World Congress - Brisbane 2018

The IPSA World Congress of Political Science was presented for the first time in Australia from July 21 to 25, 2018. The 25th edition of IPSA’s flagship event drew some  2,239 participants from 84 countries to the host city of Brisbane to share their research on the theme of “Borders and Margins”.

The event saw some 2,095 papers presented as part of 516 panels and included four Plenary Sessions, numerous Special Sessions (including film screenings and café-style events) and social events. Research committees (RC) played an active role, staging 275, or 53% of all panels. The annual conference of the Australian Political Studies Association (41 panels) and the biennial Oceanic Conference on International Studies (36 panels) were held in conjunction with the World Congress.

A word of thanks goes out to all World Congress participants and session chairs, as well as the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) in Brisbane, and the tireless volunteers who helped make the 2018 IPSA World Congress a great success.

We also extend our heartfelt gratitude to the sponsors, partners and exhibitors for making this year’s event possible.

Congress 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.

Refugees photo_500x346.jpgThese 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 link: Raising Barriers, Washington Post, 12 October 2016

Daily Highlights

Day 1 (July 22)

Movie Session 1: Docos for Politicos

The films of acclaimed director Johan Grimonprez were presented daily under the title of “Docos for Politicos: The Illegal We do Immediately, the Unconstitutional Takes a Little Longer.” In this first session, two movies, Besmette Stad (part 1): Video-Guerrilleros (1994-2007) and dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y (1997) were screened, with director Johan Grimonprez engaging the audience during Q&A sessions.

Docos for Politicos 1.jpgFollowing the movie sessions, Director Johan Grimonprez was present for the Q&A session alongside Professor Theo Farrell and Professor Colin Wight.Referring to the second movie shown, dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y, Professor Farrell described it as a “wonderful montage of cultural history”. Alongside the movie’s director, Johan Grimonprez, both professors facilitated a fascinating discussion on the legitimacy of state violence and how the definition of ‘terrorism’ has expanded over recent years, which Professor Wight suggested could make the term meaningless. The discussion drew on the history of airline hijacking and hypothesized as to its use as a terrorist act now and in the future.

Prof. Theo Farrell highlighted his strong reaction from the To watch the full Plenary Session video please click herepresentation, in which he believed it was an invitation for the audience to consider the categories we apply to armed violence. A visual tension was constructed consistently throughout the films between violence used by state versus non-state actors and how these were framed as either legitimate or illegitimate. “This film invites us to unbuckle our safety belts and consider the violence enacted by state and non-state actors” – Prof. Theo Farrell.

Prof. Colin Wright felt that the films brought to mind a couple of key conceptions, namely, society as spectacle and the banality of evil. There was a rhetorical thread running through the film that suggests that the subversive role of the novelist, the creative that challenges the normative framework of society, has been replaced by more violent and dramatic actors such as the bomber, the hijacker or the terrorist. These non-state actors conduct literal bombing runs on the cultural zeitgeist. Prof. Wright disagreed with this theory, he highlighted the difference between novelists and terrorists in the sense that one has to convey an argument on a position while the other forces their perspectives through violence.

Johan Grimonprez described the films as a visual historical trajectory; he wanted to provide a roadmap on the varying ways the proliferation of media technology and mass media have influenced the representation of hijacking. A paradox was raised, that the media hijack the hijackers through their framing of events and individual actors. The fact that the film was produced pre 9/11 grants the subject matter a unique potency; the quiet premonitions of the footage encouraged the audience to consider the methods of political violence past, present and in the future.

Automated Content Analysis Presentations by Provalis Research

Provalis Research, a world-leading developer of text analysis software, is offering presentations in the Tech Zone on the Mezzanine level at 11:00 am every day (July 22nd to 25th). The 45-minute presentation demos Provalis’s content analysis program Wordstat. As Provalis founder Normand Péladeau explained, the program has applications in both academic and business contexts. Available in more than 50 languages, Wordstat allows users to perform a range of analyses of textual content. The program can identify the frequency of words, group together related concepts into topics and perform correspondence analysis.

Provalis Presentation.jpgStrengths of the program include the ability to import content in any format, including PDF, Excel and HTML, and processing speeds that make it possible to analyze one million words in 3-4 seconds. Wordstat is also able to analyze social media content, working with the API to analyze up to 18,000 Tweets every 15 minutes. Although Wordstat is used by commercial and government clients, its main function is to be used for academic research. Please come by and check out all the publishers and vendors who are exhibiting on the Mezzanine Level of the 25th IPSA World Congress of Political Science.

Plenary Session: Australia's Democratic Innovations

Lisa Hill and Antony Green kicked off the first Plenary Session of the 25th IPSA World Congress, introducing two of Australia’s many historic reforms which have become democratic benchmarks: the long-standing Australian practices of compulsory voting, and preferential electoral systems. These are just two of Australia’s many historic reforms which have become democratic benchmarks.

Lisa Hill .jpgProfessor Lisa Hill’s plenary speech, titled ‘Compulsory Voting in Australia: Effects, Public Acceptance and Democratic Justification’, raised arguments in support of compulsory voting in Australia. Lisa referenced several empirical studies in support of her position and used the Australian position to explain the optimal conditions for the successful implementation of compulsory voting, and how the voting method may work in other nation states.

