2018 Theory Section Elections Now Open


4 March 2018, 2042 EST

The Theory section has opened its elections for officers. The election will be conducted with SurveyMonkey the following address: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XQY5QV6

Please remember to cast your ballot by March 16, 2018.


Anna Agathangelou

Anna Agathangelou teaches in the areas of international relations and women and politics. Some of her areas of expertise are in global politics, international feminist political economy and feminist/postcolonial and decolonial thought. She is the co-director of Global Change Institute, Cyprus and was a visiting fellow in the Program of Science, Technology and Society at John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard (2014-2015). She is currently involved on two multinational SSHRC partnership research projects focusing on sexual violence and human security, global governance, and biotechnology. She has researched ethnic conflict in Cyprus, as well as reconstruction in post-conflict societies with a focus on sexual violence, displaced peoples and the missing. Her professional leadership contributions include: 2014-Present. International Studies Association, Vice-Chair of Science, Technology and Art In International Relations (STAIR), Elected Position 2014-2017. International Studies Association, Diversity Committee Member, Appointed position 2014. Co-Founder and Co-Organizer of the section on Art, Science and Technology (STAIR), International Studies Association, Proposal to ISA, March 2014.


Ilan Z. Baron (CV)

I am honoured to have my name put forward for the ISA Theory Section Vice-Chair. The ISA has been an incredibly important part of my academic life. I have regularly attended ISA conferences since 2007 and have benefited from ISA workshops and research support. I have been Chair of the Theory Section Paper Awards review committee and I am delighted at the opportunity to take on a greater role in the Theory Section.

I am an Associate Professor in the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University. I have held visiting posts at the University of British Columbia, the Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Centre for International Studies, London School of Economics and Political Science and have been a resident at the 2015 Oxford Summer Institute in Modern and Contemporary Judaism. I have taught previously at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, and was a post-doctoral researcher at the Institut Barcelona D’Estudis Internacionals. I completed my PhD at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, my MSc in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and my BA (Hons) at the University of Victoria. My work has always been at the intersection of International Relations and Political Theory. Theoretical work is, I would argue, more important now than ever. The “post-truth” politics of our time calls out for a strong response, and the ISA Theory section is ideally placed to do so. If elected, I will continue in the tradition of the Theory Section to offer a vibrant, intra- and inter-disciplinary, and intellectually stimulating programme for the ISA annual conference. I will continue to support the mission of the Theory section, to strengthen the dialogue between IR scholars and political theorists and, in particular, to promote the importance of theoretical research.


Nicole Grove (CV)

It is a great honor to be nominated for program chair of the ISA Theory Section. My research and teaching have been shaped over the years in particular by colleagues who, through their generous intellectual contributions and service, have made the ISA Theory Section a dynamic interdisciplinary space for addressing the contemporary challenges of international relations and security studies. I attended my first conference as a first year PhD student in 2008 at ISA Northeast in Baltimore, and have been continually inspired by the rigorous and creative intellectual contributions that this Section has made. In 2016, I was pleased to serve on the Best Paper committee of the Theory Section after winning the Section’s Pre-Phd Paper Award the previous year.

In terms of my own academic background, I received my PhD from Johns Hopkins University in 2015, and am currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, with affiliations in the Hawai’i Research Center for Futures Studies and the International Cultural Studies Program. I am an Associate Editor for the journal International Political Sociology, and am on the International Advisory Board of the British Journal of Politics and International Relations. I am also the recipient of the 2016-2017 Fulbright Scholar Award in the Middle East and North Africa Regional Research Program, and am a core member of the Arab Council for the Social Science’s research collective on critical security studies and the Middle East. My research bridges political theory and international relations to consider how social technologies, predictive analytics, and data visualization intersect with the politics of security in the ‘war on terror,’ and the ways in which digitalization produces and mutates racialized and gendered forms of knowledge in shaping new modes of international governance. As program chair, I would work towards further ensuring that gender, racism, imperialism, and other axis of marginality and dispossession are an integral part of the ISA Theory Section’s contribution to scholarship, as it continues to promote leading research and thinking at the intersections of theory and politics.


