ISA 2016: Call for Proposals

Exploring Peace

Traditional international studies have put a premium on war, militarized conflict, and other violence as primary phenomena for investigation. In contrast, “peace” is often defined as the absence of militarized and violent conflict, an afterthought or residual category without a distinct theoretical explanation. Yet, such a characterization lumps many disparate kinds of events and relationships together. Economic sanctions are sometimes placed in the same “non-war” category as cultural exchanges. Additionally, some studies characterize the relationship between North and South Korea as peaceful because there has been no war for over 60 years, thereby equivalent to many relationships in the European Union.

The focus on mitigating conflict and violence has led scholars to downplay or ignore other values such as human rights, justice, and equity that are part of many conceptions of peace. In addition, such a concentration leads away from interactions that increasingly characterize international affairs, including trade cooperation, integration, and peacebuilding.

For the 2016 convention, papers should focus on all aspects of peace along conceptual, theoretical, and empirical lines. Peace should also be explored within the different subject matters, orientations, and methodologies that constitute the many regions, sections, and caucuses of the ISA. Proposals that cut across or integrate these different constituencies are especially welcome. The following concerns are representative of those that might be addressed:

  • What are the key conceptual elements of peace? How might this differ from the simple distinction between “negative” and “positive” peace put forward by Galtung?
  • What are the key research questions that can and should be studied when the focus is placed on peace rather than war and other violent conflict?
  • How do existing theories and theoretical frameworks fit with understanding peace? What modifications might be appropriate?
  • What are the specific factors or conditions associated with peace? How are they different from those that are correlated with war and other violent conflict?
  • Peace for whom?: How does studying peace differ according to the stakeholders involved? How does peace for one set of stakeholders affect peace for others? Can stakeholder differences be reconciled?
  • What is the relationship between interstate peace and domestic peace?
  • Short- versus Long-term Peace: How are short- and long-term peace processes different? How do they influence one another?
  • Conflict Resolution: How does conflict management influence conflict resolution? What international and domestic institutions facilitate peace? What processes promote reconciliation and justice in post-conflict contexts?
  • Existing Resources. Are existing data and information sources adequate to study peace? What needs to be changed?
  • How could new scholarship on peace inform policy?

Types of Proposals

You can read about the various types of proposals that we are accepting for the conference on our submission types page. You can also find details on the requirements - including abstract limits and paper counts - on that page as well.