Green.jpg In his plenary speech, titled Counting All Opinions: Australian Experience with Preferential Voting, Australia's leading election night analyst Antony Green focused on Australia’s history with preferential voting, the benefits of the system, and a comparative analysis of voting systems in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Additionally, Anthony explained how it can be used by political parties to influence the way people vote. Both speakers participated in an insightful Q&A session and responded to questions on topics such as Indigenous voter turnout and voter apathy.


Panel Sessions

Scholars from Armenia to Uganda and Zimbabwe have travelled to participate in the 25th IPSA World Congress of Political Science being held in Brisbane Australia. Over 40 parallel sessions are being held showcasing early career researchers and many of the most accomplished and widely cited scholars in political science and international relations in the world.
NB: Please accept our apologies for the unanticipated issue of noise in the panel rooms. We have heard from many of you, and are working with the venue to improve the situation. Again, we sincerely apologize to the speakers and attendees who were impacted by this unfortunate logistical issue.

Opening Ceremony

Over 1,500 delegates attended the opening ceremony at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. The master of ceremony was Prof. Katharine Gelber, Australian Local Organizing Committee Chair and professor at The University of Queensland School of Political Science and International Studies. Prof. Gelber graciously welcomed the international delegates and guests, including the Honorable Stirling Hinchcliffe, MP (Queensland), and thanked the conference sponsors, in both English and French.

Kath Opening Ceremony.jpg The ceremony began with a Welcome to Country and blessing by gajas (meaning elders) Shelly and Kerry’s from Goo’enpul-Yuggera and Ngunda-Kabi kabi and Walangama. The gajas called out to any other first peoples who may be in attendance, who also have experienced colonization. The gajas shared with the international delegates the role of Indigenous Australians as cultural custodians, recalling how sight, smells and the sound of leaves allowed them to navigate Earth of which they are custodians.

Opening Ceremony dance.jpg The Welcome to Country and blessing was followed by the Nunukul Yuggera Aboriginal Dancers’ breathtaking performance. The dancers travel the world extensively showcasing traditional Aboriginal culture through song, dance and other forms of cultural expression. They have performed alongside some of the world's greatest performers and cultural ambassadors.

Ilter_web.jpgThe Hon. Stirling Hinchliffe, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs. Spoke of Queensland’s geographic, cultural and linguistic diversity, spoke to the political history of Queensland’s parliament. Minister for Local Government, Hinchcliffe highlighted the inspiration Australian voting practises such as preferential and compulsory voting is experiencing in different electorates across the globe. Spoke of the social cohesion program being implemented by state government. Australia is home to over 220 languages, and people from over 200 countries and territories, who practice over 100 religions. Mr. Hinchcliffe cited Queensland’s efforts to open and modernize the state, which has both political and social benefits for residents and visitors. The Minister then declared the World Congress officially underway.

Ilter Turan- Opening Ceremony.jpgNext, IPSA President İlter Turan highlighted the IPSA’s mission and commitment to being a global organization by holding the World Congress in a different country biannually and at times, such as this instance, in less than central locations. Prof. Turan thanked delegates for the considerable time, effort and expense many had undertaken to travel to Brisbane. IPSA Vice President Prof. Marianne Kneuer also addressed the delegates.

Opening Cermony band.jpgConcluding the ceremony, the audience was treated to a stunning live set with the amazing Cigany Weaver quartet, one of Australia's most exciting gypsy-jazz ensembles, with a dedicated and passionate following around Australia. This was accompanied by a striking photo montage by the Visual Politics Strategic Research Program from the University of Queensland’s School of Humanities. The evening was capped off by a Welcome Reception on the Mezzanine level of the conference venue. The reception was an amazing opportunity to mingle and meet scholars from around the world.

* Contributing Editors: Alex Rubino, Amelia, Edwards, Isabella Fredheim, Bernadette Hyland-Wood and Molly Murphy.

Day 2 (July 23)

Movie Session 2: Docos for Politicos

The second film session featured Raymond Tallis: On Tickling (2017) and Double Take (2009), with director Johan Grimonprez again participating in Q&A sessions with the audience. In this Q&A, Professor James Der Derian, Dr. Brendon O’Connor & Dr. Sebastian Kaempf helped facilitate discussion, each offering their respective impressions and analyses of the films.

With imagery that forces viewers to contemplate the relationship between fiction and reality, Double Take is an ontological journey that offers a myriad of open interpretations for past and future audiences. Despite this pluralism, a clear theme was identified: the commodification of fear in society through the proliferation of television during the climaxes of the Cold War.

Docos for Politicos.jpgThis second glance at history, Dr Brendon O’Connor believed, encouraged audiences to consider the relationship between popular culture and politics. With reference to Nixon’s ‘Kitchen Debate’ alongside more contemporary US politics, Brendon cautioned the phenomenon of politics as popular culture. When this takes place, “Truth becomes up for grabs and arbitrary, reality and fiction meld together” – Dr. Brendon O’Connor. Many of the discussants theorised the adaptation of the film’s themes to a modern setting. Alarmist rhetoric through the first iterations of colour television was considered quite eerily similar to that which is seen today via social media platforms and the 24/7 news cycle.

Professor James Der Derian highlighted his appreciation for Johan’s films, especially his tendency to blend art and politics as well as fiction and non-fiction on screen to emphasise this phenomena in the real world. “The combination of fiction and non-fiction appears to be a growing trend in discourse of world politics, with double or even triple realities surrounding the same event” - Professor James Der Derian.

Johan Grimonprez manages to not only offer a cultural historical exploration of the Cold War and the emergence of television through his film Double Take; he also challenges the ontological foundations of the stories that we collectively tell ourselves and questions the methods in which they are made possible.

Plenary Session: The Future of Human Rights in an Era of Narrow Nationalism: The Margin for Cross-Border Concern and Action

Program Chair Füsun Türkmen began the second plenary session, warmly introducing speaker David P. Forsythe, the Charles J. Mach Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. An authoritative voice in the international politics of human rights, focused on the future of human rights and nationalism. An authoritative voice in the international politics of human rights, Professor Forsythe focused on on the future of human rights and nationalism, discussing illiberalism, and the United States as a liberal hegemon. Touching the work of the ICRC and George Soros, Professor Forsythe emphasized the importance not only of civil and political rights but also of socio-economic rights.

Plenary .jpg Professor Forsythe’s keynote was on the topic of nationalism, both old and new, and the gap between the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and ‘the nature of the world we see around us.’ He spoke at length about what unites all nationalists, old and new: their lack of commitment to human rights. Additionally, he mapped the trajectory of human rights in recent history, arguing that while the difficulties in protecting human rights are not new, significant progress has been made by those who are ‘fighting the good fight’ in support of human rights.

As of today, there are 65 million victims of forced displacement. Given the current humanitarian crisis, Forsythe’s presentation discussing the future of human rights and nationalism proved both insightful and timely. These issues pose real threats to stable, liberal democracy. In the United States, there is a vigorous debate and considerable pushback on Trump’s policies. In fact, the public outrage over recent immigration policies at the Mexican Border caused a change in policy. Forsythe noted debate however, was about “American values”, with very little attention on international standards.

1458-7814.jpgThe speech was followed by a Q&A session, with questions on topics of: the use of social media as both advancing and hindering the human rights cause; the younger generation’s potential in advancing human rights; and the dissatisfaction with liberalism which is turning people toward illiberalism, and the possibility of elevated global conflict under the Trump Administration. Forsythe suggested that a number of more concerning structural problems beyond the current U.S. president. They include:

  • Decline in civility of political debate
  • Ad hominem attacks on Congressional colleagues
  • Gross economic inequality
  • Supreme Court decisions allowing dark money

On this point, Professor Forsythe noted Russia’s recent interventions in elections and civic society, as an example of states manufacturing chaos in the West, with a view to paint liberalism as ineffective and undesirable.  Professor Forsythe ended on a positive note, reminding us that the advancement for human rights is seldom achieved without struggle. As evident in the fight for women's suffrage, dismantling Apartheid, or as recent as marriage equality, it is in fact possible. Millennials in Europe, North America and South America, have an important role to play, and have done a great deal to advance the non-persecution of LGBTQ citizens.

Rethinking Europe’s Boundaries of Action and Inaction: Crisis and Beyond

The second Congress Theme Session was chaired by Professor Philomena Murray with a view to exploring ‘the boundaries of the European Union’s action and inaction in the context of multiple crises’. The panel was co-chaired by Dr Hartmut Mayer, and papers were presented by Professor Ian Manners, Dr Sophie Meunier Aitsahalia, Professor Mario Telò, and Professor Yvonne Galligan.

Professor Ian Manners, from the University of Copenhagen, presented ‘The European Union’s Normative Power in Planetary Politics’ which addressed planetary politics, what the EU normative power is, and what it means to discuss EU within planetary politics. He was followed by Dr. Sophie Meunier Aitsahalia, of Princeton University, as she presented ‘Confident or Confidential? The European Union as a Superpower in Spite of Itself’, which looked at the EU’s status as ‘the world’s second superpower’, and the external power it holds. She addressed the rise of illiberal regimes in the EU, and how this could consequently alter the EU’s power as the preferences of the Member States change.

Professor Mario Telò presented ‘A Crisis of Regionalism? EU and ASEAN Coping with an Increasingly Competing International Politicization and Differentiated Cooperation/Integration’, which focused on the challenges facing the EU’s traditional institutional set. Finally, Professor Yvonne Galligan of Queens University Belfast presented ‘Europe and the Scope for Action on Gender Equality in a Time of Crisis – Constrained Internal Legitimacy, Cosmopolitan Global Legitimacy’, which looked at the tensions surrounding the EU’s role as a champion of women’s rights and argued that feminist knowledge has been wrongly sidelined in the course of responding to internal and border crises. The session was followed by a thought-provoking Q&A session as the four panelists took questions from the floor.

Concert by GRAMMY® Winning pianist Angelin Chang

Angelin Chang, GRAMMY® Award Winning pianist and Co-Chair of RC18, presented a breathtaking music concert of classical piano repertoire including well-loved pieces by Australian arranger George Percy Grainger (1882-1961), Beethoven and a Chinese piece titled “Moonlight in my Heart”. She delivered a masterful performance to an appreciative audience.

Angelin Chang Concert.jpg Angelin Chang is the first pianist of Asian heritage to win a GRAMMY®, as well as the first American female awarded. An active IPSA participant since the Paris 1985 IPSA World Congress, Dr. Angelin Chang  RC18 Co-Chair with Dr. Teh-Kuang Chang, RC18 Chair and Founder. Angelin Chang is Professor of Law and Professor of Music at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and Cleveland State University, Ohio, U.S.A.

