Call for Papers

The 2021 Biennial International Conference of the
Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society

The Hyatt Regency Reston
Reston Virginia
October 15-17, 2021


DEADLINE: February 15, 2021

The Biennial International Conference of the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society will be held October 15-17, 2021, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1800 Presidents Street, Reston, Virginia 20190.The Program Committee is currently soliciting proposals for individual papers and for panel sessions.
2021 Conference panels will begin Friday morning, October 15, with panels both morning and afternoon and the IUS Welcome Reception and Dinner that evening. The Conference concludes Sunday, October 17, at noon. Please plan to arrive on Thursday, October 14.
Prospective participants may submit proposals on any topic within the broad intellectual scope of the IUS. Comparative and cross-national research is strongly encouraged. The following list is offered for consideration, but proposals are not limited to these suggestions.


  • Cooperation and conflict between NATO and non-NATO militaries
  • Interface of East and West with developing nations
  • New economic and military alliances
  • The military's role(s) in democratization and nation building


  • Social, cultural, medical, and institutional aftermaths of military conflicts
  • Social issues (families, quality of life, women, minorities, gays in the military, etc. .)
  • Force restructuring (active-reserve mix, conscript v. professional, etc.)
  • Impact of different cultures and religions on military operations
  • Enlisted and reserve forces: the quest for respect


  • Economic and military impact of the Pacific Rim and Asia
  • Changing civil-military relations in EU and NATO enlargement
  • The post-modern military reconsidered


  • Impact of military operations on recruiting, retention, patriotism, anti-war/pro-war coalitions, etc.
  • Military culture and/or structure of armed forces
  • Conscription and/or national service


  • International cooperation in counter-terrorism
  • Conceptualizing "terrorists", "insurgents" and "freedom fighters"
  • Changing nature of warfare and counter-terrorism
  • Home fronts in warfare and counter-terrorism
  • Depictions of the military, insurgents, terrorists and counter-terrorism in the media
  • New missions and roles of military forces: Blurring of military and police roles
  • Legal issues relevant to the military, terrorism, and counter-terrorism
  • Civil-military relations after September 11, 2001, and subsequent events
  • Pre-emptive strikes and potential repercussions
  • The UN's role in fighting terror
  • Debating the links between US and/or other countries' foreign policies and terrorism


  • Peacekeeping and Peacemaking operations
  • War in close quarters: Urban warfare after Mogadishu
  • Roles of the UN and NATO
  • Intra-state conflict, and domestic and international military involvement


  • Cyber security defense issues including protection of critical infrastructure, cyber espionage, public-private partnerships, public outreach and education, mitigation and recovery, and national resilience to cyber attack
  • Protection of civil liberties including privacy, monitoring, and oversight
  • International cyber security regime development, security cooperation, and legal prosecution
  • The use of cyber weapons in warfare and its consequences

The Panels

Most of the Conference is devoted to concurrent panels divided into simultaneous sessions each day.

Panels will be scheduled for 90 minutes each. Typically, panels have three to five panelists, a chair and a discussant or presenter. Individuals submitting single papers will be grouped by relevant subject matter into panels by the Committee. Panels are limited to no more than five (5) papers.

Proposals for entire panels (5 papers maximum) must indicate: Title, Chair, Discussant or Presenter, Authors, Affiliations, and Paper Titles. Panel proposals with more than five (5) papers will not be accepted.

Panel Format

We are pleased to announce that we can provide AV support for every panel organized for the conference. This will facilitate panels that adopt the usual academic “discussant model.” Following this model, authors speak first, briefly summarizing their papers. Next, a discussant offers briefer critical comments, minding the clock to leave ample time for Q&A. Those who prefer may submit panel proposals that follow the traditional IUS “presenter model.” Following this model, papers are first summarized by a presenter, next authors briefly respond to critical questions raised by the presenter’s summary, and time is left for lively discussion in Q&A. Following either model, the aim is to leave as much time as possible for audience participation.

Proposal Dates and Deadlines

The Program Committee must receive e-mailed proposals no later than February 15, 2021. Proposals will not be accepted after that date.

The IUS Secretariat will acknowledge receipt of each proposal via e-mail.
Both paper and panel proposals (one page maximum) must include the following information:

1.    Paper Title(s)

2.    Author(s) with address(es), phone, fax, and e-mail

3.    Brief abstract (200 words)

A panel proposal should also include:

1.    Panel Title/Topic/Subject

2.    Names of Chair and Discussant or Presenter and their affiliations

3.    Names, e-mails, phone/fax and addresses of all panelists (5 MAXIMUM)

Authors may submit one or more separate and distinct papers, provided they understand that IUS Conference participation is limited to one (1) sole-authored paper and no more than two (2) appearances on the final program as a sole or co-author. Panel proposals lacking all the required information will not be accepted. The Program Committee will make decisions accordingly.

E-Mail Proposals to the IUS Secretariat

Please e-mail all proposals to by February 15, 2021. Proposals will not be accepted after this date.
Final decisions regarding the program will be made by June 1, 2021. All communications on proposal acceptance or decline, the program, hotel information, etc. will be sent electronically via e-mail.

