Each year, the International Security and Arms Control Section of APSA and the International Security Studies Section of ISA co-sponsor a conference focused on the scholarly issues that our security studies community really cares about. It is a rare example in which APSA and ISA sections cooperate, and it is a real opportunity for substantive conversation and networking. This program offers timely and focused discussion on a wide range of international security issues including war and peace, military effectiveness, civil-military relations, alliances and security institutions, terrorism, intervention, peacekeeping, the political economy of violence, securitization, and other traditional and non-traditional security issues.
We are pleased to announce that the LBJ School of Public Affairs in Austin, Texas will host this year’s ISAC-ISSS conference from 14-16 November, 2014. We look forward to a great conference and to welcoming you to Austin!
We are now accepting proposals for panels, papers, and roundtable discussions at the conference. Please submit proposals via the ISA website. The final day to submit a proposal will be July 15, 2014. We expect to post a preliminary program draft by late August.
We are open to proposals on any security topic. We will select the program based on quality, coherence, and interest, and we will not give special priority this year to any specific subtopic of security studies. But if you are looking for ideas for especially topical work, we offer a couple of thoughts.
For one thing, we note that this year marks 100 years since the outbreak of World War I. That offers an important opportunity to think about links between history and security studies and also a chance to revisit unfinished debates about World War I as an important case for theory development and theory testing. World War I played a key role in major security studies theory debates of the 1980s that have now sprung back to life in the 21st century on the roles of technology, alliances and extended deterrence, domestic and organizational politics, signaling and deterrence, interdependence, the “short war illusion,” and other important conceptual and historical issues. Many of these issues are reentering the security studies literature now, and this conference might be a good opportunity to discuss them further.
Separately, the United States defense budget trajectory has changed over the past few years as Washington has focused more on the country’s fiscal situation and the U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan have diminished. This change provides much fodder for evaluation of the defense budget cycle, the effects of hegemons’ budget cuts, and whether resource constraints spur or inhibit innovation and strategic adjustment, as well as contemporary policy issues such as the future of strategy and the balance of power in Asia.
And of course we are open to proposals about all of the other exciting issues in the field. Presenters might consider reflecting on the twentieth anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, nuclear deterrence or proliferation, new domains of warfare like cyber and space, or new military technologies like UAVs. Of course, this list of topic ideas could never be exhaustive.
Ultimately, there is much to discuss in security studies. This conference comes at a truly vibrant time. We look forward to seeing you in Austin for a great weekend of scholarship, debate, and camaraderie.