Friday, May 10, 2013

San Francisco and after

Dear Members:
Now that the San Francisco conference is behind us, it is time to move forward to 2014.
The San Francisco conference has been widely hailed as one of ISA's most well attended and successful for which thanks go out to President Etel Solingen, the conference organizers and ISA HQ. The Global South Caucus sponsored or co-sponsored about seven well received panels. Despite some fears that our Saturday slots would not draw an audience, this was not the case at all. In addition, our luncheon for the Distinguished Scholar nominee Jomo Sundaram was a convention highlight for GSCIS members. The surroundings, food and company were very pleasant and the talk by Dr. Sundaram was comprehensive, knowledgeable and stimulating. It was a pleasure to be surrounded by scholars who really believe in the promise of the south despite its difficulties.Thanks go out to all who attended! This luncheon has set the standard for future presentations.
Dr. Sundaram will in due course be sending us his speech for publication,  most likely in the summer newsletter.   So please watch out for that. And thanks again to ACUNS for their assistance in thi venture.

 Prof. Mittelman introduces Dr. Sundaram

Dr. Sundaram speaks

Presentation of Plaque by Chair, J. Braveboy-Wagner.

Business Meeting Apologies:
Because the luncheon went over time, the Caucus was late in starting its Business Meeting in San Francisco. The Executive made the mistake of assuming that members would check he luncheon site before going to the meeting room not far away. As a result we are told that a few members waited for us in the meeting room, to which we arrived very late. We do apologize for the mix-up. In addition, a few members apparently did not see the Addendum to the Program which contained up-to-date information about the luncheon (different from what was listed in the original program). We assure you that we have learned from all this and will ensure in the future that the luncheon is held on a different day from the day of the Business Meeting. As you may know, however, there are limited time slots as well as limited spaces for meetings. While we will attempt to work these matters out more efficiently, we cannot always avoid conflicts.
At the Business Meeting, the Constitution was adopted by members present and voting. Our membership and financial situation were reviewed. Both are relatively strong for a two-year old caucus and on the basis of our performance, the Governing Council seems inclined to allot us more conference panel slots than we currently have. ISA's Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee, headed by Mike Ryckman, has been given the task of developing a formula for the allocation of panel quotas to each of ISA's sections. Like other sections, we will be providing our input into these deliberations. Hopefully we will be successful in obtaining more slots. You can do your part by keeping your membership up to date, getting others to join our group, and when sending in proposals for the next conference, putting us as your potential first or second sponsor. Please note that we have introduced an institutional membership, so you may wish to ask your institution to join, particularly if you are located in the global south. See our webpage on the ISA site (we will soon be updating the page, given ISA website changes: see notice below).

Elections: The Nominating Committee worked right up to the conference, seeking candidates for various slots on the Executive Committee. As a result we were unable to hold the requisite email/online elections before San Francisco and thus could not introduce candidates at the Business Meeting. We are therefore holding elections now for the important vacant slots.

Given the youth of the caucus, the EXCOM unanimously asked the Chair to stay on. She agreed to do so but, in the interest of democracy and transparency, for one year only. For the same reason, since no one could be found, despite strenuous efforts, to replace the current Middle East and  Developing Eurasian representative, Imad Mansour and Jason Strakes were asked to remain for an additional year. (The term of the Asia representative, Zakia Afrin, is not yet up.)
A ballot will be sent out shortly in re the now-vacant Africa and Latin America slots.
Both Vice Presidents have completed their two year terms. For continuity's sake, Lisa Richey agreed to remain for another year, but preferred not to serve as program chair this time around. As a result, she has assumed the second Vice Presidency, for Outreach, for the year, working to get our various new regional initiatives going..

Nanette Svenson, who has served the caucus ably on the EXCOM for two years, is being offered as the Nominating Committee's candidate for VP/Program Chair, a position that she has already temporarily assumed given the need to begin preparations for Toronto 2014.  In addition
Clifford Griffin's term as secretary has ended and the membership is being asked to endorse him for another two-year term as permitted by the constitution for these administrative positions. (The two-year terms of Diana Cassells as Newsletter Editor, and Seifudein Adem as Treasurer are not yet up.)
Ballots will be sent out to all members shortly.
If you are interested in serving the caucus in any capacity, please let us know early so that we can get a good slate together for next year. Almost all positions will be open by the time Toronto rolls around

Toronto Conference:
 ISA has issued the following call:

The next ISA convention will be held in Toronto from March 26-29, 2014 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto and the Hilton Toronto. The convention theme is Spaces and Places: Geopolitics in an Era of Globalization. The full call has been posted on ISA's website here and proposals will be accepted online until June 1, 2013.

Our caucus invites members to submit relevant proposals as soon as possible, listing us as primary or secondary sponsors. As usual we are very interested in sponsoring panels on the emerging countries regionalism, development etc., as well as theorizing and researching GS international relations and foreign policy. While we do not know yet how many panels will be allocated to us (inasmuch as an ISA committee is assessing the entire allocation issue), we assure you that we will continue to manage whatever we are assigned in such a way as to maximize our presence.  

 Distinguished Scholar Honoree: What is turning out to be a central activity of ours is the speech and luncheon in honor of a scholar who has made stellar contributions to the global south cause in  both the academic as well as policy areas.  In the past two years we honored persons from Africa and from Asia. We would like to honor a scholar from Latin American this time around.  Please send your suggestions to the Chair ( as soon as you have a little bit of time to relax as summer vacation (for most members) begins.

Conferences to think hard about, please:

The Chair would like the caucus to be well represented at the upcoming FLACO/ISA joint conference to be held in Argentina in 2014. FLACSO has been told that our primary areas of interest in this respect are:  1) theorizing, teaching and research on the global south; 2) foreign policies of GS emerging nations and regional leaders (of any size); and 3) our two ongoing initiatives on Developing Eurasia and on Africa.The call for papers will open on 15th June, and last until 1st October. All the information will be posted in the conference webstite at ISA: ( However, we would appreciate it if you would also inform us directly as to whether you wish to participate and in what way. Write to the Chair or to Nanette Svenson <>.

Second Global South International Studies Conference: After our successful Menton conference we are ready to hold another GSCIS conference in any suitable region of the world. In fact,we would like to make a list of places where conferences will be held over the next three or four years! Please send your bids to the Chair as soon as possible. Include information on when you would like to hold the conference (bearing in mind that ISA's convention is almost always in March), what institutional assistance is available, what theme you have in mind, what logistical arrangements will be made (hotel, travel etc) and other relevant issues. 

Africa Initiative: Once again we have been made aware of the lack of attention to Africa in the discipline  as a whole and at IR conventions in general. This is one of the reasons why we have established an African Initiative (see earlier postings). More information on the initiative, currently led by Eric Deguila, will be posted soon.

ISA Has A New Website
Shortly after ISA staff returned from the San Francisco Convention we used the brief (very brief) period between the meeting and the announcement of the call for the 2014 Convention to transition to a new website. We have a new host (PowerDNN) and a new open-source framework (DotNetNuke). The new site combines the old public website with the MyISA membership and conference management system. If we've done this right, your login remains the same, our website URL ( remains the same, and our content should be much easier to find on the new site. We hope the transition has been smooth and seamless and we look forward to receiving your feedback. For more information on the new site, you will find a summary of the transition from system-designer and administrator Mike Ryckman here

P.S. We have been told that we will have more control in terms of the input of material into the website. In fact, we plan to reorganize out page quite a bit. Stay tuned.

No comments: