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  • 01 Mar 2022 11:19 AM | Will Dreyer (Administrator)

    At its recent Annual General Meeting, the New Zealand Political Studies Association discussed the increasing incidence of harassment and intimidation academics are facing from outside of the university, especially in response to activities associated with commenting publicly in the media. The experiences of members included being sent abusive emails, phone calls or messages, and having personal information posted online.

    The New Zealand Political Studies Association stands by its members who comment publicly in the media expressing their statutory role as ‘critic and conscience of society’ as established in Section 162 of the Education Act. We note that university staff and students are held accountable to high ethical and academic standards, and call on universities to support academics exercising this ‘critic and conscience' role.

  • 18 Feb 2022 11:36 AM | Will Dreyer (Administrator)
    Kia ora koutou,

    NZPSA is looking for a new editor for Women Talking Politics (WTP) for the 2022 issue. The editor(s) are responsible for producing the yearly issue of WTP, a mini-journal that showcases work from women in political studies around Aotearoa. More information can be found here (although we'd suggest looking at the 2019 issue as the 2020-2021 issue was longer than usual).

    This process involves sending some calls for papers out around NZPSA, sending articles out for peer-review, editing work contributed to the other sections, corresponding with authors, and formatting the final document. Heather Devere, one of the original creators of the Women Talking Politics magazine in the 1990s, has kindly volunteered to assist the new editor/editors this year if they would like her help.

    Please email admin@nzpsa.co.nz if you have any questions or are interested in being editor this year.

    Ngā mihi,

    Lara Greaves and Jennifer Curtin

    The 2020-2021 Women Talking Politics editors
  • 17 Feb 2022 11:10 AM | Will Dreyer (Administrator)
    2020-2021 Bumper Issue of Women Talking Politics

    Co-Editors: Dr Lara Greaves and Professor Jennifer Curtin

    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou katoa.

    A lot has happened since we signed on to be editors of the 2020 issue of Women Talking Politics. 2020 was a challenging year for us, and likely for the majority of women working in the political studies space. Many balanced work and whānau commitments alongside the pandemic and its associated challenges.

    You may have noticed that this edition covers both 2020-2021. This decision was made for numerous reasons, not least because of the added pressures on women academics over this time period. Thus, some of the pieces included here were submitted during 2020: the order of each section of the issue begins with those submitted earlier and ends with those submitted later. Some of the authors opted to update their work for late 2021, whereas others did not - leaving the work as a time capsule of sorts.

    Our peer-reviewed section contains seven articles authored by early, mid-career, and senior women scholars from around Aotearoa New Zealand. Several speak to themes of crisis, change and leadership in what has become a challenging international context, for international relations, and in terms of the pandemic. Others address questions of what is required to advance diverse and effective representation for Māori and migrant women, descriptively, substantively, and symbolically.

    Manqing Cheng discusses the ways in which COVID-19 has increased the potential for backsliding on globalisation and multilateralism; through increased protectionism, rising populism, and a potential for focusing increasingly on traditional economic issues pushing aside pressing non-traditional security issues. Mengdi Zhang’s paper also examines an element of international relations, specifically political implications, and diplomatic dimensions of China’s request for extradition of Kyung Yup Kim, a Korean-born New Zealand permanent resident. Regional politics is a feature of Gay Francisco’s analysis of the leadership and rhetoric of two starkly different leaders, Jacinda Ardern and President President Rodrigo Duterte, during their respective COVID-19 lockdown responses in 2020. Heather Devere also explores the power of language through her analysis of the concepts of kindness, compassion and peace, and the extent to which Ardern’s political rhetoric can connect these concepts in a meaningful way.

