Presentations at the 2022 ISA Annual Convention in Nashville

Eline Drury Løvlien, Mirna El Masri, and Felix Olsowski participated at the 63rd Annual Convention of the International Studies Association (ISA), held from March 28 until April 2, 2022, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

After two years into the COVID-19 pandemic with no or only very restricted in-person conferences, our chair members took the opportunity of meeting again renowned political scientists, particularly from the field of international relations. As the last two years have demonstrated, not all conference activities can be transferred to the digital sphere. Stimulating conversations about on-going or prospective research projects rarely evolve from virtual meetings and networking opportunities, which are important for young researchers. Hence, the in-person ISA convention was an eagerly awaited chance for intensive scientific exchange, beyond the likewise important presentation of on-going research.

At the conference, Eline presented her work “Shifting sands: a survey study of sectarian attitudes in Northern Ireland”. Using survey data from Northern Ireland the study looks at how diverging group exposure to violence influences individual attitudes towards post-conflict institutions. More specifically the impact of sectarian identities and conflict experiences on attitudes towards the police in the post-Brexit era.

Mirna presented her project “Threat Perception, Policy Diffusion, and the Logic of Terrorist Group Designation” (together with Brian J. Phillips). Their work sheds light on the designation process of terrorist groups. They find that designation does not seem to be driven by target or attack severity. It is rather a result of policy diffusion, in which most countries follow the United States. Islamist group motivation is also an important factor.

Felix gave the panel participants an overview of his project “Judicial Independence under Threat: The Appointment of Judges in Clientelistic Regimes”. His work provides insights into the selection process of judges for municipality- and regional-level courts on the Philippines using original data. Felix finds that aside from qualification also other applicants’ characteristics such as kinship influence their appointment.