Wednesday, July 27, 2011

BISA- Circulation Request

From BISA's Africa and International Studies Working Group
Dr. William Brown, Convenor
((see: :

As you may know BISA and ISA are holding a joint conference in Edinburgh in June next year and BISA are looking in particular for panels that are collaborations between BISA working groups and ISA groups. I am writing to ask if the South Caucus might be interested in any joint endeavours with the Africa and International Studies Working Group?

I wonder if you might be willing to contact members of the South Caucus to ask for expressions of interest in joint panels on global development and Africa? The working group currently has a general call for panel proposals out (copied below) and we also have a call for expressions of interest in a particular panel on ‘Governing and contesting African environments’. If you felt able to circulate these, we’d be most grateful. If you had other ideas on developing joint proposals we’d be very happy to try to progress things. As you may know, BISA working groups are able to propose up to five panels for conference (one of which is guaranteed a slot) so we’re hoping to gather together panels proposals by mid-August.

Joint BISA-ISA International Conference
Diversity in the Discipline: Tension or Opportunity in Responding to Global Challenges
20-22 June 2012 Edinburgh, Scotland

To have the chance of being put forward for BISA's slate at this joint BISA-ISA Conference in Edinburgh next year, via the Africa and IS Working Group, panel details will need to be sent to Dr. Stephen Hurt ( by Monday 15th August. PLEASE NOTE THIS EARLY DEADLINE.

If people have an idea and are looking for others to join a panel, I am happy to forward messages to the rest of the working group ‘advertising’ your suggested panel ideas.

As a Working Group we have one agreed slot. We can propose up to five but only one of these will be guaranteed.

As a BISA Working Group it is important we have some representation at this annual conference.

The Africa and IS Working Group will consider co-ordinating panels on any subject in the field of Africa and International Studies/International Relations, which might include substantive research and/or theoretical debates. We will prioritise those panels which speak to the conference theme.

The call for papers highlights that joint submissions from ISA Sections and BISA working groups are warmly encouraged. We will be approaching relevant ISA Sections in this regard.

We have also been approached by the BISA Learning and Teaching Working Group as to whether we are interested in putting together something with them. If anyone is interested in this please contact our esteemed convenor, Will Brown (

You need to include a chair for your panel, plus a title and abstract for the panel as a whole. Then I need titles and abstracts for the papers and contact details for all paper givers. The use of discussants is optional. Convenors can include them at their discretion, depending upon the number of papers.

Please note the following rules on participation:

1. Delegates can present only ONE paper at the conference, including co-authored papers.
2. Delegates can also appear as Discussant or Chair on two further panels.
3. Graduate student participation in the conference is encouraged, but panels comprising only Graduate Students will not be permitted.

Call for expression of interest on panel: ‘Governing and contesting African environments

Abstract: Whether in regard to the extraction of natural resources (oil, gas, coal, aluminium, copper, etc) or the degradation of ecosystems (including agriculture, water, forests, and pollution) African environments have always been a focus of governance and contestation. New challenges are becoming increasingly evident, however, such as climate change, the intensification of agriculture, increased urbanisation and industrialisation, and new technologies such as GM and geo-engineering. New forms of governance are crystallising around community-based resource management, transboundary conservation areas, climate adaptation plans, new regulatory and investor agreements, and sustainable development strategies. New actors are also emerging, most obviously the Chinese presence in the competition for mineral resources, but also including land-for-food grabs by Gulf states and US university hedge funds, increased investment and strategic cooperation from India and Brazil, new coalitions around climate change and the UN Adaptation Fund, transnational corporations eager for raw materials, emerging consumer markets, or corporate ‘greening’ opportunities, and burgeoning global and local social movements mobilising around a wide range of environmental issues, broadly defined.
This panel seeks to explore cases such as these, as well as considering how best to theorise the governance and contestation of African environments. Are existing theoretical tools drawn from African studies, global governance, regime theory, social movement theory, ecological modernisation, sustainable development, critical political ecology and so on adequate to comprehend these developments? Or are new theoretical approaches needed, including new interdisciplinary borrowings and syntheses?

Researchers working on all aspects and at all levels of environmental politics in Africa are welcomed to submit a 200 word abstract and their institutional affiliation and contact details. Papers should include some reflection on the international and global dimensions of African environmental governance and contestation, as well as some reflection on the suitability of existing or new theoretical approaches to the field. Please send proposals to Dr Carl Death ( <> ) by Thursday 11 August.

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