    Two essays discuss findings from their respective pilot projects on the experiences of migrant and ethnic women in politics and during the pandemic. Rachel Simon-Kumar and Priya Kurian examine the continuing barriers to participating in the formal political arena, and the challenges associated with an adversarial Westminster system where ethnic women politicians often experience their roles as marginalised among minorities. The essay reports on a series of discussions with ethnic women candidates whose personalised experiences of this marginalisation highlight how much more work is required for our polity to be wholly inclusive. Meanwhile Barbara Bedeschi-Lewando, Gauri Nandedkar, Sylvia Lima, Shirin Brown, Ema Tagicakibau, Ann Afadama and Randolph Hollingsworth describe early findings of their research into the socio-economic and political implications of COVID-19 on migrant and ethnic women in Aotearoa. The voices of the women reported in this essay reveal both hardship and strength in response to the range of challenges that resulted from the pandemic and the associated lockdowns. Jemma Greenhill’s insightful contribution reminds us that ‘feminism’ as a concept and a practice is not interchangeable between culture, providing a timely analysis of the way that Mana Wahine can be an important tool in decolonising Western feminism while also revealing disparities between Māori and Pākehā. Finally, the issue contains Hanna Thompson’s essay on pay disparity for Māori nurses from a Mana Wahine lens. Thompson’s essay won the 2020 NZPSA undergraduate prize in Māori politics.

    The issue also contains a range of research briefs authored by women political studies scholars, emerging and established. Heather Tribe reflects on the changes to her PhD given travel restrictions, to instead focus on the gendered impacts of disasters in Aotearoa. Peyton Bond describes her PhD project on the workplace experiences of indoor sex workers in Aotearoa, discusses the coding and analysis process, and the challenges that sex workers face. Lydia Le Gros discusses her masters research on the language of New Zealand’s counterterrorism discourse. Danella Glass, a new PhD student at Otago, discusses her upcoming work on the continuing conflict between two rival transnational normative communities in the area of sexual and reproductive rights. Oluwakemi Igiebor discusses her recently completed PhD research on a feminist institutionalist approach to academic institutions in Nigeria. Nashie Shamoon provides an overview of her Masters work on the identity of young Assyrian New Zealanders and Australians, and their connections to historical struggle and persecution. Lastly, Rose Cole describes an overview and her approach to her thesis on the role of private secretaries in minister’s offices in New Zealand. We can be assured that despite the challenges of the pandemic, the future of women’s political studies’ contributions is very bright!

    Alongside this, a number of women political science academics authored and edited books during the pandemic, and progressed funded projects; a small fraction of whom discuss their work here. Lara Greaves, Janine Hayward, and Claire Timperley who describe the journey to publish Government and Politics in Aotearoa New Zealand while Maria Armoudian describes her book, Lawyers Beyond Borders, which explores the ways in which lawyers have advanced human rights abuse cases through international courts. Priya Kurian describes her two-year project with colleagues on the perspectives of Māori and non-Māori on gene-editing technologies, an increasingly important policy issue.

    Two emerging scholars discuss their innovative current research projects. We hear from recent MBIE Te Whitinga post-doctoral fellowship recipient Sylvia Frain, who describes her upcoming work with Fiona Amundsen on the legacies of nuclear imperialisms across Oceania. Mona Krewel describes the New Zealand Social Media study, which started across the 2020 General Election and provides a great base for ongoing work monitoring the social media communications of politicians and parties in Aotearoa.

    The issue also contains a stimulating and timely creative piece. Shirin Brown provides an excerpt from her script The Me Not Movement from the Short and Sweet Theatre Festival 2019. Brown’s spirited script touches on many pertinent themes for the current times including reproductive rights, the climate, and inequality.

    Finally, the issue contains two book reviews. A review from Esme Hall covers Coleman’s From Suffrage to a Seat in the House: A Path to Parliament for New Zealand Women (Otago University Press). Esme provides a detailed overview of the events, debates, and perspectives covered in the book, and some of its limitations. Lara Greaves provides a light-hearted review of Hill’s Taking the Lead: How Jacinda Wowed the World (Picture Puffin), a beautifully illustrated children’s book which covers Ardern’s life and early years as Prime Minister.

    The editors would like to acknowledge the generous support and help of the New Zealand Political Studies Association (NZPSA) Te Kāhui Tātai Tōrangapū o Aotearoa, including President Patrick Barrett, Executive Secretary Peter Skilling, and Treasurer Jack Vowles. We would like to thank the immediate past editor, Sarah Bickerton for her assistance, and our cover image. Our thanks also go to our research assistant Frank Gore for his help with proofreading and formatting, and to our colleagues who took the time to review the articles included here.

    Lastly, we would also like to thank the contributors for their excellent pieces and efforts in trying times. We are pleased to have brought together a collection of pieces that are diverse in career stage and areas of the discipline.

    Ngā mihi ki ngā kaituhi me kaipānui o Women Talking Politics,

    Dr Lara Greaves and Professor Jennifer Curtin University of Auckland, Waipapa Taumata Rau

  • 21 Oct 2021 11:30 AM | Deleted user

    Kia Ora NZPSA Members,

    After consultation with our School and Faculty and with the NZPSA Executive, we have made the difficult decision to postpone this year’s Annual Conference until 8-10 February 2022.

    Please know that we did not make this decision lightly. We were hugely excited about hosting the conference this year, especially after the disappointment of last year. The uncertainties associated with the current COVID community outbreak have led us, however, to accept that postponement is the best and safest option, for the following reasons:

    The reality is that the conference can only take place if the country is at COVID Alert Level 1 at the time. There is no guarantee that this will be the case. Even if the country is moved to Alert Level 1 before the conference, there remains a significant risk that things could change quickly, requiring a cancellation of the conference.

    If the conference cannot take place once we have had to pay deposits and invoices, this would leave our School and Faculty exposed to substantial financial costs. It is neither prudent nor fair to expect the School and Faculty to take on this risk.

    While we are very aware that many members are excited about this year’s conference, the current uncertainties will almost definitely have some impact on the number of people who are prepared to pay for registration, flights and accommodation. The likelihood of a smaller conference later this year would reduce the benefits of the conference. It also represents another (though smaller) financial risk.

    As a result of these considerations, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the conference until 8-10 February 2022. We hope that by this time there will be more certainty that large events can proceed with confidence.

    By setting this date now, we seek to provide members and potential delegates with as much certainty as possible in their planning. Papers that have been accepted for this year’s conference will be automatically carried over to the new conference date. We have asked the authors of accepted papers and panels to contact us if they are unable to attend the conference at its new date.

    The revised deadline for paper submissions and panel proposals is Friday 12th November at 5pm.  Submission and other conference details can be found at: https://nzpsa.com/2021-nzpsa-conference

    Yours sincerely,

    The NZPSA 2021 Conference Organising Committee
    (Julienne Molineaux, Kate Nicholls, Peter Skilling)


  • 27 Nov 2019 3:50 PM | Sarah Bickerton
    2019 Issue of Women Talking Politics

    Editor: Sarah Hendrica Bickerton

    2019 was a year of local government elections where women took a front seat in many of the contests and often won. We also saw progress domestically around such things as abortion law reform, an updating of the births, deaths, marriages, and relationships act, potential changes to how sexual assault victims are treated in court cases post- the Grace Millane trial. We also saw massive youth-led Climate Strike protests around the world, inspired by the activism of Greta Thunberg, against inaction on global climate change. And a photo from one such protest on the lawn of our Parliament here in New Zealand graces the cover of Women Talking Politics this year.

    The journal opens with a piece on the local government elections this year, specifically looking at the question of the ‘womenquake’ of women’s electoral success in the 2019 local government elections, as written by Jean Drage.

    The articles cover a spread of topics, from climate politics ten years on from Copenhagen from Raven Cretney & Sylvia Nissen, to the ‘Dunedin Model’ of decriminalised sex work by Peyton Bond, a restorative reorientation of the criminal justice system from Sarah Roth Shank, the EU’s disintegration over refugee responsibility from Laura MacDonald and Ayca Arkilic, and Bethan Greener on pursuing the WPS agenda.

