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Call for Convenors – House Series on the Middle East

In response to calls from its community in the wake of the recent conflict in Gaza, ECPR’s Executive Committee invites expressions of interest for two Convenors to a new online series of webinars focusing on the Middle East.

The deadline for applications is Monday 1 July 2024.

About the series

As an academic association representing political scientists across the globe, ECPR accepts that our community holds divergent views. Providing a forum where those views can be challenged, based on rigorous academic scholarship and integrity, is one way in which learned societies such as ours can wield positive influence.

This new series aims to foster an informed and nuanced understanding of the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. Its core focus, on the multifaceted and deeply significant conflict between Gaza and Israel, will offer a forum for balanced and scholarly discourse, and the sharing of research related to Middle Eastern societies and histories.

Our aim is to promote studies that highlight the range of cultural, economic, and political dynamics of Middle Eastern communities, their relationships with each other, and with the rest of the world.

The series will address related issues including academic freedom and human rights, along with broader regional dynamics involving countries such as Iran and Lebanon. It will incorporate fresh perspectives from diverse disciplines, examining the influence of culture on democratic stability, sentiment, and representation. We aim to create a safe space where political scientists can engage in meaningful discourse, free from political biases, and contribute to the collective academic knowledge on these critical issues.

Who and how

We welcome applications from mid-career or senior political scientists with expertise in this geographical area, combined with a passion and understanding of its history, people and scholarship. We are particularly interested to receive applications by scholars from diverse geographic locations, and those underrepresented in the discipline.

Please submit a proposal outlining your vision for the series and its thematic structure. We encourage you to take a holistic approach, considering sessions dedicated to single papers, lectures, panels, or other formats. Approach the series creatively, bearing in mind how it could give rise to a range of follow-up activities that make use of ECPR’s full portfolio.

Consider the interplay of academia and politicians, journalists, and citizens; differences in how scholars teach and conduct research; inclusion and diversity of the discipline, and subsequent challenges and developments that shaped political science in the post WWII era. We will give preference to proposals that are:

  • Original and have the potential to attract the interest of a wide and diverse audience
  • Supportive of research and scholarship at the intersections of academic freedom, gender, human rights, and conflict
  • Broad and interdisciplinary in outlook, considering divergent views and interests
  • Suitable for serialisation over a period, taking advantage of ECPR’s multiple channels for dissemination of research and information.

Role of the Convenors

To ensure the academic success of the series, a broad and interdisciplinary approach is vital, offering opportunity for comprehensive examination of diverse yet significant factors.

The two Convenors will play a pivotal role in shaping the series, bringing it to life by selecting topics, identifying expert contributors, and guiding discussions to ensure they remain balanced, scholarly, and free from partisan politics.

Convenors must be excellent scholars with internationally recognised careers, extensive networks, and editorial experience. Their key priorities will be to maintain excellent and rigorous academic standards, while attracting the best research and knowledge from across the discipline and beyond. Convenors will:

  • Develop broad themes with specific sub-topics, curate discussions, and propose or seek partnerships with complementary disciplines
  • Invite contributors, and decide whether activities should be delivered as lectures, webinars or other suitable formats
  • Aim to organise a minimum of six online events over the course of nine months
  • Collaborate with the ECPR team to promote the series and engage with the academic community.

Convenors will benefit from practical and institutional support from the Executive Committee and ECPR staff at Harbour House, who will coordinate events, publishing, marketing, and social media activities in support of the series.

Application process

Please submit your application to by Monday 1 July 2024, including the following:

  • A cover letter outlining your interest in the role and relevant experience / qualifications
  • A current CV
  • A proposal of 500 words maximum, detailing your vision for the series, including themes and topics for discussion.

Shortlisted applicants will be notified, and appointments made, by Thursday 1 August 2024.

We look forward to your participation in what promises to be a significant and impactful series.