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SIS Shines at ISA Convention

By Mana Zarinejad

Dr. Acharya addresses the ISA

Dozens of SIS faculty and students recently returned from the 55th annual convention of the International Studies Association (ISA), the largest organization dedicated to the study of international affairs, with more than 6,500 scholars from around the world.

The 2014 convention, titled "Spaces and Places: Geopolitics in an Era of Globalization," took place March 26-29 in Toronto and featured 1,000 panel presentations from scholars and students, including approximately thirty SIS faculty and one dozen doctoral students who attended to present their research.

The highlight of the annual convention is the presidential address, led this year by SIS Professor and UNESCO Chair in Transnational Challenges and Governance Amitav Acharya, who assumed the presidency of ISA during the convention. Acharya is the first non-Western president of the association in its fifty-five-year history.

Fittingly, Acharya challenged his colleagues during his address to think beyond the Western perspective when contemplating theories of international relations and to consider his concept of non-Western international relations theory, which he and colleague Barry Buzan of the London School of Economics published in an edited volume of the same name in 2013. Acharya's speech resulted in a standing ovation from the large convention audience and was followed by a reception in his honor.

SIS also hosted a reception during the four-day conference that included alumni and accepted graduate students living in and around Toronto, who had an opportunity to meet with current SIS graduate students and faculty.

Other highlights of the annual convention included:

  • The Peace Studies Section of ISA honored SIS Professor Abdul-Aziz Said with the Distinguished Scholar Award for his long-time contribution to the field of peace and conflict studies.
  • The Theory Section of ISA honored SIS Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies Patrick Thaddeus Jackson with its inaugural best book award for his book, The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relations.
  • The Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Migration Studies Section of ISA honored SIS Associate Professor Christine Chin for her book, Cosmopolitan Sex Workers.
  • The International Communication Section of ISA elected SIS Assistant Professor Craig Hayden as its new Program Chair-elect, which will enable him to ascend to Chair of the section one year later.