Division Chair(s): Rebecca LeMoine, Florida Atlantic University and Cigdem Cidam, Union College
The Political Thought and Philosophy Section invites proposals from all areas of political theory. We are especially interested in proposals that bring the history of political thought to bear on contemporary threats and stresses experienced by democracies worldwide. How might the texts and traditions within the history of political thought help us to adequately describe, understand, and assess what many consider to be a global retreat from democracy today? Addressing this crucial question, we believe, requires us to go back to the drawing board and start from the beginning: What do we mean by democracy in the first place? What is democracy’s relation to socio-economic inequalities and different forms of oppression, such as those that are based on race and gender? Is democracy inherently inclusive, or, might there be tensions between democracy and diversity? What resources does the history of political thought offer for understanding the core principles of democracy, as well as the challenges of translating theory into practice? How might historical and contemporary democratic movements, in turn, push us to rethink the concept of the “demos” and to reevaluate traditional assumptions about democracy? We are committed to promoting intellectual exchange across multiple theoretical and methodological approaches, time periods, texts, traditions, and geographical spaces. Thus, we welcome panel proposals organized with this sort of dialogue in mind. We are also especially interested in the work by those historically underrepresented in the field. We look forward to proposals from scholars at all stages of the profession and particularly appreciate panel proposals that include scholars from across the ranks.
Division Chair(s): Jack Turner, University of Washington and Sina Kramer, Loyola Marymount University
The Foundations of Political Theory Section invites papers, panels, and round table proposals from all areas of political theory. We are committed to fostering dialogue among scholars working on a wide variety of topics within the field and encourage submissions from scholars at all levels of the profession. We are especially – but not exclusively – interested in receiving proposals that build upon the annual conference’s theme: “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization.” Though the general call discusses “destabilization” in a mournful tone— worrying about “the fabric of social and political cohesion” and the degradation of liberal norms—we are also interested in the ways “destabilization” can be democratically productive, or can make political life more accommodating of difference. What traditions of political life deserve to be destabilized? What forms of political life should we defend to the death? Does the global re-emergence of fascism require that we double down on the rule of law and electoral democracy, or should this be used as an opening to imagine post-liberal forms of living politically together? Does the imperial and settler colonial character of most “Western” nation states demand a complete revolution of governance? Or does the dream of total revolution threaten the destruction of social practices—such as free inquiry and religious tolerance—that are worth conserving and are all too fragile? Is difference best served by democracy, or does democracy require the suspension of differences? We invite papers on the vices and virtues of democracy, difference, stabilization and destabilization—of conservation, revolution, and
reform—as we address the sense of crisis attending the current moment. Given that this year’s conference coincides with the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, we also invite work that takes up gender and the vote. Work by and about underrepresented groups is of special interest.
Division Chair(s): Smita Rahman, DePauw University and Alexander Moon, Ithaca College Division Chairs: Smita A. Rahman and Alexander Moon
The Normative Political Theory section invites proposals reflecting on the relationship between democracy and destabilization. Democracy as a vibrant and vital political concept and tradition has always encountered both internal and external challenges. On the one hand, it is considered a bulwark against tyranny, but one that can all too easily take on authoritarian and majoritarian undertones in the name of freedom. On the other hand, in a complex and intersecting world of difference it also faces myriad external challenges. Challenges that come from eroding borders and the nationalist impulse to retrenchment, the challenges of negotiating multiple religious identities in secular and liberal societies, the challenges posed to democratic activism in all its forms by the sweeping currents of global capital. Antidemocratic tendencies are plainly on the rise, from the border camps that hold migrant children in the US, to Turkey’s purging of its intellectuals, and the rise of far-right populism throughout Europe. Despite these challenges, democratic movements persist—in the protests that are roiling Hong Kong, in the pro-democracy rally in Moscow, and in France’s yellow vest movement—to name a few. Political theorists, working within a variety of traditions, have long grappled with the challenges to democracy and the possibilities that can emerge from it. How have recent developments both in the world and within the discipline of political theory, broadly defined, forced a reconsideration of democracy and its destabilization? This section invites papers investigating the normative issues raised by the relationships between democracy, difference, and destabilization. Such issues include the following: To what extent do the normative foundations of constitutional democracy exclude any valuable forms of difference? To what extent are attempts at democratic inclusion responsible for populist challenges to democratic norms and institutions and to what extent are exclusions responsible for such challenges? Is illiberal democracy a contradiction in terms? What are the ranges of justifiable response to challenges to democracy? For example, is it ever legitimate to seek to disenfranchise or silence anti-democratic forces? What, if any, duties to citizens have to resist the erosion of democratic norms and institutions? Is there anything valuable in populist or authoritarian challenges to liberal democracy? What, if any, ethical possibilities are opened up by the erosion of democratic norms and institutions? And how are the answers to any of these questions affected by the conception of democracy with which one is operating, whether constitutional, deliberative, radical, agonistic, contestatory, and so forth? In keeping with the spirit of the conference themes, we invite papers reflecting a broad array of methods, traditions and thematic concerns. As always, we are committed to creating a program representing different intellectual traditions, approaches, and methods. We particularly value work that seeks to integrate the study of normative issues with empirical work on democracy and difference. We particularly encourage proposals with approaches that are interdisciplinary, comparative, feminist, critical, minoratarian, intersectional and/or experimental.
Division Chair(s): Andrew Little, University of California, Berkeley
The Formal Political Theory division welcomes paper, poster, or panel proposals that use or draw on formal theory to provide insight into political questions. We especially encourage substantively cohesive panel proposals, papers with ties to other subfields, and papers or panel proposals that relate to the theme of the 2019 APSA Meeting: “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization.” This call is meant to be as inclusive as possible on several dimensions. We aim to put together a program with a wide range of substantive applications, types of formal theory (game theory, social choice theory, computational modeling, behavioral modeling), and combinations of formal theory with other methodologies. We also encourage panel proposals which bring together theoretical and empirical papers on the same topic.
Division Chair(s): Katherine McCabe, Rutgers University and Frederik Hjorth, University of Copenhagen
The political psychology division welcomes submissions on a wide array of topics relating to the way groups and individuals experience politics, process information, form preferences, and behave. We especially encourage paper and panel proposals that relate to understanding threats to democracy, such as which individuals are more likely to form (anti)democratic tendencies and why, and how individuals react to threats to their position within a democracy. We also especially welcome submissions addressing questions political psychologists are most interested in answering, including: How are identities formed, expressed, and measured in political contexts? How best can we assess citizens’ true preferences and their effects on public policy? How do individuals weigh information as they form their preferences? What factors affect the reception and acceptance of elite messages? How much of a role do stereotypes and prejudices play in shaping opinions and behavior, and how can they be overcome? How do citizens come to perceive attitudes or actors as violating democratic norms, and how well do the assumptions underlying democracy hold once psychological processes are understood? We welcome proposals from a diverse array of methodologies and disciplinary perspectives.
Division Chair(s): Pia Raffler, Harvard University and Anjali Thomas, Georgia Tech
The Political Economy section welcomes paper and panel proposals from emerging and established research areas in political economy, broadly understood. Submissions that address the annual meeting’s theme of “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization” through the lens of political economy are particularly encouraged. In what ways do economic inequality and insecurity shape the stability of democratic and authoritarian regimes? How do these factors interact with race, ethnicity, and gender to explain which citizens endorse illiberal politics, and which defend democratic norms? Through which channels do different aspects of a country’s political institutions shape economic outcomes? We welcome proposals on these and other questions. Furthermore, we encourage substantively cohesive panel proposals that bring together scholars from within and across subfield lines, as well as across different world regions.
Division Chair(s): Eva Bertram, University of California, Santa Cruz and Lisa Blaydes, Stanford University
The Politics and History Division invites panel and paper submissions on topics related to politics and history broadly conceived, including political development, state formation, and historical institutional analysis as well as research on the history of political ideologies and social movements. Panels and papers addressing theoretical and conceptual issues are welcome, as are empirical papers using qualitative and/or quantitative approaches to the study of history. The Division encourages submissions related to the conference theme of Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization, including papers focused on the development of and contestation over democratic political institutions and practices, as well as threats to democracy throughout history both in the United States and around the world. Marginalized groups are often the last to be fully incorporated into democratic polities and the first to suffer at the hands of anti-democratic movements. What lessons does history offer about the relationship between inclusive democratic institutions and the health of democracy? The Division particularly values work that makes interdisciplinary connections across the broad field of politics and history.
Division Chair(s): Ines Levin, University of California,
The Political Methodology division welcomes paper, panel, roundtable, and workshop proposals addressing all aspects of empirical methodology. As in previous years, we encourage proposals dealing with measurement, statistical modeling, causal inference, research design, computational methods, survey methodology, and theory development and testing. We welcome proposals that develop new techniques as well as innovative applications of existing techniques to any substantive subfield of political science.
This year’s conference theme, “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization,” is an opportunity for individual researchers and groups of scholars to engage in broader discussions about important challenges and opportunities facing the discipline today, including practical and ethical issues in empirical political science research, difficulties in handling and analyzing increasingly large and complex data sets, and possibilities offered by recent statistical, theoretical, and computational advances.
Proposals that address the conference theme as well as proposals with potential ties to other divisions are especially welcome.
Division Chair(s): Matthew Platt, Morehouse College and Maureen Feeley, University of California, San Diego
The theme for APSA’s 2020 Annual Meeting, “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization,” raises a series of questions central to our discipline: Can we identify and explain the most serious contemporary threats to democratic institutions, values, and practices at local, national, and global levels? In what ways do extant rules, institutions, and policies contribute to exclusion and destabilization in contemporary democracies, and what types of reforms might address these challenges? What has been the impact of recent denigration of democratic values and institutions in the United States nationally, locally, and globally? What conditions lead to resistance against, acquiescence to, or support for authoritarian, nationalist, racist, sexist, and xenophobic rhetoric, policies, and practices? In the United States these concerns are becoming increasingly urgent with direct impacts for higher education, and our democracy. Skepticism of climate change also manifests as a general aversion to knowledge production, evidenced through declines in federal and state funding for public colleges and universities. Free speech controversies on college campuses and a permission structure for bigotry created by President Trump directly impact our efforts to address diversity, equity, and inclusion in our classrooms. Populist calls for “free college” could help reverse negative trends relating to college
affordability, but also raise questions about the fundamental purpose of higher education. How do we balance the competing demands of preparing students for post-graduation employment, while also ensuring they have the knowledge, skills, and values to critically engage and responsibly act as global citizens in our increasingly complex, diverse, and rapidly changing world? Do we have curricula and pedagogies that are well-suited for a world in which everyone can or should go to college? In addition to these broad questions about the nature of higher education and democracy, this year’s theme touches the core of the Political Science Education Section’s research interests: How do we identify liberal and illiberal pedagogies? To what extent do our curricula and pedagogies promote inclusive classrooms and practices of inclusive democratic citizenship? How do instructors balance the need to challenge existing institutional arrangements in unequal societies while maintaining commitments to democratic norms and institutions writ large? How successful are our undergraduate and graduate courses and curricula in preparing students to identify and critically engage institutional sources of exclusion in contemporary democracies? If higher education serves as a partial remedy for problems of social mobility and inequality, then what are the curricular and pedagogical practices within political science that lead to higher rates of learning, retention, and graduation? How do we track our students post-graduation to better understand the ways in which they succeed and fail? In what ways are inclusive classrooms and student learning promoted by technological innovations, simulations, class discussions, study abroad, undergraduate research, internships, and other experiential learning opportunities? The Political Science Education Section invites proposals for traditional papers, sequential papers (exclusive discussant feedback), panels, roundtables, author-meets-critics sessions, research cafes, posters, mini-conferences, and short courses related to these and other questions around the theme of “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization.” Additionally, the section encourages submissions that include, but are not limited to, innovations in curriculum and program design, classroom teaching, instructional technology, experiential learning, online courses, graduate training, undergraduate research, advising and mentoring, administration, and assessment. Interdisciplinary and comparative research are especially encouraged. The Section is strongly committed to equitably representing the diversity of institutions that comprise APSA, and we welcome submissions from two-year as well as four-year institutions.
Division Chair(s): Sofia A. Perez, Boston University and Merike Blofield, University of Miami
The origins and survival of democratic institutions, as well as their impact on other social outcomes, has been a long-running focus in the field of comparative politics. We are interested in work of a comparative nature that relates to any of the questions spelled out in the general call. We encourage proposals that explain how the question addressed by the proposed paper or panel relates to those themes. Our call is open to all methodological and theoretical approaches, whether politics is conceived of as the interplay of organized groups and interests, political entrepreneurs and mass movements, or as the consequence of institutions, electoral politics, and the formation of collective identities. We also encourage proposals that relate to issues of social equity and inclusion or that examine the link between threats to democratic governance and other current global challenges, such as the need to reconcile continued economic development with environmental sustainability or the impact of continued urbanization and migration.
Division Chair(s): Lindsay Mayka, Colby College and Emmanuel Teitelbaum, George Washington University
The Comparative Politics of Developing Countries welcomes paper and panel proposals focused on the politics of low- and middle-income countries. We especially encourage submissions related to the meeting’s central theme: “Democracy, Difference and Destabilization.” Many of the topics related to this theme, such as illiberal democracy, democratic backsliding, and the marginalization of racial and ethnic minorities have long been central foci in the study of development politics. Other topics of interest include the politics of distribution and redistribution in the Global South, gender inequality, the expansion and contraction of social-citizenship rights in contexts of high economic and social inequality, organized crime and political violence, the changing nature of work, and the politics of international and domestic migration. We are especially interested in problem-driven research that promises to make important theoretical contributions and are open to many different methodological approaches. We will give preference to substantively coherent panels that bring a diverse group of scholars into dialogue across traditional regional and subfield lines.
Division Chair(s): Susanne Wengle, University of Notre Dame and Douglas Fuller The Communist and post-Communist Division invites submissions that explore the many interactions between technology on the one hand, and developments in the political, economic, social, and cultural realms on the other. How are these interactions reconfigured as technologies change? What are important technological innovations of the past, present and future that have changed, or have the potential to change how societies and economies are governed? What are social sources and social responses to these changes? We are particularly interested in papers that elaborate these processes related to the overall conference theme of “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization” and in papers that probe particular, regional manifestations of these issues. Authors who focus on the established themes in comparative politics (democratization, institutions, civil society, political economy, etc.) are encouraged to explore how debates in these fields address the issues that arise along with rapidly evolving technologies. Themes that could be addressed include, but are not limited to the following:
a) Technology and politics: technology and elections, new/social media and politics, technology and political mobilization, technology and political control
b) Technology and the economy: technology and innovation, technology and the public/private divide, technology and global value chains, technology and inequality
c) Technology, culture and society: new/social media and culture, technology and social stratification, technology and art/cultural production, technology and religion.
We seek to promote diversity in presenters across gender, nationality and rank, including from scholars in these regions of the world.We hope to create panels that enable dialogue across multiple methodological approaches and methods. In this spirit, we particularly encourage coherent panel proposals or other panel formats such as roundtables and author-meets-critics sessions that embody and promote diverse approaches.
Division Chair(s): Zachary Greene, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow and Dawn Teele, University of Pennsylvania
The representative process in advanced industrial democracies faces unprecedented challenges. Increasing diversity and the rise in support from anti-system actors in an era of full enfranchisement and globalization forces traditional representative organizations and institutions to adapt or risk losing influence. Advanced industrial democracies in the past and present have faced varying success at integrating insider and outsider groups. Ultimately, the ability to manage these challenges relates to the quality of representative democracy and the creation and stability of the overall political system. We invite proposals seeking to explain the ways in which politics within advanced industrial democracies responded to these challenges. We encourage papers and panel proposals that consider the distinct stages of the representation process spanning areas that include societal preferences and group representation, political party change, elections, policy change and further democratic stability. We request that organized panel submissions to include 4 papers, two discussants and a chair.
Division Chair(s): Rahsaan Maxwell, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
We invite proposals related to European and politics and society, broadly defined. We will consider any proposal related to Europe and we welcome proposals on the 2020 meeting theme “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization”. We are open to diverse approaches, methods and subjects. The section supports a variety of formats, from traditional paper-based panels to roundtables, author meets critics, and extended panels.
Division Chair(s): Nicole Baerg, University of Essex and Carolina Garriga, University of Essex
The International Political Economy section welcomes paper, panel, and roundtable proposals related to substantively important questions linking domestic and/or international political and economic factors, broadly defined. Submissions that address the meeting theme of “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization” are especially welcome. We encourage cohesive panel proposals that bring together scholars from within and across subfield lines, and from any theoretical or empirical approach. In line with the meeting theme, we will favor panels that reflect and encourage diversity and inclusiveness.
Division Chair(s): Ranjit Lall, London School of Economics
The International Collaboration Division welcomes papers and panel proposals for the 2020 APSA Annual Convention under the following theme: “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization.” All proposals relating to international collaboration will be considered. This broad subject area includes, but is not limited to, international organizations, international law, diplomacy, economic coordination, conflict resolution, and transnational advocacy. Proposals that address either international conflict or political economy are welcome, as are proposals from different theoretical and/or methodological perspectives.
Division Chair(s): Lindsay Cohn, US Naval War College and Stephen Grenier, The Citadel
The 2020 APSA Meeting theme, “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization”, is an opportunity for scholars of international relations to think about how trends at the domestic and transnational levels matter for international security, and how events within regions or alliances can affect domestic concerns. Critiques of “liberalism” have a long history in the developing world, from both the left and the traditionalists. As the theme statement notes, however, recent trends and events have also caused people in the developed world to question not just the stability of democratic institutions, but the importance of democratic values such as representation and fundamental human rights. The theme statement calls on us to think about the threats and stresses experienced by democracies and democracy worldwide, how diversity can create both opportunities and challenges for democratic societies, the circumstances under which what used to be stable norms and institutions might break down, and what might come after. Section 19 welcomes individual paper, panel, and roundtable proposals on conflict and security issues, broadly defined. These topics include, but are not limited to coercion; deterrence; alliances and security institutions; civil-military relations; gender; cyber and artificial intelligence; international development; terrorism; war and peace causation; information warfare; transnational organized crime; proliferation/arms control; civil and regional war; nuclear weapons; polarity; insurgency; peace operations; intelligence; and the changing character of war. Topics more specifically related to the conference theme might be: the relationships between domestic and international institutions; the role of norms and values in shifting threat perception and alliance behavior; migration and refugees; ethnic conflict; protest, coup, and contagion; efforts to protect human rights and how those relate to democratic values and domestic and international institutions; diplomacy in destabilized times; the “liberalism” of international institutions and how they have contributed to the problem or could contribute to solutions; deterrence dynamics in a more selfhelp world; efforts to solve transnational and global problems in a context of political uncertainty and suspicion, and so forth. Recognizing that international security encompasses a diverse collection of academic disciplines and benefits from including more points of view, proposals that utilize interdisciplinary theoretical or methodological approaches will be particularly attractive, as will proposals that center perspectives that tend to be marginalized.
Division Chair(s): Christine Sixta Rinehart, University of South Carolina and Danielle Lupton, Colgate University
The Foreign Policy Division invites paper, panel, and roundtable proposals related to the study of foreign policy, and especially encourages those related to the conference theme, “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization.” How do differences and changes across regimes influence the conduct of foreign policy? What are the consequences for destabilization of global leadership, alliance politics, and the international community at large? How do differences among individuals and groups, such as differences in religion, ethnicity, background, or world view, affect foreign policy processes and outcomes? What are the implications for changes in democracy and destabilization on political violence and foreign policy? The Foreign Policy Division welcomes proposals that reflect the diversity in both theoretical and methodological approaches to, as well as scholars of, foreign policy. For those organizing panels and roundtables, we ask that you pay close attention to the diversity of participants included in the proposal, particularly in terms of gender, stage of professional career, and institutional affiliation/location.
Division Chair(s): Jun Sudduth, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow and Andrew Owsiak, University of Georgia
The Conflict Processes section invites papers, panels, and roundtable proposals that address fundamental questions about the causes, dynamics, and consequences of conflict and political violence. These questions generally include a broad range of interactions–from non-violent resistance to violent dissent and insurgencies to interstate and intrastate wars. Given the APSA 2020 theme of “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization”, we especially encourage proposals that explore the interactions between democratic threats and erosions (on the one hand) and conflict processes (broadly conceived, on the other). Sample topics might include, but are not limited to, whether/how (a) citizens’ perceptions of threats toward their political rights shape mass movements and protests; (b) security forces react to democratic erosions and mass movements; (c) institutions constrain state repression; or (d) regime differences affect conflict behavior. Please note that the conflict processes section welcomes proposals that reflect diversity in theoretical and methodological approaches, as well as in research scholars.
Division Chair(s): Eduardo Aleman, University of Houston and Anthony Madonna, University of Georgia
The Legislative Studies Section welcomes paper, panel, and roundtable proposals on a wide range of topics related to legislatures at the state or national level, in the United States or other countries. Research advancing new theories, analyzing original data, or employing innovative methods are especially welcome. Proposals addressing the conference’s core theme of “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization” are encouraged, but we welcome any compelling
proposals. Proposals for substantively cohesive panel and roundtables are also welcomed. We recommend to those submitting panel proposals to consider including panelists from diverse backgrounds. Additionally, we especially encourage submissions from women, scholars of color, and other underrepresented groups.
Division Chair(s): Lilly Goren, Carroll University
This year’s APSA conference theme is “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization.” As the United States gears up for another presidential election, as the United Kingdom contends with changing leadership and Brexit decisions, as we see electoral shifts and different individuals elected to office in many countries, we encounter different pressures and tensions within democracies, with concern over destabilization. With specific focus on the Trump Administration in the United States, we have seen dramatic shifts in terms of norms, in all arenas, highlighting difference and disruption in governance. Has the Trump Administration destabilized the presidency or the country as a whole? The call for proposals from the APSA notes that “scholars in all areas of the discipline are invited to investigate questions related to the threats and stresses experienced by democracies worldwide, the importance of diversity as a strength of democratic performance, the limits of achieving equity and inclusivity in heterogeneous publics throughout the globe, and their implications for the resilience of democratic institutions.” Given the focus of the Presidents and Executive Politics section, we welcome paper and panel proposals that take up these themes but need not be limited to them. We encourage proposals that integrate varied methodologies to examine a wide array of research questions on topics such as the public presidency, the historical presidency, the role of the media and the administration, political rhetoric and social media, electoral politics and presidential voting behavior, cabinet staffing and interim appointments, the unilateral presidency, presidential relations with Congress and the federal judiciary, and the policy process in the executive branch. In addition, we invite proposals that seek to make important theoretical and empirical contributions with respect to cross-national executive politics, and state and local level executive politics. We also invite proposals that focus on the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and how this change in democracy, constituencies, candidates, and voting dynamics has contributed to our understanding of the American presidency, executive politics at different levels, presidential candidacies, and the interactions between popular culture, presidential and executive politics.
Division Chair(s): Daniel Hawes, Kent State University
Theme: Democracy, Difference and Destabilization Recent years have seen an increase in threats to democratic institutions and constitutional rights. Antidemocratic and illiberal tendencies, coupled with intense polarization, threaten to limit the legitimacy and effectiveness of democratic institutions and processes. Public administration scholars have long grappled with the relationship between democracy and bureaucracy. Some have seen bureaucratic institutions (managed by unelected actors) as an impediment, if not a threat, to democracy, while others have argued bureaucracy acts as a stabilizing force in otherwise turbulent political times. Recent events place the bureaucracy at the center of an ongoing battle between democratic institutions, including the president, Congress, the courts and the press. Will bureaucracy mitigate or exacerbate these tensions? For the 2020 annual meeting, the public administration section invites paper and panel proposals that examine how bureaucratic institutions either stabilize or destabilize democratic institutions in an increasingly polarized, post-truth world. Does bureaucracy place adequate checks on illegitimate or abusive actions originating from other branches of government? What role does diversity and bureaucratic representation play in promoting democracy? How does the use of bureaucratic processes, rules and red tape either preserve or hinder democratic principles and institutions? What role do performance data and management play in strengthening democratic performance? How can bureaucracies use information to combat post-truth narratives and shape citizens’ perceptions? What are the ethical considerations for the proper role of bureaucrats in the current political climate? We seek proposals that are theoretically grounded and methodologically robust. We also encourage proposals that engage research from other subfields.
Division Chair(s): Jennifer Clark, University of Houston
The Public Policy section serves a large, diverse community of researchers studying policy to address central questions of political science: who governs, and to what ends? The section welcomes proposals on all aspects of the policy process and the causes and consequences of government decisions (and non-decisions). These submissions could involve policy development and change, policy feedback, policy diffusion, agenda setting, historical and comparative perspectives on policy, and many more. Proposals addressing this year’s conference theme – Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization—are particularly welcome. Across the world, democratic governments are seeing a rise in nativism and populism. These forces have given rise to increasing polarization and policies that limit the rights of marginalized groups. Several questions emerge from these trends: How has the growing polarization contributed to this destabilization in our political systems? With the declining trust in government and rising partisan polarization, how can elites effectively govern and best represent constituents’ interests? How has the current political climate altered discourse and debates about healthcare, immigration, and climate policy? To what extent are members of marginalized groups achieving policy representation? The Public Policy section is open to all methodological and theoretical perspectives. While paper proposals are welcome, we strongly encourage well-organized panel proposals.
Division Chair(s): Lynda Dodd, Princeton University and Yuksel Sezgin, Syracuse University
The American Political Science Association’s (APSA) 2020 Annual Meeting addresses the theme “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization.” Law and courts scholarship engages important issues related to the institutional and constitutional constraints limiting antidemocratic and authoritarian impulses of both state and private actors. These include judicial decisionmaking, the rule of law, access to justice, judicial appointments, freedom of the press, voting rights, immigration law and reform, and civil rights statutes. The Law and Courts Section invites proposals for participation in the APSA’s 2020 Annual Meeting. We welcome proposals for panels, papers, posters, roundtables, and other research presentations and discussions. Submissions related to the conference’s theme, “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization,” are encouraged. Proposals for complete panels or roundtables should include a diverse set of participants.
Division Chair(s): Amanda Hollis-Brusky, Pomona College and Corey Brettschneider, Brown University
The Constitutional Law and Jurisprudence division invites proposals informed by the conference theme, “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization.” What role do constitutions – as mobilized inside and outside of courts- play in stabilizing or destabilizing democratic regimes? Can courts and constitutions realistically act as bulwarks against tyranny – majority and minority? How do historical studies of constitutional law and jurisprudence inform our understandings of this current moment – the threats to the rule of law, threats to the freedom of press and association, the rise of nationalism in the United States and beyond? What is new, promising, dangerous or destabilizing about recent trends in judicial behavior or constitutional jurisprudence? Given that 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, we invite panels examining women’s suffrage, its legacy and its unfinished business. We further invite panels that engage in crossnational comparisons of courts, constitutions, and rights-claiming. Where in the world do we see people agitating to gain or maintain rights? When and how do these movements use law, jurisprudence, and constitutional language to claim rights? We are particularly interested in panel proposals comprised of scholars at various stages of their careers and panels that reflect the diversity in our profession. The co-chairs reserve the right to add pre-tenure scholars and scholars from marginalized groups within the profession to any panel that does not already include them.
Division Chair(s): Julia Payson, New York University
The Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations Section invites proposals for the 2020 APSA Annual Meeting. In addition to individual paper proposals, we encourage submissions for full panels (maximum of 4 papers), roundtables, and author-meets-critics sessions. We welcome theoretically grounded and methodologically rigorous proposals that contribute to our knowledge of politics and policy in federal systems. This includes research focused on federalism and intergovernmental relations within the United States, within other nations, or with a comparative perspective. We welcome studies that examine questions of federalism and intergovernmental relations from a variety of methodological approaches. We are especially interested in proposals that respond to the 2019 conference theme, “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization.”
Division Chair(s): Srinivas Parinandi, University of Colorado Boulder
The main theme of the 2020 conference centers on the ability of democratic institutions to maintain resiliency in the face of challenges. The states have had a long history of enhancing as well as hindering the robustness of democratic institutions and will play a key role in shaping the future of American democracy. In this vein, we invite proposals that deal with the relationship between state politics and policy and democratic governance, defined broadly. We welcome proposals from multiple theoretical and methodological perspectives and aim to show the rigor and timeliness of state politics research.
Division Chair(s): Davia Downey, Grand Valley State University and Thomas Vicino, Northeastern University
The Urban and Local Politics section welcomes proposals featuring original research considering the impact of national and international phenomena on the politics and governance of cities and their regions. This year’s conference theme, “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization,” prompts our scholarly community to consider the effects of the social, economic, and political instability of core democratic principles at numerous spatial scales: locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. This year’s theme also invites us to consider the impact of national policies at the local level in the United States as well as abroad. Of particular interest are proposals that explore the implications of anti-democratic tactics on the policymaking process at the local level. The impact of national-level divisive politics on local elections, on candidate selection, as well as the effect of this movement on the local political environment are also of interest. As the United States and other nations across the world confront the impact of the weakening of democratic institutions, a discussion of how local units of government respond is essential, particularly for those units along the international borders such as the U.S.-Mexico border. Because this year is also the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment in the United States, which granted some women–but not all–the right to vote, we welcome papers that explore the dimensions of gender, race, and ethnicity on electoral representation in cities in the U.S. and beyond. In addition to proposals which explore urban politics in the United States, we invite papers with a crossnational, comparative, or global perspective. Papers that explore the importance of identity, placemaking, intergovernmental relations, and emerging social movements on local decisionmaking are also invited. Proposals that explore the political economy of cities and regions in countries that have seen a retraction, both politically and economically, from national governments are also welcomed. Finally, papers that utilize novel methodologies or employ innovative qualitative or quantitative techniques are of particular interest. The Section will also accept proposals for cohesive panels, roundtables, author-meets-critics, or short courses. For those submitting complete panels, roundtables or author-meets-critics proposals, please be sure to submit chair and at least one discussant for all panel proposals.
