Candidates in the BISA 2021 elections

Executive Committee candidates announced - vote now!

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We're delighted to announce the nominees for election to our Executive Committee. This year we have five trustee positions up for election - Vice-Chair, Secretary and three regular trustees. If you're eligible to vote you'll receive an email from our election platform - Choice Voting. Voting is open from Tuesday 4 May 2021 at 1pm, until Tuesday 18 May at 5pm.

The candidates are:

Vice-Chair

Kyle Grayson
Kyle Grayson
Newcastle University

I am currently Professor of Security, Politics, and Culture and the Acting Head of the School of Geography, Politics, and Sociology at Newcastle University.

I have been the Secretary of BISA since 2018 and was previously a trustee from 2016. During my time in these roles, BISA has significantly advanced as a professional association.

While BISA has achieved a great deal, there is still more to be done to ensure that the association actively promotes the field of international studies and continues to proactively anticipate the needs of our membership in ways that are financially sustainable and inclusive. By doing so, BISA, and its members, can make a positive difference within the higher education sector and society more widely.

In the role of Vice-Chair, I am keen to undertake this challenging work, including ensuring that BISA plays a key role in meaningfully addressing the stark imbalances that pervade our discipline. I have an excellent working knowledge of the organisation and its membership, alongside budgetary, communications, and organisational skills. My knowledge and skill set will enable me to work effectively with members, trustees, and the BISA team to continue to grow and develop the association and the discipline.

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No other nominations were received for the position of Vice-Chair, however you can choose to vote 'no suitable candidate'.

Secretary

Toni Haastrup
Toni Haastrup
University of Stirling

I am currently a senior lecturer in international politics at the University of Stirling. I also edit JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies. I have been a member of BISA for several years, including a previous stint as an ordinary committee member. I am therefore familiar with the inner workings of BISA’s governance, and I am proud of having contributed to its growth in previous years.

Presently, our discipline and institutions of higher education are facing unprecedent strains. From the broader impact of multiple crises, the latest of which is COVID, to the attacks on the social sciences that have manifested in funding cuts; it is fair to say these are challenging times. The changing financial and political context requires us now to think about future priorities and make important decisions to keep the best of BISA – a professional association dedicated wholly to supporting its membership.

I seek election to the position of secretary because I would like to be part of the conversation about our future drawing on the authority and knowledge of the membership. I strongly believe that as we seek to move through this period, it is important that we do not lose what is excellent about BISA.

As secretary my aim is to support work that builds on the successes of and gains made over the last decade and while ensuring that what the future holds for the international studies community in the UK and beyond includes: continued support to early career scholars; an inclusive space for the support and development of disciplinary sub-fields through our working groups, and growing our membership.

With the support and trust of the membership, I can play a role in ensuring that a sustainable future for BISA is possible.

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No other nominations were received for the position of Secretary, however you can choose to vote 'no suitable candidate'.

Regular trustees

Ilan Baron
Ilan Baron
Durham University

The academic vocation tends to prioritise research, but teaching occupies just as much, if not more of our time, and the greatest influence most of us will ever have is in the classroom as educators. I am applying for the position of the Learning and Teaching Trustee because we need to support our roles as educators to a greater degree than has historically been the case. Our PhD training system does not provide a lot of time to develop as a teacher, and our career trajectories rarely focus on the merits of teaching. Professional development opportunities in teaching that we want to take are rarely offered. And when we do look at evaluating our teaching, we rely too often on problematic module evaluation questionnaires. Teaching is a skill that we improve with practice, but it is also a challenge, especially in a field marred by gender imbalances and a colonial legacy. Yet these are also opportunities to improve and relearn our subject as part of decolonisation and indigenisation efforts. I want to help us develop more productive ways of supporting ourselves as educators, encouraging our students become lifelong learners, and offering greater opportunities for graduate level teaching training.

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Nick Caddick
Nick Caddick
Anglia Ruskin University

I’m a newcomer to IR, arriving from an eclectic social science background, drawn in by the rich new perspective IR has offered my work on the stories of military veterans. As a new arrival, I’m both enchanted by the urgency of IR’s political critiques, and wary of the disciplining tendencies that accompany various schools of thought. My work is inter, and in a sense, un-disciplinary. I work with colleagues and approaches that can bring fresh insight and challenge wherever they are located, from poets to filmmakers to advocates of traditional theory. As a trustee, I will seek enriching new dialogues wherever they might be found.

I’m also a newcomer to BISA, having joined in the midst of the pandemic. I was immediately struck by the range and quality of online events, which offered me connection and solidarity in what was, and continues to be, an isolating time for academics. My aim is to contribute to BISA’s programme and the opportunities it provides for ECRs in particular. In my own institution, I’m supporting ECRs through faculty-based mentoring schemes. I believe in supporting colleagues, and talking to each other as a way of dealing with the institutional obstacles we face.

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Georgina Holmes
Georgina Holmes
King's College London

I’m a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, where I do research on international politics, gender, security sector reform and peacekeeping. I have published on such topics in Security Dialogue, International Peacekeeping, Journal of Intervention and State Building and Millennium. I serve as an editor for Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal and am an active member of BISA. In September 2018, I co-founded and still co-chair the Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding working group and in 2020, I was the academic lead that put together the University of Reading’s successful bid to host BISA 2023 in the City of Reading.

Should I be elected to BISA’s executive committee, my first priority would be to support BISA in strengthening the UK’s international studies community following the pandemic, bringing in new scholars and helping existing colleagues to reconnect. I would be particularly keen to support the BISA community in enhancing BISA’s engagement and outreach activities to raise the profile of International Relations among young people and prospective students, as part of the discipline’s broader efforts to become more inclusive of people from diverse communities. I’d also apply my expertise in strategic communications and stakeholder engagement acquired in my previous career before re-entering academia to promote BISA and to support the organising committees of BISA’s annual conferences.

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Kurt Mills
Kurt Mills
University of Dundee

I am Professor of International Relations and Human Rights at the University of Dundee, and Deputy Head of Politics and International Relations. I have been an academic in the UK for 17 years out of my 26 year career, and would like to make a contribution to wider academic life in international studies in the UK. My broad areas of interest are human rights and international relations, and in particular human rights in conflict. I am currently an editor of the journal Global Governance. I also serve as Director of the Scottish Human Rights Defenders Fellowship, which reflects my commitment to making positive contributions beyond academia. I have significant previous experience in serving in professional associations, including as Vice President of the International Studies Association, Vice Chair of the Academic Council on the United Nations System, and founder of the human rights section of ISA, as well as in leadership positions in two other ISA sections. In conjunction with the ISA human rights section, I have organised international human rights conferences in Glasgow, Istanbul, The Hague, New York, Rome, and London. Drawing on this last experience, I would be particularly interested in overseeing the academic programme of the annual meeting.

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You can choose up to three nominees to be elected as regular trustees, or you can choose 'no suitable candidate'.

Who is eligible to vote?

All full members and institutional members of BISA are eligible to vote. Student and school members are not. You must have been a member when voting opened on 4 May.

How to vote

If you're eligible, you should have received an email from Choice Voting on Tuesday 4 May. This email contains a link to a secure and anonymous platform where you can cast your votes. If you think you may be eligible but didn't receive your email, please contact Chrissie Duxson: chrissie.duxson@bisa.ac.uk All votes must be cast by the time the election closes at 5pm on Tuesday 18 May.