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Plenary Panels & Speakers

We acknowledge that our meeting location is on the unceded Indigenous lands of the Kanien’kehá:ka/Mohawk Nation, which is known as a gathering place for many First Nations, and we recognize them as custodians of the lands and waters on which we gather.

Is Canadian Democracy Under Threat?

Thursday, September 15th, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (EST)

Session Description: On one hand, the question of whether Canadian democracy is under threat is, in comparative terms, largely settled. Canada is considered a full and robust democracy by any measure, with resilient democratic institutions, a pluralistic political culture, a vibrant civil society, and constitutionalized protections for minority rights. On the other hand, numerous social, political, and economic forces, both new and old, can have a potentially corrosive effect on even the most stable of democratic societies. In Canada, longstanding issues, such as evolving intergovernmental relations, increasingly contentious dynamics of federalism, the divisiveness of Quebec nationalism, stalled reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, persistent and growing wealth inequality, the urban/rural divide, gaping holes in the social safety net, the housing crisis in urban centers, the looming climate disaster, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, unresponsive democratic institutions, the civic literacy deficit, declining trust in the media, and the centralization of power in the office of the Prime Minster, remain unresolved. Moreover, recent social movements that seek to challenge the very meaning and motives of Canadian democratic rule, including Idle No More, Black Lives Matter, Land Defenders, and the so-called Freedom Convoy, have suggested that formal venues of political power are inaccessible for large portions of the population. Can Canadian democracy respond to the old, new, and recalcitrant forces of the 21st century? If so, how? If not, at what cost?

Participants  |  Learn more about the speakers »

  • Jonathan Montpetit, CBC Montréal (Chair) 


  • Yann Allard-Tremblay, McGill University
  • Antje Ellermann, University of British Columbia
  • Sheryl R. Lightfoot, University of British Columbia
  • Debra Thompson, McGill University
  • Daniel Beland, McGill University
Jonathan Montpetit

Jonathan Montpetit,
CBC Montréal (Chair) 

Yann Allard-Tremblay

Yann Allard-Tremblay,
McGill University

Daniel Beland
McGill University

Antje Ellermann,
University of British Columbia

Sheryl R. Lightfoot,
University of British Columbia

Debra Thompson,
McGill University

Voices of the Right: Political Conservatism in Academia

Friday, September 16th, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (EST)

Session Description: This panel discusses the role of political conservatives in academia and in political science in the current era of severe polarization and controversies over academic freedom. It will take an honest look at the current state of conservative intellectual life in America, while also considering how and when understanding conservative perspectives, and inclusion of conservative scholarly voices, can enhance scholarship, teaching, and academic debates in our discipline.

Participants  |  Learn more about the speakers »

  • Rogers M. Smith, University of Pennsylvania (Chair) 


  • Jon A. Shields, Claremont McKenna College
  • James R. Stoner, Louisiana State University
  • Matthew Woessner, United States Army War College
  • Laura K. Field, American University
  • Ronnee Schreiber, San Diego State University

Rogers M. Smith,
University of Pennsylvania (Chair) 

Laura K. Field,
American University

Ronnee Schreiber,
San Diego State University

Jon A. Shields,
Claremont McKenna College

James R. Stoner,
Louisiana State University

Matthew Woessner,
United States Army War College

Breaking News: The Russian Invasion of Ukraine and its Consequences

Friday, September 16th, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (EST)

Session Description: The invasion by Russia of Ukraine violates international sovereignty as understood since the end of World War II, and the behavior of Russian soldiers raises issues of war crimes. This panel examines a series of seminal questions surrounding these events. What are the causes behind the Russian invasion of Ukraine? What is the impact of the war on Ukrainian society? Did NATO, EU, and the United States respond effectively and timely? How does Ukrainian society, especially women, resist Russia’s aggression? What are the consequences of the attack and sanctions on Russia? Has digital information and media changed the effects of war on the international system? Finally, what does this tragedy mean for the legal basis of the post-World War II system?

