EISA PEC 2023: Call for Section Chairs

16th Pan-European Conference on International Relations, Potsdam 5–9 September 2023
Envisioning a New Normal

The 16th Pan-European Conference on International Relations invites participants to submit section proposals.

Potsdam has some history when it comes to constructing new political visions. During the final days of the Second World War, the Potsdam Conference was where the leading Allied Powers, represented by Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill, Clement Attlee, and Harry Truman, held the final of its three summits on postwar order. Among other things, they discussed how to administer Germany after its unconditional surrender, revise borders, transfer German populations in Europe, and end the war in the Pacific. The meeting, in a sense, was a historical transition point from the crisis of the war years towards a new era marked by radically different notions of the international in political, economic, and social terms.

In 2023, the need for new visions of social and political order seems no less pressing. In light of the still ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, the rise of Russian militarism and imperial ambitions, conservative backlash and democratic backsliding in many parts of the world, the more and more visible effects of climate change and global warming, and many other forms of crises and unruliness around the globe, reading the news has turned into literal ‘doom-scrolling’. Likewise, academic analyses of global politics are painting an increasingly gloomy picture that mirrors empirical turmoils.

All the more is there a need for hope, creativity, and courage in reimagining the international. Clearly, an academic gathering is not and should not be a political conference. Yet, we believe that when the International Relations community comes together, there is ample potential for productive positivity. So rather than reproducing the pessimism that seems to have befallen society and academia alike, it is our intention to use this year’s conference theme for a call to collectively look for visions of a ‘new normal’.

We understand the new normal as an altered political, economic, and social order arising out of a period of crisis. Imagining a new normal by definition implies breaking with old certainties, with entrenched habits, and not least also with established patterns that we as analysts and interpreters of the world are accustomed to. The conference theme in this sense encourages us to creatively explore what a new normal could look like in (geo)political, social, economic, ethical, and not least scientific terms. The search for a new normal forms a cross-cutting theme that is inextricably entangled with all aspects and subfields of the academic discipline of IR.

What lessons can we learn from the recent and ongoing global crises and how can we mobilise these lessons for the future? What values and visions of good life shall a new normal reflect? What institutions, modes of knowing the world, and socio-material arrangements shall support these new orders? How can we make sure that we do not reproduce the very inequalities that are deepened by the current crises? And how can we as researchers, teachers, citizens, and individuals help co-produce a new normal?

The 16th Pan-European Conference on International Relations invites participants to explore visions of a new normal—in empirical, political, or theoretical contexts—to interrogate the epistemic, institutional, and material structures that these visions are embedded in, and to critically assess the prospects and challenges of rethinking global politics.

Submission Instructions

The tasks for a section chair include:

  • proposing a section around a theme and populating some preliminary panels at the proposal stage;
  • adhering to EISA’s inclusivity agenda by ensuring that the section does not feature any all-male panels and maintaining a balance between established, emerging, and postgraduate scholars;
  • composing the rest of the section’s programme, by selecting papers that were proposed in response to the general call for papers;
  • identifying panel chairs and discussants;
  • taking overall responsibility for the execution of their section’s contribution to the conference programme.

Proposals for sections should include:

  • Name, institutional affiliation, EISA membership number and email address of the proposed section chair(s) — maximum two chairs per section;
  • Proposed section title and summary of its theme(s) and rationale(s) (no more than 250 words). Please state here if your proposed section is to contain 5 or 10 panels.
  • Tentative indication of possible panels. We do not require a full list of panels, but we would like at least 3 suggested themes for a 5-panel proposal and 6 suggested themes for a 10-panel proposal, which would show what the Section convenor(s) hope would be covered by the section at the conference. Section convenors, if they wish, can also substantiate these themes with suggested paper titles or roundtable participants.

Section chairs must be EISA members.

Submission Deadline

The closing date for section proposals is 9 December 2022 (Midnight, CET).

Method of Submission

Submit your section proposal HERE.


For any queries, please contact us at: proposals.pec23@eisa-net.org.

Programme Chairs:

Dagmar Vorlíček

Universität Wien


Matthias Leese

ETH Zürich