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GSCIS Havana 2017 - Conference Summary

The Third Global South International Studies Reunion was held in Havana, July 6-8, 2017. Having held its first meeting in 2012 in Menton, France under the sponsorship of Sciences Po/ Middle East campus, and its second in Singapore co-sponsored by Singapore Management University, the caucus was pleased to be able to hold this meeting in Latin America and the Caribbean. Given Cuban resource limitations, this meeting took the form of a Workshop co-sponsored by the University of Havana (UH), “Norman Girvan” Chair (Catedra). The theme was “Exploring the Local in International Relations” and paper proposals were solicited in three sub-areas: IR theory, IR Practice/Foreign Policy, and Pedagogy. The co-chairs of the meeting were J. Braveboy-Wagner (CUNY) and A. Romero (Havana), who were assisted by C. Davila-Perez (UNAM-Mexico), Mariana Aparicio Ramirez (UNAM), and Diana Cassells (CUNY). Others assigned various region-based duties in preparing for the workshop were: Thiago De Souza Moreira Rodrigues (UFF-Brazil), Imad Mansour (Qatar) and Jason Strakes (Bishkek), and Delidji Eric Degila (Benin).

The program was organized as follows: an initial time slot each working day reserved for a plenary panel (the first on the theme, Local Perspectives on IR, the second an UNAM panel on the Foreign Policy of Middle Powers, and the third a Cuban panel on Culture and Development in the Caribbean); three panels each day devoted to IR Theory, three to Practice/Foreign Policy, and three to Pedagogy and Research; an evening reception on July 5 sponsored by UH and the Coordinadora Regional de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales (CRIES), an NGO based in Argentina; a graduate student/young scholar lunch on July 6 (with funding from Routledge Press); a cultural evening comprising a performance of the Cuban Conjunto Folkórico Nacional; a feedback session on the last day; and a farewell dinner at one of Havana’s finest, La Torre Restaurant. It is worth noting that both the cultural evening and the dinner were oversubscribed, resulting in us having to turn away some workshop attendees.

Participants included 151 paper presenters, and about 50 other Cuban participants and conference observers (exact tally TBA; UH has requested a final list and we are working on it). The workshop presentations were extremely stimulating (in some cases, discussants gave quasi-papers themselves), and the various papers are currently being reviewed for publication.

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Representing 100 countries, ISA has over 6,500 members worldwide and is the most respected and widely known scholarly association in this field. Endeavoring to create communities of scholars dedicated to international studies, ISA is divided into 6 geographic subdivisions of ISA (Regions), 29 thematic groups (Sections) and 4 Caucuses which provide opportunities to exchange ideas and research with local colleagues and within specific subject areas.
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