Event Recap: “Trends in International Affairs”, NPSIA’s First Student-Run Conference

by Renata Grudzien11044540_10155399670470094_2752634642738022737_o

This FPA Research Month, the NPSIA Student Association held NPSIA’s first student-run conference and it was a smashing success (I maintain the magnitude of that adjective is appropriate). The participants were go-getting Master’s and PhD students from NPSIA, SPPA, and EURUS. After much luck – as fellow conference organizers will empathize – the conference received impressive paper submissions. These submissions came at a pivotal time as FPA students are embarking on their major research papers or theses. The mentality behind hosting the conference was to provide an opportunity for students to practice defending their written work (in a less intimidating but still intimidating) setting. Altogether there were four panels themed: Trade and Economics, Conflict and Security, Global Governance, and Issues in International Law. A big thank you to participants* for their efforts and congratulations on such well-received presentations!

FPA Faculty members were eager to offer their services as advisors and discussants for this event. Professors Rowlands, Wang, Daudelin, Long, Weibust and, special guest Associate Dean Betina Kuzmarov provided insightful feedback to participants and stimulated audience discussion during the Q&A periods. We surmise that the Professors’ enjoyment of this event transcended their pedagogical utility; to put it simply, Professors just love keeping students on their toes and here they got to do that. So far the NPSIA Student Association has received some helpful notes on how to improve the conference next year and assurance that more Professors – potentially from different FPA programs and even faculties – will be in attendance next year. AH HA The ultimate conference victory!

Finally, organizing a student-run11071116_10155399661715094_7026377433577725072_o conference, particularly during Research Month and nearing exam time is an amazing feat. “Trends in International Affairs” wouldn’t have been possible without some key organizations and people. We would like to thank the NPSIA Faculty, FGPA, and GSA for their funding and in-kind contributions. With these we were able to go from “offering refreshments” to “offering lunch.” Thank you to Cassidy McGraw, the lovely VP Academic, who spurred this initiative with her enthusiasm, organization, and penchant for teamwork. Her efforts have significantly enriched student academic participation over the course of the year and were highlighted this event. To Jocelyn Graham, our conference co-ordinator and Co-President, who organized the peer review process, responded to many if not all conference-related questions, and liaised with faculty to make their attendance a reality. To Emily Singer for coordinating (a free!) lunch and the truly endless list of logistical tasks. To Gabrielle Bishop, our most competent VP Relations who designed all of the conference banners, calls for papers, Facebook posts, and photography (y’all have headshots of being super important thanks to her!) Finally, thank you to Brandon Canu for assisting with photography and tech, Jeremy Durant for delivering the free lunch and Michael Binnington for his technological prowess and overall support!

Hopefully you now think that presenting your papers at a student-run conference is less intimidating and more indicative of your academic mettle. As it stands, participants, professors, and the audience had a great time and with the foundation for this conference firmly established, we can safely say: Until next year!

To view all the pictures from the conference, click here.


Gabrielle Bishop: “Trends in North Korean Market Liberalization and its Global Policy Implications”

Jurgen P. Schooner: “Germany’s Russian Foreign Policy: A Matter of Economic Consideraiton”

Mark Robbins: “Towards a Political Economy of Defense Spending: The Spinoffs of Military R&D”

Allyson Fradella: “Chinese Capital in Africa: a Discourse Analysis”

Yalcin Diker: “Understanding the Challenge of International Migration and Asylum in the European Union”

Michael Shkolnik: “The Impact of Peace Negotiations, Economic Growth, and Seasonality on Palestinian Terrorism: A Quantitative Approach, 1987-2011”

Sean Winchester: “Protecting Civilians: Evaluating the Effectiveness of United Nations Police”

Ahmed El-Buckley: “Sacrificing Security for Stability: Nuclear Proliferation, Regional Conflict, and the Escalation of State Sponsored Terror”

Graeme Archibald: “International Organizations and Humanitarian Crises – Agents Limited by Principals”

Pantea Behroozi: “Oppressive Government: Role of Government and Civil Society Organizations in Turkey’s Governance System”

Lance Hadley: “Opening the Doors to Regional Integration in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Model of Effective Border Governance”

Jessica Carroll: “Urban Food Security Policy”

Brianna Paulin: “Does International Law Provide Any Protection to Climate or Environmental Refugees”

Andrej Litvinjenko: “Dispute Remedies and Defection in Canada Export Credits”

Anika Eggenhofer Sparling: “The Europeanization of Gender Quotas in Germany”

George Stairs: “The Proliferation of International Law and Global Norms, Alexandre Kojéve, and the Concepts of the Universal Homogenous State”


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