Division Chair(s): Monica Schneider, Miami University and Melanie Hughes, University of Pittsburgh
The Women and Politics Research Section invites proposals engaging themes of women, sex, gender, intersectionality, and sexuality. We are especially interested in proposals on this year’s conference theme of “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization.” Gender scholars have much to contribute to our theoretical and empirical understanding of how diverse representation can contribute to a healthy democracy. Papers might address how women have responded to various threats to democracy globally and how their responses affect democratic outcomes. Likewise, proposals might explore how women contribute to agitating for or maintaining rights. Papers might focus on how sex, gender, and intersectionality have become a recent focal point of elections and citizen responses to political issues, and how women’s power may be seen as threatening to certain groups in the population in both global and domestic contexts. Papers might examine how gender conditions responses to the immigration crisis and shapes debates over how to provide services and rights to noncitizens, including those who are undocumented. Because women are diverse, we welcome papers that address how sex differs from gender and intersects with race, sexuality, ethnicity, national identity, physical and intellectual ability, family status, and other identities to form citizens’ contributions to democracy and their reactions to the threats therein. We also invite research on politics and policies affecting intersex, transgender, and gender non-conforming individuals. We especially welcome proposals related to the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment to extend suffrage to women in the United States, particularly as they explore exclusionary aspects of the amendment, including to women of color (Black and Native American women) and women with varying disabilities. Of course, papers need not directly engage the conference theme; we welcome the full range of original contributions. We encourage paper submissions and organized panel submissions. Panel submissions must include at least four papers, a panel chair, and a discussant. Where appropriate, the program co-chairs may add papers to these panels. We ask that all faculty members submitting proposals also volunteer to serve either as panel chairs or as discussants. Because the conference includes various presentation formats, we encourage proposals for one of these formats. Please submit proposals to a second APSA section so that we have the opportunity to co-sponsor panels.
Division Chair(s): Betina Wilkinson, Wake Forest University and Alfonso Gonzales, University of California, Riverside
Division Chairs: Betina Cutaia Wilkinson (Associate Professor, Wake Forest University) and Alfonso Gonzales (Associate Professor and the Director of the Latin American Studies Program, University of California Riverside) The Race, Ethnicity and Politics (REP) Section invites proposals for the 2020 APSA Annual Meeting that engage this year’s conference theme of “Democracy, Difference and Destabilization.” This theme is particularly salient to the study of race, ethnicity and politics during these authoritarian times when attacks on voting rights, civil liberties, and state violence against blacks, Latinos, children, migrants, refugees and other immigrant groups continue to destabilize the basic notion of liberal democracy in the United States and in the West more broadly.
We encourage proposals that respond to the following themes and that encourage intellectual dialogue and debate across fields within the discipline. In addition to the traditional quantitative approaches that have characterized REP in recent years, we are excited about theoretical and qualitative approaches informing a critical intellectual dialogue around race, ethnicity and the future of democracy and political science in authoritarian times. We encourage proposals that adopt an intersectional approach. Thus, proposals could address:
- The tenability of a democratic polity in the face of mass incarceration, including the detention of children, migrants and refugees
- The ability of liberal democracies to withstand difference and the incorporation of people of color and social minorities into the body politics in times of precarity and more brutal forms of capitalist accumulation
- Reflection and debate on the epistemic and methodological limits of REP and its ability to respond to the deep nature of the crisis facing liberal democracies in the West
- Why some groups support or oppose authoritarian and illiberal policies against people of color and social minorities
- The role of eugenics, anti-blackness, anti-Latino racism, coloniality, patriarchy and other gendered racial ideologies in the process of State and policy formation
- The virtues and limits of voting, immigrant incorporation, and traditional forms of civil engagement and empowerment among blacks, Latinos, Asians and social minorities in the face of the contemporary authoritarian turn in the United States.
- The role of political parties and civil society-based institutions such as think tanks and foundations in the direction, demobilization, and cooptation of social movements and research agendas
We invite political theorists, comparativists and women and politics scholars to apply to the REP section this year to encourage dialogue and debate among quantitative and qualitative approaches with the themes of this year’s conference. We encourage paper submissions and organized panel submissions. Panel submissions must include at least four papers, a discussant and a panel chair. Where appropriate, the program co-chairs may add papers to these panels. Given the interdisciplinary nature of Race, Ethnicity and Politics, we will actively seek opportunities to co-sponsor with other divisions.
Division Chair(s): Andrew Lewis, University of Cincinnati and Sutan Tepe, Stanford University
The relationship between religion and politics often speaks to the themes of “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization.” Religious differences may produce challenges to democratic government, and the interaction between religious interests, identities, and beliefs can contribute to destabilized political environments, as we have seen both in the U.S. and around the world. At the same time, religion can provide opportunities to understand and practice democratic principles, and lessons from religious interactions can offer insight into stable governing coalitions. The APSA Religion and Politics Section invites submissions of individual papers, panels, posters, and roundtables that explore the relationship between religion, democracy, difference, and destabilization across a broad range of theoretical perspectives, substantive issues, and geographic regions. Religion and Politics is an interdisciplinary field, and we seek a diverse set of submissions that foster exchange between various theoretical and
analytical approaches, as well as submissions from a variety of world regions that analyze a host of religions.
There are a broad range of questions that would engage the conference’s theme and other important issues related to religion and politics. Some potential topics that build upon the APSA theme include: exploring the political impact of religious difference in the U.S. and abroad; theorizing about the proper way that states should engage with religion); evaluating the effect of religious political movements on political stability or democratic norms; assessing how religious elites, commitments, identities, or beliefs affect (in)stability and democratic principles; analyzing how secularism and religious commitment relate to the political order; and weighing the future of national, regional, and global religion and politics. We invite submissions addressing these and other related questions. We further encourage the submission of innovative program formats within APSA guidelines.
Division Chair(s): Jason Casellas, University of Houston and Ruth Dassonneville, University of Montreal
The Representation and Electoral Systems section welcomes proposals on a wide array of topics relating to the roles and effects of electoral rules, and how they shape patterns of representation. We welcome both single case-studies and comparative work, and work taking different methodological approaches to studying representation and electoral systems, including historical, observational and experimental work. We particularly welcome paper proposals that speak to the theme of this year’s conference. We encourage proposals that shed light on how electoral rules are used and manipulated when democracy is under threat, work that studies the inclusiveness and representativeness of democratic institutions, and work that zooms in on the ways in which women and minorities can gain better representation.
Division Chair(s): Darren Halpin, Australian National University and Jae-Jae Spoon, University of Pittsburgh
The Political Organizations and Parties (POP) section seeks proposals for papers, panels, roundtables, and alternative formats on a wide range of topics related to political parties and organizations. The section is well placed to contribute important insights related to the 2020 conference theme, Democracy, Difference and Destablilization. Paper submissions might wish to take up issues such as the role of political organizations and parties in fostering democratic norms and participation, how political organizations and parties can destabilize democracy, the role of interest groups and parties in organising and voicing the interests of marginalised groups, and party politics and populism. POP embraces research on a range of contexts, such as elections, legislatures, and policy-making institutions at the sub-national, national, and supranational levels, in which political organizations and parties engage. Scholars are encouraged to provide thorough, concise abstracts to improve the quality and cohesiveness of POP panels. We especially welcome panel proposals whose composition reflects the diversity of the discipline.
