Helen Milner Elected 2020-2021 President of the International Studies Association (ISA)

Monday, Jan 28, 2019

Helen V. Milner, B.C. Forbes Professor of Politics and International Affairs, has been elected as the next president of the International Studies Association (ISA) for the 2020-2021 term. Professor Milner has released the following candidate statement:

I am greatly honored to be nominated for President of the International Studies Association. ISA is a truly international and interdisciplinary organization and this makes it very important. The study of global politics, economics, and society is ever more valuable these days. I hope that I can make a large positive contribution to ISA.

I have been involved with ISA for many years because I wanted to support and help the association. ISA brings together a diverse group of scholars, from different nationalities, different disciplines, different research interests, and different methodologies. This diversity is an important strength. My own research in international and comparative political economy has delved into many different topics looking at different regions and using different methods. ISA has always been appealing since it fosters such heterogeneity of perspectives and approaches through its large conventions, smaller meetings, and many journals.

As a member of ISA, I have attended its annual convention for many of the thirty years I have been in the profession. Early in my career (1988-89), I served on the ISA Committee on Rights and Responsibilities. Later (1989), I served on the ISA committee on awarding grants for European Community studies. In 2001, I was a vice president for ISA and served on the council. More recently (2011), I served on the nominating committee for ISA. I have also been the fortunate recipient of several awards from ISA. Last year the IPE section of ISA presented me with the distinguished scholar award for the field. This year the Society for Women in International Political Economy (SWIPE) of the ISA's International Political Economy section selected me to receive the 2019 SWIPE Award for Mentoring Women in International Political Economy. It has been my great pleasure to serve in these different roles to support ISA. I have served in a number of other professional roles in associations related to the social sciences.

My central interest has been in fostering the development of social science around the globe, but especially in the developing world where democratization and globalization have touched many countries recently. Associations that can help scholars around the world to maintain academic freedom, enhance teaching, collect and analyze data, and facilitate publishing high quality research from all over the planet are critically important. To help promote these goals, I have served on the board of a number of organizations. I was the APSA representative elected to the International Political Science Association (IPSA) for about ten years (2006-15), serving as a member of the executive committee, then vice president, and finally president and past president. As a member of IPSA, I was nominated to serve on the board of the Global Development Network (GDN) and have been part of their executive committee for close to six years (2013-19). I have also been a member of the board of directors of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) since 2012, serving on various committees there. In addition, I was a member of the steering committee for the International Political Economy Society (IPES) from its early days and recently ended my term as chair of its steering committee (2013-17). Finally, I have been very fortunate to be the founding director of the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance (NCGG) at Princeton University since 2005. In all of these roles, I have desired to advance the creation of social science research and to help strengthen the infrastructure for conducting such research around the world.

As ISA president, I want to continue to promote these goals. Many critical issues confront social science these days. Academic freedom and higher education institutions are under attack in countries across the globe. Funding for social science research and universities has been cut back in many countries. The value of expertise in many field is often questioned today, while fake news, conspiracy theories, and rumors abound. Democracy and the open society are often challenged by illiberalism and autocratic tendencies. And earth’s environment continues to heat up, while little action is taken to change course. The value of social science for better understanding our world and addressing these challenges has been elevated by associations like ISA. I hope that as president I can help ISA in advancing its main missions of creating more knowledge about international, transnational, and global affairs and fostering the exchange of diverse ideas and initiatives among all those involved in the teaching, research, and practice of International Studies.

More information about the election can be found on the ISA 2020-2021 Annual Election website.