No strings attached

Development Policy15 Feb 2010Marieke Hounjet

Arriving a few days prior to the conference provides us with an opportunity to get a sense of what New Orleans is all about. In contrast to the media attention that New Orleans got a few years ago, very similar to news coming from Haiti now, the city makes an ever so different impression. Mardi Gras celebrations are in full swing and as proper spectators of the parades we also walk around the city with heaps of beads around our neck – integration that is called.

In the midst of all this excitement we are very much looking forward to the ISA conference. The theme of the conference, ‘Theory vs Policy: connecting scholars and practitioners’ is one of clear current interest. Especially in times of economic hardship, tax-payer contributions to the knowledge society no longer come with ‘no strings attached’. However, just what these strings will look like – and who exactly will be pulling them – is still a matter of debate. Finding a workable solution will indeed require academics and policy-makers to connect. Thus, the upcoming panels and roundtables will most definitely shed light on this matter.

Beyond this theme, a plethora of other subjects will be addressed all related to the field of international studies. In other words, the conference promises to be as diverse and colourful as the beads decorating this city.