You may have already seen in our newsletters or on our website that we’re rebranding. We’re excited to announce that we're now almost ready to launch.
The launch will take place during the first full week of February to coincide with the launch of our new website. The first thing you’ll notice will be our new colour palette and logo, but we hope you’ll also notice a change in the way we convey information.
We’re a progressive organisation and we wanted to move towards a brand that reflects us. We want everyone to know that we’re scholarly and prestigious, but that we’re also inclusive, diverse, friendly and supportive to people from all backgrounds, and at all stages of their career.
Our new logo and visual identity is bold and direct.
We chose black as our main primary colour because it is strong and direct, and orange because it’s friendly, positive and progressive. Our secondary palette reflects the diversity of our membership and gives our identity vibrancy and flexibility. The secondary palette consists of specific shades of green, red, light purple, yellow and blue.
We’ll also be changing the font we use to Inter. Inter is a typeface carefully crafted and designed for computer screens. It also works very nicely for print. Inter features a tall x-height to aid in readability of mixed-case and lower-case text, meaning it’s a pleasure to read in any situation and will enhance accessibility. We’ll also be using sentence case for our headings in future – another accessibility enhancement.
Rest assured we’re still the same organisation you joined and we still have the same visions and goals. We’re just trying to communicate better about the things we do and what we stand for.
We’ve also taken on board your feedback from our annual survey. When our new website launches next month in our new branding, you'll see a renewed focus on the efforts of our working groups and journals, easier navigation, and a heavier focus on bringing you the latest IR topics.
The British International Studies Association (BISA) condemns unreservedly the brutal attacks on the students and faculty of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on 5 January.
This is part of an ongoing campaign of intimidation towards JNU, which we likewise condemn. BISA, in line with its public benefit obligations as a UK charity, is committed to promoting the right of academics and students to peaceful assembly – whether in the UK or overseas. Simply put, students and faculty must have the right to speak and organise freely on university campuses, regardless of the policies of the government of the day.
We urge the Indian authorities to establish a fully independent public inquiry into the violence and ensure those responsible are brought to justice. We also urge the Indian government to uphold the core principle of academic freedom, not least to avoid further damage to the Indian higher education system and its international relationships.
BISA supports productive academic exchange with scholars at universities in India. We stand in solidarity with all our colleagues at JNU.
A very warm welcome to you and I do hope that you have enjoyed a restful break and happy start to the New Year.
It was a year ago that I took on the role of BISA’s Director with the aim of professionalising the Association and ensuring our unique learned society remains scholarly and prestigious and yet also inclusive, diverse, friendly and supportive of people from all backgrounds and at all stages of their career.
We have five core objectives which I think it is useful for us to remember:
- promote, maintain and develop International Studies in the UK and beyond
- represent, advance and communicate the scholarly community of academics and students whose work develops International Studies
- consolidate the reputation of BISA through our activities and external engagement
- increase our membership and enhance the BISA membership experience
- guarantee our future as a large and active scholarly association.
With these objectives very much at the forefront, we carried out a full membership survey in March 2019, to gauge your opinions on various aspects of BISA. We were delighted with the feedback and a healthy response rate from you, giving us many ideas for improvement and change. We followed this up with a second survey in June 2019 on our annual conference. Your views are extremely important to us. This is your association and any improvements or changes need to come from you while ensuring it will benefit all of our members.
As a result of your feedback, our Executive Committee has given its full support to a two year operational plan involving significant innovation and investment. This will protect the sustainability of BISA and ensure ourfuture direction is in line with your wishes. Improvements to our governance structure and training, financial management, membership communications and other activities are gradually being rolled out and you will start to see these changes being implemented over the next two years. Although some are ‘behind the scenes’ and not noticeable to the average member, the majority, we hope, will become apparent in early 2020 with the launch of our new website.
So what have we been doing in 2019 and will continue to improve upon in 2020?
- the introduction of additional events to our annual conference such as post-graduate and professional development initiatives, teaching and learning panels and satellite events around the conference to bring in the local community. These will all be expanded on in Newcastle 2020 - please do keep an eye on our website conference pages.