 Dr. Chang was accompanied on the stage with her venerable father, Dr. Teh-Kuang Chang is Professor of Political Science. Dr. The-Kuang initiated the Research Committee on Asian and Pacific Studies, established at the 1976 IPSA World Congress in Edinburgh, United Kingdom, and held its first panel on Asian Studies at the1979 Moscow World Congress, an IPSA turning point to extend beyond the European-American tradition.

Contributing Editors: Alex Rubino, Amelia Edwards, Bernadette Hyland-Wood, Isabella Fredheim and Molly Murphy

Day 3 (July 24)

Movie Session 3: Docos for Politicos: The Illegal We do Immediately, the Unconstitutional Takes a Little Longer’

1458-8877.jpgIn this third movie screening session, two Johan Grimonprez movies, What I Will, (2013) and Shadow World (2016) were presented. Shadow World presented a provocative discussion surrounding the norms of the “war on terror”, Western Hegemony and the relationship they have with asymmetrical non-state actors. To help facilitate discussion in a Q&A session along side director Johan Grimonprez was Prof. James Der Derian, Prof. Terrel Carver & Dr. Sarah Percy who shared a debrief of their thoughts.

A constant presence throughout the Docos for Politicos sessions Prof. Derian praised Johan’s ability to “marshal the world of art with the world of politics.” An ontological theme is present throughout Johan’s films that demand audiences to consider the representations of reality that we routinely accept as fact. An audience member lamented the state of affairs world politics seems to find itself, “a post-truth world” in which national intelligence agencies can act with impunity in the shadows. Prof. Derian, in reference to this question, wanted to highlight the fact that we need to “leave the nostalgia of one truth behind; the truth has always relied on the others right to speak and our obligation to listen, the truth has always been a relational construct.”

Prof. Terrell Carver offered a number of themes that came to mind after the session. Mainly Johan’s ability to pull out images, footage and photographs that force the past into our present, these images encourage us to think harder about how the grammar of the past is operating today and whether these constructs are truly competent. This became a consistent theme for discussion for audience members and discussants. One audience member highlighted the fact that this movie demands a re-definition of security, re-theorization of security thinking and how it affects the world. Dr. Sarah Percy agreed with this statement, she believed “that old concept and empirics don’t make sense in the contemporary world anymore … We are catching up with how we theorize security, however, this wider thinking needs to be extended.”

Dr. Sarah Percy felt the film clearly revealed the nexus between war and profit, while the historical trajectory of this reality has been consistent, this truth is often lost in the rhetoric of political discourse on the global stage. Dr. Percy explained that in today’s contemporary “world as a battlefield”, there is an immense amount of fluidity between “the black market, white market and state market for force.” She offered an evaluation of the different kinds of Private Military Companies operating in the film and within the world. While it is often the PMC’s that offer “soldiers of fortune” that reach the headlines, she exhorted Johan’s film for shining a light on more logistics-based companies such as former Vice President Dick Cheney’s company Halliburton; their subtlety allows their executives to function within the revolving door of Private and Public often without scrutiny.

Mr. Johan Grimonprez begun his debrief with an anecdote: as the story goes there was a cartoon picture hanging above Alfred Hitchcock’s desk, in this picture were two ghosts chewing on a reel of film, one is saying to the other “well I like the book better.” Johan wanted to highlight that his film only offers a glimpse of the masterpiece that is Andrew Feinstein’s book Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade and encouraged audience members to read it. While he admitted the film offers a sickening state of affairs, he hoped the film highlighted our need to “find a way out and resort back to that connection that ultimately we as humans all strive for.” The final shot was archival footage of the legendary Christmas Truce on the frontlines of the Western Front in the First World War in 1914. Despite the carnage of modern warfare and greed, this film ultimately reminds us that the human spirit not only begs for connection with one another, it relies upon it in order to survive.

A thoughtful Q&A session followed with questions from conference delegates representing different perspectives including Argentina, India, South Africa and the United States. A number of the conference delegates indicated that they plan to organize a showing of Shadow World (2016) in their respective academic institutions in order to discuss related security and public policy issues.

Plenary Session:  President’s Plenary: Challenging the Borders of Liberal Democracy: The Global Rise of Populism

Ilter Turan Group Photo.jpgThe third plenary session of the 25th IPSA World Congress was presented by the IPSA Past President (2016-2018), Prof. İlter Turan (Emeritus Professor of Political Science, Bilgi University, Turkey), and explored the rise of populism as a challenge to the borders of liberal democracy. This session brought together notable scholars from different regions of the world including Dr. María Esperanza Casullo (Associate Professor Universidad Nacional de Río Negro in Argentina), Prof. Duncan McDonnell (Professor in the School of Government and International Relations, Griffith University), Prof. Ersin Kalaycıoğlu (Professor of Political Science, Sabanci University , Turkey), Prof. Leonardo Morlino (Professor of Political Science, Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli (LUISS), Italy, and Prof. Pippa Norris (Paul F. McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics at Harvard University, United States).

