Conf/CfP - Power of Rules and Rule of Power, 4-7 April 2018, USA

Publish Date: May 19, 2017

Deadline: Jun 01, 2017

Power of Rules and Rule of Power

ISA 59th Annual Convention
April 4th - 7th, 2018, San Francisco, California, USA

Many approaches to understanding international politics begin with the observation that international politics operates in a condition of anarchy, and that this creates fundamentally different interactions than those we witness in domestic politics. Yet, despite the lack of a formal government, the international system operates through a vast web of rules-- formal and informal, explicit and implicit. While powerful actors may have disproportionate influence in the creation, maintenance, and contestation of rules, explicit and implicit rules also influence notions of power and serve as sources of power. There is an endogenous, mutually constitutive, relationship between power and rules.

Our 2018 conference theme seeks to understand the relative and relational influence of power and rules in international politics. While the interaction between power and rules characterizes the subject we study, it also characterizes the international studies profession. We invite proposals that address and problematize power structures, rules, and norms in our discipline, our universities, and our professional associations as well as in international interactions.

Some representative questions the theme might address include:

  • What are the processes by which formal and informal rules of interaction are established in international politics? Under what conditions do we witness the creation of international organizations, agreements, and law? How do norms of interaction come to be accepted?
  • Whose interests are and are not represented in contests over the establishment of rules?
  • How do the rules of international politics influence international and domestic outcomes? Are powerful actors constrained by rules? If so, how and under what conditions?
  • How and under what conditions do rules, norms, mutual understandings, and power structures change?
  • What constitutes power in international politics? To what extent is power dependent upon or independent of implicit and explicit normative and institutional processes that govern areas of international politics?
  • What are the relationships between power, authority, and legitimacy?
  • How can we explain and understand the varying governance structures that exist in international politics? Why do we see different structures of governance across time, space, and issue area?
  • What are the current structures of power and rules in the international studies profession, both within and outside academia? How do these structures influence who participates in, and who is recognized as being a member of, the profession? How do these structures affect what we study and how we study it?
  • How do rules and norms of the international studies profession change, and what changes might produce desirable outcomes?

We particularly encourage the submission of proposals that bridge traditional divides methodologically, paradigmatically, theoretically, epistemologically, ontologically, and/or substantively. Panels and roundtables that link scholars and practitioners are especially welcome, and panel and roundtable proposals should include demographically diverse sets of participants. We hope to produce a program that gives voice to a multiplicity of viewpoints and showcases the diversity of our association.

Traditional Proposal Types


Papers are the foundation of the Annual Convention and can be submitted individually or within a larger panel proposal. Papers generally need a title, abstract, three tags and the author(s) to submit. Titles need to be less than 50 words and abstracts need to be less than 200 words.

Note that, if you have a paper that was submitted on a panel, you should not submit the paper independently a second time. 

Junior Scholar Symposium: JSS submissions are not a separate submission type but, all individual papers can also be marked for consideration for JSS placement (you'll find a check box at the bottom of the general tab in the submission form). Those papers not placed onto JSS panels will be considered for standard panel placement along with the rest of the independent paper proposal submissions before the normal review process begins.


Panels must have a title, abstract and tag words as well as 5 papers (complete with title, tags, abstract and authors) and at least 1 chair and discussant.  Titles need to be less than 50 words and abstracts need to be less than 200 words.

Please note that papers submitted on panels should not be submitted a second time independently of the panel. If the panel is not accepted, the papers submitted on the panel go into the normal wait pool with all of our other papers.


Roundtables are similar to panels but participants do not present papers. At least 1 chair and 3 participants are needed to submit a panel, along with title, tags and abstract.  Titles need to be less than 50 words and abstracts need to be less than 200 words.

Flash Talks

Unlike a full research talk given in traditional panels, a Flash Talk is an overview of a study. Presenters must draw out the most important aspects of their research in a compressed time-frame and then field a series of questions immediately thereafter. This is a great opportunity to present and discuss new ideas on working or completed papers and get valuable feedback from peers. A Flash Talk session will consist of seven research projects discussed using brief PowerPoint presentations. They require a title (limited to 50 words), an abstract (limited to 200 words), three tags, and at least one author.

Specialty Sessions

Career Courses

These courses are different from normal sessions at ISA in many ways. Most notably, they are designed to be in a "classroom" format with an instructor teaching on a given topic. Registrants will be able to sign up for the classes on a first-come-first-served basis when they open in the Fall. Instructors will receive a stipend for teaching the course.

If you are interested in teaching a course, you can submit your proposal through this site. The Professional Development Committee will evaluate proposed courses and select four that we will hold in Atlanta.

Innovative Panels

Innovative panels offer an opportunity for a little creativity and experimentation. An innovative panel proposal will need the standard title, tags and abstract, along with additional information about the "vision" behind the proposal and a designated chair. Titles need to be less than 50 words and abstracts need to be less than 200 words.

Working Groups

Working Groups offer attendees a forum for dialogue and interaction around designated issue areas. Working group proposals should include a title, the working group coordinator(s) and a brief description of the purpose and goals of the proposed group, as well a tentative agenda for the initial full-day meeting. Titles need to be less than 20 words and the brief description needs to be less than 200 words.

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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International Relations


Political Sciences

Eligible Countries


Host Countries

United States

Conference Types

Call for Papers