Participants  |  Learn more about the speakers »

  • John Ishiyama, University of North Texas


  • John J. Mearsheimer, University of Chicago
  • Kathryn E. Stoner, Stanford University
  • Dominique Arel, University of Ottawa
  • Oxana Shevel, Tufts University
  • Olena Nikolayenko, Fordham University

John Ishiyama,
University of North Texas

Dominique Arel,
University of Ottawa

John J. Mearsheimer,
University of Chicago

Olena Nikolayenko,
Fordham University

Oxana Shevel,
Tufts University

Kathyrn E. Stoner,
Stanford University

Race, Identity, and the Determinants of Asian American Political Behavior

Saturday, September 17, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

  • (Chair) Pei-te Lien, University of California Santa Barbara
  • (Discussant) Tyler Thomas Reny, Claremont Graduate University
  • Tanika Raychaudhuri, University of Houston
  • Jennifer Wu
  • Jae Yeon Kim, KDI School of Public Policy and Management
  • Joan E. Cho, Wesleyan University
  • D.G. Kim, University of California, San Diego
  • Nathan Kar Ming Chan, University of California, Irvine
  • Vivien Leung, Bucknell University


Session Description: Asian Americans, the fastest-growing racial group in the US, are exerting a growing influence on American politics, urging scholars to examine their political behavior. In addition, the dramatic rise in anti-Asian hate amidst the COVID-19 pandemic calls for renewed attention to deep-seated anti-Asian racism and its long-term political consequences. This panel brings together scholars whose works explore the factors that shape Asian American political behavior, ethno-racial identities, and the political implications of growing anti-Asian sentiment in the United States. In her paper, Tanika Raychaudhuri analyzes the process of political learning among Asian Americans, experimentally testing whether Asian Americans develop partisan views through political endorsements from peer networks. Jennifer Wu empirically assesses the implications of local demographics for pan-Asian racial identity and the downstream consequences of racial identification for political behavior. In their co-authored paper, Jae Yeon Kim, Joan Cho, and D.G. Kim explore the political underpinnings of pan-Asian racial identity, testing whether Asian Americans’ views toward home country politics and shared marginalized status influence feelings of group consciousness. Finally, Nathan Kar Ming Chan and Vivien Leung explore the political consequences of growing anti-Asian sentiments amid the COVID-19 pandemic, assessing the role of the racial attitudes in shaping Americans’ vote choices between 2008 and 2020. These papers draw on a varied range of theoretical perspectives, empirical data, and methods to explore questions at the intersection of racial identification, anti-Asian sentiment, and Asian American political behavior. Taken together, this research has important implications for understanding contemporary American politics.

A Profession in Flux: Political Science Responds to a Changing World

Friday, September 16th, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

  • (Chair) Tony Affigne, Providence College
  • (Presenter) Paula D. McClain, Duke University
  • (Presenter) Dianne M. Pinderhughes, University of Notre Dame
  • (Presenter) Janelle Wong, University of Maryland
  • (Presenter) Lisa Garcia Bedolla, University of California, Berkeley;
  • (Presenter) Michael A. Brintnall, Montgomery College;
  • (Presenter) Andy L. Aoki, Augsburg University

Session Description: In 2011, the APSA presidential task force on “Political Science in the 21st Century” (Dianne Pinderhughes, Convener) asked whether our discipline could effectively address the “changing demographics, increasing multicultural diversity, and ever-growing disparities in the concentration of wealth present in many nation states,” and whether the research, teaching, and professional development norms of the profession were adequate to this task.

Ten years later, APSA’s 2021 task force on “Systematic Inequalities in the Discipline” (Paula McClain, Convener) took a closer look at those norms and practices, asking whether the profession itself might be afflicted by systemic inequality shaping “the career trajectories and experiences…of scholars pushed to the margins of the discipline”—especially racial and ethnic minority scholars, women of all races and ethnicities, and LGBTQ+ scholars. In other words, is the profession systematically under-valuing many of the very scholars who are best positioned to extend the discipline’s relevance, in the face of the world’s ongoing social, cultural, and political transformations?

