The 23rd IPSA World Congress held in Montréal, Québec (Canada) from July 20 to 24, 2014, drew close to 2,300 participants, not including staff and exhibitors. Participants from 73 countries came to share research and discuss the event’s main theme, Challenges of Contemporary Governance. Over 500 panels and nearly 2,000 papers were presented. Research committee played an active role in organizing some 357 panels. A word of thanks goes out to all the participants, fantastic volunteers and LOC colleagues who helped to make the 2014 World Congress a resounding success!
You can also have access to the event's photos, as well as the press review.
IPSA extends a warm thanks to the participants as well as its partners and sponsors (the Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie, Concordia University, the American Political Science Association, the Fonds de recherche du Québec-Société et Culture, Turkish Airlines and the Turkish Embassy) for doing their part to make this year’s event a success!
The 23rd World Congress of Political Science is officially open!
Michael Dukakis on International Security Policy
A number of interesting sessions and events were held, not least the Michael Dukakis plenary on international security policy. Before a packed plenary room, Governor Dukakis delivered an internationalist perspective on international relations, with a special focus on interstate security. He went on to address the current challenges facing the United States in its historic role as leader of the free world, as well as strained U.S. relations with some Asia/Pacific countries and Russia.
Dukakis believes the United States must play a role – albeit a different one – on the international stage. The U.S., he claims, must lead by example by accepting the expertise and competence of international institutions. The key requirements he cited for fostering greater international stability included supporting existing institutions, continuing the process of eliminating nuclear weapons, putting an end to global warfare, and renewing the focus on emerging challenges such as immigration regulation, health care and global warming. Governor Dukakis believes that institutions must be responsible for managing specific issues in order to create a more peaceful and prosperous international environment.
Some 2000 participants attended the opening ceremony and the ensuing cocktail reception. Current IPSA president Helen V. Milner, Program Committee Chair Vincent Hoffmann-Martinot, IPSA Secretary-General Guy Lachapelle, and Chief Scientist of Quebec, Rémi Quirion, all welcomed the guests in their opening speeches. Participants were then treated to an exquisite performance by Cirque du Soleil, one of Québec’s best known institutions.
Rod Rhodes – Challenges of Contemporary Governance: Rediscovering the Craft of Public Administration
Leading governance expert Rod Rhodes discussed the mechanisms and processes at play in the formulation of public politics. Among his main contentions was that public reforms are often put together too hastily and are under-evaluated. The most common reflex is to criticize them without giving them enough time to prove their efficiency. He also holds that public management is the result of the punctual desires and interests of ministries, which place too much emphasis on action and decision-making rather than “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 spoke about the future of Belgium and the difficulties stemming from its lack of government. Belgium was built on dissension, they argued, reiterating the need for all groups to be represented in government. They also called into question the federal model, suggesting it may not be the best way to reconcile all parties, and argued that a volatile electorate can be a positive force in that it is an indicator of a 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. The event is said to have greatly influenced Gorbachev’s subsequent policies. In a letter sent to Secretary General Guy Lachapelle, Mr. Gorbachev stated that the Moscow congress had deeply influenced the perestroika movement and glasnost. Participants also mentioned that holding the World Congress in Moscow at that time helped to lend legitimacy to the Soviet Union and to political science as a discipline. The 11th World Congress also welcomed Israelis and South Koreans for the first time. For Kenneth Janda, the event gave a “tip to the dark side,” with Mikhail Ilyin adding that “everything started from this small step.”
Juan Linz – The Man and his Legacy
In this special tribute session, José Ramon Montero, Dirk Berg-Schlosser, Houchang E. Chebabi, Leonardo Morlino, Francisco Llera and Yossi Shain looked back on the life and legacy of Juan Linz, with a focus on his leap into empirical analysis. They remembered his ability to differentiate between types of regimes, as well as his expertise on Southern Europe. Former students and colleagues spoke fondly about their experience with Juan Linz, while some evoked the difficulties faced by women studying 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 presented by GRAMMY® Winning pianist Angelin Chang, who is also chair of RC18 on Asian Pacific Studies. Given before a packed house, the recital featured works by Bach, Chopin, Shubert and Debussy. Guests were awed by her talent and impressed by her generosity.