Happy New Year to you all. With 2022 now behind us, let me start the new year by conveying a message of hope and optimism for a healthy and productive 2023. Here at BISA we are back with renewed passion and energy for an exciting and full year ahead. With a new updated constitution, voted through by the membership in June 2022, we look forward to our new status as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) and the responsibilities that come with this, including annual reporting to the Charity Commission.
As the go-to Association for International Studies experts, and those with an interest in international politics or keeping up with the latest trends in the discipline, I am delighted that our membership numbers remain steady at just under 1,500. This includes rising numbers of postgraduate students and global scholars. This is down in part to the record number of virtual and in-person events and activities that our dedicated working group convenors and Postgraduate Network (PGN) committee have organised across the academic year, the well-attended BISA annual conference, which brings our research community together for three days of in depth discussion and networking opportunities, and the high standard of research published in our world renowned journals, Review of International Studies and European Journal of International Security, and our book series.
On top of this, we continue with our campaign in defence of the social sciences (and international studies within this) by building and strengthening coalitions within the Academy of Social Sciences and other key players such as professional associations, learned societies and relevant funders. We remain committed to supporting colleagues within the International Studies community and continue to hold regular informal Heads of Department and Research Director meetings. I am very pleased that we will soon launch an EDI Forum for those working on inequalities within their institutions.
With careful financial management, I am confident that the year ahead will be our most successful yet, involving a series of exciting 2023 events and research opportunities. We will continue to offer working group and PGN grants, as well funds for early career small research grants, learning and teaching grants and assistance through our Founders’ Fund for those in the final stages of their PhD.
To assist us with our work, I urge you to please renew your membership on time, fully engage with our working groups, journals and PGN, register for our upcoming conference in Glasgow, and support BISA in any other way you can including volunteering for convenorships as they come up, putting your name forward for the BISA Executive, or making a donation. This is your Association and we want to ensure that you are rewarded for your commitment to us. Please do spread the word about our activities amongst your networks. You can even take advantage of three months free membership with our referral scheme. If you are not a member, do please consider joining us. We are open to everyone and have membership discounts for students, ECRs, global scholars and retired members.
2022 saw over 60 face-to-face and online events with registration levels peaking at over 2,500 people from both members and non-members. This is an incredible accomplishment, and I would like to thank all the working group convenors and the PGN team for the wonderfully interesting events in 2022 and those planned for 2023. We recognise that your work is entirely voluntarily and, judging from the feedback we receive, there is huge appetite from members and non-members for more events and activities of a similar kind. Some of our 2022 events were recorded and you can find these on our YouTube channel.
Our 2023 calendar of events is taking shape starting with the second in the series of ‘Understanding IR as a Social Science’ with Dr Vishwas Satgar on 17 January from our International Relations as a Social Science Working Group. This is followed by the very popular ‘Writing Workshop’ with Dr Clare Lynch (Cambridge) on 18 January from our Postgraduate Network. We also have the European Security annual workshop on ‘The war in Ukraine and remaking of European security’ on 20 January, the Inaugural Astropolitics Working Group lecture with Professor Dr Kai-Uwe Schrogl on 20 February and Doing IR Differently: Pluriversal Relationality, a public lecture in conjunction with LSE and based on the special issue of Review of International Studies, plus many other working group events throughout the Spring and beyond.
This quarter you can also look forward to another BISA-led student model NATO event with the FCDO on 3 March, and a student climate change negotiation simulation event on 26 April. We have record numbers of universities signed up to these events and will be reporting to our members on these in due course. Additionally, we continue with our book club led by trustee Dr Nick Caddick. And, if you are going to ISA or EISA this year, please do look out for BISA sponsored panels and a reception.
If any of the above interests you, please sign up and make sure you continue to visit our events pages for updates.
#BISA2023 in Glasgow
We are busy planning for our next annual conference in Glasgow from 21 – 23 June. It is a great opportunity for you all to reconnect with old friends and colleagues, share your research and learn about what others have been doing. Conference chairs, Dr Georgina Holmes (OU) and Professor Kurt Mills, are busy building the programme to ensure the conference is both critically engaging and stimulating under the theme ‘What can International Studies contribute to a summit of the future?’
In addition to three days of over 250 face-to-face panels, roundtables and keynotes, we are also putting together a programme of fringe activities build around the conference. These include a full day professional development workshop for postgraduate and early-career researchers on 20 June, a public lecture on decolonising our universities, a Whiskey and IR live podcast event, the ever popular ‘Meet the Editors’, a couple of exhibitions and some walking tours to stretch those legs! And, of course, the annual BISA reception.
Registration will open on 17 January 2023 so please do sign up to secure your place as soon as possible.
The two editorial teams of our journals - Review of International Studies and the European Journal of International Security have been busy putting together new editions with the support of our publishers, Cambridge University Press. Along with article summary blogs, we will also be bringing you new video abstracts for RIS, and the current EJIS conversation series will continue throughout 2023. You can look back at all our analysis pieces on the analysis index page and see interviews and summaries on our RIS playlist on YouTube.
2023 marks the last year for both editorial teams who hand over to new teams at the end of the year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for all the hard work they have put in to making the journals such a success.
Prizes and awards
Nominations for our annual prizes will open later in January. It’s a real pleasure to see these prestigious awards made each year and I hope you’ll consider making a nomination to one of the categories. Look out for more information across our website and social media.
I know that many of our members would like to join me in thanking the BISA trustees and BISA staff team for all the work they do on behalf of the Association. Without the dedication of both, we would not be able to support the community of International Studies scholarship in the way we do. If you have any additional suggestions of how we can improve the association to serve our membership better, please do get in touch with me at Juliet.firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be happy to hear from you.