Candidates standing for Election to EISA Board

Adam Lerner

My name is Adam Lerner and I’m a Lecturer in International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London. I previously served as Editor of the Cambridge Review of International Affairs and, in a former life, I was a reporter at Politico.

EISA played an invaluable role in my scholarly development. The 2018 PEC in Prague was one of the first major conferences I attended, and it was an amazing experience. EISA offers a uniquely inclusive and pluralistic environment where people from all over the world can engage in serious debate without taking themselves too seriously.

Unfortunately, the global pandemic has wreaked havoc on academia, and I worry that formative experiences like PEC will be out of reach for the next generation. I’m running for the EISA board to help the association combat harmful trends in academia and support both early career scholars and those from under-represented backgrounds.

If elected, I would organize a post-Covid working group to marshal EISA’s resources in support of its most precarious members, who have struggled this past year. I will strive to make EISA the best possible resource for members and promote the discipline in Europe and beyond.


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Beste Isleyen

I have been an active member of the EISA community since 2014 and would like to continue my engagement through an increased commitment to the Association as a board member. Over the years, I have carried out several organisational responsibilities within the EISA. In fulfilling these various organisational roles, I have worked to promote debates which are underrepresented in mainstream IR scholarship, such as postcolonial/decolonial approaches, indigenous studies and gender studies. I have paid special attention to the promotion of – primarily junior – colleagues from underrepresented backgrounds by encouraging them for abstract submission and actively seeking to contribute to their presence and network-building throughout EISA events. There are three main areas which I wish to work if elected as a board member: fostering dialogue with scholars and scholarship in post-colonial/decolonial studies, black (feminist) studies and indigenous studies; strengthening the mobility fund and fostering digital activities.


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Corina Lacatus

I am a Lecturer in Global Governance at Queen Mary University of London and during 2020-21, I am completing a Clinton Fellowship at Queen’s University Belfast. As a doctoral student and postdoctoral fellow, I have benefitted greatly from the events and initiatives organised by the European International Studies Association. I am running in this election because I would like to give something back to the EISA community and to contribute to the Association’s future development, particularly to initiatives aimed at broadening inclusivity in academia, and at advancing the research and career interests of early career scholars. In our post-Brexit world, it feels more important than ever to support intellectual collaboration across all parts of Europe. My path toward International Relations has not been linear – I started my academic career in the humanities (PhD in Germanic Languages and Literatures from University of California), worked in International Development for a couple of years in Washington DC, and then found my forever academic home in International Relations (PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics).


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Debbie Lisle

If I am elected to the EISA Board, there are two areas I would like to help the Association develop. First, as a result of the increased marketization of Higher Education, there is now an intense set of inter-locking pressures on PhD students and Early Career Researchers. This is reducing our capacity to thrive as a discipline and community of scholars because some of our most talented young members are getting locked into cycles of precarious short-term contracts or choosing to leave the profession altogether. I would like to work with colleagues across Europe to develop some EISA-specific initiatives to support this cohort of young scholars (e.g. lobbying institutions, building peer networks, refining mentorship schemes, organizing writing workshops). Second, and relatedly, I would like to work with EISA colleagues to help us all adjust to the big transformations currently underway in academic publishing (e.g. Open Access debates, alternative models of peer review, the increased monetization of knowledge, changing funding structures). My experience as the Editor of International Political Sociology suggests that as these changes take hold, we will need to actively protect the intellectual spaces where ambitious, innovative and creative research in International Relations can be pursued.


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Halvard Leira

I’m a Research Professor at NUPI, where I do research on foreign policy and diplomacy, with a historical perspective. I’ve published on such topics e.g. in ISQ, RIS, CoCo and Millennium. Beyond that, I have a long record of service to the IR discipline. I’ve served in the editorial teams of CoCo, Millennium, Internasjonal Politikk and the Hague Journal of Diplomacy. I’ve served as programme chair of the diplomatic studies section of the ISA, and was a founder-member, programme chair and section chair of the Historical IR section of the ISA. Within EISA, I’ve been section chair at several PEC’s, convened one EWIS and one Exploratory symposium, and I was co-programme chair of EISA PEC Prague 2018.

Should I be elected to the EISA board, my first priority would be to support and initiate initiatives aiming at rebuilding the international studies community as community post-corona. That is, reintegrating friends and colleagues into scholarly networks and welcoming new scholars into the field. I would do my utmost to help maintain and expand on existing activities, including (but not restricted to) maximizing participation in future PEC’s and EWIS’ and possibly co-hosting conferences with the regional associations. I also have a keen interest in the journal-portfolio of the association, I take it for granted that the EISA will continue to work for equality and equal opportunities, and I will wholeheartedly support this work.


