Top 5 by Venus in Arms – week 94 (ISA2016)

This week out Top5 is entirely related to the next ISA 57th Annual convention, which will be held at Atlanta (March 16-19).

We’ve already talked (here) about the paper we present there, from Renzi to Italian Defense, from Mafia killings to the evolution of German armed forces.

Here below the Top5 of the panel we are interested in…


1 – Reconciliation and the Meaning of Peace in Afghanistan (Tuesday 17, 8.15AM)

Chair: Theo Farrell (King’s College London), Disc. Antonio Giustozzi (King’s College London)

  • The sources of Taliban resilience and the implications for reconciliation – Theo Farrell (King’s College London) and Antonio Giustozzi (King’s College London)
  • Outcome of the Afghan War – Carter Malkasian (CNA)
  • How jail formed the Taliban and what it did for reconciliation  – Michael Semple (Queens University Belfast)
  • Reconciliation as an Experiment: 2000 to 2015 – Rudra Chaudhuri (Department of War Studies, King’s College London ) and Christopher Kolenda (Department of War Studies, King’s College London)

2- Strategic Narratives and Ukraine (Tuesday 17, 8.15AM)

Chair Ben O’Loughlin (Royal Holloway, University of London), Disc. Michael McFaul (Stanford University)

  • Kyiv’s Public Diplomacy: Strategic Narratives of and for Ukraine- Valentina Feklyunina (Newcastle University)
  • News media choice and views of the West in Russia: a study of narrative reception on among university students – Joanna Szostek (Royal Holloway, University of London)
  • Russia’s New War of the Words: How the Invasion of Ukraine Redefines Strategic Narratives – Sarah Oates (University of Maryland)
  • Strategic Narratives and Alliances: NATO Responses to Ukraine – Laura Roselle (Elon University)
  • Weaponising information: Putin, the West and Competing Strategic Narratives of Ukraine – Alister Miskimmon (Royal Holloway, University of London) Ben O’Loughlin (Royal Holloway, University of London)

3 – Transnational Insurgents: Understanding Concepts and Dynamics (Friday 18, 4pm)

Chair Idean Salehyan (University of Texas at Dallas); Disc. Idean Salehyan (University of Texas at Dallas) Disc. Kris n Bakke (University College London)

  • Wars of Others: Ethnic/Religious Cleavages and Support for Foreign Fighters – Seden Akcinaroglu (Binghamton University), Ihsan Efe Tokdemir (Binghamton University), and Ekrem Karakoc (Binghamton University (SUNY))
  • Why do Jihadi Groups Recruit Foreign Fighters? – Barak Mendelsohn (Haverford College)
  • Foreign Fighters and Civil Conflict Outcomes – Alex Braithwaite (University of Arizona, School of Government and Public Policy) and Tiffany Chu (University of Arizona)
  • No Zeal Like a Convert? Western Converts as Foreign Fighters – David Malet (The University of Melbourne)
  • Enter the Neighborhood Bully: The Impact of Foreign Fighters on Rebel Group Structures and Civilian Networks – Pauline Moore (University of Denver)

4-Innovation and Adaptation of Military Organizations (Saturday, 1.45PM)

Chair and Disc. Theo Farrell (King’s College London) 

  • Inorganic Adaptation for Irregular Warfare Missions – Nathan White (King’s College London)
  • The U.S. Military and (No) Change: Examining U.S. Military Rigidity in Peace time – Andrew Gallo (Columbia University)
  • A Muddled Revolution? Understanding U.S. Naval Transformation Post 9/11 – Alexander Salt (University of Calgary)
  • Military Innovation and Conceptual Change: The Israel Defense Forces Prior to the 2006 Lebanon War – Raphael David Marcus (King’s College London)
  • Innovation in the Shadow of Vietnam: Making US Army Doctrine in 1968 – Peter Campbell (Baylor University)

5- No Match For A Good Blaster At Your Side: Star Wars and International Security (Saturday, 4PM)

Chair Stephen M. Saideman (Carleton University) Disc. Alexander Montgomery (Reed College)

  • How to bring balance to the Force? Star Wars in US political discourse – Anette Stimmer (University of Oxford)
  • Going to the “Dark Side”: Star Wars Symbolism and the Acceptance of Torture in the U.S. Security Community -Benjamin C. Carbone (Trinity College), Corinne Tagliarina (University of Connecticut) and Brenna L Bridwell (University of Connecticut)
  • A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far Far Away: Myth and Fantasy in US Foreign Policy and in Star Wars- Patrick Thaddeus Jackson (American University)
  • China’s Military Rise and the Death Star Discourse: The Deployment of Star Wars Tropes in the Framing of the ‘China Threat’ – Scott Brown (University of Dundee)
  • Rethinking the Political‐/ Science /‐Fiction Nexus: Global Policy‐Making and the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots -Charli Carpenter (University of Massachusetts)




See you in Atlanta

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Top 5 by Venus in Arms – week 90

This week, our Top5 starts from the open letter of protests (here and here) signed by several academic associations over the death of Giulio Regeni.

On the same dramatic issue, here you’ll find another analysis by other important members of the academic community on Egypt and human rights. Here some interesting perspectives on field research and political instability in Norther Africa (and beyond).

A quite relevant meeting occurred in Rome on Tuesday. The foreign ministers of the six countries — Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands (the 6 founding members of the EU) — held a dinner to discuss setting up a very informal group of “core” states prepared to push the EU forward. Here the report by Politico.

What is the appropriate response to terrorist attacks? A very problematic and broad question. Here an excellent symposium that aims at addressing such complicate issue.

Finally, moving through the ISA Annual Convention in Atlanta, a reminder of all the recent updates on the conference.

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