The First Global South International Studies Conference

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November 29 - December 1, 2012
Co-sponsored by the International Studies Association’s Global South Caucus and
The Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) – Campus Moyen-Orient Méditerranée à Menton 

Sharing Insights and Ideas:  Theorizing, Teaching, Research, and Publishing on the Global South 

The International Studies Association (headquartered at the University of Arizona, USA) is the largest, most respected and widely known scholarly association promoting research and education in International Relations (IR). It represents more than eighty countries and has approximately 6,000 members worldwide. 

The Global South Caucus (GSCIS) is a unit of ISA, initiated in 2011, and open to members of ISA who study the global south regionally (Africa, Asia, Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean) or globally, as well as relevant south societies in the north and relations between the north and south. Among the aims of the caucus is to provide a channel for the sharing of research, information and ideas among scholars and practitioners of/in the various regions of the south; to encourage the dissemination of research on the global south in major journals; and to encourage graduate students to work on south issues and regions. 

The First Global South International Studies Conference will be devoted to developing theoretical ideas appropriate to studying the international relations and foreign policy of the global south as well as to sharing teaching, learning and publishing experiences and methods--perceived shortcomings as well as strengths—related to the study of the south by scholars/students from the north and south. Moreover, the workshop aims to help develop tangible goals on moving forward in global south studies; these would serve as guidelines for coming conferences. We are interested in soliciting input and feedback from scholars about particular operational mechanisms that they have used successfully in each issue-area, or that they would like to access in their own work. The conference will serve as an arena for the sharing of ideas and experiences among senior and junior scholars and graduate students, thus achieving a balance of experience and apprenticeship. 

Within this project, submissions are encouraged on the following themes, each of which will be developed in three sessions: 

Theme One: Theorizing 

Questions to be addressed: What are some of the critiques of mainstream international relations theory in terms of its relevance to the global south? What alternatives are available? What research is being done or can be done in this regard? 

Theme Two: Teaching 

Questions: What kind of training, backgrounds, and experiences have fostered success for scholars of the global south? What are their experiences with respect to teaching loads, assigned courses, course content, and advancement in the profession? How do scholars of the global south deal with material selection; philosophical, theoretical and methodological issues as they affect teaching; nuances in phrasing, framing of issues, or other particulars? What innovative technologies are helpful in dealing with global south IR? 

Theme Three: Research 

Questions: What are key research questions pertaining to GS IR? What is the role of policy research? Is there a preference for certain epistemologies and methodologies when dealing with the global south? If so, why? What kinds of problems have scholars encountered in doing research on the south? What have been some of the experiences of global south scholars/students in studying their regions from the outside as well as from within? What should scholars from each region usefully share? Are there methods in research which they observe/perceive are used to represent their regions, and which they would argue could use revision, and why? 

Some regions of the south (perhaps most visibly in Latin America) are noticeable for a significant density in scholarly networks, international associations, and avenues for research and publication. While dialogue and debate among schools within the south is dynamic, it would be of interest in this workshop (reflecting the general direction of the Global South Caucus) to investigate avenues for cross-regional research collaboration. This obviously would spill over into publishing and teaching, but would still have research at its core. In other words, not only are we interested in strengthening the north-south bridges, but also in building south-south bridges as well. Both individual and institutional bridges will be discussed. 

Theme Four: Publishing 

Questions: What is the role of publishing in academic advancement? What are the perceived gaps in publishing about south IR? What fields have not yet been fully developed? What problems are there in terms of the exposure and integration of GS scholarship into the mainstream? For example, how can research done in local languages, and other international languages like French and Spanish, make its way to journals and publishers that are traditional outlets for the general ISA readership? These are important dimensions to allow highly valuable ideas and insights from outside of the mainstream to receive their share of recognition. 

What is an appropriate balance between policy work, with its outreach to inter-disciplinary audiences, and scholarly work, with its focus on specialized audiences? What are some adequate mechanisms for transmitting scholarly knowledge to policy audiences? 

Conference Organizing Committee 

Chair: Imad Mansour (Sciences Po – Menton) 

Co-Chair: Jacqueline Anne Braveboy-Wagner (City University of New York) 

Member: Bernard El-Ghoul (Sciences Po – Menton) 

Member: Nanette Svenson (Tulane University) 

Member: Paulo Esteves (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro) 

Conference Host: Sciences Po Paris – Campus Moyen-Orient Méditerranée à Menton 

Sciences Po is a highly selective independent and international research university with seven campuses and collaborative arrangements with more than 400 competitive universities all over the world. Sciences Po has forged a network of strategic alliances involving dual degrees with the London School of Economics (LSE), Columbia University, MGIMO (Moscow State University of International Relations) and Fudan University (Shanghai, China). 

The Middle Eastern and Mediterranean campus of Menton focuses on political, economic and social issues in Mediterranean countries, the Middle East and the Gulf. Its multidisciplinary and fundamental teaching method consists of courses in social science and specialized courses on the zone of campus interest in three languages (French, Arabic, and English). The program brings together international students from Europe, the Maghreb, the Middle East and the Gulf, as well as from the United States and Asia. It offers a curriculum in French and a complete curriculum in English, underpinned by the expertise of Sciences Po professors and researchers specializing in the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean zones, prestigious lecturers, and guest professors. 

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