Call for Papers: Second Annual Conference on Intervention and R2P

Conference date: Wednesday 18 September - Thursday 19 September 2019
Abstract submission deadline: 15 July 2019.
Organised by the BISA working group on Intervention and State Sovereignty
20 Years After Kosovo: The Prospects for and Limits of International Intervention 
This conference reflects upon the trajectory of interventionism since Kosovo. What have been its successes? What have been its failures? Does it have a future? How does a changing international environment, as well as the emergence of new actors and combat technologies, affect intervention? The event will bring a group of top academics, as well as policy makers, to Surrey in order to discuss these and related questions.
This event is organised by the Centre for International Intervention at the University of Surrey and BISA International Responsibility to Protect Special Working Group (IR2P). This event is supported by the Institute of Advanced Studies (University of Surrey), BISA and the Leverhulme Trust.
A registration fee (to be confirmed) is applicable for this event.
Twenty years ago, NATO went to war against Serbia over ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, bringing to a close a decade marked by vigorous debate on the pros and cons of military intervention. By the end of that decade, the consensus seemed to be that ‘something had to be done’ in the face of large scale atrocities. ‘Standing by and letting die’ was not a sound foreign policy option. In response, in 1999, the then UK Prime Minister Tony Blair even went so far as to defend a form of ‘liberal interventionism’ in a famous speech in Chicago. Twenty years later, in 2019, the mood music surrounding intervention has changed considerably. In the 2000s, ethnic cleansing in the Sudanese region of Dafur was not halted by the international community, while the slaughter in Syria has continued unabated since 2011/2. The UN-backed intervention Libya in 2011 was anything but a roaring success. Intervention was barely on the agenda during the ethnic cleansing Myanmar’s Muslim minority in 2018. Powerful states, in particular the USA under the presidency of Donald Trump, have begun to pursue a more isolationist foreign policy where ‘saving strangers’ is not an objective. Against this background, this year’s high profile conference, co-organised by Surrey’s Centre for International Intervention and BISA IR2P, reflects upon the trajectory of interventionism since Kosovo. What have been its successes? What have been its failures? Does it have a future? How does a changing international environment, as well as the emergence of new actors and combat technologies, affect intervention? The event will bring a group of top academics, as well as policy makers, to Surrey in order to discuss these and related questions.
Call for papers
The conference marks the 20th anniversary of the Kosovo Intervention, a defining event in the evolution of humanitarian intervention and the protection of civilians. The broad theme of the conference will be the legacies of the Kosovo Intervention and the evolution of humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect (R2P) since 1999.  Papers need not relate to the conference theme, though we would certainly welcome those that do. 
The conference will explore the substantive changes in the norms relating to civilian protection, alongside the practices of protection that have emerged over the past 20 years. It will address some of the ongoing challenges to the effective prevention of, and response to mass atrocity crimes, as well as looking forward to future evolutions in protective practice, theoretical conceptualisations, legal architectures and international norms.
We welcome papers that address normative, theoretical, legal, and empirical aspects of intervention and the R2P.
Possible topics include:
The long-term impact of the Kosovo Intervention
The normative development of humanitarian intervention since 1999
The evolution of military practice for the protection of civilians and/or populations
The R2P within the United Nations system
The impact of populism and neo-nationalism on the R2P
The legitimacy of humanitarian intervention in the 21st Century
The domestic politics of civilian protection
Refugee protection and the R2P
Drones, emerging military technology and intervention
The ethics of intervention
Any other topics connected to the R2P and/or intervention
Abstract submission
Please send abstracts of 250 words and a 100-word bio to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 15 July 2019.
Attendance and participation is not limited to members of BISA or the working group. There are some bursaries to help with travel for PhD students to enable attendance. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to apply (please note, that it is necessary to join BISA to obtain a bursary). The conference will also announce the winners of the 2019 IR2P book and ECR article awards.
We have a limited number of guest rooms on our Stag Hill and Manor Park campuses. There are also several hotels within close proximity to the University.

