World Political Compositions began with a workshop in San Francisco on the 3rd of April 2018, as a side-event of the 2018 International Studies Association meeting. The workshop bought together a leading and eclectic group of scholars who explored their own use of the concept of composition.

Participants included Jonathan Luke Austin, Rocco Bellanova, Roland Bleiker, Charmaine Chua, Charlotte Epstein, Penny Von Eschen, Gloria Gonzalez Fuster, Kevin Gaines, Aida Hozic, Naeem Inayatullah, Anna Leander, L. H. M. Ling, Stephanie Perazzone, Delf Rothe, Rune Saugmann, Michael J. Shapiro, Benjamin Tallis, Ana Clara Telles, and Elspeth Van Veeren.

The workshop took place in an old photographic studio in the historic centre of San Francisco, and included both traditional paper presentations, multi-media presentations, photography exhibits, and film screenings.