ISA 2022: Call for Proposals


Call for Proposals: A Wider Discipline For A Smaller World

Deadline for proposals: Tuesday, June 1, 2021

ISA 63rd Annual Convention
March 30th - April 2nd, 2022

Meet the 2022 Program Chairs


While we are excited to be planning an in-person event for Nashville, ISA recognizes that many of our members continue to face hardships due to the ongoing pandemic and recovery from it. As a result, we are planning various presentation contingencies (to be rolled-out after the June 1st submission deadline) and we strongly encourage you to submit a proposal even if you are uncertain about your Nashville travel plans.


The theme for the 2022 annual meeting is focused on the need for and value of a wider, more inclusive discipline to understand the challenges of a smaller and more interconnected world.

Our world has clearly become smaller, with increasing interconnectedness between actors over greater distances, and a larger number of transnational processes that affect local outcomes. But in a smaller world, many issues central to international studies become more complex. For example, the prospects for conflict and cooperation, managing health pandemics, and how we can adapt to environmental challenges will all depend on interactions between multiple actors, shaped by factors outside their control as well institutions at many different scales.

The complexity of many key issues in international studies highlight the need for a wider discipline to get better answers. We can benefit from further internationalization, with greater international participation in the discipline, and a more diverse set of perspectives and approaches. We also need interdisciplinarity and collaboration by scholars across traditional disciplinary boundaries. For example, understanding the social consequences of the COVID 19 pandemic illustrates how international studies must pay attention to research outside their traditional areas of emphasis such as epidemiology and medicine.

At the same time, social scientists have valuable insights about social behaviour and responses that can inform epidemiological models and public health. They also have expertise on what shapes policy responses to health emergencies and their economic and social outcomes. Likewise, research on tackling environmental challenges can benefit from cooperation between natural and social scientists. As a final example, research on trends in conflict and warfare must consider insights from statistical models of rare event distributions and their implications for risk and the likelihood of observing specific events over a given time interval. Research on the causes of conflict can in turn provide insights on where to look for possible change points in distributions and structural breaks.

We invite proposals for panels and roundtables on topics relevant to the theme, both in the sense of a smaller world and a wider discipline. This could include proposals that deal with aspects relating to “widening” the discipline such as the value of internationalization in research, the consequences of international research collaboration and exchange, as well as analyses of significant barriers to wider, more diverse participation in international studies. We also welcome proposals that deal with interdisciplinary approaches or how collaboration across disciplines can enhance research. Finally, we invite proposals that relate to the concept of a “smaller” world, such as the causes and consequences of greater interconnectedness across various issue areas.

Types of Proposals and Submissions

Most proposals are traditional types including papers, panels, and roundtables. ISA also has a series of specialty programs that are submitted through a separate form.

In addition to submitting a proposal, we have a number of other ways you can get involved with the program and placements on the program for which you can volunteer. Chairs and discussants are integral to the Convention experience, ensuring thoughtful discussion and valuable feedback for Convention participants. You will be asked to identify for which roles you are volunteering and your areas of expertise.

Chair: Chairs at ISA 2022 are charged with setting and maintaining the structure and flow of their individual sessions. Their primary responsibility in advance of the convention is to coordinate communications among panelists, no later than one month out of the event, and to set the presentation order and timing constraints of the session. Chairs are also asked to help facilitate changes to their panel with the Program Chairs, though all panelists are also responsible for communicating changes to their attendance directly with ISA. Onsite, a Chair's job is to set expectations for the session for the audience and to help craft and guide the discussion of their fellow panelists' work. They do this by 1) introducing the panel as a whole and the participants, as well as outlining the order of presentations, 2) managing time during the panel to ensure equal access for all presenters, and 3) moderating the discussion following the presentations to ensure the discussant(s), audience, and panelists have opportunities to engage in dialogue. Lastly, Chairs should be the ones to close the session, thanking the audience and panelists for their presence and/or participation and supplying any final concluding remarks.

Discussant: Discussants ensure a rich and fruitful discussion with both individual presenters and among the panel participants, helping elevate the session to an event that spans substance, collaboration and networking. The primary responsibility of a Discussant is to engage with the presenters’ work. This may include synthesizing broad themes among the presenters’ works, providing feedback on noteworthy points from each presenter’s work, asking questions about each presenters’ work, and/or raising potential new paths for research. Discussants will have access to presenters' work at least 5 days prior to the meeting and are tasked with reading them with an eye toward promoting a rich discussion during the session. Discussants may choose whether or not to share written feedback with the presenters in addition to the oral commentary provided during the event.

JSS Discussant: The JSS discussant role is two-fold. In addition to the traditional discussant role of providing constructive feedback with the goal of improving the research, JSS discussants are also requested to spend 15 to 20 minutes discussing professional development with the presenters. This can include topics such as publishing strategies, teaching tips, navigating the job market, and others. JSS discussants are chosen among ISA’s leading scholars. Senior-level scholars interested in mentoring junior colleagues are encouraged to volunteer.