1458-9280.jpgProf. Morlino’s presentation, titled ‘New Populism and Protest Parties’ called out the key differences between the traditional populist parties with a strong leader and without intermediate structures and the new protest populist parties that mobilize the dissatisfaction and resentment of voters towards the political class, but also toward specific policies and policy issues (austerity, security, immigration) and/or institutions (parliament, government, parties, central banks), and international organizations. Prof Morino reminded the audience to distinguish between ‘extremist parties’ (or anti-system) and ‘radical parties’: the former have an ideology (total opposition) and strategies (high conflictuality) that are incompatible with existing systemic constraints; the latter increase the level of confrontation with other political forces and institutions (high conflictuality) because of their anti-establishment characteristics, but without a total rejection.

1458-9320.jpgProf. Pippa Norris delivered her presentation on ‘Tipping Points, Cultural Backlash and Rising Populism’. She noted the diverse range of leaders in different populist parties, however, argued that two things unite them: their anti-establishment beliefs and popular sovereignty. She continued to state that this opens the door for authoritarian values, including group security, group conventionalism, and group loyalty, arguing that populists are “reverting back to nationalism and isolationism.”

1458-9383.jpgProf. Kalaycıoğlu presented on ‘Democracy and Populism: The Achilles Heel of Democratic Government’ and spoke about how populism switched from being a left-wing movement to becoming a right-wing movement in the mid-20th Century. He acknowledged the difficulties in defining populism but discussed two common themes that run through most populist parties: firstly, the will of the people, and the direct relationship between the people and the leadership.

1458-9467.jpgProf. McDonnell, who spoke on ‘Respectable Radicals? Right-wing Populists and Mainstream Parties’, argued that the recent trajectory of populist parties has led to acceptance and recognition by both the public and mainstream political parties. This, he argued, is in direct contrast to the imposition of sanctions and prevalence of negative media coverage, as Austria was previously subject to. Additionally, right-wing populists are no longer embarrassed to acknowledge their similarities with other right-wing parties. This change in opinion is such that populist parties have increased their respectability, without them losing their radical nature or rhetoric.

1458-9575.jpgDr. Casullo’s presentation, titled ‘Populist Myths and Populist Bodies: Understanding Populist Representation’, focused on populist leaders as focal points in the “us vs them” antagonism, and both the producer and the symbol of the frontier between “us” and “them”. She argued that populist representation is created between both verbal and visual discourse, which combines the hero and villain, damage and redemption rhetoric with the body of the leader. In turn, the ‘body of the leader becomes a symbol that creates an image of the people’. Her point was succinctly made by using an example of the populist leader Donald Trump, eating KFC in a private jet – a good example of politician behaviour that is contrary to the norm.

Research Methods Café

1458-9197.jpgDuring this café event, IPSA delegates had the opportunity to sit down with experts to learn more about a range of quantitative and qualitative methods. Academics from various universities led the discussions, providing an introduction to each method and answering questions from participants. Designed for researchers at any stage in their career, the café allowed participants to explore new research methods for the first time or to explore methods they were familiar with in more detail.

There was a mixture of methods to learn about, including well-established methods such as applying qualitative data and comparing survey results, and methods that are used less frequently in political science, such as visual analysis. Other topics included comparing international surveys and applying data. Participants were particularly interested in learning how to apply these methods to their own research in a way that would produce reliable, high-quality results that could be published. SAGE Publishing provided live demonstrations of their online resources, including a ‘Methods Map’ and ‘SAGE Research Methods’. These have been designed to assist researchers from the design stage of their work, through to the implementation and writing stages. To find out more about SAGE’s online resources for research, visit

2018 Global South Award Lecture and Ceremony

1458-9737.jpg2018 IPSA Global South Award winner Meenakshi Bansal delivered an award lecture titled "Transformational Changes in Participation of Women in India's Electoral Politics". After the lecture, the award certificate and prize were handed over to Dr. Meenakshi Bansal by Prof. Jørgen Elklit, the chair of the IPSA Committee on Organization, Procedures and Awards.

Dr. Bansal highlighted the importance of women’s participation in electoral politics and decision making as a fundamental pre-requisite to “equitable societies, effective governance, and improving development outcomes.” Her research stressed the importance of the upcoming Women's Reservation Bill, which seeks to reserve one-third of seats for women in the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies, if passed, this would likely ensure a pathway forwards for equitable and participatory democracy.

Featured session: Digital Borders and Non-Borders

Digital Borders Panel.jpgThe morning’s all-female Congress Theme session was chaired by IPSA’s newly-elected President, Prof Marianna Kneuer on the topic of ‘Digital Borders and Non-borders’. Presenting in the panel were Prof Karen Mossberger, Prof Ariadne Vromen, and Prof Svetlana Bodrunova. The session aimed to explore the inclusivity of digital media and its effects on both political communication and the relationship between the public and private spheres.

Prof Mossberger of Arizona State University presented ‘Digitial Citizenship and Digital Inequalities’, which looked at internet access as a necessary tool for effective participation in democratic society and how this is a means of empowerment. Although the UN declared internet access a human right in 2012, Prof Mossberger noted that there are significant gaps between developed and developing economies as to how many people have regular access to the internet. It is theorised that these gaps are due to gender, economic performance, and education. The UN has tasked itself with getting half of the world’s population online by 2025, however Prof Mossberger argued that access to information is not enough to ensure effective digital citizenship: for example, clickbaiting, misinformation, proliferation of information, and online anonymity all pose similar problems for digital equality.

