International Studies Association International Conference 2017: The Pacific Century?

Hong Kong University
Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R., China
15 June, 2017 - 18 June, 2017

The Pacific Century?

“Pacific” connotes the region around the Pacific Ocean, but also suggests peace and conciliation. The location of the conference in Hong Kong is perfect for pondering both meanings of the word.

The Pacific region is increasingly important economically and politically. As a result, some have suggested that the twenty-first century will be the Pacific Century, placing the countries around the Pacific at the center of global relations. Countries around the Pacific and beyond have experienced dramatic economic growth, changing political dynamics in the Asian region and elsewhere. These political and economic changes have given rise to the call for a “pivot to Asia,” demonstrating the increasing importance of the region. Indeed, the political, economic, demographic, and environmental transformations under way in the Asia-Pacific region will reverberate beyond the region throughout the globe.

The term “pacific” also suggests a focus on peace. Scholars in international relations have shown a decrease in interstate war, but comparativists note that intrastate conflicts remain an important source of instability and suffering. The Asia-Pacific region shows that tensions between states and conflicts within states both remain significant concerns. Hence, a focus on the second meaning of the term pacific suggests a focus on conflict resolution, as well as the requirements for building durable institutions for governance. Further, inquiry into the preconditions for peace suggests a focus on decent livelihoods, decent futures for women and men, and life-sustaining, thriving ecosystems.

We invite papers that address themes related to this dual meaning of the notion of a pacific century. We are especially keen to use the meeting’s location in Hong Kong as an invitation for dialogue between scholars from different geographic locations and broaden the range of perspectives on international studies.

We especially encourage proposals that address the following questions, and that seek to foster dialogue between scholars from different geographic regions and intellectual traditions:

  • How does a focus on Asia influence and/or alter our understanding of international relations (IR) theories and concepts? Are IR theories, which were developed in a specific context, useful for understanding other contexts and times?
  • How has Asia’s economic growth influenced conflict and peace in the region and beyond? What is the relationship between economic growth and peace?
  • What role does good governance play in creating the conditions for economic growth, the foundation for peace, and the well-being of citizens?
  • How do global environmental and demographic changes influence the prospects for peace, economic growth, and the well-being of women and men?
  • What are the intersections between gender and human dignity, on the one hand, and conflict, peace, economic growth, and environmental sustainability on the other?

Types of Submissions

ISA's Governing Council and Program Chairs have defined the types of proposals we accept. You can find out more about our submission types on our website.

  • Papers: Accepted papers will be formed into panels by our program chairs. They require a title (limited to 50 words), an abstract (limited to 200 words), three tags, and at least one author.
  • Panels: Panels are submitted in full with five papers for review by our program chairs. They require a title (limited to 50 words), an abstract (limited to 200 words), three tags, a chair, a discussant, and exactly five papers. Please note that we do not accept four or six paper panels.
  • Roundtables: Roundtables are submitted in full for review by our program chairs. They do not have papers and are designed for expert discussion on a topic. They require a title (limited to 50 words), an abstract (limited to 200 words), three tags, and at least three participants in addition to one chair.