A new BISA website - invitation to tender

We are delighted to invite tenders for the development and support of a new BISA website.
Our main objectives for the new website are:
  • To improve the user experience allowing visitors to successfully navigate to the information they require, and to create a simple, user-friendly journey through key actions such as conference registration and joining BISA
  • To use our web presence more effectively to inspire interest in International Studies, showcase research and facilitate contact with users of academic activity, policy, journalism and the NGO/International organisation market  
  • To utilise new platforms and develop new technology to enhance the ability of our members to engage with BISA.
We want to hear from people who have:
  • Proven expertise in website development, particularly experience of events and membership management functionality
  • Proven knowledge of the UK education and/or charity sectors
  • Experience in providing user support
  • Experience of working effectively with a range of organisations and a high level of communication skills 
  • Effective project and business planning skills.
If this sounds like you and you’d like to work with us, download the instructions and response document and request the brief from our Communications Manager, Chrissie This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
All responses must be received by 9am on Monday 29 July in order to be considered.
We look forward to hearing from you!

Call for Papers: Human Rights and British Foreign Policy: Past, Present, and Future

16 September 2019
Rendall Building, University of Liverpool Keynote: Dr Jamie Gaskarth (University of Birmingham)
The Conference
The history of human rights has emerged as a dynamic research field in recent years, with historians such as Samuel Moyn and Jan Eckel arguing that the 1970s – rather than the 1940s or the 1780s – constituted the ‘breakthrough’ decade for human rights in international politics. Yet Britain remains conspicuous by its absence in these narratives. Historians such as Barbara Keys have argued convincingly that human rights considerations began to exert an influence over US foreign policy formulation in the 1970s. Scholars such as Sarah Snyder, meanwhile, have challenged conventional narratives of diplomatic history by exploring the role of NGOs, civil society and international organisations in shaping ideas about human rights in US and Soviet foreign policy during the last two decades of the Cold War. In the British case, however, the introduction of human rights considerations into the foreign policy-making process is often attributed to the New Labour government in 1997, interpreted as a radical shift ushering in a “new era” of British diplomacy. This symposium – sponsored by the University of Liverpool and the Royal Historical Society, and supported by the Heseltine Institute for Public Policy, Practice and Place – aims to address this myopia, providing a forum for interdisciplinary conversations between PGRs and postdoctoral researchers who are studying questions concerning humanitarian intervention, anti- terrorism, overseas aid, and the role of NGOs in shaping governmental approaches to these issues from both historical and contemporary perspectives. To provide PGRs and ECRs with an opportunity to engage with policy experts, the symposium will also feature a closing roundtable of experts from advocacy groups and foreign policy think tanks – experts who are currently grappling with the implications of Brexit, and the future role that human rights considerations may play in the formulation and implementation of British foreign policy in a post-Brexit world.
Possible subjects include but are not limited to:
The evolution of human rights concerns within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
The role of the international institutions in shaping British responses to human rights issues
Human rights concerns within the context of overseas aid / development policy
The influence of NGOs in shaping human rights policy
The balancing of ethical and strategic considerations in British foreign policy
The entangled histories of human rights and humanitarianism
Media perspectives on human rights violations and humanitarian intervention
Emerging technological challenges to international human rights law
The role of human rights in British foreign policy post-Brexit
Please send abstracts of 250-300 words with a short biography to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 16 August.

Call for proposals: Understanding Foreign Policy-Making Within Area Studies

Queen Mary University of London, Tuesday 10 September 2019, 1200-1800
Convenor: Dr Marianna Charountaki (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Deadline: Friday 9 August 2019
The goal of this workshop is to identify common ground between the fields of Foreign Policy Analysis and Area Studies, broadly defined. Colleagues are invited to propose contributions focused on ontological, epistemological, and methodological issues, and to think about how the insights from one sub-field might be relevant to the other. Contributions need not be in the form of a full paper, since this is a preliminary discussion which will build to some extent on conversations that took place at the BISA annual conference in June. 
The goal is to identify what scholars working in separate but related sub-fields might be able to learn from each other’s insights, knowledge, and approaches. There is some funding available for travel bursaries for BISA members wishing to attend this workshop, with preference given to PhD students and early career researchers without access to institutional travel funds.
Dr Charountaki is especially keen to hear from female colleagues and people of colour, and from colleagues working on a range of different regions of the world, so please do put yourself forward if you think you have something to say. If you are interested in participating, or would like more information, please email Dr Charountaki on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Advanced Notice: British International Studies Association – Workshops’ Conference, May 14-15 2020