- a commitment to hold further student-led events after the very successful model NATO initiative jointly organised by BISA and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
- the continued success of our two prestigious journals - The Review of International Studies and the European Journal of International Security – as well as the Cambridge Studies in International Relations book series. Both journals have recently appointed new editorial boards who are full of enthusiasm for 2020 and beyond. You can find out more about the successes of the outgoing team and the new teams’ goals on our news pages.
- the introduction of new awards for teaching and learning, and research by early career academics
- the election of four new Trustees, one of whom will take up the new portfolio of Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity to ensure that we are doing everything we can to include all of you and attract a diverse variety of members to our Association.
- finally we have been busy preparing for the launch of our new website in February 2020, managed by our Communications Manager, Chrissie Duxson. The new site will make it much easier to see what we’re doing, what working groups are up to and how you can involve yourself further in our activities. We also have new conference and event management software.
There is so much to look forward to in 2020 including discounted rates on membership with a new salary-based structure and new, lower, conference fees.
I look forward to meeting many more of you in 2020 and beyond, and once again wish you a very happy New Year.
The UK is to preside over COP26 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in Glasgow during November 2020 (the presidency is held jointly with Italy that will host a pre-Cop and other events).
This provides a critical opportunity for scholars and practitioners to consider the UK’s role within a wider international and environmental context.
Our Environment Working Group have proposed that a conference be held at Keele University, Staffordshire, with a provisional date of Wednesday 2 September 2020. Details will be confirmed this spring. A keynote lecture will be given by Professor John Vogler, Keele University.
It is anticipated that this will lead to a journal special issue or edited volume.
Policy or theoretically oriented contributions are sought that might cover the kind of topics indicated in the following illustrative, but not exhaustive, list:
- The political role and challenges of the COP presidency related to what we know of the operation of the effective French presidency prior to the Paris Agreement of 2015. COP26 is widely regarded as the most significant meeting since Paris because it will be the point at which full implementation of the Agreement will occur.
- Consideration of how the ‘ratchet’ mechanism of the Agreement will operate in terms of the encouragement of the first new set of NDCs
- Adaptation and ‘loss and damage’ issues often poorly represented alongside a developed world fixation on greenhouse gas mitigation
- The implications of non-governmental participation and action
- Coordination of climate-related activity of international bodies beyond the remit of the UNFCCC
- The impact of shifting scientific knowledge and public perceptions on the international politics of climate change with reference to the preceding IPCC reports and political phenomena such as the Extinction Rebellion movement
- The implications of structural and regime change in the wider international political system within which the COP is embedded.
There are also important, specifically British issues arising from the intention of the UK Government to use this opportunity to emphasise the independent role of the UK as a ‘global player’ in the aftermath of Brexit:
- The organisation and deployment of UK diplomatic resources in support of the COP Presidency.
- The problems of independence after so many years of operating within the extensive climate policy competences of the European Union.
- The demonstrative use of UK commitments under the Climate Change Act of 2008 and its net zero by 2050 pledge.
- The evident refusal of the US government to countenance any discussion of climate issues in the negotiation of future trade agreements and the dilemmas arising from navigating between EU and US positions.
- The role of the devolved administration in Scotland, which will naturally be involved with supporting such a very large international gathering in Glasgow.
New editorial teams for BISA journals: Review of International Studies (RIS) and European Journal of International Security (EJIS)
On 1 January new editorial teams took over at both of the BISA journals – Review of International Studies (RIS) and European Journal of International Security (EJIS).
Over the past four years Lead Editor of RIS, Professor Ruth Blakeley of the University of Sheffield, and Editor-in-Chief of EJIS, Professor Tim Edmunds of the University of Bristol, have achieved some great successes.
The quality of the work published in RIS is reflected in the journal’s impact factor, which has steadily increased over Ruth’s tenure. It is ranked in the top 25 IR journals.
Ruth and her team have focused heavily on addressing gender balance. At the start of their tenure, men outnumbered women in terms of publication at a ratio of around 3 to 1. Over the course of the tenure, 40% of the manuscripts they have published have been authored or co-authored by a woman. In the last two years they have further improved, with 49% of manuscripts published in 2018 authored or co-authored by a woman, and 50% in 2019.