Stefano Guzzini (CV)

My research focus lies within the field of International Relations, relying on social and political theory, political science, sociology and political economy. The focus of my publications has been with realism and constructivism in international theory, foreign policy analysis (mainly applied in Europe), as well as with the conceptual analysis and theories of power. More recently, I have worked on interpretivist methodologies (process tracing and notions of causality) and critical geopolitics.

Present positions (besides current position at Uppsala University): Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies (since 2000) and Distinguished International Professor at Instituto de Relaciones Internacionais (IRI) of the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio)

Previous positions: Assistant Professor of Political Science (1994-1997) and then Associate Professor of International Relations and European Studies (and head of department) at the Central European University, Budapest (1997-2002), Associate Professor of Government, Uppsala University (2002-05), DAAD Guest Professor at the University of Bremen (2007-2008), and Guest Professor at PUC-Rio de Janeiro (2011). Former Fellow at the Hanse Institute for Advanced Study (2007-2008) and at Collegio Carlo Alberto, Turin (2012-2013).

President of the Central and East European International Studies Association (CEEISA), and former member of the Steering Committee of the Standing Group of International Relations (SGIR) of the ECPR and of the Governing Council of the International Studies Association (ISA).

Editorial committee member of the book series of the SGIR/EISA (Palgrave Series in International Relations (since 2006) and of C&M Working Paper Series (of the IPSA Committee on Concepts and Methods, since 2013). Former editor of Journal of International Relations and Development (JIRD, 2004-2008).


Pınar Kadioglu

I’d like to be more active within ISA theory section and I believe I can be of help in the organisation of future panels. You can access my ISA profile from: www.isanet.org/users/pinar-kadioglu.


Jorg Kustermans (CV)

As a vice-chair for the THEORY section, my aim would be to draw up the best possible conference program, keeping in mind the overall ambition of the section to foster dialogue among theoretical traditions in our field and to amplify international theory’s standing in the field of political theory. With regard to the first ambition, I find it important that our field does not only foster a dialogue among the traditional paradigms and its more recent contenders, but that it also stimulates engagement between the different modes of theorizing (normative, constitutive, meta-theoretical and empirical) that are being practiced in the discipline. With regard to the second ambition, I find it important to try to elevate the standing of international theory more generally. Many social-scientific disciplines are studying global problems these days. They are increasingly taking on what we could once think of as our subject matter. It would be an aim of my term as a vice-chair to work to communicate the relevance of IR theory to these other disciplines. To this end, I will work to consolidate existing cooperation with other sections at the ISA (e.g., HIST, IPS, ILAW, IETHICS).

Section Treasurer 

Benjamin Meiches (CV)

It is a great honor to be considered for the position of Treasurer for the International Studies Association’s Theory Section. I am currently an assistant professor of Security Studies and Conflict Resolution at University of Washington-Tacoma. My research focuses on understandings of genocide, mass atrocities, and armed conflicts through a theoretical perspective. Primarily, my work explores how different categories of harm have come to be understood in dominant terms and the way this affects their deploying in various political settings. I adopt critical approaches to the study of genocide, security studies and postcolonial realities.

I believe strongly in supporting theoretically oriented international relations and the work of the Theory Section. In terms of additional qualifications, in addition to my administrative work in the context of ISA-NE, I have two years experience overseeing a $50,000 annual budget for undergraduate programming and conference events at the University of Puget Sound. This role included scheduling and organizing events and administrating the finances for a separate division within the university. In intend to do my best to contribute to the growth and success of the ISA Theory section as a key mechanism for expanding critical conversations about the nature of international politics, but also social and political questions broadly understood.