Division Chair(s): Hanna Wass, University of Helsinki
Economic inequality is reflected in social inequality and together these two often lead to political inequality and uneven representation. Numerous studies have shown that political engagement is heavily driven by an individual’s resources, including financial well-being, physical and mental health, social networks, and life situation. Moreover, participation may be hampered or even prevented by various voting regulations and policies, such as ID requirements or disenfranchisement of convicted felons, which are particularly harmful for many minority groups. In public debate, however, withdrawal from politics is often regarded as a matter of individual choice, not the result of involuntary exclusion and marginalization. This type of responsibilization of the individual builds a kind of an “empathy wall” (Hochschild, 2016) between insiders and outsiders, for instance wage earners with protected jobs and those who are unemployed or hold temporary jobs with few employment rights (Lindvall and Rueda 2014). In the worst case scenario, emphasis on the individual-level motivational factors can be used as a justification for the failure to innovate means to facilitate political engagement among citizens with least participatory resources. Yet, political engagement is essentially collective action: ensuring its accessibility should be regarded as the responsibility of society and an indicator of vibrant liberal democracy. When non-participation is perceived as an outcome of political ignorance or apathy, the mobilization of parts of the electorate who were previously passive can suddenly appear as a threat to politics as usual. In particular, a sudden rise in support for populist parties or actors may lead to some taking the moral high ground and questioning the judgment and integrity of the newly-activated voters. Echoes from such interpretations can be heard in the discussion concerning the fight against electoral harassment. In May 2019, President Emmanuel Macron even called for an agency to protect democracy within Europe. There is, however, a risk of backfire if securitization from illiberal tendencies and threats leads to restriction of basic liberal principles including broad political rights and freedom of speech. The Elections and Voting Behavior Sections invites proposals related to the conference’s main theme “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization” from various angles. We particularly encourage panels and papers that address questions such as: How inclusive and representative are the institutions and practices in various democratic countries? What are the main mechanisms disabling more even political engagement and to fix those? What is the level of support for democratic institutions and main sources of criticism? How committed are voters and political actors to core principles of liberal democracy? In selection the proposals, a special emphasis will be set on ensuring equality in terms of thematic, sociodemographic and geographical composition.
Division Chair(s): Tyson King-Meadows, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
The section welcomes proposals on a wide range of topics related to public opinion, including the micro-level and macro-level foundations of opinion formation, the methods of studying public opinion, and the causes and effects of opinion formation, from any national or comparative perspective. Research advancing new theories, centering the perspectives of marginalized groups, examining opinion about social inequality, and addressing the attitudinal correlates associated with support for illiberal tactics and exclusionary practices are especially welcome. Proposals addressing the conference’s core theme of “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization” are also encouraged, but we welcome all proposals that are empirically innovative, that analyze original data, that explore the limitations of democracy’s efficacy, that contend with heterogeneous publics, or that employ innovative methodological approaches. We are especially interested in substantively cohesive panel proposals and roundtables.
Division Chair(s): Michael Wagner, University of Wisconsin – Madison
The Political Communication section invites papers, panels, and round table submissions for the 2020 APSA conference. Proposals that address the conference theme, “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization,” are particularly welcome. Political communication scholars can provide important insight into investigations related to the threats and stresses experienced by democracies worldwide, the importance of diversity as a strength of democratic performance, the limits to achieving equity and inclusivity in heterogeneous publics throughout the globe, and their implications for the resilience of democratic institutions. Proposals may engage with, but are not limited to, questions such as: How do the media and/or citizenry facilitate or deter the presence of democratic threats? What is the nature of illiberal tactics and practices in political communication, and how have recent changes in the political and media landscape empowered their rise? What role does political communication play in disseminating ideas about race, gender, nationality, and sexual orientation that may contribute to or mitigate against democratic threats? The year 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. Panels celebrating the amendment and exploring exclusionary aspects of the amendment are encouraged. Proposals that are theoretically developed and empirically detailed and rigorous will be given preference. Proposals should not exceed one page in length and should clearly state research questions, theoretical structure, methodological approach, and overall implications for the field of political communication.
Division Chair(s): Sara Hughes, University of Toronto
The Science, Technology, and Environmental Politics (STEP) section invites proposals for papers, panels, and roundtables that engage with this year’s conference theme focused on the contemporary challenges of and to democracy. Proposals may seek to examine how evolving democratic institutions, growing polarization, and diverse populations are shaping political and policy outcomes in the STEP domain. Conversely, proposals may identify examples of action within the STEP domain to counter polarization and embrace equity and inclusivity. We particularly encourage proposals that exhibit theoretical and methodological diversity and interdisciplinarity.
Division Chair(s): Terri Towner, Oakland University
What is the relationship between technology and democracy? The Information Technology & Politics section invites paper, panel, and roundtable proposals relating to research on political activity that includes digital media and information technology, broadly construed. We welcome proposals based on strong theoretical foundations and those that employ a variety of research methods. Multidisciplinary proposals are welcome. We especially encourage proposals connecting to the APSA 2020 conference theme of “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization,” which is powered by the overarching question of “How inclusive and representative of our country’s diversity are democracy’s institutions and practices?” Themerelated questions that can be addressed by authors in the ITP section include, but are not limited to, the following: How is technology aiding, disrupting, or weakening the legitimacy of democracies and other representative systems? How do citizens respond to democratic threats on digital media platforms? How do leaders employ digital media to undermine or bolster transparency, accountability, and trust in democracy? How can democracies combat misinformation, hate speech, terrorist appeals, and racial and sexual harassment on digital media? How can we ensure that technologies are designed and employed in ways that are compatible with democracy? What complications do newer technologies, such as facial recognition, artificial intelligence, and persuasive computing, add to democratic governance? How do participatory practices in digital spaces strengthen or weaken empowerment among marginalized citizens? How are citizens across the globe employing technology and digital media to gain or maintain civil rights and liberties? How do the dominant social media platforms and digital industry leaders contribute to or weaken democratic practices around the globe? These questions and debates should be thought of as a starting point rather than an exhaustive list of potential topics to be tackled by authors in the ITP section. The section encourages ambitious proposals that take on theoretically rich and underexplored questions using robust and appropriate research methods.
Division Chair(s): Robert Watkins, ColumbiaCollege Chicago
The Politics, Literature and Film section invites the submission of proposals for papers, panels, and roundtables that examine diverse media texts to illuminate political ideas and dynamics related to this year’s APSA theme “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization.” This theme encourages us to explore the destabilizing threats to equality, inclusion, and representation erupting from the persistent tensions between democracy and difference. How do literary and visual texts construct or respond to democratic threats? What role do films and/or literary texts play in the construction and contestation of democratic processes of inclusion and exclusion?
Do literary or filmic texts give us insight into the ways individuals perceive threats to their position within a democracy and how they respond politically? What role do media and literary texts as well as organizations play in representing, negotiating, or contesting the tensions between capitalism and democratic institutions? How might struggles for increased representation on the production side of media and popular culture relate to struggles for inclusivity and representation in democratic institutions and practices? We wish to particularly encourage the submission of papers and panels that address democratic threats across a diversity of contexts and forms— from the US to Poland to Hong Kong, and from film and video to literature and poetry. Please consider submitting proposals to a second APSA section to allow us the possibility of co-sponsoring sessions.
