Call for Papers and Panels - Change and Continuity: Politics, Socio-Economic Development and International Relations in Africa and the World

Call for Papers and Panels - Change and Continuity: Politics, Socio-Economic Development and International Relations in Africa and the World
South African Association of Political Studies (SAAPS) 14th Biennial Conference 2018
Venue: University of Pretoria, Hatfield Campus, Pretoria, South Africa
Dates: 1 - 3 October 2018
[SAAPS has offered to extend paper/panel submissions for their conference to BISA members with a final deadline of 15 August, 2018.  Submissions can be made to the conference programme chair, Professor Christopher Isike at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ]
The art and science of politics and international relations has experienced rapid and major changes globally in the past decade or more with implications for political analysis. Apart from the changes sweeping through the political realm at national, regional and international levels, new ideas, tools of analysis, methods, theories, theses and questions have also emerged. Some catalytic political developments include the phenomena of revolutions and uprisings by the excluded and downtrodden; the agency of civil society in all its forms including women’s and youth groups; internal revolutions and fissures within political parties and movements; the upsurge of social movements occasionally connecting across national boundaries; the explosion of social media and other technologies as means and tools of conducting politics heralding the rise of the digital era in political science; unusual cases of political succession and the emergence of younger and more versatile leaders; new forms of security threat and responses; ebbs and flows in regional integration with the case of Brexit indicative of struggles between nationalism and supranationalism; the re-emergence of populist/nationalist/extremist politics; new alliances and forums on the diplomatic front; and new patterns of interface between the market and politics in many countries, among others.
The rise of popular revolutionary struggles in parts of Africa epitomized by mass struggles over land and property; revolutions such as the so-called Arab Spring; popular uprising and palace coup against sit-tight and dictatorial leaders; signs of democracy fatigue; the resurgence of energy, water and food crises; stagnation in the regional and continental integration process; uncertain outcomes of Africa’s strategic international partnerships; static dynamism in Africa’s agency in world affairs are among developments suggesting an uncomfortable co-existence between change and continuity in African politics. In South Africa, examples include the decline in the ANC’s dominance of the political space; student’s uprisings such as the #FeesMustFall and calls for decolonization of the curricula; state capture by business and renewed crack down on state and private sector corruption; the upsurge of new political formations including critical civil society formations, and so forth. These all represent changes in the conduct and explanation of politics as we have always known it both at national and international levels.
However, these changes also raise questions around whether they are mere shifts which represent continuities in varying forms or real changes and discontinuities from the norm. Are we seeing something new or a continuation of the old in new ways; change without change? Also, what change is desirable and ideal? These questions call for some thinking through the populism of transformation, reforms, decolonization, de-imperialization, nationalism and other forms of change which dominate the practice and study of politics and international relations globally. The conference organizers therefore invite abstracts from scholars including postgraduate students for panels, papers, roundtables and posters that critically reflect on the dynamic interface between change and continuity across a range of sub-themes including but not limited to the following:
• Rethinking democracy and development
• Global transformations and reforms
• International relations in a changing environment
• The changing meta-geography of geopolitics
• Domestic and international terrorism and responses
• The decline of regional integration
• Reconfiguration of global power, world leadership and global governance
• Emerging powers of the global South
• Foreign policy and diplomacy
• Regime change and political change
• The decline/demise of dominant political parties
• The politics of anti-corruption and regime change
• Revolutions, uprisings and counter-revolutions
• Resurgence of populism and nationalism
• Human security and the changing global security landscape
Political education and change
• Women and the engendering politics and IR
• Leadership accountability, governance and change
• Critical civil society, social movements and change
• Students/Youths as change agents
• Technology, science and power
• The practice and teaching of politics and IR in the digital age
• Decolonization of knowledge, power and society
• Political philosophy, political thought and alternative policy paradigms
Further information can be found at:
British International Studies Association


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