Join Caelyn Cobb on a Tour of Our ISA 2020 Virtual Exhibit Booth

As those of you reading this post are aware, the 2020 International Studies Association (ISA) conference was supposed to be in Honolulu, Hawaii. I had an AirBNB with a lanai all ready to go. As far as I can tell from the internet, a lanai is an oversized balcony upon which you can lounge and enjoy being outside in Hawaii. Alas, due to The Pandemic, I am lounging inside my apartment in Queens and listening to the sleet hit the windows. 

I bet you’re in the same boat. Or on the same couch, more likely. Let’s mourn our Hawaii boondoggle vacations together with some classic Hawaiian cocktails (sure to leave you with some very specific liqueurs you’ll not use again for years) and talk international politics. That will cheer us all up in these dark, non-Hawaii times, especially since we haven’t had the chance to think about politics at all lately. Is there an election this year or something? I haven’t heard much about it.

If you haven’t already guessed, I’m Caelyn Cobb, the editor for Columbia University Press’s lists in global politics, which includes international relations, terrorism and security, comparative and regional politics, and international policy. In lieu of ISA, I’ll be doing a virtual conference booth tour on our blog. Today, I’ll introduce you to our program and some of our hot new releases. Be sure to browse our website for all the books we planned to exhibit at ISA; you can order them directly from us for 30 percent off with the code “ISA30.” No, we don’t have anything on pandemics. (Yet.) Yes, we do have something on Trump and IR. 

Columbia University Press has a long tradition of publishing important works in international politics. Our backlist includes celebrated works like Kenneth N. Waltz’s Man, the State, and War and J. Ann Tickner’s Gender and International Relations: Feminist Perspectives on Achieving Global Security. We publish about thirty new books each year under the broad umbrella of international politics not in only political science, but also in international communication, sociology, and economics. 

There are many books debuting this year that I was hoping to raise a blue cocktail to at our booth. Valerie M. Hudson, Donna Lee Bowen, and Lynne Nielsen’s new book, The First Political Order: How Sex Shapes Governance and National Security Worldwide, just officially released this month; it provides an impressive, data-driven examination of how the subjugation of women is correlated with worse governance and national security all over the world. (Fun fact: another Columbia book from Valerie and the WomenStats team, Sex and World Peace, was Emma Watson’s book pick for #OurSharedShelf on International Women’s Day.)

We always have a crop of exciting new books in our long-running series Columbia Studies in Terrorism and Irregular Warfare, edited by the legendary Bruce Hoffman. This spring, we’ve published Aaron Zelin’s Your Sons Are at Your Service, a study of Tunisian foreign fighters in ISIS; it’s one of those books where, before I signed it, multiple people sought me out to rave about how cool this research was. Soon to release as well is Lorenzo Vidino’s The Closed Circle, an examination of why people join and leave the Muslim Brotherhood in the West through their own compelling stories. 

In the fall, we released some exciting books to debut at the American Political Science Association’s annual meeting, and I’m sad I’m not able to pump them up to the ISA crowd as well. Yvonne Chiu’s innovative work of international relations theory, Conspiring with the Enemy: The Ethic of Cooperation in Warfare, is a major achievement in the just war tradition. Reed Wood’s Female Fighters presents an impressive comparative examination of the particular role women play as fighters in rebel groups. And did you know we published a new book by Wendy Brown? It’s called In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West. It’s by Wendy Brown. Enough said.

Stay tuned for a few more ISA posts from my colleagues and me in the coming days. I’ll cover course books, books ripped from the headlines, and our new and exciting book series. Dan LoPreto, our editor for Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO), will give you an overview of the database and how to subscribe. You should also sign up for our mailing list so you never miss out on our new books in International Relations.

As always, I’m open to pitches about your next great book. You can find our proposal guidelines online. I also welcome your chatter and retweets on Twitter (@caelyncobb), a.k.a. my main source of social interaction until we can stop social distancing. I look forward to hearing from you. 

Like, a lot. Please tweet something to me. 


Enter our ISA 2020 drawing for a chance to win a free book.  Although we encourages you to support your local bookstores, we are offering a 30 percent conference discount when you order from our website. Use coupon code ISA20 at checkout to save on our ISA books on display.

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