The call for expressions of interest for the first BISA workshops’ conference will open in October. This exciting new initiative will be held on May 14-15th at the Edgbaston Park Hotel, University of Birmingham.
The workshops will be an opportunity for groups to come together to discuss and develop projects. Each workshop will have dedicated space at the venue in which to work, and will have access to overnight accommodation, meals and a plenary event.  The conference site has room for seven workshops. We envisage each workshop as having 8 - 12 participants. A workshop may involve any of the following:
  • the presentation and discussion of papers for an edited volume or journal special issue
  • the coming together of an existing research group (for instance, a BISA Working Group, a group working on a collaborative research award or application) 
  • a writers’ retreat 
  • a teaching team wishing to workshop changes to curriculum, assessment, feedback and student engagement
  • continuing professional development 
BISA is also open to suggestions on other themes and formats. 
Applications should be made by a potential workshop convenor and should include a summary of no more than two pages A4 of the purpose of the workshop and a list of its participants. Should the workshop be approved, there is no further application process. The submission is done on behalf of the group, in other words, with no subsequent requirement for individual applications. 
The workshops’ conference is open to both BISA members and non-members although we require that the convenor is a member of the Association. The subject of the workshop should relate thematically to International Studies or to the career development of scholars working in the discipline. Participants can be drawn from any career stage including PhD students.  We encourage convenors to take into account gender balance when constituting their workshop. 
The cost for participants is £250 for BISA members and £350 for non-members. PhD students enjoy a reduced rate of £150. The cost includes evening meal and overnight accommodation on the night of May 14th, breakfast on the 15th and lunch on both days. 
Key dates and deadlines 
  • September 2019: further details of workshop application process released
  • October 1 2019: application submission period opens 
  • November 15 2019: submission period closes 
  • December 21 2019: notification of approved workshops 
  • January 31 2020:  convenors to confirm participants’ details 
  • March 2020: detailed joining instructions circulated
  • May 14-15 2020: workshops’ conference held 
Should you have any queries on this event, please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Professor Vivien Lowndes Appointed Chair For REF Sub-Panel

The Political Studies Association (PSA) and the British International Studies Association (BISA) welcome the appointment of Professor Vivien Lowndes, Professor of Public Policy at the University of Birmingham, as the chair of the sub-panel for Politics and International Studies in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment exercise. Professor Lowndes is a widely respected political scientist.  She served as deputy chair to the sub-panel in REF 2014 and possesses the full range of knowledge and skills necessary for this challenging role. The PSA and BISA are confident that under Professor Lowndes’ leadership the sub-panel will be well placed to review all areas within its remit and to assess the wider impact of research in politics and international studies. 
Previously, we have noted that the current sub-panel under-represents key subfields and methodological approaches in our discipline. As further appointments to the panel are considered, we expect the UK funding bodies and Prof Lowndes will take into account the need for broader disciplinary representation and in doing so will recognise the views of nominating bodies that have a proven commitment towards transparency, openness, equality and diversity.
The PSA and BISA look forward to supporting the important work of the sub-panel in the months ahead.
Professor Mark Webber
Chair, BISA
Professor Angelia Wilson       
Chair, PSA     

Call for Papers: Postgraduate Research Workshop - Militarisation and the Local in Peacekeeping: Ambition, Pragmatism and Adaptability

