News from ISA



ISA Statement Regarding the Summary Deportation of Professor Pal Ahluwalia by Fiji Authorities

The International Studies Association, which represents thousands of international relations scholars around the world, condemns the deportation of Professor Pal Ahluwalia, Vice-chancellor of the University of the South Pacific, by Fijian authorities. In a dramatic home arrest on February 3, 2021, Professor Ahluwalia’s work permit was revoked, and he and his wife were removed from their home and flown to Brisbane, Australia under armed military guard. According to international news agencies, the decision is in retaliation for Professor Ahluwalia blowing the whistle on corrupt practices and financial mismanagement within the university. The revocation of Professor Ahluwalia’s work permit, in apparent disregard of due process, seriously constrains his ability to carry out his duties as Vice-Chancellor. If politically-motivated, such interference in the operation of a university undermines university autonomy, an important principle of academic freedom. Moreover, transparency and accountability are essential in the academic community’s efforts to ensure that institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good. ISA calls on the Fijian government to reinstate Professor Ahluwalia’s work permit and allow him to return to his teaching post in Fiji.



ISA Statement Regarding the Arrest and Detention of CEU Master’s Student in Egypt

The International Studies Association, the largest association of scholars of international relations in the world, denounces the arbitrary detention on February 1, 2021 of Ahmed Samir Abdelhay Ali, an Egyptian national enrolled in a graduate program in Sociology/Social Anthropology at the Central European University in Vienna, Austria. Ahmed was interrogated by the Egyptian authorities at the Sharm El Sheikh International Airport upon returning to Egypt for family reasons. When he presented himself as requested to Cairo police, he was arrested, physically assaulted, held incommunicado and is now in detention. It is believed that Ahmed has been detained in relation to his research on reproductive rights in Egypt. ISA notes with extreme concern a systematic pattern on the part of the Egyptian Government of arrest and/or detention of students and scholars as well as its disregard for the principle of academic freedom. ISA urges the Egyptian government in the strongest possible terms to release Ahmed Samir Abdelhay Ali immediately.



ISA Statement Regarding Academic Freedom in Turkey

The International Studies Association (ISA) expresses mounting concern for academic freedom in Turkey in light of recent events at Boğaziçi university. We are troubled by the process followed to appoint Melih Bulu as rector of the university and by the mistreatment and detention of students who peacefully protested his appointment. For further information about ISA’s deliberative processes on academic freedom concerns and the committee’s mandate from the Governing Council, please see:



ISA Statement Regarding Dr. Kylie Moore-Gilbert's Imprisonment in Iran

The International Studies Association (ISA) strongly condemns the arrest and detention of Dr. Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a dual British-Australian national and scholar of the Middle East and Lecturer at Melbourne University, by the Iranian government. In 2018, Dr. Moore-Gilbert traveled to Iran to attend a university program on Islam for foreign academics. While there, she was detained by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard on unsubstantiated charges of espionage and sentenced to a decade in prison in a secret trial.  

For further information about ISA’s deliberative processes on academic freedom concerns and the committee’s charge from the Governing Council, please see:



ISA Statement Condemning Racism

The ISA acknowledges the continued existence of racism across the globe and condemns racism in all its forms. As a global academic association, ISA seeks to promote scholarly inquiry into the sources and consequences of racism and other forms of discrimination in all parts of the world. The ISA encourages studies of social and political action necessary to expose and combat the persistent social, economic and political inequalities around the globe. The ISA maintains a strong commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion for all marginalized and underrepresented groups.

With members in more than 120 countries representing diverse approaches to the study of global phenomena, the ISA has supported research ( and conferences ( in which racism and its ramifications have been systematically explored. More scholarship needs to turn to address these critical issues. The ISA leadership commits to fostering such research and improving the representation and experience of underrepresented groups in our profession and our association. It will continue to invest in programs, policies, and practices that strive to create a culture of inclusion in our research, conferences, and workplaces.



ISA 2020 Land Acknowledgement

As we convene, we acknowledge Hawaiʻi as an indigenous space where the descendants of the original people are kānaka ʻōiwi or Native Hawaiian.

The ‘āina [ayne-ah – meaning LAND] on which we gather is located in the ahupua‘a [ahhoo-pu-ah-ah] of Waikīkī, in the moku [moh-koo] of Kona, on the mokupuni [moh-koopu-ni] of O‘ahu [oh-ah-hoo], in the pae‘āina [pie-ayne-ah] of Hawai‘i.

We recognize that her majesty Queen Lili‘uokalani [Lee-lee-ooh-oh-kah-lani] yielded the Hawaiian Kingdom and these territories under duress and protest to the United States to avoid the bloodshed of her people, who are recognized in the Kingdom’s law and today as kānaka Maoli. We further recognize that generations of indigenous Hawaiians and their knowledge systems shaped Hawai‘i in a sustainable way that allow us to enjoy her gifts today. For this, We are truly grateful.


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