Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Message from President T.V. Paul: Task Force on the Global South

Here is a message from the President of ISA. Please note that the caucus will be sending out a more specific call for participation in the task force committees soon.

Dear Colleagues:
The Governing Council of the International Studies Association (ISA) at its meeting in Atlanta on March 15, 2016 approved the setting up of a presidential taskforce on the Global South (please see the attachment). The taskforce will be constructed in collaboration with the Global South Caucus (GSCIS) and it will supplement the useful work the Caucus has been performing for the past several years. The main purpose of this taskforce is to find ways by which members from the concerned regions and countries can improve their participation in ISA activities such as conferences, governance, and publication venues, in particular, the various ISA journals. The participation from Global South countries in these areas at present is very minimal.
We are writing to ask your opinion on the issues (as listed below), and possible solutions and mechanisms to implement them in a timely manner. We will pass your suggestions on to the taskforce once it is formed. In addition, please let us know if you can think of names of individuals, especially from underrepresented regions for possible membership in the taskforce. These individuals should have knowledge and understanding of the issues, some past ISA involvement, and can offer concrete solutions.  For your information, the following are the set of issues that we have identified for beginning the deliberations.

Short-term/Medium-term Issues:  
1.     Greater number of participants from GS countries at ISA annual and other conferences organized by sections, regions, caucuses and affiliated organizations.
2.     Travel grants, generating travel resources through other sources, e.g., endowments, private donors; national and international; regional groupings.
3.     Improving journal submission and acceptance rates for scholars from the Global South.
4.     Training programs by ISA and affiliated sections/caucuses, including using existing training programs (e.g. OUP’s programs).
5.     Improving representation in governing bodies.
6.     Other issues to be identified by the Taskforce membership.
Longer-term Issues:
1.     Achieving greater cooperation among Northern and Southern scholars. Publishing in Southern journals and through Southern presses; joint publications- What can ISA do to promote this type of interaction?
2.     Scholarship, paradigms, pedagogy etc.  How to frame and engage beyond one or two dominant paradigms such as post-colonialism or critical theories.
3.     How to draw in more scholars who work on Global South issues within and beyond ISA memberships and Caucuses.
4.     Bridging language barriers.
5.     Providing greater networking opportunities.
6.     How to make ISA more globally-oriented, e.g. by seeking more affiliations.

We are also attaching a report that Lembe Tiky (chair), Aigul Kulnazarova (co-chair), and Kristina Hinds Harrison (rapporteur) prepared  on the basis of the deliberations at the Global South dialogue session that was held at the  Atlanta meeting in March. The report contains many useful ideas which will be shared with the task force. A special thanks to all who participated in the Dialogue.
We thank you for your support and advice for this important initiative. A response by May 30, 2016  is much appreciated. Please respond to this email address:
T.V. Paul,  ISA President (2016-17)
Nanette Svenson, Chair, Global South Caucus (2016-17)

Relevant links to the discussion about Diversity::[]
Roger McGInty, "Changing the ISA- From the Bottom-up"