The Program

A Preliminary Program with Conference and hotel details will be posted on the Conference website in June.

There will be no panel time or date changes after publication of the preliminary program out of fairness to the other participants. The Committee assumes full attendance on all three days of the Conference and a paper or panel will be slotted anywhere within that timeframe.

Conference Registration

All participants must register for the Conference and pay the appropriate fee. Panelists in any capacity must do this to be included on the program.
This is true without regard to the length of time a participant expects to be at the Conference, or whether he or she is an IUS Fellow. The registration fee includes certain meals and other elements; this single fee cannot be adjusted or reduced if you do not avail yourself of conference features. Registration information will be available at in June 2021.
Students are encouraged to participate actively in the Conference with discounted registration fees.

If withdrawing from the Conference after having registered, a full refund will be made up through September 15, 2021. Thereafter, 50% of the paid registration fee will be refunded.

Graduate Student Paper Prize

The Graduate Student Paper Award will be given to the best graduate student paper accepted for presentation.  Papers eligible for consideration must be written solely by a graduate student or in collaboration with graduate student co-authors. The winner (or winners) of the award will receive a cash prize of $1,000, to be shared equally (if applicable) among the paper authors.

The initial step for consideration is to submit a paper abstract of 200 words to the IUS office at on or before February 15, 2021. Authors will be notified whether their paper has been accepted for conference presentation no later than June 1, 2021. To compete for the prize, completed papers must be submitted to the IUS office on or before August 1, 2021.

Conference Papers Availability

Conference papers will be made available to participants on a password-protected website accessible only by conference attendees.
Conference participants are required to submit an electronic copy of papers for inclusion in the Conference website on or before September 15, 2021. Papers may be submitted in .pdf or .doc format. No copyright is claimed by or granted to the IUS; it remains fully with the author(s).

Audio-Visual Equipment

We will provide a laptop, projector, and screen in each meeting room. Those making an electronic presentation must bring it on their own flash drive.

Workshop on Total Defence Workforces

Date: 6-7 May 2021

Venue: Our hope is that the workshop can be held at the Swedish Centre for Studies of the Armed Forces and Society at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. If this is not possible due to travel restrictions or other circumstances connected to the COVID-19 pandemic, the workshop may be partly or entirely online.

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 30 Nov 2020

This workshop is being organized through a collaboration between the Canadian Defence and Security Network (CDSN; ), the Total Defence Force working group of the European Research Group for Military and Society (ERGOMAS; ), and the Swedish Centre for Studies of Armed Forces and Society (CSMS;

Workshop Description: Defence workforces are complex, comprising regular force military members, reservists, defence civil servants, and contractors working for private military and security companies.

These groups of personnel are employed towards the same overarching goals related to national and international security, and are often highly integrated in the performance of their functions. At the same time, despite the often high levels of partnership and integration, different personnel management systems are in place. These cultural differences affect their integration, the nature and quality of their collaboration, and ultimately affect personnel outcomes such as performance and retention, as well as organisational and operational effectiveness. Defence organizations around the world are increasingly recognizing the importance of optimizing the intragroup employment, as well as the intergroup integration, of defence personnel and many are adopting terminology to imply they form a cohesive whole [select examples include, the Defence Team (Canada), the Whole Force Concept (United Kingdom), One Defence Team (Sweden), Total Defence Workforce (New Zealand), Total Force Concept (United States), and the Adaptable Force (Netherlands)].

Since most research has traditionally focused on regular force military personnel, gaps in research on personnel in the other components – that is, research focused on reservists, defence civilians, and defence contractors, will be addressed in the context of this workshop.

Key questions include:

  • What is the right mix of these groups in delivering on the defence mandate? In what roles?
  • How should they be optimally employed and integrated into a cohesive whole to meet the defence mandate?
  • What is the role of culture, identity and other relational issues in shaping whole force integration and collaboration?
  • What are the main personnel management and organizational factors affecting these workforces in defence organizations?
  • What are the main considerations related to the roles, integration, and collaboration among these groups in deployed settings?
  • Overall, what are the challenges and enablers both within and between these components, including both intergroup and intragroup topics?
  • What are the best practices, strategies, programmes and policies for effective management related to Total Defence Forces?

Interested participants should submit abstracts (300 words maximum) detailing their proposed paper to Irina Goldenberg at, no later than 30 Nov 2020. Letters of acceptance will be sent out 14 December 2020.

The intent of this workshop is to produce a special issue of a scholarly journal or an edited book providing the latest information, research, and analysis related to total defence workforces. As such, draft chapters will be required to be submitted prior to the workshop, and no later than 30 April 2021.

If circumstances allow, funding for travel (air or train tickets) and accommodations will be available for workshop participants. Information about practical arrangements, including an update on the workshop format, will be sent out with the acceptance letters.

On behalf of the organizing committee, Irina Goldenberg, Stéfanie von Hlatky, and Joakim Berndtsson – we look forward to receiving your abstracts!

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