Please find below a general summary of the latest World Congress of Political Science, held in Montréal from July 19 to 24.
You can also have access to the event's photos, as well as the press review.
IPSA would also like to thank the participants, as well as its partners and sponsors (Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie, Concordia University, American Political Science Association, Fonds de recherche du Québec-Société et Culture, Turkish Airlines and the Turkish Embassy) for their collaboration in making this year's congress a success!
DAY 1 RECAP
The 23rd World Congress of Political Science is officially open!
Michael Dukakis on International Security Policy
Numerous interesting sessions and events took place, most notably Michael Dukakis plenary on International Security Policy. For the occasion, the plenary room was packed and Governor Dukakis delivered an internationalist perspective on international relations, especially on the topic of interstates security. Governor Dukakis addressed the current challenges the United States face in their historic role as leader of the world, with difficult relationships with some Asian/Pacific countries, as well as Russia.
He believes the United States must play a role on the international level, but a different one, in setting an example by accepting the expertise and the competence of international institutions. Keeping the existing institutions, continuing the process of eliminating nuclear weapons, stopping global warfare, and focusing on the new challenges such as regulating the immigration, the healthcare system and global warming are the key points to achieve a quiet international climate. Governor Dukakis believes the institutions must be charged of managing specific topics in order to create a more peaceful international environment. Keeping the existing institutions, continuing the process of eliminating nuclear weapons, stopping global warfare, and focusing on the new challenges such as regulating the immigration, the healthcare system and global warming.
2000 participants attended the Opening Ceremony, followed by a cocktail reception. IPSA current president, Helen V. Milner, Program Committee Chair, Vincent Hoffmann-Martinot, IPSA Secretary-General, Guy Lachapelle, as well as the Chief Scientist of Quebec, Rémi Quirion, all welcomed the guests in their opening speeches. Participants were then offered an exquisite performance from the Cirque du Soleil, one of Quebec’s well-knowned institutions in the world.
DAY 2 RECAP
Plenary Session – Challenges of Contemporary Governance: Rediscovering the Craft of Public Administration – Rod Rhodes
Rod Rhodes, one of the leading experts in the field of governance studies, discussed the mechanisms and the process of public politics formulation. He mainly stated that public reforms are often put together too fast and are under evaluated. The most common reflex is to criticize them without really letting them enough time to prove their efficiency. He also believes that public management is the result of punctual desires and interests of ministries, who are too focused on action and decision-making rather then “keeping things going”.
Special Session – Is there a future for Belgium after 2014?
On Belgium’s National Day, a panel composed of Ruth Dassonneville, Kris Deschouwer, Pierre Verjans, Emilie Van Haute and Regis Dandoy questioned the future of Belgium and the difficulties that arise from its lack of government. They said that Belgium was built on dissension, and they reiterate the need for all groups to be represented in the government. They call into question the federal model, which might not be the best to reconciliate all parties. They believe that a volatile electorate is a positive thing, and that it shows a more healthy democracy.
Moscow 1979 – the 11th IPSA World Congress
Kenneth Janda, Mikhail Ilyin and John Trent reminisced about the 11th World Congress of Political Science, who influenced greatly Gobartchev’s future policies. In a letter that he previously sent to Secretary General Guy Lachapelle, Mr Gobatchev said he was greatly influenced by the Moscow congress in the formulation of perestroika and glasnost. The participants also mentioned that the idea of holding the World Congress in Moscow at that time helped bring legitimacy to the Soviet Union, as well as to political science. The 11th World Congress was also the first with Israelis and South Korean attendees. For Kenneth Janda, the event gave a “tip to the dark side”, and Mikhail Ilyin said that it “everything started from this small step”.
Juan Linz – The Man and his Legacy
In this tribute special session that consisted of José Ramon Montero, Dirk Berg-Schlosser, Houchang E. Chebabi, Leonardo Morlino, Francisco Llera and Yossi Shain, the participants came back on the legacy of Juan Linz, and mostly on his leap into empirical analysis. They reminisced his ability to differentiate between types of regimes, as well as his expertise mostly focused on Southern Europe. Former students and colleagues spoke about their experience with Juan Linz, sometimes in difficult periods for women studying in politics.
Angelin Chang Concert celebrating the 38 years of RC18 – Asian and Pacific Studies
At the end of the day, participants and attendees were invited to a special concert by GRAMMY® Winning pianist Angelin Chang, also chair of RC18 on Asian Pacific Studies. She proposed a recital with a repertoire from Bach to Chopin, with special pieces by Shubert and Debussy. The room was full and guests seemed impressed by her talent and her generosity