Our Regius professor nominated for presidency of leading political association

  • Date

    Wed 2 Oct 19

Professor Kristian Gleditsch

Professor Kristian Gleditsch, Regius Professor of Political Science in the Department of Government, is being nominated for the role of president of the International Studies Association (ISA).

He said: “It is a great honour to be selected. The ISA conference was the first major professional meeting that I attended as a PhD student, and it had a transformative effect on my own professional development.”

ISA is the main professional association for scholars, practitioners and graduate students in the field of international studies. If chosen for the role Professor Gleditsch would serve as the president for 2021-22.

The ISA president has an important role in the governance of the organisation, including nominating members to run specific committees, overseeing activities and journals published by ISA; and leading the annual ISA meeting, which includes delivering the presidential speech.

As president, Professor Gleditsch hopes to increase the number of international members and focus on interdisciplinarity within the association.

He said: “There has been a clear growth in members and participants at the annual conference from outside North America, and I would like to help strengthen this. I am also anxious to encourage greater interdisciplinary participation, since many topics and challenges in international studies such as the environment can benefit from involvement from other disciplines, including the natural sciences and health.”

Founded in 1959, ISA has over 7,000 members in 110 countries. It publishes leading journals in the field of international studies, and the annual convention draws over 6,500 attendees. ISA is now recognised as a nomination body for the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Professor Gleditsch, who joined Essex in 2005 has a long-standing association with the ISA and has served a term as Vice President, chairing the organisation’s Academic Freedom Committee and Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee, and a co-program chair for the ISA’s annual meeting in 2011.

His role as Regius Professor of Political Science at Essex has given him a unique insight into leadership and progression within his discipline.

The honour of holding a Regius Professorship was conferred on the University of Essex by Her Majesty The Queen in 2013 to mark her Diamond Jubilee. It recognised 50 years of excellence in research and education in political science at Essex. Essex is one of the youngest universities ever to receive the accolade and is one of just two UK universities to hold Regius Professorships in the field of social science.

He said: “I think the role has helped me think about how to talk about my research to a wider audience and helped develop a greater appreciation of representing a broader discipline.

“I have personally thrived since arriving at Essex in 2005 and I have learned much from my colleagues and students. No scholar is an island, and I owe much of my career to the opportunities that I have had at Essex. Both the Regius chair and the ISA presidency is a recognition of the department and our working groups as collectives.”

The nomination committee will announce the new president in November. Please visit the ISA website for more information.