Peacekeeping operations increasingly face a tension between pragmatic approaches, which seek realistically achievable outcomes, and ambitious approaches rooted in humanitarian commitments and human rights. This ‘turn’ to pragmatism speaks to the need of peacekeeping to adapt to new expectations and challenges, including increasingly complex mandates of multilateral missions and the emergence of asymmetric threats. However, these more robust and militarised operations may have negative effects on host communities and wider work towards sustainable peace. Using 'the local' lens, this workshop will explore adaptation to some of these new challenges amidst these humanitarian and security tensions. This event seeks to provide a productive space for emerging PGR voices, and each substantive panel will include a balance of practitioners, scholars and postgraduates.
This workshop is the first of a four-part series which will examine peacekeeping through three layers: the local, the national/regional, and the global. The series aims to stimulate thinking through a bottom-up approach, which builds an additional 'lens' through which to view the challenges in question, beginning with the 'local', then adding the 'national/regional' and finally the 'global'. The final event of the series will bring together PGRs, scholars and practitioners to discuss the outcomes of the workshops and to strategize directions for a robust peacekeeping research agenda.
This event is held under the remit of the BISA Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding Working Group with funding from BISA PGN.
We invite submissions on the following themes and topics:
Humanitarian Aspects
Challenges to aspirational human rights and humanitarian goals
Approaching diverse actors to fulfil aspirational aims in a complex environment
Incorporating local needs and interests in pursuit of aspirational humanitarian goals
Privileging Security
What kind of security for whom? Struggles over meaning for security
The role of militarisation in peacekeeping and challenges in practice for local security
The effects counter-terrorism on local conceptions of security
Adaptation of peacekeeping in responding to counterinsurgency strategies
Building Peace
Implications of conceptual and practical interactions between militarisation, humanitarian aims, human
security and development on building peace
Strategies for balancing normative ambitions against security challenges in pursuit of peacebuilding
If you wish to present a paper: Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than 31 July 2019.
If you wish to attend, but not present a paper: Please send a brief statement (also no more than 250 words) of how the workshop will benefit your research, no later than 31 July 2019.
Selected speakers and attendees will be informed by 9 August 2019.
A limited number of travel bursaries (max. £50 pp) are available for participants who cannot secure funds from their home institution. If you would like to apply for a travel bursary, please provide a brief explanation in your email and whether other sources of funding are available to you.

“International Politics of Migration, Refugees and Diaspora” Working Group Announcing an Annual Best Book Award

BISA’s Working Group on the “International Politics of Migration, Refugees and Diaspora” confers its first Annual Best Book Award for a monograph published in the field of international politics of migration during the previous year. Books should meet the thematic focus of the Working Group, which includes securitisation of borders; transnational diaspora, refugee and migrant politics; the relation and tensions between migration, human rights and citizenship. More details can be found here:
  • Books will be judged by the committee members on their rigour, originality and significance to the field.
  • Books should be nominated by individuals, authors, departments, or publishers.
  • Books for consideration must be monographs and cannot be edited volumes.
  • The author(s) need not hold BISA membership (but any non-member recipient must immediately join BISA to receive the award). 
  • For this first ever prize of the Working Group, the nominated book must have been published between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2018 (authors may be required to provide proof that the book was published in the calendar year of 2018).
  • The award consists of a £100 voucher to be awarded to the recipient.
  • The recipient will be announced at a venue of the Working Group on “International Politics of Migration, Refugees and Diaspora” by the end of 2019. In the following years, the book award will be conferred at the BISA Annual Conference. The selection committee for the best book award reserves the right not to make an award in any particular year.
How to apply
  • Individuals, authors, departments, and publishers may submit a nomination. A brief supporting statement is required of each nomination. It is the nominator's responsibility to contact the publisher and request that copies of the nominated title be sent to each of the committee members at the addresses listed below.
  • The nomination with supporting statement should be addressed to the committee chair. Only email nominations will be considered. 
  • The deadline for submission for nominations is the Monday 15 July 2019.
  • Individual nominators are limited to one submission but a maximum of 3 books can be nominated by the same publisher.
  • It is the nominator's responsibility to contact the publisher and request that copies of the nominated title be sent to each of the committee members at the addresses listed below.
  • If copies of a book are not received by the selection committee by the date stipulated, the nomination will be excluded from consideration. Where possible, pdf or e-book versions would be welcome in addition to a hard copy.
  • The award will be judged by the committee members appointed by the “International Politics of Migration, Refugees and Diaspora” WG (listed below).
Committee Members
Dr Sara de Jong, 
University of York (Chair)
Department of Politics, University of York
Heslington, York, 
YO10 5DD, UK
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dr Myriam Fotou, 
University of Leicester
8 Manley Court, 
London N16 0PB, UK
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Prof Behrooz Morvaridi, University of Bradford
Faculty of Social Sciences
University of Bradford
West Yorkshire BD7 1DP
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Call for papers: Conference “New Perspectives on Non-State Political Violence”, November 21-24, 2019, Queen’s University Belfast