    The reflections are a couple engaging pieces, one from Maria Bargh and Lydia Wevers on why land is never just land, and another from Emily Beausoleil on transforming unjust ‘structures of feeling’. We also have four research briefs from Lara Greaves, Nadine Kreitmeyr, Francesca Dodd, and Trang Thu Autumn Nguyen.

    We finish with two excellent book reviews, from Rae Nicholls on the authorised biography of Annette King from John Harvey & Brent Edwards, and from Margaret Hayward on “Marilyn Waring the political years”, the autobiographical account from Marilyn Waring.

    I do hope you enjoy this year’s edition of the magazine, and I wish to express my thanks to Jean Drage and especially Sylvia Nissen, co-editors of WTP in 2018, for their wonderful help and guidance.

    Sarah Hendrica Bickerton

    Editor, Women Talking Politics 2019

  • 04 Dec 2018 5:19 PM | Sarah Bickerton

    At its recent Annual General Meeting held at Victoria University of Wellington, the New Zealand Political Studies Association passed a motion in support of academic freedom.

    President Kate McMillan says the motion is timely with a number of academic freedom issues  arising recently. “It is essential to our democracy that academic researchers be able to pursue their work without harassment or intimidation” said Dr McMillan. “Political studies is an area in which academic freedom is particularly sensitive as students need to hear and express diverse political opinions in classes and on campus, and academics need to be able to research and to contribute to public debates openly and with confidence.”

    The New Zealand Political Studies Association is the main professional organisation for those working in political studies in New Zealand. Members include academic and other researchers, many connected to tertiary institutions and also some who are not, graduate students, and practitioners. The Association is affiliated to the International Political Science Association and is a constituent organisation of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

    The motion passed at the AGM read:

    The New Zealand Political Studies Association reaffirms the statutory freedoms of all staff and students in universities, in accordance with Section 161 of the Education Act, which states that they have the freedom to question and test received wisdom, to put forward new ideas and to state controversial or unpopular opinions. We note that university staff and students are held accountable to high ethical and academic standards in the exercise of this freedom. The law requires institutions and their leadership ‘to give effect to’ this freedom. 

    The New Zealand Political Studies Association calls on universities to ensure this statutory freedom is protected and upheld.  

  • 03 Dec 2018 1:09 PM | Julienne Molineaux

    The 2018 edition of the research magazine Women Talking Politics has now been published. Please check it out here.

    Co-Editors: Sylvia Nissen and Jean Drage

    2018 marks a year on from a general election which bought increased numbers of new women into New Zealand’s parliament coupled with the celebrations to mark 125 years since women gained the right to vote. This year’s edition of Women Talking Politics highlights the new women in our political system, as well as promoting the innovative political studies research being undertaken by women in New Zealand.

    The journal opens with a section on New Zealand women political leaders today, including an analysis of Jacinda Ardern’s leadership by Claire Timperley and a collection of new women MP’s reflections of their first year in parliament, collated by Jean Drage.

    The articles present four diverse perspectives on the challenges of inequity within sectors and societies, and include contributions by Julie MacArthur and Noelle Dumo on women in the energy sector, Igiebor Oluwakemi on women academic leaders in Nigeria, Gay Marie Francisco on the election of the first openly transgender MP in the Philippines, and Emily Beausoleil on her experiences participating in Ruku Pō.

    The reflections present engaging pieces by emerging women researchers. Laura Sutherland makes a feminist case for a Universal Basic Income, Akanksha Munshi-Kurian argues for the need to ‘lean out’, Millie Godfery presents a series of poems from her collection ‘Places not Spaces’, and Sarah Pfander discusses the challenges of achieving restorative justice in NZ’s criminal justice system.

    The research briefs show present research being undertaken by women in New Zealand, including by Veronika Triariyani Kanem, Estelle Denton-Townshend, Sylvia Frain, Lara Greaves, Cassandra Lewis and Claire Gray.