She was followed by Prof Vromen’s presentation on ‘Digital Participation to Digital Rights: A New Political Agenda in the Age of Platforms, Privacy and Surveillance’. Her presentation focused on digital rights and privacy and the borders between the public and private aspects of our lives, paying particular attention to the current issue of data profiling and monetisation. She discussed her research, including a survey and a focus group, and what the results of this research tells us about how concerned people are for their privacy and whether users are concerned about how companies, particularly social media organisations, use their private data.

Finally, Prof Bodrunova of St Petersburg State University presented ‘The Borders in the Public Sphere: Polarized Media for Fragmented Audiences’ regarding internet use in Russia and the hypothesis that the internet would repair divisions in Russian society. She explained Russia’s social structure, and how these discrete divisions are in fact mirrored by Russia’s use of the internet, despite initial hopes that the internet would become instrumental in repairing these dissections and become a sphere for public discourse.

The Australian Political Studies Association Presidential Panel

Australian Political Studies Association Presidential Panel focused on accountability, integrity and 21st Century constitutionalism. The panel was made up of three speakers: Prof. AJ Brown from Griffith University (Australia), Dr Grzegorz Makowski from Collegium Civitas (Poland) and Paul Heywood from the University of Nottingham (UK). The fourth member of the panel, Professor Fiona Wheeler, sent her regrets. Professor Katharine Gelber from the University of Queensland (Australia) was the panel’s Chair.

Prof. Brown opened the panel with his discussion on integrity within institutions. He asked, how are institutions evolving to include integrity? Is there virtue in trying to constitutionalize integrity? He explored the possibility of adding a fourth branch of government to the Australian Constitution dedicated to integrity alongside the current legislative, judicial and executive branches. However, there are some challenges associated with this. He explained that if an integrity agency were added, its independence would be as important as the independence of the judiciary.

It is also important to define exactly what integrity means, and understand the differences between personal and institutional integrity. While many other countries have audit institutions included in their Constitution, Australia does not. However, recent news reports suggest that we may be on the cusp of a new federal anti-corruption body. While this sounds like a positive step, it will be vital to understand how this will be rolled out, and how it will relate to parliament, executive and judiciary before a judgement on its value can be made. The fourth branch is only worthwhile if it works properly and can function in a truly independent manner.

Dr. Makowski approached the topic of institutional integrity from a Polish standpoint. In Poland, there are integrity institutions within the constitution - unlike in Australia. However, this does not mean that there is more integrity within Poland’s institutions. There are still problems when it comes to managing basic separations of power, and it is impossible to maintain democracy without well-functioning checks and balances.

Some people claim that this issue is so extreme that Poland is ‘back sliding’ into authoritarianism. Dr. Makowski disagrees, but does believe that there are serious issues with integrity. Without the basic features of liberal democracy, such as the separation of powers, corruption cannot be prevented. To explain his perspective, he compared the current situation in Poland to Baudrillard’s idea of the simulacra. Polish politicians claim that they do not want ‘democracy with adjectives’, such as liberal democracy. However, Dr. Makowski says that this is unsustainable: a nation must evolve into a liberal democracy or backslide into authoritarianism. Currently, the Polish government has institutions that make it appear to be a liberal democracy, but on the inside, many of these institutions are not performing the checks and balances that they should. For example, Parliament is not reflective or critical. Much of the civil service are nominated or elected by the ruling party, rather than hired on merit. The judges in the courts are selected based on their loyalty to the ruling party. These are just a few examples of the way in which democratic institutions remain only by name. This simulacra produces real consequences, including systemic corruption. The future may be grim: Poland risks backsliding to authoritarianism if it is pushed out of the EU or if the EU itself breaks down.

Paul Heywood wrapped up the speeches with his talk on the difference between integrity and anti-corruption. He asked, how should we understand integrity and how do we build it in a meaningful way within institutions? It’s important to note that what is often meant by ‘integrity’ is ‘not being corrupted’ rather than the actual definition of integrity. This works on the basis that if you get rid of corruption, you will have integrity. However, Professor Heywood disagrees with this assumption and calls it “minimum standards logic”: having integrity is more than just avoiding corruption.

While there is a lot of talk about integrity, many institutional leaders do not know how to maintain and build integrity in a practical way. Integrity has historically been seen as a characteristic of individuals, but it needs to be adapted to the public realm. As an alternative, Professor Heywood suggests that it is necessary to focus on building a robust disposition to act positively and pursue integrity at an institutional, rather than individual, level. This means focusing on duties to the public and moving away from minimum standards logic and vague appeals to moral values.

The panel was then concluded with a Q&A session from the audience, which delved into these topics in more depth.

AusPSA Awards Reception

AusPSA Reception.pngOn Tuesday, 24-July 2018 the Australian Political Studies Association held its 2018 awards ceremony at the Queensland Museum of Art in Brisbane Australia. The Master of Ceremony was A J Brown, Professor of Public Policy & Law at Griffith University. The event was held in the exquisite Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, around the Watermall water garden surrounded by the Amata Women’s Paintings, see…. The collection features Tjala Arts,  a leader in the vibrant contemporary Indigenous Western Desert painting movement.

