ISA has received many messages of concern in recent days about developing policy changes within the United States. The ISA leadership are all deeply concerned about the implications of these changes, especially for scholars from affected countries. As always, ISA remains dedicated to and embraces diversity, inclusion and academic freedom in all of our activities and programs. We remain committed to this philosophy for the 2017 Baltimore convention and beyond.
With respect to some specific convention-related details:
- Those who are denied a visa or entry (even with a visa) to the United States for the convention will have their registration fees refunded.
- For those affected, there will also be no penalties imposed with respect to next year’s ISA participation possibilities.
- Although we recognize that some are urging a boycott of the Baltimore convention because of the imposed travel ban, we strongly encourage everyone who can to come to Baltimore. That way, we will have the opportunity to discuss how to move forward as an association in this changed reality. Otherwise, we allow further suppression of our scholarly interactions.
- Please also note that ISA is a 501c3 non-profit association, which prevents the association from taking partisan stands on policy issues.
We also know that many of our members conduct research that is highly relevant to policy issues that the new US administration is confronting. As such, we expect that many of the panels and roundtables at our Baltimore convention will provide opportunities for scholars to speak about how their research addresses these prominent policy controversies. We also expect to discuss at the Governing Council and in Baltimore convention venues how US law affects future convention siting.
You will note that the theme of the meeting is “Understanding Change in World Politics” and the apparent change in US foreign and domestic policy is likely to be prominent in many high-level discussions at the convention, including the Sapphire Series and panels focusing on the program theme.
As always, ISA takes very seriously its role in connecting research to policy and providing a forum for the free exchange of ideas. We look forward to seeing you in Baltimore for what looks like an exciting conference and a great opportunity to think on the current challenges to freedom of thought and movement of all people.
Lastly, for those of you affected by the temporary ban, please keep ISA HQ informed of these issues, so that we have the most information possible with which to make decisions.
T.V. Paul, ISA President
Ashley Leeds, ISA President-elect
Paul Diehl, ISA Past-President
Mark A. Boyer, ISA Executive Director