Canadian Foreign Policy Journal – Call for Papers from Emerging Scholars

Special issue on “Trade and Conflict: Trends in Protectionism and Isolationism”

Trump’s protectionist measures appear to be unravelling the multilateralist world order. The United States pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the re-negotiation of NAFTA, and the series of tariffs imposed by both the United States and China will impact global economic integration. Fears regarding ‘beggar-thy-neighbour’ policies, reminiscent of the Smoot-Hawley act of the 1930s, have resurfaced.

Dangerous signals of economic unpredictability could shake both consumer and investor confidence, yet could also constitute short-term measures that serve to improve one’s bargaining position. “America first” advocate Peter Navarro, the new Director of the National Economic Council Lawrence Kudlow, and even Democrat Senator Bernie Sanders, have supported protectionist measures.

Fierce protectionist rhetoric risks gridlocking a trilateral negotiation. While trade frictions fuel conflict, American geopolitical hostilities with China, Russia, Iran and North Korea are also influencing trade policies, notably punitive tariffs, trade sanctions, and oil shocks. Additionally, the fallout over the US Iran decision and efforts by the United States to enforce trade sanctions at the expense of EU companies have exacerbated tensions. And Brexit offers little comfort to trade enthusiasts. The monumental task for the UK to renegotiate the trade agreements remains a sizeable challenge. What are the implications for trade and conflict?

Specific topics of interest could include, but are not restricted to:

  • Contemporary economic protectionism and/or isolationism
  • The dissolution or renegotiation of trade agreements
  • Conflict economics and the ties to trade sanctions in fulfilling geostrategic interests
  • Political and economic effects on both domestic and foreign policy
  • The effectiveness of trade barriers (both for tariff and non-tariff barriers)
  • Trade diversion impacts as well as intra-national conflict and paradiplomacy
  • Trade negotiation strategies and policy recommendations
  • Comparative approaches to historical periods of de-liberalization

From an interdisciplinary and policy perspective, many questions arise: What are the geopolitical implications ranging from trade wars to hot wars? Is the protectionist stance all rhetoric or could it be a tool to coerce a more favourable bargaining position?  Do we see a breakdown in the rules-based system of the WTO? Despite the Republican party’s historical free trade stance, could this form of isolationism put an end to the ‘golden era’ of multilateralism and transnational institution building? Is this a temporary slowdown in trade liberalization, or is it a complete reversal of the globalization trend of the past half-century?

This special issue aims to make a significant contribution to the literature on the ramifications of recent isolationist and protectionist policies worldwide. Interdisciplinary submissions from diverse backgrounds, whether empirical or theoretical, are encouraged. The purpose of this special issue is to foster an eclectic and cross-disciplinary discussion that aids policymakers in bridging the gaps between policy and academia. This includes bringing coherence to a debate that is largely driven by ideological positioning in the absence of empirically grounded and factual analysis, as well as identifying key areas where conflicts may arise.

Selection criteria:

The call for papers is aimed at emerging and junior scholars, meaning senior PhD candidates and graduates, as well as Assistant Professors in the early stages of their academic career. Abstracts submitted to the Journal should be original contributions and are subject to rigorous peer review. With occasional exceptions, the editors prioritize articles based on empirically grounded research using strong quantitative and/or qualitative social science research methods. When submitting, please indicate clearly if the article is under consideration by another publisher.

Review process:

The editorial team will evaluate the abstracts and inform successful authors in August as to whether a full-text submission is to be invited to the Fall/Winter 2018 workshop. Funding will be available for selected participants. Following the workshop, authors will be asked to formally submit their articles (7000-word maximum, including references and endnotes) to undergo a rigorous double-blind peer review process. Participation in the workshop does not guarantee publication.

Submission deadline: 

Authors are advised to send abstracts to by 15th of July 2018. They should be 250-500 words and be accompanied by a short bio, contact information and institutional affiliation.

View PDF version here.

Please send any inquiries, subject heading: “CFPJ – Special Issue on Trade and Conflict” to Samuel MacIsaac, Managing Editor (


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