Exploratory Symposia

EISA Exploratory Symposia

Exploratory Symposia provide a unique opportunity for EISA members to brainstorm about new research projects, set up collaborative networks or work on joint publications.

Call for Proposals – 6th EISA Exploratory Symposia

Rapallo, Italy
DATES: 25-28 October, 2017


EISA will be holding its 6th Exploratory Symposia for members in the town of Rapallo, Italy this October. We invite proposals until June 18.

What are EISA Exploratory Symposia?

Each of EISA’s Exploratory Symposia will involve five cross-national scholars who will meet over three days. EISA will fund up to six symposia with a maximum of five participants per symposium based on the quality of proposals received. We invite proposals from both newly established and already established research groups to engage in activities that will advance the field of International Studies in Europe.
Please note that a participation fee of 100 € applies to each participant and all participants must be EISA members. Funding of the Exploratory Symposia covers accommodation and half board (breakfast and lunch) plus an opening dinner on Wednesday 25th October for up to five participants per group. Travel costs and other costs are to be covered by participants.

What kind of research groups are the Exploratory Symposia for?

The Exploratory Symposia aim to facilitate two kinds of research groups:

  • Newly established groups that would like to meet at an early stage of a research project to progress it.
  • Already established research groups that would like to meet to work out how to further their research agenda.


Research groups at either stage might use their Symposium to discuss and draft detailed proposals for special issues of a journal, for books or edited collections, or for submissions to a funding organisation. Research groups would be encouraged to publish their results in peer-reviewed journals or relevant book series, including EISA’s PSIR book series or journals.

Please note that groups must indicate in their application whether they wish to meet to discuss the establishment of a new research group OR whether they are advanced in their work and wish to discuss a publishing proposal. The prime criteria of decision-making in awarding an exploratory symposium are academic quality and the potential for advancing International Studies in Europe.

What format do the Exploratory Symposia take?

Participants will be expected to arrive in Rapallo on the afternoon of day one (25th October 2017) and depart in the afternoon of day four (28th October). The meetings will take place from 26th to 28th October. EISA will cover accommodation and half board (breakfast and lunch) during this period plus an opening dinner Wednesday evening. Participants must cover their own travel and any other expenses.

Who may apply?

EISA members. We encourage participants or section chairs of the Pan-European Conference on International Relations and European Workshops in International Studies (EWIS) as well as other International Studies events to apply to continue their work through the Exploratory Symposia. However, all applicants must follow the same procedures and a proposal which comes from a previous panel/section has no a priori advantage over other proposals.

What criteria are used in selecting research groups?

Academic quality is the most important factor. Other criteria include: having a fair geographical spread of participants, excellent potential for turning the idea into outputs (based on topic, reputation of participants etc.). An excellent proposal will not fail even if most of the secondary criteria are not met; however, proposals which meet all the secondary criteria flawlessly but do not score better than ‘good’ with regard quality will not be considered.

What should the proposal include?

Proposals should:

  • Specify the research question/theme and locate the research question/theme within relevant debate(s) and vis-a-vis relevant IR theories, though interdisciplinary enterprises are also encouraged;
  • Include a list of members including email addresses of the research group;
  • Briefly outline the main argument/innovative contribution that the research group wants to make.

Proposals should provide sufficient information on these topics but be no longer than 3000 words.

The deadline for applications to the 2017 Exploratory Symposia is June 18, 2017. Applicants will be informed of the success or otherwise of their application by July 3, 2017.

Email applications and queries must be emailed to EISA Board Member Maria Raquel Freire at: rfreire@fe.uc.pt

Past EISA Exploratory Symposia


The 1st EISA Exploratory Symposia took place in Rhodes, Greece, 24 – 27 October 2012. The event was organized in collaboration with the Department of Mediterranean Studies of the University of the Aegean.

The 2nd EISA Exploratory Symposia took place in Rapallo, Italy, 31 October – 2 November 2013.

The 3rd EISA Exploratory Symposia took place in Rapallo, Italy, 29 October – 1 November 2014.

The 4th EISA Exploratory Symposia took place in Rapallo, Italy, 11-14 November 2015.

The 5th EISA Exploratory Symposia took place in Rapallo, Italy, 2nd – 5th November 2016.

EISA Exploratory Symposia 2016

Thank you to everyone who attended this year’s Explanatory Symposia in the beautiful town of Rapallo, Italy from 2nd -5th November.

This year 25 members participated in a Symposium. Three of these small groups brought together scholars working on furthering existing research agendas and three gave newly formed groups an opportunity to develop original research ideas:

Exploring EU Targeted Sanctions

Clara Portela, Thomas Biersteker, Francesco Giumelli and Marusa Veber who are already working on a grant proposal came together to discuss a broader set of objectives they are keen to develop around their ongoing work on the effects and efficacy of EU sanctions.

New World Making: China's One Belt, One Road Policy and its Global Implications.

L.H.M. Ling, Alan Chong, Karin Fierke, Imad Mansour and Ebby Abramson also met to further their collaborative writing. This Symposium facilitated a meeting of a group of scholars based at institutions in Asia and outside of Asia to explore what China’s policy means for the study and practice of international relations.

The Politics of Translation in IR

Zeynep Gulsah Capan, Maj Grasten and Filipe dos Reis worked on finalising plans for their co-edited book examining the understudied use of the concept of translation in IR and IPE. Their Symposium built on existing collaborative work facilitated by a previous EISA EWIS event.

What's the 'critical in critical international relations theories? Patterns of changing instrumentality

Knud Erik Jørgensen, Benjamin Herborth, Pinar Bilgin, Victoria Basham and Hartmut Behr explored the scope for a new collaboration aimed at illuminating the distinct critical theory tradition that exists within international studies. They aim to write a book together for the ‘Trends in IR Theory’ series with Palgrave.

Comparing Subaltern foreign economic policies of Southern Mediterranean countries: changing economic dependencies, security predicaments and migration issue-linkage opportunities

Irene Fernández-Molina, Laura Feliu Martínez, Anna Khakee and Imad El-Anis came together to consider a range of potential publications examining how the foreign economic policies of 'subaltern states' from the southern Mediterranean adapt to, and balance, changing patterns of economic dependency, regional and domestic security, migration.

Interrogating the Void: Lacanian Psychoanalysis in IR

Moran Mandelbaum, Juliet Brough Rogers, Andreja Zevnik and Catarina Kinnvall came together to consider the lack of Lacanian psychoanalysis in IR and assess its value to the discipline. They aim to produce a journal special issue based on their discussions.

We very much look forward to hearing more about the outputs of all of the Symposia in due course and to the further engagement of these members in EISA activities. We also hope that other EISA members will look out for the call for applications for next year and take the opportunity to develop even more exciting collaborative research!