“The composition of our editorial team was an important factor. Relatively few leading journals in the discipline are edited by a female lead editor, or have a majority of female co-editors. All members of the editorial team took seriously the need to encourage women authors to submit to the Review. We also worked hard to convey the message that the journal welcomes scholarship from women authors and is a friendly place for all authors.”
The new RIS editorial team is led by Martin Coward, University of Manchester. Martin said:
“In the next four years our ambition is to develop RIS in a number of ways. First and foremost we aim to maintain the journal’s reputation for initiating and leading debates at the forefront of International Relations research. Secondly, we aim to be proactive in positioning RIS at the forefront of emerging debates. We will continue the journal’s tradition of a competition for an annual special issue. Finally, we want to make a substantial contribution to the diversity of the journal and the wider field. We will continue the work the outgoing editorial team have done to increase the proportion of submissions and published articles having female scholars as the lead author. We would also like to improve the proportion of submissions and published articles by authors from underrepresented minority groups.”
EJIS, our newer journal, publishes theoretical, methodological and empirical papers at the cutting edge of security research. Welcoming high-quality research from around the world, EJIS covers all areas of international security including: conflict and peace building; strategy and warfare; environmental and food security; economic and energy security; human and everyday security; technology and security; and security governance.
Two of the greatest successes during Tim’s tenure have been the first Special Issue on Composing Global Security in issue 4:3 (2019), as well as the publication of their first Junior-Senior Dialogue in 3:3 (2018). Tim has been ably assisted by Elizabeth Kier, University of Washington (Lead Editor, North America) and Christian Bueger, University of Copenhagen (Lead Editor, Europe). Tim said:
“The outgoing team would like to thank all members of the Board for their hard work on the journal over the past five years. We appreciated this enormously, and the journal’s success would not have been possible without it. We owe special thanks to Theo Farrell, who, as Chair of the Board, has helped steer us to the place we are today.”
We are delighted to welcome the new EJIS team led by Professors Edward Newman (Leeds), Jason Ralph (Leeds) and Jacqui True (Monash), with a new team of associate editors in Leeds and regional editors around the world.
Both our journals are published by Cambridge University Press and you can find out more about them on the CUP webpages https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/review-of-international-studies and https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/european-journal-of-international-security
BISA members can access both journals as part of their membership package.
The BISA Africa Working Group will be holding an Exceptional General Meeting in London on Tuesday 28th January 2020.
We strongly urge all members of the working group, and those interested in becoming members, to come to this meeting. Remote participation via Zoom will be possible, and is encouraged if you are unable to get to London.
The meeting will have two main items of business.
- The future format of the working group - with proposals including the inclusion of a PGR representative as part of the leadership of the working group, and a more formal handover period between convenors. More detailed proposals will be shared nearer the time and members are very welcome to make suggestions to co-convenors Laura or Roisin in advance to be considered at the meeting. This discussion will also cover the type of events and support the membership wants the group to undertake.
- Secondly, but no less importantly, receiving nominations for future convenors for the working group as Dr. Roisin Read and Dr. Laura Routley will be stepping down. The plan is to have an election for convenors very shortly after the meeting. If no-one steps forward the future of the group is somewhat in doubt. Therefore all are encouraged to consider whether you would be able to take on this crucial role.
The meeting will be from 12noon until 3pm (ish) with lunch provided. It will be held at:
Newcastle University London
102 Middlesex Street
If you are able to attend, or would like to join via Zoom, please complete the registration form at: https://forms.ncl.ac.uk/view.php?id=7027813 as soon as possible.
Photo by Braden Jarvis on Unsplash
Wednesday 25 March 2020, from 7.30pm
Honolulu 1, Tapa Tower, Hilton Hotel
Join us at the ISA 2020 conference in Hawaii for a BISA reception.
Enjoy a complimentary drink and canapes on the terrace whilst you network with academic colleagues and BISA members. You’ll hear from BISA Chair Mark Webber who will take you through some of the most exciting BISA developments. You’ll also have the chance to speak to representatives from Cambridge University Press and the editorial board about our journals and book series.
For catering purposes we would be most grateful if you could fill in the form below to indicate your intention to attend the reception. Everyone is welcome.