Division Chair(s): Jennifer Lawrence
We are delighted to announce the call for papers for the 116th Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, to be held in San Francisco, CA from September 10 – 13, 2020. The Caucus for a New Political Science invites you to submit composed panels and papers exploring how the conference theme “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization” intersects with our mission to make the study of politics relevant to the struggle for a better world. We are particularly interested in work that examines the underlying conditions that enable antidemocratic governance and which considers the role that progressive politics might play in addressing destabilized world systems. Should we assume that destabilization is a necessary prerequisite to liberatory futures that embrace an authentic ethic of justice, inclusion, and sustainability? Or, should we hold out hope for the promises of democratic institutions even in the midst of crises of accountability and representation? What possibilities remain within democratic theory to bridge divided polities? We also welcome proposals that highlight the strategies and outcomes of vibrant social movements which democratically amplify the voice of citizens around the world in their demands for rights, representation, and responsive governance. The Caucus for a New Political Science is interested in supporting student work and featuring junior scholars’ research. While Caucus for a New Political Science welcome proposals that engage the themes and issues described above, any submission that engages with understanding how the study of politics is relevant to the struggle for a better world will be considered. To apply please review the full submission guidelines as outlined by APSA and make sure to select Section 27. All submissions must be received electronically by Tuesday, January 15, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time. Questions about the program can be directed to Jennifer L. Lawrence at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Division Chair(s): Jonathan Agensky, Ohio University
The International History and Politics section invites paper and panel proposals that engage problems in world politics using the methodological and analytical tools supplied by historically oriented scholarship. We are particularly interested in proposals that theorize how temporal processes and sequences explain important contemporary puzzles in the study of world politics. We also welcome proposals that make use of fine-grained evidence, gleaned from archival materials and close reading of historiographies in the issue area(s) under study, to provide descriptive and/or causal analysis. In keeping with the APSA 2020 program theme, “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization”, we encourage proposals that adopt an historical perspective to understanding issues such as: the deep roots of authoritarian-populism and rising threats to democratic institutions worldwide, enduring patterns of polarization and their underlying economic, social, and cultural drivers (especially with respect to race, gender, religion, and class), political upheavals amid rising refugee and immigration crises, and sources of citizen mobilization, solidarity, and resistance in pursuit of inclusive politics, human rights, and environmental justice. We also invite innovative, historically-informed assessments of democracy, difference, and destabilization as well as modes of thinking about and analyzing them (and their opposites) differently.
Division Chair(s): Bryn Rosenfeld, Cornell University
The Democracy & Autocracy (formerly Comparative Democratization) section seeks papers, panels, and other formats that address fundamental questions regarding the study of democratization, de-democratization, democracy and autocracy in the modern world. These questions include, but are not limited to, those pertaining to theoretical discussions of democratization and democracy; the role of institutions, the state, and non-state actors in transitions to and from democracy; authoritarian politics, institutions, and durability; and broader themes pertinent to political change. In light of the APSA 2020 theme on Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization, we especially welcome papers and panels that address how citizens react to democratic threats, who within democracies endorses illiberal tactics and practices, who staffs the barricades against democratic threats, and when do democratic nations turn away from core principles? The section welcomes work defined by either its theoretical insights (e.g., new definitions of key ideas, formal-theoretical work, theories on regime change) or methodological innovations (e.g., in measurement, estimation) and research on any region or country, including the US. The section especially encourages organized panel submissions that include scholars of diverse backgrounds, ranks, academic institutions, and whose work focuses on different world regions.
Division Chair(s): Brian Greenhill, University of Albany
We welcome proposals for research on issues concerning human rights that come from a diverse range of theoretical perspectives and methodological orientations. In keeping with the 2020 Annual Meeting theme of “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization,” we especially invite proposals that apply a human rights perspective to understanding the threats posed by the erosion of democratic principles in the United States and elsewhere. Examples include the the causes and consequences of democratic backsliding, the ability (or inability) of the global human rights regime to protect the rights of marginalized groups, and the future of international institutions such as the International Criminal Court in a world in which many states are becoming more inward-looking. The proposals might also want to consider possible ways in which the human rights regime (and human rights ideas more generally) can actually help to reinvigorate democracy, or at least mitigate some of the dangers posed by the erosion of democratic institutions. The field of Human Rights, and the Human Rights section of the APSA, is interdisciplinary. We welcome panels and papers that draw on theory, law, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and American Politics. To enhance the presence of human rights research on the program, we encourage constituted panels with diverse topics and composition, as well as proposals amenable to co-sponsorship with other sections. If you believe that your panel could be co-sponsored with another section, please indicate this clearly in your proposal.
Division Chair(s): Sara Niedzwiecki, University of California, Santa Cruz Qualitative and Multi-Method Research (Section 37)
The Organized Section on Qualitative and Multi-Method Research invites panels, papers, and roundtable submissions on qualitative and mixed methods approaches broadly defined. This call includes conventional methodological topics, as well as associated issues regarding epistemology, ontology, and the philosophy of science. Topics of interest include conceptualization, measurement, causal mechanisms, process tracing, case selection, counterfactuals, comparative historical analysis, comparative area studies, set theoretic approaches and qualitative comparative analysis, archival research, field research and interviews, focus groups, content analysis, data transparency and replication, interpretivism, discourse analysis, and ethnography. The section also welcomes panels, papers, and roundtables that explore the characteristics, strengths, and limitations of multi-method research designs. Submissions may be methodological or substantive; substantive papers should emphasize how they innovatively harness qualitative or mixed methods. In addition, papers that engage the 2020 conference theme, “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization,” are particularly welcome.
Division Chair(s): Sarah Gollust, University of Minnesota
The theme of the 2020 American Political Science Association Annual Meeting is “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization”. Shortly before the 2020 conference will be the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the United States 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote, while excluding women of color. The conference theme allows health politics scholars to address issues of democratic representation, exclusion, and destabilization from domestic and comparative perspectives as well as contemporary and historical. The theme also invites inquiry into how threats to democracy–including intentional infringement on the rights of marginalized groups–affect population health and health inequity. Papers and panels might explore, but are not limited to, the following:
- public attitudes and/or participation among those who have previously or continue to be disenfranchised in discussions around health politics and health policy, including immigrants
- how the framing of different issues serves to disenfranchise or stigmatize some groups
- different arenas for the expression of democratic health politics, from social movements and electoral politics and other forms of participation
- the influence of voter suppression and redistricting on US health reform and health politics more generally
- how destabilization of democracies impacts or changes perceptions of public health and health care services
- the connection between democracy and universal healthcare systems in the US and other countries
- analysis of electoral politics and health policy agendas
- the connections between participatory inequality and health inequality
- the interaction or feedback effects from health policies such as universal health care that contribute to democratic stability or instability.
Papers and panels that interpret these themes are welcome as are those that present research centered around other timely health policy debates in the United States and globally. We encourage proposals engaging policy-relevant questions in public health, population health, and health care. We are also happy to consider other formats such as roundtables, author-meetscritics sessions, or policy briefings. The Health Politics and Policy section encourages diversity in theoretical approaches, research methods, and population of focus in all submissions. Panel and paper proposals from new and emerging scholars are especially welcome.
Division Chair(s): Jim Farney, University of Regina
The Canadian Politics section invites paper, panel, and roundtable submissions on all aspects of Canadian politics. We encourage proposals that examine politics in Canada either as stand-alone cases or in comparative or historical perspective.
Following the 2020 APSA theme statement, which asks for consideration of “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization”, we are particularly interested in papers examining how Canada has responded to pressures arising from different types of diversity, why some types of diversity have been easier to accommodate than others, and whether Canada risks the sorts of destabilization we have witnessed in other established democracies. Canada’s multiculturalism, federal structure, and diverse society often have it presented as a case of successful accommodation of diversity. But the success of that accommodation is increasingly questioned from a number of different perspectives: the more widespread recognition of the colonialism that frames relation between Indigenous peoples and the Canadian state; increasing economic inequality; ongoing questions about gender equality; and the emergence of serious debate over immigration, multiculturalism, and secularism over the last decade. These practical issues have triggered a wide range of mass and elite responses seeking both retrenchment and reform. We encourage scholars to take a wide view in approaching these themes.
To enhance the presence of Canadian politics research on the program, we encourage constituted panels with diverse topics and composition, as well as proposals amenable to co-sponsorship with other sections — which should be indicated in the proposal.
