January 12, 2021 4:04PM

Call for Proposals: Junior Scholars Symposium 2021

The final year of the Trump administration was one of uncertainty and upheaval in U.S. foreign policy and national security. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted American life and liberty in profound ways, forcing many experts and policymakers to reevaluate national security priorities.

The pandemic also shook the U.S. political system by pushing millions of Americans to vote by mail, which prolonged counting the vote and added fuel to Trump’s false accusations of election fraud. The specter of political violence now hangs over the United States as the Biden administration takes office. In times like this, the knowledge that academics can bring to decision‐​makers via policy‐​relevant research is incredibly important.

In October 2021, the Cato Institute will be hosting our fourth annual Junior Scholars Symposium, a paper workshop for graduate students on topics broadly related to international security and national security policy.

Topics may include but are not limited to U.S. foreign policy, the causes and consequences of conflict, military effectiveness, grand strategy, civil‐​military relations, alliances and security institutions, terrorism, military intervention, diplomatic history, arms control and nuclear proliferation. Papers that link national security to global health, trade, political economy or immigration are also welcome.

Participants will be expected to produce an original paper of journal‐​article length; the workshop will focus on paper presentations, discussion and suggestions for improvement, with the expectation that authors will go on to seek publication in external journals or to build upon this research as they move towards the dissertation phase of their studies.

Participants are particularly expected to highlight the policy relevance of their work. In keeping with the Cato Institute’s commitment to moving U.S. foreign policy towards prudence and restraint, the policy implications of papers should be broadly compatible with a pragmatic realist approach to foreign policy.

Due to the uncertainties around the COVID-19 pandemic, we are planning on holding the workshop virtually. If the pandemic outlook improves significantly there is a potential that the workshop will take place at Cato’s offices in Washington, D.C. We will give participants at least 30 days notice if the format changes to in‐​person instead of virtual. The symposium will take place on October 22nd and 23rd. Participants will receive a stipend of $500, and if events are moved to in‐​person, will have reasonable travel and accommodation costs for the workshop covered.

To apply, submit an abstract of no more than 500 words to juniorscholars@​cato.​org by April 23rd. The abstract should detail your proposed research project, and be accompanied by a CV. Candidates should have a background in political science, history, public policy or a related field, and must have completed at least one year of graduate study in a PhD program by the time of the workshop. All candidates will be notified of the status of their application by May 31st, and draft papers will be due on October 1st.