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Christian Kaunert

I am greatly honoured and humbled to be nominated for the EISA Board Elections 2021. EISA is a truly international, European and interdisciplinary association. I hope that I can make a large positive contribution to EISA. I have been involved with EISA for many years because I wanted to support and help the association. I have worked for many years on refugees and international security, most notably in relation to Securitization Theory, looking at different regions (Europe, Middle East, Africa) and using different methods. My book ‘Refugees, Security and the EU’ (with Prof Sarah Leonard) was published in 2019 with Routledge (UACES/Routledge Series). I have served in a number of other professional roles in associations. Together with Dr Valeria Bello, I am the Convenor of the Standing Group on Migration of the European International Studies Association. Since July 2020, I have been elected the Chair of the BISA working group on International Politics of Migration, Refugees and Diaspora (IPMRD), whereby I intend to increase collaboration between the sister organisations and to organize joint panels at BISA and EISA events for members of both working groups, alongside additional conferences for both members. I intend to also explore the potential for a journal on IPMRD, co-sponsored by both BISA and EISA. In addition, I have co-founded and co-led (with Prof. J. Occhipinti) the special interest section on the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice of the European Union Studies Association (EUSA) since 01/10/2012, and I am currently serving on the Council of EUSA.


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Sonia Lucarelli

Since its inception, EISA has made a really important contribution to the creation of a truly European community of IR scholars. The Pan-European Conferences, the Workshops, the Exploratory Symposia, the Olympia Summer School, EJIR are all fundamental instruments that help enhancing exchanges among European (and more) scholars at different stages of their career.  With all this work, EISA has really contributed to shape a sense of transnational community. I am proposing my candidature to give my contribution to such an effort. Living and working in a country of recent internationalization of IR scholarship, and having developed throughout my carrier international experiences, collaborations and contacts, I would like to use my competences to help enhance areas of cooperation between EISA and the different national IR/social sciences association, aiming particularly at soliciting the participation to EISA activities of scholars from countries with a weaker record of participation. The task is difficult but not impossible as the recent experience of some Southern European states have demonstrated. I am confident that with a collective effort a lot can be achieved.


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Simon Philpott

Black Lives Matter and Me Too have revolutionised the expectations of Global North institutions and deepening collaboration and engagement with Global South institutions and scholars means not just accommodating difference but changing the ways we recognise engagement with the world. Assisting in creating opportunities for Global South colleagues to engage with us, educate us, and help us see how we can work differently is important for EISA in my view.  Having changed the ways we congregate and share ideas, the effects of the pandemic may include the possibility of expanded participation in EISA activities via the use of digital technologies for those who find travel financially prohibitive or difficult on legal grounds.

My research work is informed by postcolonial and critical approaches to international politics with the AHRC funded Screening Violence: A Transnational Study of the Local Imaginaries of Societies in Transition from Conflict the current focus of my work (see

I am a co-editor of the highly successful Routledge Popular Culture and World Politics book series (see and co-convene sections on popular culture and world politics for the PEC and EWIS.

I hold undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Indonesian language and came to international politics via interests in Indonesia and Southeast Asia more generally.


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Thierry Balzacq

EISA is a young professional society. Yet, it has already established itself as a premier setting wherein conversations about the field’s decisive orientations are carried out. I see the Board as the steering agent for the development of international studies in a genuinely pluralistic fashion. I am most eager to contribute to initiatives that augment EISA’s global reach, consolidate the different kinds of diversity constitutive of its character, and cultivate an environment that allows its members to express their potential fully. In particular, first, I want EISA to be exemplary in assisting budding researchers build career trajectories that are balanced, exciting, and successful. But absent a safe intellectual habitat, a sustainable scientific life cannot thrive. Thus, second, I would like to help EISA raise its profile as an uncompromising advocate for academic freedoms, providing robust support to our colleagues whenever they are browbeaten for what they teach or write. Third, I want EISA to advance open access schemes that work for all. Whatever their responsibilities, for me, Board members are primarily colleagues bestowed with the trust to execute their duties in the name of the general interest and values of the association. For that is what EISA is about: you.


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Vassilios Paipais

My name is Vassilios Paipais, and I am currently a Lecturer in International Relations at the University of St Andrews. My research interests are on international political theory, realist thought in IR, the political ontology of international relations and the political theology of world politics. I am the author of Political Ontology and International Political Thought: Voiding A Pluralist World (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) and the editor of Theology and World Politics: Metaphysics, Genealogies, Political Theologies (London: Palgrave McMillan, 2020). In January 2020, I was appointed Programme Co-Chair (with Sophia Dingli) of the EISA 15th Pan-European Conference to be held in Athens in September 2022. If I were elected, I’d be most keen to work on increasing EISA’s visibility and connectivity with academic institutions across Europe and beyond. EISA is one of those institutions that does not appear dominated by the English-speaking academia, but I think there is still room for improvement on that front. Especially, with regards to being more inclusive of different academic cultures across Europe but also developing interregional links in a deeply interconnected world.


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