Division Chair(s): Jennifer Hadden, University of Maryland, College Park
Political actors rarely legislate, govern, or participate independently. Instead, politicians lobby each other to support policies, leaders forge international agreements in coordination with allies, and potential protesters consult their compatriots before deciding whether to march. The political networks section invites proposals that entail research in any substantive domain of political science that explicitly accounts for such interdependence. Specifically, we invite original research that addresses the relationships among a set of units, be they politicians, countries, voters, organizations, political texts, or otherwise. We recognize the importance of a diversity of approaches to research and welcome papers making empirical, theoretical, or purely methodological contributions. We encourage single-paper proposals as well as organized proposals for thematic panels, short courses, workshops, and non-traditional formats.
Division Chair(s): Amanda Robinson, The Ohio State University and Ryan Enos, Harvard University
The Experimental Research section invites proposals addressing the use of experimental methods from all subfields of political science. We welcome theoretical, methodological, or empirical submissions. This year’s conference theme—“Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization”—offers scholars an opportunity to present experimental research related to the health of democratic institutions, representation and political participation, political engagement in non-democratic and hybrid regimes, democratic erosion, and the political implications of racial, ethnic, and gender diversity. We welcome research on these topics and others. We strongly encourage the submission of well-organized panel proposals. In particular, we are interested in panels that: consider a particular substantive area from different regional perspectives; integrate different experimental approaches (survey, field, laboratory) in examining one issue area; contribute to the debate on the ethics of experimental research; advance the measurement of politically relevant outcomes; address scholar-policymaker partnerships; seek to replicate past experimental research; or present research designs rather than completed work. We are particularly interested in receiving panel proposals that include scholars from different subfields of political science and/or who are at different career levels. Scholars are also free to submit individual paper proposals, and other formats (e.g., roundtable, semi-structured debates, short courses).
Division Chair(s): Anna Boucher, The University of Sydney and Michael Paarlberg
Democracy, difference and destabilization are at the core of the concerns of migration and citizenship researchers. Key themes that are relevant in the current political context include detention and enforcement, especially that of vulnerable populations such as children. This conference’s focus on illiberal tendencies within governments speaks directly to ways in which variation of visa status or citizenship shapes – or diminishes – rights within host societies.
The dynamics of the migration process present fresh challenges for research pertaining to relations between states and among migrants, governments, and non-state actors. With enduring flows from Latin America and other crisis zones, the issue of burden sharing of responsibilities for asylum seekers and its effects on international relations is crucial. Some may be working on fresh insights into the question of the forces of destabilization that create the drivers of migration, including insecurity, corruption and social unrest. In turn, researchers may present papers on the criminalization, stigmatization and exploitation of migrants once they arrive in host societies, or in transit locations. The rise of extreme right wing and populist parties globally and their effects on resident migrant populations are part of this dimension. This is true not only in institutionalized democracies, but also previously or current autocratic regimes.
Aside from these empirical concerns, political theorists working in this space may present fresh research on who comprises “the people” in a democratic system, how difference, in part motivated by migration status, is navigated theoretically and the potential as well as challenges this presents. Furthermore, the emergence of climate-driven migration in a time of rapid and severe environmental changes creates fresh theoretical challenges for understanding of belonging.
We welcome individual paper proposals as well as well-organized panel proposals with a view toward broad inclusion of participants at different career rank and with gender and ethnic diversity. We also welcome interdisciplinary research in the migration and citizenship fields.
Division Chair(s): Christopher Day, College of Charleston and Michael Woldemariam, Boston University
The African Politics Conference Group (APCG) invites paper, panel, and roundtable proposals in the field of African politics. We encourage proposals on a broad range of topics and issue areas, and are keen to facilitate a program that reflects the methodological diversity of the field. In keeping with the American Political Science Association’s 2020 theme statement, “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization,” we are particularly interested in proposals that
explore the challenges of democratic governance in Africa, and the new social and political forces that are shaping the continent’s democratic development. These forces include, but are not limited to, rapid economic growth, rising socio-economic inequality, technological change, the global populist surge, increasing geopolitical competition, demographic and environmental shifts, an evolving African multilateralism, and the changing political contours of gender and sexuality. Our aim is to foster a conversation that not only takes stock of Africa’s post-Cold war democratic experiments, but looks to the horizon, and examines the democratic possibilities for a continent in the midst of major social, economic, and political change. We are committed to inclusivity, and welcome submissions from groups underrepresented in political science, including African scholars and other scholars of color.
Division Chair(s): Jeffrey Friedman, University of California, Berkeley
The aim of the Ideas, Knowledge, and Politics (IKP) division is to promote research and dialogue on the nature and significance of ideas, beliefs, and knowledge in political action. Thus, we welcome submissions from any subdiscipline that seek to investigate the sources and accuracy/inaccuracy of political actors’ beliefs, the motivational significance of political beliefs for political action, or the empirical conditions that may lead political actors to update these beliefs (accurately or inaccurately). Alternatively, submissions might critically investigate the epistemological problems faced by empirical and normative researchers when exploring, describing, and evaluating political actors’ beliefs. For 2020, in line with the program’s theme, we particularly encourage submissions on the sources of ideational disagreements and polarization among political actors. One of the IKP’s key objectives is to promote interdisciplinary cross-fertilization, so panel and roundtable proposals that include both normative theorists and empirical researchers will be especially welcome.
Division Chair(s): Nick Carnes, Duke University
The Section on Class and Inequality supports scholars of politics who study the political causes and consequences of economic inequality, social class stratification, and mobility and opportunity. Founded in 2014 in response to concerns about democratic stability in the context of rising inequality around the world, the Section welcomes papers from every disciplinary and methodological perspective that deal with these important and timely issues.
Division Chair(s): Clement Fatovic, Florida International University and Ken Kersch, Boston College
The American Political Thought division invites individual paper and complete panel proposals from diverse political, disciplinary, and methodological approaches that explore the conference theme of “Democracy, Difference, and Destabilization” as it relates to any period of American history, up to and including the present. Observers from across the political and ideological spectrum have argued that liberal democratic norms and institutions are currently in a period of crisis. In the United States, as elsewhere, what many assumed to be a common project arising out of shared assumptions and aspirations has been riven by deep divisions over questions concerning national and ascriptive identity, civic inclusion and exclusion, economic and political inequality, the foundations and functions of government, the role of faith and morality in public life, and even the possibility of distinguishing truth from falsehood. Proposals that consider the extent to which different thinkers and traditions over the course of American history have diagnosed, contributed to, sought to overcome, or provided resources for addressing such fissures are especially welcome. All complete panel proposals will be given serious consideration, but the strongest consideration will be given to panel proposals that exhibit a high degree of intellectual coherence and feature participants from a diverse range of career stages, institutions, backgrounds, and intellectual approaches and perspectives. The chairs reserve the right to add new members to any preconstituted panel.
Division Chair(s): Lindsay Benstead, Portland State University and Bassel Salloukh, Lebanese American University
Democracy, Difference and Destabilization Identity politics–and issues of equality–are as salient in the MENA region as they are elsewhere around the globe. Sectarianism, ethnic politics, and gender inequality all figure prominently in the region’s domestic politics, even as they reverberate across the MENA region and profoundly shape international politics. As regimes re-consolidate after the Arab uprisings, new questions are emerging about institutions, power, and stability. And as renewed struggles for equality based on citizenship, nationality, religion, sect, class, gender, and sexuality continue to shape the region’s politics and development, MENA-region scholars are finding new avenues to engage with larger questions and debates in political science. To contribute to dialogues on the 2020 meeting’s central theme of ‘Democracy, Difference and Destabilization,’ the Middle East and North Africa section welcomes panels and papers that engage with issues of democracy (and authoritarianism), identity, and de(stabilization) in the MENA region broadly defined. The section welcomes proposals from a variety of methodological and disciplinary perspectives as well as panels that explore comparisons between the MENA and other regions.