Joint Committee on Human Rights: Inquiry into the use of Drones

UK Government's policy on the use of drones for targeted killing inquiry.
The Government has not published any formulated policy on the use of drones for targeted killing.  As a result there is a lack of clarity about the policy; about whether and how the legal frameworks of international humanitarian law, international human rights law and ordinary criminal law apply; and about the relevant legal tests and principles that apply to the use of lethal force in such circumstances. 
It is not clear how the relevant decision-makers test the sufficiency of evidence, who checks that the tests are satisfied, and what the framework of accountability is.  The uncertainty not only makes accountability difficult, it potentially exposes front line personnel to criminal liability for the unlawful use of lethal force.

Update - Dept of Politics University of Surrey

BISA congratulates the University of Surrey's Department of Politics on the very welcome news that its future has been secured. The Department will continue to exist as a discrete unit, with a staff of ten, and there will be no compulsory redundancies. All of its undergraduate and postgraduate provision will remain intact. BISA extends its good wishes and full support to the Department in the next phase of its development.

Professor Nicola Phillips, University of Sheffield, BISA Chair

Department of Politics at the University of Surrey

BISA’s officers have been communicating with colleagues at the University of Surrey and making representations to its senior management following the news that restructuring at the University has placed politics and international relations staff at risk of redundancy.  BISA will continue to liaise with its members in the Department to offer ongoing support and assistance.

Chair's message

I’ve been reminded frequently over recent months that, in the International Studies community in the UK, one of the ways we seem to measure our age is in BISA conferences. As BISA celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, recollections abound about panels, discussions and memorable spectacles (of, ahem, varying kinds) in its conference history, reminding us of the place that BISA has occupied in the profession for the last four decades. I am especially privileged and honoured to take over the role of chairing BISA at this moment in its history, and look forward to the next two years of working with our Vice-Chair, Professor Richard Whitman, our CEO, Gail Birkett, and the rest of the team of Officers and Trustees of BISA. 

Call for Editors: International Studies Today blog

The British International Studies Association launches a new blog, International Studies Today (IST), on 1 March 2015. The blog is designed to alert readers to innovative research and to provide a forum for discussing contemporary international issues. The blog also seeks to be a bridge between the scholarly and policy communities, and to connect BISA’s diverse research networks. 

The Business of People

A new report "The Business of People: The Significance of Social Science over the Next Decade" by the Campaign for Social Science was launched on the 24th February, by Rt Hon Greg Clarke MP, Miniter for universities, Science and Cities. 

As the UK general election and spending review draw near, this report makes recommendations to politicians and Policy makers in Westminster, Whitehall and in the devolved administrations, as well as funding councils, think tanks, higher education and businesses.

Monographs and Open Access

Monographs and Open Access report launched


HEFCE published its report 'Monographs and Open Access' in January 2015, a welcome in-depth study of the impacts of open access publishing on the publication of monographs. The British International Studies Association has been involved in debates regarding the adoption of open access models of publishing and their impact on academic research. The Association welcomes this detailed analysis of the implications of open access for monographs - a major form of research output in our discipline.

REF 2014 improved results

REF results show an increase in the overall grade point average (GPA) for research in Politics and International Studies, with more than 68%, assessed as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.
The latest evidence comes from the results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). The assessment scores for Politics and International Studies have increased considerably since the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). The overall GPA for Politics and International Studies in 2014 was 2.90, a significant improvement from 2.34 in 2008. Politics and International Studies performed especially strong in the category of Impact – where the ‘reach’ and ‘significance’ of research is assessed. With a score of 3.22, the subject is well ahead of the vast majority of other disciplines within and beyond the social sciences.
Access the full results for REF 2014 here.

Call for Papers: EJIS

The editors of the EJIS are currently seeking submissions of papers.
EJIS will publish rigorous, peer-reviewed papers that significantly enhance scholarship through the exploitation of new data, the development and application of theory, and/or through original and scholarly analysis of a salient policy issue. Welcoming high quality research from around the world, EJIS will cover all areas of international security, including conflict and peacebuilding; strategy and warfare; environmental and food security; economic and energy security; human and everyday security; and security governance. The journal is particularly concerned to make connections and build bridges, both between different disciplinary and theoretical perspectives, but also across regional boundaries and academic parochialisms.
The editors will favour papers that are intellectually ambitious, in the sense that they can speak to, and have relevance for, major themes and debates in and across the security problematic, broadly defined.
British International Studies Association
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