    Finally, there are four engaging reviews: Margaret Hayward reviews Stardust and Substance (ed. Stephen Levine); Kathryn Cammell reviews ‘Are we there yet?’, the exhibition of women’s suffrage in the Auckland War Memorial Museum; Rae Nicholl reviews Make her Praises Heard Afar: New Zealand Women overseas in World War One, by Jane Tolerton; and Gauri Nandedkar reviews Brit(ish): On race, identity and belonging, by Afua Hirsch.

    We hope you enjoy this year’s edition!

    Sylvia Nissen and Jean Drage

    Co-editors Women Talking Politics 2018



  • 28 Nov 2018 2:33 PM | Julienne Molineaux

    The New Zealand Political Studies Association is delighted to release Our Civic Future, a discussion paper that brings together contributions from researchers, educators and advocates working to improve the way we ‘do civics’ in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

    https://nzpsa.co.nz/resources/Documents/Our%20Civic%20Future.pdf



  • 27 Apr 2018 10:41 AM | Sarah Bickerton

    The 2017 edition of the research magazine Women Talking Politics has now been published. Please check it out here.

    About the 2017 issue

    From the Editors Dr Priya Kurian and Dr Gauri Nandedkar:

    We believe Women Talking Politics continues to offer a vital space for women’s voices in the Political Science discipline in Aotearoa. This year’s issue once again offers critical feminist scholarly engagement with a range of diverse topics, spanning the local to the global. 

    • Curtin, the outgoing president of the NZPSA, reflects on the significance of women’s political representation evident in this year’s national election in New Zealand and the hopes for achieving substantive gender equality. 
    • Moderating that message of hope is a critical reflection from Rahman, a former candidate in both national and local elections and a prominent feminist activist with local and national women’s organisations, on the absence of diversity during the national election. She argues that ethnic representation as currently practised by most political parties is meaningless, and points to the vital need for the amplification and engagement of ethnic voices in public discourse. 
    • Also on elections, but at the local level, is a piece by Drage, who sees the cost of standing for election, increased competition for powerful positions and higher workloads as part of the explanation for why the percentage of women elected to local authorities has remained static. 
    • Rogers-Mott discusses the failure of a range of policies to address income poverty and material hardship that leads to increasing levels of child poverty in New Zealand. 
    • Venturing further afield, Bogado examines the issue of sex-trafficking, in the context of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (the Palermo Protocol). She argues that the criminalisation of the demand for prostitution – a policy measure adopted by many countries – is unlikely to succeed given its failure to address structural causes such as a patriarchal culture. 
    • Jolly grapples with the complexities of gender-based violence and the devastating effects on women in areas of conflict. 
    • Van Noort deploys a three-step narrativist framework of analysis to examine the narrative components of the BRICS group [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa]. 
    • Finally, Devere and Standish explore the position of women in the discipline of Peace and Conflict Studies, tracing the evolution of the field of study, the challenges of gender inequality that women face, and the synergies with women in Political Science. 

    This year’s reflections and research briefs offer an exciting overview of work being undertaken by women political scientists. 

    Snyder thoughtfully considers the efficacy of non-violence in a post-truth era, while Tawhai reflects on her attendance at the 8th University Scholars Leadership Symposium (USLS) run by the United Nations in Bangkok on the theme of “building life, giving hope”. An overview of their current work is offered by MacArthur and Berka on local ownership of energy assets in New Zealand; and by Bebell on Russian foreign policy. We also feature some of the recent publications by women political scientists, namely, Spencer’s Toleration in Comparative Perspective; Rupar’s Themes and Critical Debates in Contemporary Journalism; and Kurian’s (with Bhavnani, Foran and Munshi) Feminist Futures: Reimagining Women, Culture and Development (2nd edition). 

    We are pleased to continue to feature work by undergraduate and postgraduate students in political science, including book and film reviews, reflections and creative writing. Townshend reviews the US Television mini-series The Handmaid’s Tale; Kahan reviews a recent film, 20th Century Women; and Nevin contributes a poem Vote, Vote Against the Buying of the Fight. These pieces, along with the longer articles, reflections and research briefs, give us a glimpse into the range and richness of issues that animate and engage women in political science in Aotearoa.