During the 2018 APSA dinner, a series of awards were given for the best postgraduate paper to Prudence Brown at University of Queensland, PhD Thesis Prize to Dr. Luke Kimber Craven, the Inaugural Thelma Hunter PhD Thesis Prize  was awarded to Dr. Isobelle Barrett Meyering, and the APSA 2018 Crisp Prize was awarded to Dr. Peter Tangney for his monograph “Climate Adaptation Policy and Evidence: Understanding the Tensions Between Politics and Expertise in Public Policy (2017). APSA 2018 awards also included the Crisp Prize to Dr. Peter Balint, Mayer Journal Prize  to A/Prof. Carolyn Hendricks, ANU, and the Academic Leadership in Political Science Award to Professor Ariadne Vromen from the University of Sydney.

A warm round of applause was offered to Katharine Gelber, Professor of Politics and Public Policy at University of Queensland, who served the Australian Political Studies Association for 8 years. Prof. Sarah Maddison was welcomed as the new APSA president. Prof. Maddison is a professor of social and political sciences at the University of Melbourne. 

Contributing Editors: Alex Rubino, Amelia Edwards, Bernadette Hyland-Wood, Isabella Fredheim and Molly Murphy.

Day 4 (July 25)

Movie Session 4: Docos for Politicos

The last movie session featured four films: Every Day Words Disappear - Michael Hardt on the Politics of Love, (2016), Zombie Ontology featuring James Der Derian (2016), Kiss-o-Drome (2016) and Blue Orchids (2017). After the films were shown, UQ Professor of visual politics, Dr. Roland Bleiker, facilitated a discussion with the Belgian director, Johan Grimonprez.

Here are some highlights from the discussion:

Johan: The Hardt film was an interview done for Shadow World. Zombie Ontology and then Blue Orchids, and while there is a lot of overlap with Shadow World, each emphasize different perspectives in detail.

The film asks, what would it mean if the basis of our social choices were founded on love? The most powerful recent political movements act together as multiple groups - experiments in political love.  The movie encourages the audience to consider whether the world system is becoming one of the global apartheid - hierarchical and differentiated labour scheme. Are we living within a political system motivated by fear directed behind the scenes by the military industrial complex?

Interviews were conducted by military arms dealer and “fixer” Riccardo Priviterra are prominent in both Shadow World and Blue Orchid. Deeply troubling questions are raised by former New York Times investigative reporter Chris Hedges, experienced war correspondent. The Iraq War was the greatest strategic blunder in US history. Evidence shows that both major U.S. political parties were swayed, and arguably controlled, by the power of the military industrial complex. Hedges commented, ‘It isn’t Islamic fundamentalism that has ruined the Middle East, it is a permanent war. War propels you in directions you cannot expect.’

Many of the journalists who covered the longest war conducted in United States’ history were deeply affected by the shocking regimes that supported for commercial gain. Many who covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have PTSD and have been affected by what they’ve seen and covered, for the rest of their lives. When they return from covering or serving in war zones, they see the images of war are highly controlled by the media, and people don’t want to hear the truth according to Hedges. The only way to re-establish connections with other people is through love, genuine deep love, says a troubled Hedges.

Riccardo: reads from a personal diary. selling every type of weapons except nuclear. there is official and unofficial arms - no such thing as illegal arms trade. Sex and money are all that matters in war, recounts Riccardo.  ‘What better enemy than a hypothetical enemy called the war on terror’, he ponders.  This has created a whittling down of civil liberties worldwide.

Bleiker: Qhy film - what does it add that other mediums would not?  

A discussion on emotions and their role in politics ensued. Resisting violence with love instead of on more violence will possibly not be as popular with audiences, but should be examined. Machiavelli says that fear and love cannot exist together, but these documentaries show how they can interact and co-mingle.

Johan: Images can be complex. they can contain a whole message of a book in one image. We still do not know the depth of Riccardo’s character. Despite verifying that much of his personal history did not check out, he had not served in the South Africa Special Forces, what he brings to the table does not lose its value in terms of its unvarnished perspective on war and politics.

Professional Development Café

Professional Developement Cafe.jpgFor the Professional Development Café, the second of two “café” sessions, delegates were invited to chat with volunteer mentors. The mentors advised students and early career scholars alike on a wide range of topics. For instance, the editor of International Political Science Review, Theresa Reidy of University College Cork, and Amy Appleyard, of SAGE Publishing, were present to discuss the academic publishing process.

Meanwhile, the IPSA Program Chair and former international civil servant, Professor Füsun Türkmen of Galatasaray University, advised a group of young researchers on careers in international governmental and non-governmental organizations. She gave an insight into the benefits of a career as an international civil servant, along with advice on entry exams and minimum requirements for admission.

She gave an insight into the benefits of a career as an international civil servant, along with advice on entry exams and minimum requirements for admission.

The café session was a big opportunity for students and early career scholars to meet with mentors and gain a better understanding of the requirements for beginning a career in academia and beyond, and also presented a brilliant opportunity for the café visitors to ask any questions they had.

Plenary Session: Patriarchy is Bigger than Donald Trump

Enloe.jpgFor the final plenary session, Program Chair Professor Terrell Carver (University of Bristol) introduced his longtime colleague, a seminal figure in feminist political science, Cynthia Enloe (Clark University). The captivating and engaging plenary ran for 90 minutes and was an undisputedly a highlight of the conference gauging by two standing ovations and flock of delegates from around the world who rushed up to speak with her after her keynote presentation.

