World Congress - Brisbane 2018

It is with great pleasure that we invite our colleagues and collaborators throughout the world to Brisbane, Australia for the 25th IPSA World Congress of Political Science.

The Congress will provide an opportunity for you to network with global scholars. It will have particularly strong local and regional representation, because it will integrate the annual conference of the Australian Political Studies Association and  the biennial Oceanic Conference on International Studies.

The Congress will have a rich program under the theme Borders and Margins, which will be coordinated by the Program Co-Chairs Professor Terrell Carver and Professor Füsun Türkmen.

Keep an eye out for the call for proposals opening on 10 May 2017.

Brisbane and its surroundings are rich in natural beauty and cultural heritage. For those with time for pre-or-post Congress exploring, Brisbane is the gateway to iconic travel locations including Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef and Kakadu.

The WC2018 Congress website will be available in March 2017 and will provide more information on the event and the destination.

View the WC2018 Poster

We look forward to hosting you in Brisbane in 2018!

  • Professor Katharine Gelber, University of Queensland (Chair, LOC)
  • Professor A J Brown, Griffith University
  • Associate Professor Michael Di Francesco, Australia and New Zealand School of Government/University of New South Wales
  • Professor Robyn Eckersley, University of Melbourne
  • Professor Brian Head, University of Queensland
  • Professor Renee Jeffrey, Griffith University
  • Professor Stephanie Lawson, Macquarie University
  • Ms Lyn Macarayan, Postgraduate Representative
  • Professor Pippa Norris, Harvard University/University of Sydney
  • Associate Professor Sarah Percy, University of Queensland
  • Professor Marian Sawer, Australian National University

WC2018 Theme: Borders and Margins

The post-Cold War acceleration of globalization and the multi-layered consequences of the 9/11 terrorist attacks have had profound effects on borders. These include empirical borders, such as state, regional, security and “glocal” boundaries that feature on maps and in organizational practices, and also conceptual ones, such as social, cultural, economic, religious, ethnic, sexual and linguistic distinctions that discipline and divide human populations through identity politics and bio-political management.

    These borders create margins, through which administrative and military bureaucracies, as well as NGOs, activists, “networks” and more-or-less organized criminals and terrorists operate, empirically and conceptually. Borders between recognized states, de-facto states, sub-states, occupied territories and supra-national governance authorities are spatial creations defined through lines that separate one country, state, province, zone, “union” etc. from another, while borderlands appear to be critical zones at the margins of state control and governing institutions.

However, borders are not simply territorial lines demarcated by road signs, official checkpoints, even barbed-wire fences and fortified walls, but institutions in themselves. They have a dynamic character arising from their formal or informal functions and impacts. At a time when entire regions have been destabilized by the implosion of borders – often imposed by former and current imperialisms rather than arising through freely negotiated or democratic means – these margins are now conflict zones and flash points in national and international politics. Such conflicts and controversies are currently presenting very serious challenges to the international governance of human rights derived from the Universal Declaration of 1948, which reaches its 70th anniversary in 2018.

    In the last few decades, the evolution of information technologies has transformed the traditional “border as a barrier” by virtually enclosing people into groups with common identities and interests. These groups are dispersed throughout the globe, and so lack any form of territorial compactness or contiguity. Electronic “connectedness,” whether in information exchange, e-commerce, international academic work, financialization, security surveillance or criminality, challenges the imposition of physical barriers, bureaucratized checks and migration controls in starkly political terms. The new “Great Firewall of China” is about as ineffective as the old physical Great Wall was, and “leaks” of huge quantities of financial, commercial and security data continue to defy the attempted criminalization of “leakers.” The challenges posed by these global developments – which make headline news when violence erupts or powerful politicians are exposed – invite us to explore the fundamental dynamics of inclusion and exclusion under an all-encompassing theme “Borders and Margins.”

Along with those who constitute the current majority/minority or other identity “mix” within a state, there are also those caught in marginal zones, such as immigrant groups that are physically “inside” but are said by some not to “belong.” They are typically central to a politics of multiculturalism/cosmopolitanism, or nationalism/assimilation, or expulsion/genocide. The politics of “Borders and Margins” has a common centre of gravity: that of “otherness” or “otherization,” which, in turn, determines the borders and creates marginalizations. It is these practices which further determine inequalities of wealth and power, now very extreme in global terms. “Borders and Margins” offers participants in IPSA’s 25th World Congress broad scientific possibilities within the ethical dimensions through which the discipline operates.

These conjunctions of empirical activities and conceptual claims generate new methodologies in cognate disciplines that political scientists are keen to adopt. The Congress theme should be taken to include further perspectives including history, geography, international relations, international law, philosophy, sociology, political psychology, cultural studies, feminist and gender studies, queer perspectives, security studies and similarly engaged forms of scientific enquiry. In these fields there are crucial debates on sovereignty and identity, rights and obligations, just and unjust warfare and “interventions,” democratic theory and practice, and international governance, among other areas of concern.

    We therefore expect that “Borders and Margins” will thematically unite participants and broaden their understanding of politics. “Borders and Margins” are constitutive of crucial political processes and are therefore a focus for the international political sciences which study them.
 

Related Links

Raising Barriers, Washington Post, 12 October 2016


The 2018 Congress program will include the following sessions and events:

Program Sessions Open to Submissions

Program Highlights

  • Research Committee Sessions:   
    IPSA’s research committees organize panels related to their field of interest.
    Panel/paper submissions open to all.
     
  • Congress General Sessions:   
    Sessions encompassing general areas of the discipline, organized by session chairs.   
    Panel/paper submissions open to all.
     
  • Local Organizing Committee Sessions:
    Organized by the Australian Political Studies Association and the Oceanic Conference on International Studies.
    Panel/paper submissions open to all.
  • Plenary Sessions:  Keynote speaker lectures
     
  • Congress Theme Sessions:  Panels and events related to the theme “Borders and Margins”.
     
  • Special Sessions: These will include innovative events such as  research methods café, professional development café, teaching  and assessment café etc.
  • Award Sessions: Lectures by recipients of IPSA awards, followed by award ceremonies.
     
  • Social Events: A variety of social and cultural events with a local theme, including opening and closing ceremony entertainments, guided city tours etc.
     
  • Research Methods Courses: One-day research methods courses by renowned instructors will be offered on 21 July 2018.