The Research Committee aims to provide a resource for joint research projects, specifically encouraging papers and panels at SAAPS conferences and colloquia focused on these areas. It also aims to serve as a platform for discussion and networking among the related scholarly communities investigating questions pertaining to international relations and diplomacy.

The Research Committee welcomes members from all regions and seeks international collaboration in research and publications. Partnerships with associations in other global regions create an opportunity for networking beyond the South African academic community on matters of international relations and diplomacy.

The convenor of the Committee is Dr Odilile Ayodele (Institute of Pan African Thought and Conversation, University of Johannesburg), and the deputy convenor is Ms Maxine Rubin (Department of Political Studies, University of Cape Town).

In 2021, the Committee engaged in several strategic engagements with Research Committees/ Working Groups from various international studies associations and a number of South African government departments. In 2022, we aim to translate these engagements into firm partnerships.

The Committee has planned several public dialogues and committee development initiatives; a few continue previous plans. One of these legacy initiatives was a special issue driven by the Research Committee. In 2021, after a general meeting of the Committee, Africa-Russian relations was identified as a potential topic for a special issue published by the South African Journal of International Affairs (SAJIA). We are pleased to announce that guest editors have been identified for this critical edition – one of whom belong to our Committee. SAJIA has since issued a call for

papers. The Africa-Russia special issue is expected to be published in the latter half of 2022.

Demystifying academia and building competitive research careers was recognised as a key interest by our members. In 2021, we hosted a successful webinar on Research Collaboration led by Prof Jo-Ansie van Wyk (UNISA), Prof Suzy Graham (UJ), and Dr David Monyae (UJ). Based on the audience feedback, in 2022, we will host a workshop on clarifying the NRF rating process led by Prof Robert Morrell (UCT) and Ms Roshan Sonday (UCT).

Besides our development initiatives, we plan to host several ‘state of affairs’ public dialogues. These dialogues would include prominent scholars, the diplomatic community, policy practitioners, and civil society to give our members a sense of current and future trends in international relations and diplomacy.

We plan to continue to advocate for books and journal special editions driven by the Committee and look for publication opportunities that specifically include committee members as a whole.

Please forward any announcements of IR and Diplomacy related publications, conferences or other events to the convenors for circulation in our monthly newsletter.

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