PAST NZPSA CONFERENCES
November 28 - 30
Hosted by the University of Waikato, the theme of this year's NZPSA Annual conference was Divergent Democracies: Politics in the 21st Century. Presenters were encouraged to reflect on the increasingly divergent practices and performances of democracy at local, national and international levels, and their implications for the quality and depth of democratic engagement. Papers examined both the theory and practical conduct of democracy within the context of the rapidly changing circumstances of our age, including sustainability challenges and climate change, growing inequality, new forms of intra- and international conflict and consequent refugee crises, and increasingly entrenched religious fundamentalisms within states. Divergences in democratic experience were explored as related to indigenous peoples, and feminist and post-colonial political struggles with an engaging keynote from Margaret Mutu on "New Possibilities for our Democratic Future: Matike Mai Aotearoa and its Proposal for Constitutional Transformation" which set the tone for the discussions over the following days.
The 2016 conference program can be downloaded here.
30 November-2 December
Hosted by Massey University, the theme of the 2015 NZPSA Annual Conference was ‘Disrupting the Discipline’ - concerned with current challenges to Political Studies from within and without. Many recent developments in the discipline have troubled long-established epistemological, normative, or methodological terms: growing attention to non-Western and Indigenous theory; interpretive, affective, aesthetic, and post-secular turns; the current ‘end of theory?’ debate in IR; and interdisciplinary scholarship that blurs lines and builds bridges to science, art, and practical sectors. These highly productive disruptions challenge, refine, and expand what counts as politics and Political Studies, and in doing so highlight that Politics, as a site of ongoing critique, is a ‘discipline of disruption’.
And yet, the nature of Political Studies as a discipline of disruption has been increasingly challenged by neoliberal logics, values and policies, which run up against and undermine the role of the university as both public sphere and ‘critic and conscience.’ The 2015 conference provided a platform to explore both the discipline’s most productive disruptions to date, and the impact of corporatisation on the discipline. The conference was organised by Dr Emily Beausoleil, Dr Beth Greener, Dr Nigel Parsons, Dr Richard Shaw, Laura Pascall, and Veronica MH. Tawhai.
The 2015 programme, complete with abstracts, can be downloaded here.
Hosted by Politics and International Relations at the University of Auckland, the 2014 NZPSA conference was organised around the theme “Conflict and Discord: Politics in a Time of Crisis” and featured a keynote address from Professor David Schlosberg entitled “Environmental Politics in a Time of Crisis: Climate Change and Insecurity” and a special screening of Professor James Der Derian’s new film Project Z. The conference was organised by Dr Julie MacArthur and Dr Thomas Gregory.
The conference attracted more than 250 abstracts from approximately 25 countries, covering everything from international relations to the history of political ideas, climate change to indigenous studies, Aotearoa New Zealand politics to race, gender and sexuality. There were special sessions on Aotearoa New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, the work of Francis G. Castles, Teaching Feminism and the recent General Election. The postgraduate community also enjoyed a packed program of specialist workshops, covering everything from publication strategies to utilising social media.
The 2014 programme, complete with abstracts, can be downloaded here.
Hosted by the Political Science Department at the University of Canterbury, the 2013 NZPSA conference was held in Christchurch on 2 and 3 December. The conference theme was ‘Political Change and Renewal’ and topics covered included conflict, peacebuilding, sustainability, democratisation, international regimes and political philosophy.
The Canterbury rebuild was high on the agenda for discussion as well as the recent local government elections. The keynote speakers were Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel and Professor Hugh White from the Australian National University. The NZPSA Postgraduate Workshop was held on 4 Dec and included a field trip to the Christchurch CBD.
Hosted jointly by the Political Science and International Relations Programme at Victoria University of Wellington and the Politics Programme at Massey University, the 2012 annual NZPSA Conference took place from Monday 26 November to Wednesday 28 November 2012 with a welcome reception on the evening of 26 November. A Postgraduate Pre-Conference Event and the “Women’s Advancement in New Zealand Political Studies” Workshop were also held on Monday 26 November.
The conference was coordinated by Dr Xavier Marquez and Associate Professor Richard Shaw. Highlights included dinner in the Banquet Hall at the Beehive co-hosted by Jacinda Ardern MP and the Hon Simon Bridges; the Prime Minister John Key formally opening the conference; a book launch for Kicking the Tyres: The New Zealand General Election and Electoral Referendum of 2011; the Rt Hon Margaret Wilson, DCNZM as the main speaker in the plenary session on "Where are the Women in Public Life?"; and the closing of proceedings with an address by the Hon Tim Groser, Minister of Trade, on the Trans-Tasman relationship.
The 2012 programme can be downloaded here.
The 2011 NZPSA conference was held in Dunedin and was hosted by the Politics Department at the University of Otago on 1-2 December, 2011 with the Welcome Reception on Wednesday 30 November 5-7pm. The conference ran four main streams: Aotearoa New Zealand Politics, Political Theory, International Relations and Comparative Politics, and the coordinators were Dr Vicki A. Spencer and Chris Rudd. The inaugural NZPSA Postgraduate Pre-Conference Event was also held on Wednesday 30 November and was coordinated by Ashley Murchison and Anthony Deos.
The annual conference of the New Zealand Political Studies Association / Te Kāhui Tātai Tōrangapū o Aotearoa was hosted by the Political Science and Public Policy Programmes at the University of Waikato on the 2nd and 3rd of December. Topics covered addressed themes of Aotearoa/New Zealand government and politics, political philosophy, public policy, political marketing, international relations, and comparative politics.
The 2010 programme and abstracts can be downloaded here.