    More information about WTP and back issues are available on our site here.

  • 01 May 2017 6:16 PM | Deleted user

    Wednesday 22nd – Friday 24th November 2017
    University of Otago, New Zealand

    Call for Papers

    For the greater part of the past century, pacifism has occupied a marginal place in international relations scholarship, politics, activism, media, and the wider society. Pacifism is rarely used as the basis for normative theorising about the use of force, and is rarely drawn upon as an important source for thinking about resistance, revolution, security, counterterrorism, peacebuilding, national defence planning, humanitarian intervention, political institutions, and the like. In part, this is due to the persistence of a number of key misconceptions, including that pacifism represents a single homogenous position which rejects any and all forms of force and violence, that pacifism involves inaction in the face of injustice, that it is politically naïve about the reality of evil, and that it is dangerous because it invites aggression. Other important misconceptions revolve around the nature of violence and force, and its purported utility and necessity for engendering political change, civilian protection, and securing politics in the state. The marginal position of pacifism is a puzzling state of affairs, given the noted insights and advantages of pacifist theory in relation to dominant IR theories and popular beliefs, and to recent robust empirical findings documenting the success and positive effects of nonviolent movements compared to violent movements.

    This conference will explore what a new engagement with pacifism can offer to theories of revolution, practices of resistance, security policy and civilian protection, counterterrorism policy, political philosophy and democratic theory, state-building, peacebuilding, social justice movements, and other aspects of politics. Specifically, it will ask the question: To what extent, and under what conditions and circumstances, can pacifism offer theoretical and practical guidance in helping us to face the global challenges of war and militarism, terrorism and insurgency, rising wealth inequality, dispossession and colonialism, social injustice and oppression, political institutional unresponsiveness, and looming environmental catastrophe, among others? An important theme of the conference will explore what indigenous pacifist traditions have to teach Western political philosophy and international relations theory.

    The Conference Organisers invite papers on any of the following broad themes and topics:

    • Pacifism and theories of revolution
    • Pacifism, security, national defence, counterterrorism, and civilian protection
    • Indigenous peace traditions and nonviolent resistance – historical and contemporary
    • The critique of violence, and its implications for pacifist theory
    • Pacifism, the state, democratic theory, and anarchism
    • Pacifism and nonviolent resistance theory and practice
    • Pacifism and religion, Christian pacifism
    • Pacifism and environmental justice

    A selection of conference papers will be chosen for inclusion in a proposed edited volume, and/or a special journal issue.

    The participation of political activists is also greatly encouraged, and there will be panels for activists and scholars to interact, and for activists to tell their stories and raise issues. If you are an activist and want to attend, please send a brief outline of what you would like to discuss.

    Confirmed speakers

    • Professor Duane C. Cady, Hamline University, author of From Warism to Pacifism: A Moral Continuum (Temple University Press, 2010).
    • Professor Erica Chenoweth, University of Denver, co-author of Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict (Columbia University Press, 2011).
    • Professor Brian Martin, University of Wollongong, Australia, author of Nonviolence Unbound (Irene Publishing, 2015).
    • Professor Stellan Vinthagen, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, author of A Theory of Nonviolent Action: How Civil Resistance Works (Zed, 2015).
    • Dr Molly Wallace, author of Security Without Weapons: Rethinking Violence, Nonviolent Action, and Civilian Protection (Routledge, 2016)
    • Dr Jeremy Moses, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
    • Professor Richard Jackson, University of Otago, New Zealand

    Please email paper ABSTRACTS, of no more than 300 words, to peaceandconflict@otago.ac.nz  by 16 June, 2017.

    The conference fee is NZ$120 waged, NZ$50 unwaged. This includes refreshments and lunch during the duration of the conference. Please note: the conference fee does not include accommodation and, unfortunately, we are unable to offer travel grants or other forms of financial assistance.  

    For further information about the conference and/or for updates, please email Professor Richard Jackson: richard.jackson@otago.ac.nz


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