Connecting students from various disciplines
The study of International Relations (IR) in Cambridge has enjoyed a long and distinguished history, marked by its multi-disciplinary nature. Founded in 2000, CISA is Cambridge's first IR student society and aims to build on the exciting opportunities for international studies at Cambridge by drawing together students from various disciplinary backgrounds. In providing a focal point for contact, CISA seeks to create dynamic links between its members by offering a forum in which to debate and exchange views on international affairs.
Join: For further information on CISA or to become a member, please contact someone in our committee.
What we do
CISA arranges several social and academic events throughout the year. It runs a speaker series, lectures, film nights, pub meets and formal dinners at various colleges and thus fosters intellectual and social links between those interested in international affairs in the university. Our events will appeal chiefly to graduate students at all departments who may want to learn more about world affairs. You can join CISA at any time.
History of CISA - Interview with co-founder Duncan Bell
"CISA was an extremely valuable experience"
CISA was founded in 2000 by PhD student Duncan Bell (now a lecturer in POLIS at Cambridge) and his fellow student Zaheer Kazmi. "We wanted to create more options for graduate students at the Centre of International Studies", Bell remembers. At the time, the Centre had a limited programme of seminars and talks for graduate students - so they created their own. Along with a group of friends who were also interested in International Relations, Bell and Zaheer Kazmi registered CISA as a university society. They then became the first co-presidents and started arranging seminars, lectures, and social events. CISA's inaugural event took place on 20 October 2000 with a lecture by Professor James Mayall on "The Concept of Humanitarian Intervention Revisited".
Since then hundreds of students have joined the society and engaged in its activities. "It was pretty successful from the outset, and our workshops and lectures were very well attended", Bell says. As the Centre grew in size and developed an extensive academic programme for the students, CISA continued to provide a wide range of intellectual and social opportunities for students. It remains a lively society, enriching the new Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) with its lecture series, formals and workshops.
Today, as a lecturer in POLIS, Bell serves as Senior Treasurer for CISA. "CISA was an extremely valuable experience for me, and it can be for any student. Doing a PhD can be a lonely experience, so socialising with people that have similar interests is a great opportunity." (Interview: Nicole Janz)