John Karslrud (CV)

I have been a member of the Theory Section since I joined ISA in 2010. The Theory Section is my natural “home” at ISA. As Treasurer I would like to find ways to maintain and increase the funding of the Theory section through one or more sponsorships. In terms of professional background, I am a Senior Research Fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) in Oslo, Norway. My work follows two main lines of inquiry – one focused on peace operations, peacebuilding and humanitarian action, and one using the policy-oriented work to inform theory-building to better understand change in international organizations and relations. I have published two monographs: The UN at War: Peace Operations in a New Era (Palgrave 2018) and Norm Change in International Relations: Linked Ecologies in UN Peacekeeping (Routledge, 2016). I have also edited two books and published a number of peer reviewed articles and chapters. Of related ISA activities, I have also been the Section Program Chair (2018) and the Treasurer for the International Organization section (2015-17), as well as member of the Finkelstein Award Committee (2015). Other recent activities include co-organizing a workshop at the European Workshops in International Studies (Cardiff, 2017) and co-chairing a section at EISA 2017 in Barcelona.


Jason Weidner (CV)

I would like to be considered for the position of Treasurer of the ISA Theory section. I received my PhD in International Relations at Florida International University (2010) and currently am a professor at the Universidad de Monterrey in Mexico. My primary research project contributes to current debates in IR and IPE concerning the sources and nature of global political order. As part of this project, I am currently revising a book manuscript, Globalizing Governmentality: Sites of Neoliberal Assemblage in the Americas, that builds on and refines a Foucauldian governmentality approach to analyze neoliberal governance in the Americas. I develop a theoretical approach that links the specific political rationalities and technologies associated with governmentality studies, on the one hand, with broader transformations in contemporary capitalism, on the other hand. In addition to the forthcoming monograph, this project has yielded journal articles, chapters in edited volumes, conference presentations, and invited talks.

More recently, I have begun a research project examining the politics of global environmental crisis and the anthropocene. This project has led to collaboration with multidisciplinary group centered around the Institute for Critical Studies in Mexico. Initial output for this research stream includes conference presentations and the early stages of an edited volume.

I have been a regular participant at the annual conventions of the ISA since 2006 and have been affiliated with the ISA Theory Section since its inception. I believe that the Theory Section plays a crucial role in providing an intellectual space for conceptual innovation and cultivating dialogue between IR, humanities, and social and political thought, as well as expanding the involvement of perspectives beyond the West in theorizing international politics. I strive to advance these goals in my research and teaching, and I would like very much to have the opportunity to contribute to these goals by serving as Treasurer for the Theory Section for the coming period.


Nukhet Sandal (CV)

Nukhet Sandal is Associate Professor of Political Science at Ohio University and Director of Global Studies in OHIO’s Center for International Studies. She is the author of Religious Leaders and Conflict Transformation (Cambridge University Press, 2017) and Religion and International Relations Theory (with Jonathan Fox; Routledge, 2013) in addition to multiple journal articles. Sandal has served as the Chair of Ethnicity, Nationalism and Migration section and Religion and International Relations section, in addition to multiple other positions in these sections including treasurer. In the past, she has served on multiple THEORY award committees, including the THEORY Best Book Award committee. She looks forward to joining the THEORY Executive Committee as Treasurer.


Graduate Student Representative

Rafael Bittencourt Rodrigues Lopes (CV)

I am a PhD Student in International Relations at the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais (PUC Minas, Brazil). My first time at an ISA annual meeting was as undergraduate student in 2013, in San Francisco. I presented papers also in Toronto (2014) and Baltimore (2017), besides been member in the Theory Section, Global South Caucus and the Global Development Section. In Baltimore I also had my first experience organizing the panel “Learning IR from the Margins: Overcoming the Western Dominance” with Vinicius Tavares, where we realized how important diversity is to promote great discussions. My PhD thesis is a deepening in the research started with my master’s dissertation, about state-led development planning based on ancestralities and local culture in Bhutan, Tanzania, Ecuador and Bolivia. I base my research on the Latin-American Decolonial thought and I am focusing in the cases of Bolivia and Ecuador on the use of Sumak Kawsay/Suma Qamaña concept for a new way to understand development and public policies. Being a Graduate Student Representative candidate at the Theory Section represents to me an opportunity to help other students to participate in the initiatives of the section, especially First Time Attendees and Global South students.