Informed by the work of these task forces, this roundtable entitled “A Profession in Flux: Political Science Responds to a Changing World” features experienced scholars, including members from both task forces, to explore the institutional sociology—past, present, and future—of the political science profession. The roundtable will address how the discipline has been transformed (or not), in response to the rapidly evolving academic and professional environments, demographics, and methodological profiles of our scholarly community, and what more must be done.

Racism in Political Science: Reimagining the Discipline

Thursday, September 15th, 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

  • (Chair) Lester Kenyatta Spence, Johns Hopkins University
  • (Presenter) Robbie Shilliam, Johns Hopkins University
  • (Presenter) Desmond King, University of Oxford
  • (Presenter) Jeanne Morefield, University of Oxford
  • (Presenter) Chloe Thurston, Northwestern University
  • (Presenter) Terri E. Givens, McGill University
  • (Presenter) Joseph E. Lowndes, University of Oregon
  • (Presenter) Debra Thompson, McGill University
  • (Presenter) Jessica Blatt, Marymount Manhattan College

Session Description: Over the past decade, multiple crises have called into question the democratic stability of the United States. White nationalists have joined a right-wing populist resurgence seeking to roll back the institutional foundations of multiracial democracy as the United States becomes ever more racially and ethnically diverse. The increasing visibility of anti-black police violence and racist violence more generally in 2020, gave rise to the largest anti-racist demonstrations and mass protests in a generation. The COVID-19 pandemic and climate change have intensified these racial fault lines and further fractured the demos.

Political Science – the discipline best suited to analyzing and problem solving these phenomena – possesses no clear and convincing analytical tools with which to respond effectively to these events. Some suggest Political Science is unfit for this purpose because of the discipline’s problematic racial history. At the time of its founding in the late 19th century, Political Science provided a eugenicist justification for the very hierarchies and segregations that are now under scrutiny. After World War II, political scientists rejected eugenics and instead focused on defending democracy against totalitarianism. In doing so, they relegated racism to an ideological/irrational phenomena and thus extraneous to the core concern of the discipline – the exercise of power.

Understanding our current crises explicitly as crises of political power exercised through racism requires nothing less than a paradigm shift. Every indicator we have suggests we are at the beginning of a new epoch. This new epoch requires new citizens, and if not new disciplines, renewed disciplines.

Disability in Political Science: Current Scholarship and Future Directions

Saturday, September 17th, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT (Virtual)

  • (Chair) Ann Kathleen Heffernan, University of Michigan
  • (Presenter) Nancy J. Hirschmann, The University of Pennsylvania
  • (Presenter) Barbara Arneil, University of British Columbia
  • (Presenter) Stefanie Reher, University of Strathclyde
  • (Presenter) Monica C. Schneider, Miami University
  • (Presenter) April A. Johnson, Kennesaw State University
  • (Presenter) Lisa Schur, Rutgers University-New Brunswick
  • (Presenter) Jennifer Leonor Erkulwater, University of Richmond
  • (Presenter) Andrew Jenks, University of Delaware

Session Description: Despite early contributions of scholars like Jacobus tenBroek, Harlan Hahn, and Deborah Stone, disability has received relatively little attention within political science. Indeed, according to Barbara Arneil and Nancy Hirschmann, “political science has actually fallen behind other disciplines in analyzing disability in our society” (2016, 1). At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light troubling assumptions about whose lives are worth protecting, while the high incidence of long-term sequelae of infection (so-called “long COVID”) presents the prospect of a significant increase in the number of people living with disabling conditions.

This cross-subfield roundtable brings together early-career and established scholars who center disability as an object of disciplinary inquiry. Together, we will consider the following questions: How might a more sustained consideration of disability contribute to, challenge, or transform existing approaches to the study of representation, participation, belonging, inequality, exclusion (among others)? Are there barriers to a more sustained focus on disability as an object of study, and if so, how might they be remedied? What does the study of disability contribute to our understanding of, and response to, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic? And finally, how might we incorporate the study of disability into undergraduate and graduate curricula?