IPSA RC 41 Second Conference on Geopolitics

An International Workshop on Emerging Regional Contests and Contestants

Tuesday, 26 November – Wednesday, 27 November 2013



The contours of today’s evolving global system suggest two contradictory futures. The first predicts a “Great Convergence” of mankind, whereas the second foresees an emerging “G-Zero” leaderless planet Earth.

That the international system could go either way owes to the unprecedented economic and technological globalization shaping our world in one direction -- even as a major reshuffling and circulation of power worldwide is leading us in the opposite direction.

Economic, domestic and regional uncertainties in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia further challenge students of international affairs to define the political superstructure of tomorrow’s world.

The International Political Science Association’s Research Committee on Geopolitics (RC-41) is pleased to announce an International Workshop on “Geopolitics and Great Powers”, aimed at professionally addressing these concerns.

The Jerusalem International Workshop format offers the opportunity for close, careful consideration of such questions as:

 Are we on the threshold of a unipolar-, bipolar-, tripolar-, or multipolar “moment” in world politics?

 In the 21st century what determines any country’s ranking in the hierarchy of power, influence and leverage?

 What distinguishes a Great Power from middle-range and smaller state actors?

 Who are the actors (both state-and non-state) best positioned to lead in a major rebalancing of power?

 To what extent does the United States remain indispensable for today’s world order?

 Where are the so-called “flashpoints” with the greatest potential for tipping the delicately-poised scales between stability and instability, development and stagnation, integration and fragmentation, peace and war?

Portions of the IPSA RC-41 Workshop Program will be devoted to specific regional problems and contests already on the geopolitical horizons in both the eastern Mediterranean-Persian Gulf zone and the Pacific Basin. These individual case studies on the impact of Great Powers on Geopolitics are meant to reinforce more general insights at the theoretical level.


Unlike open international conferences, the Workshop framework is designed to limit participation to a smaller and rather select group of invitees - on the order of 16 to 18 people - each bringing to bear his or her disciplinary expertise or area studies specialization.

Accordingly, the Jerusalem Workshop will be conducted in a Round Table format, with scholarly presentations dividing into 8 panel sessions, with 2 – 3 papers at each session, followed by open discussion among the direct Round Table academic participants and invited guests drawn from the diplomatic and policymaking communities. The 8 panel themes are devoted to:

1. The New International System/ “Power” and “Influence” Redefined

2. The Emerging Great Powers

3. Regionalization in a World of Sub-Systems - Regional Contests and Power Balances

4. The Mediterranean & Middle East

5. The Asia-Pacific Theater

6. Central Asia / Southeast Asia

7. Positioning the United States

8. Summing Up: Theoretical Insights and Implications

The intention is for the Jerusalem Workshop schola
rs and specialists to then reconstitute themselves into a continuous Working Group for the purpose of presenting a Panel session at the IPSA international conference scheduled for Montreal, Canada in 2014. This follow-up session will enable members of the Working Group to offer a reassessment as well as update of their 2013 observations in the light of intervening events.

It is also intended to publish original papers presented at the “GEOPOLITICS AND GREAT POWERS” workshop in book form, or as independent articles in leading professional refereed journals.


Tuesday 26 November

9:00 - 18:00 Opening Reception Greetings & Keynote Speaker Paper Presentations & Discussion Panels 1 - 4

Wednesday 27 November

9:00 - 17:00 Paper Presentations & Discussion Panels 5 - 8 18:00 Concluding Remarks: “Toward Montreal"

Thursday 28 November (optional) Group Tour / Policy Meetings

General Information:

Anyone wishing to participate in the 2013 RC-41 Jerusalem Workshop and to contribute by addressing any of the above topics is invited to submit an initial paper proposal.

The Proposal and/or Abstract (limited to 750 words or less) should be sent to Professor Aharon Klieman at

Final date for submission 10 May 2013

Notice of Acceptance 20 May 2013

No Registration fee is required.

Acceptance is conditioned, however, upon the participant’s commitment to full, active attendance at all panel sessions and discussions throughout the two days of the Workshop, in addition to one paper presentation.

Participants in the 2013 Jerusalem International Workshop are expected to cover all personal transportation arrangements and expenses. Limited IPSA conference travel grants may be available upon special request to help defray partial air fare costs for junior scholars or in exceptional cases.

Hotel accommodations and meals during the Workshop will be provided for direct participants courtesy of The Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations of The Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

All Workshop sessions will be conducted on the Mount Scopus campus of The Hebrew University.


Announcement & Call for Papers February 2013
Submission of Proposals / Abstracts May 10, 2013
Notice of Acceptance May 20, 2013
Full Paper Submission October 15, 2013
Final Program November 1, 2013