From March 27-29, more than 5,000 professors and students congregated in Toronto to discuss trends, hear from their peers on new research and network with colleagues working in the field of international relations. The International Studies Association (ISA) Convention is highly anticipated annual event for many in the community of political science scholarship. Each year, CIGI attends the convention to strengthen the name and reputation of our organization and showcase the most recent work of our experts. In 2014, CIGI was firmly embedded in ISA’s schedule and extracurricular happenings: staff were at an exhibit booth, CIGI co-hosted a reception for 200 researchers with the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA) and hosted a dinner in honour of Harvard Professor John Gerard Ruggie, and CIGI sponsored a panel discussion – chaired by Ruggie – that included Program Directors Fen Hampson and Domenico Lombardi as well as BSIA Director John Ravenhill. In addition to the Ruggie panel, 14 CIGI chairs and fellows were presenters at one or more panels over the three-day event, and an additional 23 presenters took part on behalf of the BSIA.
The panel chaired by Ruggie on “Innovation and Adaptation of Multilateral Institutions in a New Geopolitical Era,” was the most anticipated of the CIGI-sponsored sessions. While the papers were written and presented for an audience of politically minded scholars, CIGI Research Fellow Mark Raymond unpacked their arguments and analysis, which touched on topics ranging from global health to Internet governance. “We clearly have a more complex system that we live in,” began Raymond. He commented on a great deal of disruption in the system — evidence that our world is becoming “increasingly international” with the introduction of new technologies that promote global collaboration. Whether we discuss reform of the World Bank or developments in global public health, the state of our global system is “more tightly connected than before, involves more actors... and is governing more of human life,” explained Raymond.
Raymond’s summary and the panel participants’ analyses highlight not only the current relevance of CIGI’s role in governance issues, but also the importance of our work in policy recommendations that will be key to the long-term success of humanity. As we continue to become more closely integrated with our international counterparts, the research of CIGI will be central to governing a stable and viable global society.