Call for papers: ‘New Voices in International Law and Politics’ - BISA International Law and Politics/WCRG Postgraduate Research Seminar
Thursday 30 January, 1-4pm, King’s College London
The BISA International Law and Politics Working Group is organising a ‘New Voices’ workshop in collaboration with the War Crimes Research Group at King’s College London. This is an opportunity to share your cutting-edge research in the area of international law and politics, and to hear what others are doing.
Presentations do not have to be polished papers. We will have three formats:
- longer presentations
- short ‘elevator-pitch’ style presentations
The workshop is open to all to attend, but we are restricting presentation slots to Postgraduate Research Students and Early-Career Researchers (within 2-3 years of PhD).
We have a limited number of bursaries to help with costs of travel and accommodation. Please note you must be a BISA member to be awarded a bursary.
The votes have been counted, and we are delighted to announce the newest elected members of our Executive Committee. Alongside a small team of BISA employees, the Association is run by volunteer trustees who sit on our committee and contribute to our smooth running.
The voter turnout for this year’s election was just under double the turnout from 2018, and we thank you for your increased engagement.
At the most recent BISA Executive Committee meeting it was decided to appoint four new trustees. We are therefore pleased to report that the following have been elected:
- Richard Beardsworth
- Hassan Elbahtimy
- Naomi Head
- Elspeth Van Veeran
Richard Beardsworth is Professor of International Politics and Head of the School of Politics and International Studies at the University of Leeds, so has strong leadership experience. Richard has been a co-opted member of BISA executive for the last two years so has already started to make his mark. During his elected term, Richard hopes to advance the importance of the discipline of International Politics at this historical juncture, and to use his management experience towards effective administration of BISA.
Hassan Elbahtimy is a Lecturer in the War Studies Department at King’s College London and has been a member of BISA since 2009. He is a convenor of our Global Nuclear Working Group. He aims during his elected term to increase PhD and ECR membership by arranging mentoring opportunities, to boost the effectiveness of our working groups by encouraging collaboration, and to bolster BISA’s links with the global south.
Naomi Head is Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow. She is a winner of our Excellence in Teaching International Studies and a founder and convenor of the BISA Emotions in Politics and International Relations Working Group. During her elected term, Naomi would like to focus on strengthening and diversifying teaching and learning strategy in universities. She would also like to bolster BISA’s advocacy efforts.
Elspeth Van Veeran is the Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Lead for the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies at the University of Bristol. During her elected term she will focus on making BISA more inclusive, caring, celebratory, innovative and collaborative. She will consider a diverse set of voices and needs, and work to draw on, and bring inspiration from, the best practices in this area internationally.
For more information about the elections visit our elections page. More information on each candidate is also available.
We’re thrilled to announce that Joanna Wilson has been appointed as the next PGN Vice-Chair. Joanna will be Vice-Chair for the next six months, before becoming PGN Chair for one year.
The PGN promotes networking, support and guidance for PhD students and early-career researchers. They organise workshops and events aimed at enhancing the learning experience and networks of members.
The Vice-Chair role on the committee is particularly important because each Vice-Chair replaces the existing Chair at the end of their term.
Joanna has an MA in International Relations from St Andrews, and an LLM in International Law and Security. She is currently a fourth year part-time PhD student at Glasgow, exploring the ethical questions relating to the use and regulation of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems. Joanna said of her appointment:
“I am delighted to have been selected as the 2019/20 Vice Chair for the PGN. I have benefited greatly from several BISA events and activities, and it's great to have the opportunity to give something back to the organisation and its members. Through the position, I hope to facilitate interdisciplinary and inter-institutional connections and to create environments in which post grad researchers can engage with others and make meaningful connections, both academic and social."
At the end of her Vice-Chair term, Joanna will replace current Chair Tom Vaughan. Tom has been working on a professional development day to take place just prior to the BISA 2020 conference, as well as the annual PGN conference taking place next April. Tom said:
“During my tenure as Chair, I aim to further foster the already excellent, vibrant research culture we have among our membership. Our research-centred events facilitate networking and new thinking, and help members to drive forward new agendas in International Studies. Equally as important, however, is helping our members prepare for life after their PhD. As early-career researchers we face a competitive and uncertain job market within academia, and additionally often find ourselves under-prepared to move outside of the academy. I see equipping our membership with foreknowledge about the challenges ahead - and the skills to meet those challenges head-on - as a crucial role for the PGN”.