Poster Discussant: Posters offer a unique format for presenting and sharing research and have become a standard component of the annual ISA convention. The discussant and presenter interaction in the Poster Gallery Program tends to be a bit more casual and personal, and allows for a more extensive dialogue between participants. The discussant role for posters follows the same guidelines and responsibilities as standard panel discussants, but on average a poster discussant will be assigned only one to two posters to review, rather than the 4-5 papers found on a standard panel. Thus, a poster discussant will generally have a lighter “workload” relative to a panel discussant, but will have more opportunity for deeper interaction with the presenter.

Papers are the foundation of the Annual Convention and can be submitted individually or within a larger panel proposal. Papers generally need a title, abstract, three tags and the author(s) to submit. Titles need to be less than 50 words and abstracts need to be less than 200 words.

Note that, if you have a paper that was submitted on a panel, you should not submit the paper independently a second time. 

Junior Scholar Symposium: JSS submissions are not a separate submission type but all individual papers can also be marked for consideration for JSS placement (you'll find a check box at the bottom of the general tab in the submission form). Those papers not placed onto JSS panels will be considered for standard panel placement along with the rest of the independent paper proposal submissions before the normal review process begins.

Flash Talks: Flash talk submissions are both a separate submission type OR individual papers can be marked for consideration for Flash Talk placement (you'll find a check box at the bottom of the general tab in the submission form). Unlike a full research talk given in traditional panels, a Flash Talk is an overview of a study. Presenters must draw out the most important aspects of their research in a compressed time-frame and then field a series of questions immediately thereafter. This is a great opportunity to present and discuss new ideas on working or completed papers and get valuable feedback from peers. A Flash Talk session will consist of several research projects discussed using brief PowerPoint presentations.

Poster Gallery: Poster Gallery submissions are not a separate submission type but all individual papers can also be marked for consideration for Poster Gallery placement (you'll find a check box at the bottom of the general tab in the submission form). These panels provide presenters with the opportunity to share their research in a visual format, with ISA leadership and  journal editors offering direct feedback.

Panels must have a title, abstract and tag words as well as 5 papers (complete with title, tags, abstract and authors) and at least 1 chair and discussant. Titles need to be less than 50 words and abstracts need to be less than 200 words.

Please note that papers submitted on panels should not be submitted a second time independently of the panel. If the panel is not accepted, the papers submitted on the panel go into the normal wait pool with all of our other papers.

Roundtables are similar to panels but participants do not present papers. At least 1 chair and 5 participants are needed to submit a panel, along with title, tags and abstract.Titles need to be less than 50 words and abstracts need to be less than 200 words.


Career Courses

These courses are different from normal sessions at ISA in many ways. Most notably, they are designed to be in a "classroom" format with an instructor teaching on a given topic. Registrants will be able to sign up for the classes on a first-come-first-served basis when they open in the Fall. Instructors will receive a stipend for teaching the course.

If you are interested in teaching a course, you can submit your proposal through this site. The Professional Development Committee will evaluate proposed courses and select those that we will hold in Nashville.

More information


Innovative Panels

Innovative panels offer an opportunity for a little creativity and experimentation. An innovative panel proposal will need the standard title, tags and abstract, along with additional information about the "vision" behind the proposal and a designated chair. Titles need to be less than 50 words and abstracts need to be less than 200 words.

More information


Structuring Inclusion Panels

This series aims to challenge systemic exclusion through the articulation of new practices, approaches, cultures, and institutional parameters that liberate ISA in particular, and scholarship in general. Drawing from expertise across research, governance, teaching, and decision-making, we seek proposals for full panels and roundtables that highlight the work that is being done to increase the visibility and authority of scholars from diverse experiences and positions, disentangling scholarship from static modes of thought and behaviors that are closed and privileged.

More information


"In Other Words" Roundtables

These specialty roundtables are a series of non-English roundtables that seek to explore the role of the English language in governing academic practice, facilitating (or impending communication, and determining academic proficiency and legitimacy within the discipline of International Relations). Proposals should be submitted in both English and the chosen language, and should include: title, abstract, three tags, and all participants (which should include a chair and between 5 and 7 panelists).

More information

We're working on developing some new and exciting programs for ISA 2022 in Nashville! Check back later this summer for more details when we open up submissions for a few new select programs.

ISA is committed to ensuring welcoming and hospitable spaces for every member of our diverse community. We ask that submitters, like our reviewers, take the time to reflect on unconscious biases as you build your proposals - and join us in working to create an inclusive community of scholars. (Check here for more information about unconscious biases and our Committee on the Status of Representation and Diversity).


*To help ensure that the maximum number of people have a chance to participate in our increasingly competitive Annual Convention, the Governing Council directed ISA headquarters to enforce limits for proposals to the conference. These participation limits are enforced at submission. If you are personally reaching this limit, you can remove yourself from any unwanted drafts, or delete them entirely, by editing the proposal. You can also remove yourself from any draft or submitted proposals created by a colleague by clicking the "Details" link to the right of any proposals listed above. If you are reaching this limit due to trying to add someone else, please contact them about reaching the limit. For more information on participation limits, please click here.

Sorry, the submission period for ISA 2022 has closed. For more information, please contact the Program Chairs. Even if you did not submit, anyone is welcome to register and attend the conference.

See My Submissions