Professor Enloe kick-started her lecture by mapping the birth of the #MeToo movement and its importance in international politics. She discussed the important societal role that investigative journalism plays in a free and open society. It was journalists that broke open the story of disgraced Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein in 2017. After a long and storied career, Weinstein feels from grace amid dozens of allegations of sexual harassment and assault with the many females with whom he worked. Watch out for the “stars” Enloe cautioned. Whether they are stars in the Academy or in Hollywood, those in power who are propped by institutions, including intentionally disempowered human resources departments, should be under even greater scrutiny.

Enloe continued by outlining the problem posed by non-disclosure clauses in sexual harassment cases, and how this clause is an example of structured “patriarchal silence”. Professor Enloe emphasized the importance of “listening out for silence; it is something that you have to learn how to do” stated Professor Enloe. She stated the term “sexual harassment” was coined circa 1979, and how sexual harassment is not limited to specific workplaces or to specific parts of the world.

She recounted a story of learning about how very well-educated, top-tier senior female economists at the International Monetary Fund spent time each more thinking about how to dress in a manner that was both professional and would not draw unwanted male attention. This story highlighted that there is concern about workplace dynamics at the highest levels of international organizations, as well as, academe. During her plenary, she posed an open-ended questions to the audience: ‘Does a misogynistic workplace impact on policy formation by that organization?’ Does workplace culture reflect in the work product of that institution?

1458-0631.jpg An appreciation for journalists and editors was also present throughout Professor Enloe’s lecture. Without the hard work of those working in the journalism industry to uncovers stories such as the Weinstein scandal, it is inconceivable that the story could have been compiled in such a way that caused global outrage. Prof Enloe wrapped up her session by reminding us that we must be “curious feminists” and look for the politics that is occurring in the most intimate of places. Her speech was met with two warm standing ovations.

An engaging and educational 30-minute Q&A session followed her lecture. Topics discussed included: the prominence of sexual harassment in academia/research, Enloe’s opinion of naming perpetrators in sexual harassment cases and the impact of the non-disclosure clause on asylum seekers living in Australian detention centers.

Featured session: Free Speech or Speech Regulation? Determining the Limits of Controversial Speech in Comparative Politics, Philosophy, and Law

The panel session featured a discussion of free speech and speech regulation, relating to hate speech and its boundaries, chaired by Prof Erik Bleich, with presentations from Ms Anjalee de Silva, Prof Kath Gelber, Prof Bleich, Dr Alexander Brown, and Dr Louise Richardson-Self. The presentations neatly brought together different parts of the hate speech and free speech debate, including gendered vilification online, the inherent harm in hate speech, how the European Court of Human Rights decides hate speech cases, whether we have a right to be heard, and the optimal definition of hate speech.

The presentations were followed by comments from the discussant, Dr Matteo Bonotti, before the session was opened for audience questions. The panel responded to thought-provoking questions on the prevalence of online vilification, the regulation of online vilification by online service providers, and alternatives to the legal regulation of hate speech.

Closing Ceremony of the 25th IPSA World Congress

The 25th IPSA World Congress concluded with a lively ceremony. Master of Ceremony, Professor Sarah Maddison, welcomed IPSA Past President Ilter Turan to the stage, along with newly-elected IPSA president, Professor Marianne Kneuer. IPSA Program Co-Chairs, Professors Terrell Carver and Füsun Türkmen, delivered a joint address in English and French, the two official languages of the World Congress.

1458-1334.jpgCOPA Chair, Jørgen Elklit, presented the Stein Rokkan Travel Grant Award to Aeshna Badruzzaman from Northeastern University in the USA. The Francesco Kjellberg Award for Outstanding Papers went to Hanno Jentzch and Maroine Bendaoud.

1458-1244.jpgDr. Marian Sawer, Editor, International Political Science Review, presented the Wilma Rule Award: IPSA Award for the Best Research on Gender and Politics. The Wilma Rule Award was given to Ki-Young Shin, Jackie F. Steele and Mari Miura – congratulations!

Kath AJ.jpg

IPSA Secretary-General Guy Lachapelle recognized the IPSA past president and program co-chairs, and the excellent efforts of the local organizing committee for the 25th World Congress of Political Science. Thanks to the hard work of all parties, some 2,239 delegates from 84 countries enjoyed a well-conceived, highly inclusive program.

IPSA Secretary General Prof. Guy Lachapelle recognized the excellent work of World Congress and Events Director Joanne St-Pierre, who was in daily contact with the Australian local organizing committee to bring the Congress into fruition. A warm round of applause was given to the small but mighty group of volunteers in their bright orange tee shirts, many of whom worked long days to help delegates navigate the Brisbane Conference and Exhibition Centre, support registration and check-in, write daily summaries for the website and support the social media outreach for this international academic conference. For many of the volunteers, it was their first exposure to an international academic congress, and the reports were overwhelmingly positive!



The next IPSA World Congress will be held in Lisbon, Portugal in 2020, with Professors Bertrand Badie and Hasret Dikici Bilgin serving as program chairs. Looking ahead, Local Organizing Committee representative Edalina Sanches addressed the World Congress delegation and shared a brief video about Lisbon. Sanches then received the IPSA Congress Flag from Professor Katharine Gelber, along with Ilter Turan and newly elected president Marianne Kneuer, ending the 25th IPSA World Congress, and setting the stage for the 26th edition of the event.


Contributing editors: Alex Rubino, Amelia Edwards, Bernadette Hyland-Wood, Isabella Fredheim and Molly Murphy