front line’ stories of women veterans of the Troubles from the Ulster Defence Regiment, Royal Irish Regiment, Women’s Royal Army Corps and Royal Ulster Constabulary in their own words. Funded by the University of Bath Public Engagement Fund and the South West Doctoral Training Partnership, it was a collaboration between researcher, Dr Hannah West; veteran artist/actor, Jordan Holland; videographer, Simon Wharf; and director/musician, Tim West; with drone camera work by Gabriel Gilson. The screening will be introduced by Dr Hannah West and followed by a Q&A.

Keynote by Professor Tarak Barkawi - War and World Politics: or why I stopped doing IR (SPONSORED BY THIRD WORLD QUARTERLY) – Wednesday 5 June, 4.45-6.15pm, Justham/Jane How, Symphony Hall

Tarak Barkawi, currently based at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA, studies war and empire. His interdisciplinary scholarship re-imagines relations between war, armed forces and society in modern world politics. He has written on the pivotal place of armed force in globalization, imperialism, and modernization, and on the neglected significance of war in social and political theory and in histories of empire.

Introduction to Book Publishing – Thursday 6 June, 9-10.30am, Room 101, Library

This roundtable is intended to provide a valuable service to the BISA community by offering an overview of book publishing, especially for first-time authors. This international group of experienced editors represent both university presses and commercial academic presses. They will both describe and demystify how to get published, what you should expect throughout the process, and what you should do after publication to help make your book a success.

Susan Strange @ 100: an enduring legacy for contemporary times – Thursday 6 June, 9-10.30am, Sonata, Hyatt, followed by a poster session in the exhibition hall at the Hyatt.

The work of Susan Strange, a powerful intellectual force in the early development of International Relations (IR) and especially International Political Economy (IPE), has enjoyed a renaissance recently. In this panel followed by a poster session, several PhD students display how they are using Susan Strange’s ideas as part of their doctoral research. From research on development finance to contemporary monetary issues, these students are conducting research that not only keeps Strange’s ideas relevant, they demonstrate that her work continues to inspire cutting edge research in IR and IPE.

Prize giving ceremony – Thursday 6 June, 12.20-1.15pm, Justham Symphony Hall. Be the first to know who’s won the 2024 BISA prizes, including the Distinguished Contribution Prize and the Susan Strange Best Book Prize.

War Studies Working Group Keynote by Ed Hall: Finding Rainbows in the UK’s Armed Forces: from sacking lesbians and gays to promoting LGBT soldiers, a journey in diversity and inclusion (SPONSORED BY POLITY) – Thursday 6 June, 1.25-4.30pm, Justham, Symphony Hall.

Ed Hall is a television and technology entrepreneur, author and political activist who has campaigned for lesbian and gay rights since he was dismissed from the Royal Navy in 1988 for being gay. He has lived and worked around the world, and has contributed to a range of research and publications on the subject of LGBT rights. Most recently he appears in the 2023 Sky documentary ‘Forced Out’ which will be screened at 3pm following Ed’s talk.

A tribute to the work of Christopher Coker – The Return of History: Christopher Coker and The Study of War – Thursday 6 June, 1.15-2.45pm, Room 101 Birmingham Library.

In this tribute to Christopher Coker who sadly passed away last year, you will hear about a prolific scholar who authored nearly 30 books, most notably on the changing face of war and transatlantic relations; gave presentations at countless universities, think tanks and staff colleges; and mentored generations of graduate students. We recommend you read Christopher’s last essay, published posthumously, in this edited volume (ed Mick Cox) on Ukraine.

Mothering, Motherhood and (Feminist) International Relations 2.0: An open roundtable conversation - Friday 7 June, 10.45am-12.15pm, Fortissimo Hyatt

This 'open roundtable' continues a conversation we began at BISA 2023, where panellists shared their personal experience of mothering and motherhood in a discipline and HE sector often hostile to it. This year we wanted to continue the conversation, but move away from a ‘conventional’ roundtable set-up that centres the contributions of speakers, and instead facilitate a space in which all attendees are invited to share their diverse experiences of the joys and pleasures – as well as the grief and frustrations – of all forms of care work done alongside and in our professional lives (be that – among others – motherhood, parenting, mentoring, and union work).