The School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics of Queen’s University Belfast opens a call for papers for the conference dedicated to new perspectives on non-state political violence. We welcome PhD and early-career researchers as well as experienced academics and practitioners from a broad range of backgrounds who are interested in innovative ways of researching and analysing non- state political violence. This includes the following areas:
1. New approaches to research non-state political violence
- Theoretical frameworks and interdisciplinary approaches: philosophical, historical, anthropological, economic/PR, artistic/cultural, etc.;
- Approaches to data collection and analysis
- Ethical aspects of doing research on political violence
2. New trends in political violence
- historical heritage within the 21st century non-state political violence; threats;
- modi operandi;
- terrorist financing and economic resources;
- propaganda and radicalisation
3. New responses to terrorism
- counter-terrorism strategies;
- intelligence and information-sharing;
- legislation and state security practices
- ethical side of counter-terrorism
Please submit your abstract (max. 500 words) and a short bio to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by July 15, 2019
Notifications of Acceptance by August 15, 2019 All submissions should be in English.
If you wish to organise a conference panel please email the conference organisers regarding the theme and panellists’ names. All panellists should submit individual abstracts before the deadline.
The conference will be hosted by Queen’s University Belfast.
For more information, please, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Call for papers ‘International law in times of transformation: How does international law deal with systemic change?’

Workshop, University of St Andrews 
Friday, 8 November 2019
Deadline for abstracts: 15 July 2019
Organisers: Dr Mateja Peter and Dr Adam Bower, on behalf of BISA International Law Working Group and the Centre for Global Constitutionalism, School of International Relations, University of St Andrews 
International law has developed in spurts, often following a dramatic reordering of power structures precipitated by the conclusion of major wars. The existing international legal order emerged at conferences held at the end of the First and Second World Wars, and through increased interaction following the end of the Cold War. Each shift in power structures brought new regimes and institutions across economic, environmental, developmental, human rights, and security-related spheres. Changes experienced between these reordering moments have been more gradual and incremental, but still possess cumulative impact. Today, core elements of the contemporary multilateral global order are arguably under increasing pressure due to a new systemic reordering. Not only are we experiencing a switch from a unipolar to a multipolar order, but the system is also under serious strain from pressures emanating from non-state actors (terrorism, organised crime, refugees) and new technologies. 
In this vein, we invite participants to reflect on how international law deals with systemic change. We welcome contributions from scholars from a range of disciplinary backgrounds and encompassing a plurality of theoretical and methodological approaches that shed light on one or both of the guiding questions that will orient the workshop: (1) What can past power transitions teach us about contemporary challenges to international law?, and (2) What adaptations of existing international rules and institutions are we already seeing and are these sufficient to respond to a systemic change in power relations?
We welcome proposals from scholars at any level, and we strongly encourage early-career researchers (advanced PhD students, postdocs, and junior staff) to apply. A limited number of bursaries towards travel and accommodation expenses will be available (£200 for participants from UK/Europe; £400 for participants based outside Europe) for those with limited resources. If you wish to be considered for a bursary, please provide a brief rationale for why you need a grant with your abstract submission. Successful recipients of a bursary must be registered members of BISA by the time of the workshop.
Important dates:
15 July 2019: Deadline for abstracts. Please submit these to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
1 August 2019: Notification of acceptance
28 October 2019: Deadline for paper submissions
British International Studies Association
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