Berne, 4 April 2005

Dear colleagues from ISA/Peace Studies Section,

The deadline for submitting panels and papers to the next ISA conference is already approaching soon (June 1st). As I will be responsible for selecting the panels for the peace studies section for the next convention in 2006, I would like to invite you to brainstorm about possible panels already now prior to the official submission. The 47th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association will be held in San Diego, CA, March 22-25, 2006.

At the Business meeting of our Peace Studies Section in Honolulu last month, we have decided to try to put together before the deadline of end of May as many full panels as possible. We also would like to have joint panels with other sections as much as possible.

The theme of the next conference is “The North-South Divide and International Studies”. Questions could center on:

- Is the North-South gap receding or becoming more entrenched?
- What does it take to move from the South to the North?
- Are parts of the South descending into reinforcing traps of poverty, civil war, and state failures?
- To what extent is North-South conflict manifested in non-state terrorism?
- Is the North likely to become increasingly preemptive in its attacks on perceived Southern threats? If so, how is the South likely to fight back?
- Do North-South antagonisms reflect in some way the celebrated clash of civilizations thesis? Or, are we simply exaggerating the extent to which a new structural cleavage will predominate in coming years and/or how we might best interpret it?

A brainstorming about possible panel themes on peace studies in 2004 and 2005 came to the following topics:

1. Linking track 1 and track 2 initiatives
2. Comparing track 2 initiatives
3. Grassroots Movements: Theory and Practice
4. Peace and Violence in Conflict Settings: A Practitioners Perspective
5. Evaluating peace initiatives: The effectiveness and impact of peace interventions
6. Peacebuilding and Development
7. The Relevance of Peace Studies to Policymakers
8. What went Wrong with the Theories of Conflict Resolution in Practice?
9. Democracy in Post Conflict Societies
10. Careers in Peace Studies: How to Make a Living and Change the World
11. Nexus Between PPS and Security Studies: Theory and Practice
12. Canadian and U.S. Peacemaking: Radical Differences or Close Similarities?
13. Intervention and Conflict Dynamics: Feminist Perspectives
14. Humanities and Arts in Conflict Transformation: The Critical Human Art of Peacemaking
15. Historical Memory: Witnessing in War Crimes
16. Peace Studies and Active Service Learning
17. Peace Studies and IT Active Learning
18. Roundtable: Designing a Department of Peace--invitation to General Dallaire and Dennis Kusenach to be two of the panelists
19. Ethnic conflict analysis, resolution and peacebuilding

From this list above you see that there are hardly any proposals that link up with the conference theme. In order to get better prepared and receive as much peace studies panels as possible, I would like to invite you to:

? 1. Check the list of above mentioned themes, brainstorm about additional ideas for panels in general, brainstorm about additional ideas for panels with regard to the North-South topic;

? 2. Propose concrete panels to me = 4-5 paper givers and at least 1 discussant and 1 chair or a joint chair and discussant. (for normal panels not for roundtables – see the details on the ISA homepage). At this stage you do not need to have names for each and every panel but if possible this would be already good. Please also mention whether you are interested in one of the panels listed above. What we need is a responsible person for each panel. This means that this person will look for additional panelists to join on his or her panel, pass the information to me prior to the official submission.

After having received ideas and suggestions from you, I will get back to you with a more updated realistic list of hopefully more concrete panels prior to the official deadline.

Many thanks for the cooperation and best regards,


Thania Paffenholz
University of Berne, Switzerland
paffenholz@ipw.unibe.ch