Book launch reception for The Duty to Secure: From Just to Mandatory Securitization (Cambridge University Press, 2024) by Rita Floyd – Friday 7 June, 12.15-1.15pm, Justham, Symphony Hall (Lunch provided)

Academic freedom in the teaching, learning and research of Politics and IR – Friday 7 June, 3-4.30pm, Jane How, Symphony Hall

03 BISA journal events

  • Security Partnerships in Comparative Perspective (European Journal of International Security) – Wednesday 5 June, 9-10.30am, Room 102 Library
  • Review of International Studies - RIS @ 50. On the Horizon: The futures of IR (Review of International Studies) – Thursday 6 June, 1.15-2.45pm, Jane How, Symphony Hall
  • Meet the Editors of Review of International Studies and International Affairs – Thursday 6 June, 3-4.30pm, Jane How, Symphony Hall
  • Narratives and dilemmas of global security (European Journal of International Security) – Thursday 6 June, 3-4.30pm, Mary Sturge, The Exchange
  • Publishing as a PhD Scholar: Dos and Don'ts (Review of International Studies) – Friday 7 June, 1.15-2.45pm, Jane How, Symphony Hall
  • Meet the editors - Speed networking session – Friday 7 June, 3-4.30pm, Sonata, Hyatt

    Ten journals will take part in this innovative event where you can bring your question or idea and meet with them on a first-come-first-served basis. Each appointment will last 10 minutes. Once the 10 minutes is up, a bell will ring and all participants will immediately move on; either to another journal or to the exit once you are finished. The participating journals are African Affairs, Defence Studies, Review of International Studies, European Security, International Affairs, International Political Sociology, South African Journal of International Affairs and Political Geography.

04 Exhibition hall

The exhibition hall is open from 10.30am to 6.15pm on Wednesday 5 June, 9am to 6.15pm on Thursday 6 June, and 9am to 4.45pm on Friday 7 June.

In addition to a wide range of exhibitors, we have a BISA backdrop where you can take a selfie with friends and colleagues, and tables and chairs to use for meetings and work. On Thursday 6 June we will have a pop-up headshot studio available in the afternoon. You can commission a new professional-looking headshot, free of charge, to use on your website, LinkedIn, research profiles, or wherever else you need them. The headshots are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and your images will be sent to you by the BISA team after the conference.

05 Working group AGMs

  • International Law and Politics Working Group – Wednesday 5 June, 12.15-1.15pm, Drawing Room, Hyatt
  • Russian and Eurasian Security Working Group - Thursday 6 June, 12.30-1.15pm, Concerto, Hyatt
  • Gendering International Relations Working Group - Thursday 6 June, 6.15-7.15pm, Fortissimo, Hyatt
  • South East Europe Working Group – Friday 7 June, 12.15-1.15pm, Dhani Prem, The Exchange
  • Colonial, Postcolonial and Decolonial Working Group – Friday 7 June, 12.15-1.15pm, Stuart Hall, The Exchange
  • Interpretivism in International Relations Working Group – Friday 7 June, 12.15-1.15pm, Mary Sturge, The Exchange
  • European Security Working Group – Friday 7 June, 12.15-1.15pm, Benjamin Zephaniah, The Exchange

06 Food, drink, entertainment and Birmingham

We’ll be providing all delegates with two refreshment breaks each day, as well as lunch. This is a good time to meet other delegates and visit the exhibitor hall too. Don’t miss our conference reception on Wednesday 5 June at the iconic Birmingham Library (6.45-8.45pm). This 10-level, flagship building boasts two outdoor garden terraces and a panoramic viewing gallery at the summit, where visitors can enjoy stunning views from one of the highest points in the city.

For those who are more active, Mark Webber and Stefan Wolff have organised a canal run on Thursday 6 June at 7.30am. No registration is required, just meet outside the Hyatt Hotel and follow either a 4km or 8km route.

Many of you will be keen to get out and explore Birmingham. Our fantastic conference team at the University have put together a ‘Birmingham survival guide’ for you, with information on everything from coffee shops to local attractions.


07 PDF programme

Although you can save a copy of the conference programme as a pdf at any time, we've left a handy instantly downloadable version here in case you need it.