Harald Edinger (CV)

Outside of undergraduate lecture halls, theory seems to be going very much out of style. More and more scholars opt for eclecticism in theory, method and epistemology to avoid having to commit to, or being constrained by, the corset of theoretical paradigms. Paradigms that seem to leave us with the unappealing choice between imprecise, parsimonious theory; complex, impractical frameworks; or ad-hocist narratives disguised as theory.

However, hardly any argument in IR can do without (implicit) theoretical assumption. Only through contrasting theoretical perspectives can we discuss international politics in the first place. Good theory – the kind that addresses problems, rather than providing answers to questions that were never asked – can be practical. It can offer useful tools to the empirically oriented scholar. And theorising can be a worthwhile effort in and of itself.

As graduate student representative, I intend to give voice to the interests – functional or substantial – of graduate students with respect to theory, and promote a conversation on issues such as:

– reengagement with the roots of IR theory in the humanities and political theory

– refinement or falsification of theory considering recent findings in the life sciences

– does IR theory need to adhere to the levels of analysis logic?

– uses and misuses of paradigms, theories and analogies in policy-making


I am a doctoral candidate in International Relations at the University of Oxford. My research draws on classical realism and scholarship at the intersection of psychology and IR to gain insights into the role of affect and emotion in foreign policy. It develops a framework for integrating affective dynamics with existing approaches for theory-driven foreign policy analysis. To offer an illustrative application of the theoretical propositions, they are applied to Russian foreign policy between 2000 and 2016. Before starting my PhD, I worked in management consulting and European financial regulation. I hold a BSc in Business, Economics and Social Sciences from WU Vienna, and an MA in International Relations and Economics from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University.


Robert Flahive (CV)

I would like to express interest in serving as the Graduate Student Representative for the Theory Section of ISA. My academic training, teaching, and research seek to foster engagements between varied theoretical perspectives and IR, political theory, and the broader study of international politics in accordance with the section’s three aims: to foster deeper engagement of theory in IR scholarship, to facilitate networks and collaboration to this end, and to enhance the presence of IR scholars as theorists. There is a problem of instrumentality of theoretical perspectives in IR scholarship. This issue erodes rigor and undercuts the analytical purchase of important theoretical perspectives. The trend toward utility comes at the expense of appreciation for both the specificity from which a theoretical perspective emerged and the limitations therein. Therefore, the Theory section’s role is crucial to, on the one hand, challenge this instrumental approach, and on the other, to foster more honest and meaningful engagements with varied theoretical perspectives. I believe the dialogue between all-too-often siloed scholars and perspectives stands to open space to cultivate collaboration that will enrich IR, political theory, and the study of international politics. I believe this, because it relates to my own graduate experience prior to transferring to a theoretically rich program. My research, teaching, and scholarship is more rigorous due to the community found in my current program, and I firmly believe the cultivation of networks of scholars across universities and career stages is essential for meeting the challenge of instrumentality and in achieving the Theory section’s objectives.

My research focuses on the relationship between international relations and the built environment as a way to open theoretical and historical dialogue between IR, political theory, urban planning, architectural history, and the legacy of colonialism. I am a graduate student in the interdisciplinary Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought (ASPECT) PhD program at Virginia Tech. I hold an M.A. in Political Studies from American University of Beirut, and a B.A. in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis.


Bryant Harden (CV)

I am a PhD student at the University of Florida.  As the Graduate Student Representative, I will create and disseminate ‘executive board debriefs’ specifically aimed at graduate students, represent the interests of graduate students to the executive board, and make broad attempts to promote the interest of today’s graduate students in engaging IR theory.