Early into my term as the President of ISA, I wrote a blog for the World Policy Journal that its editors titled as “International Studies: A Dying Discipline?” Of course, I went on to argue why this was not the case. After ISA 2015 in New Orleans, I have much more to say about why IR, far from dying, is actually a thriving discipline, and why the ISA with its annual convention, regional conferences, journals and other activities deserve at least some of the credit for it.
ISA 2015 in New Orleans was the largest ISA gathering ever with 8295 unique individuals submitting proposals, and the final convention program featuring 1250 panels/roundtables and 5325 individual participants. While the Mardi Gras and warmer February temperatures surely helped, a special highlight was the popularity of the Convention Theme: “Global IR and Regional Worlds”. The theme calls for a universal, inclusive discipline that takes us beyond its hitherto American and Western dominance. It attracted over 300 panels/roundtables, or nearly a quarter of the convention total - a historical record. It is also interesting that the latest TRIP (Teaching, Research and International Policy) Survey of IR faculty in 25 countries, which came out just before the convention, found that 76.62% of respondents thought IR is Western-dominated discipline, while 60.2% thought it was important to counter such Western dominance. These findings further vindicate the importance and timeliness of the Global IR idea.
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- Amitav Acharya, Outgoing ISA President (2014-2015)
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Thank you for helping to make ISA 2015 our best convention yet! We enjoyed seeing everyone in New Orleans.