PAST NZPSA CONFERENCES
29 November - 1 December 2022
The 2022 Conference, hosted online by the University of Waikato, was held between 29 November and 1 December 2022. A particularly salient Conference theme, 'Reclaiming Common Ground,' allowed for thoughtful and productive discussion about how to navigate Aotearoa New Zealand's increasingly turbulent political landscape. The opening keynote was delivered by Paul Hunt, the Chief Human Rights Commissioner, who discussed Postcolonial human rights as a pathway to an inclusive society. Throughout the Conference we had 4-5 simultaneous streams of papers, roundtables and discussion, with periodic Plenary Panels including, 'Politics, Communication and Climate Change Policy: where to next?,' 'Misogyny in Aotearoa New Zealand Politics', and 'Possibilities in Pandemic Teaching.' The Conference closed with a final excellent Plenary Panel featuring Professor Maria Bargh, Dr. Carwyn Jones, and Professor Janine Hayward on 'Co-governance and the evolution of shared decision-making in Aotearoa.' A big thanks to those at Waikato for a sterling effort in preparing and delivering a seamless Conference.
The 2022 Conference Programme can be found here.
February 8-10 2022
The 2021 Conference, hosted by the Auckland University of Technology, was held online in February 2022, having been postponed from early December 2021 due to the restrictions associated with the Delta outbreak at that time. The Conference Theme – the Politics of Crisis – allowed for a multi-faceted exploration of the pressures associated with the COVID crisis and other issues that are described in crisis terms (e.g. the “housing crisis”, the “climate crisis”, the “crisis of democratic legitimacy”) as well as the capacity of political actors and institutions to deal with such crises. As well as the usual range of paper presentation, the conference featured Plenary Panels on ‘Leadership and Governance in Times of Crisis’ and on ‘The Crisis in Academia’, a Plenary Lecture delivered by Professor Dominic O’Sullivan (Charles Sturt University) and a Public Lecture delivered by Distinguished Professor Steven Ratuva (University of Canterbury). While attendance at NZPSA’s first online Annual Conference was understandably lower, there were close to 100 registrations, and 75 paper presentations across three days.
The 2021 Conference Programme can be found here
For the first time that anyone can remember, the 2020 NZPSA Conference (due to be hosted by AUT) was cancelled due to the uncertainties associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. The decision to cancel the conference was not made lightly, and was based on the following considerations: at the time that decisions needed to be made, the organisers did not know whether gathering restrictions would still be in place by November and December; it was unclear whether institutions would allow and fund staff travel, and it was unclear how many members would choose to travel to Auckland given the risk of another outbreak. The likelihood of lower attendance would have partly defeated the purpose of the conference, and it posed a financial risk to the organising institution.
The NZPSA Executive, understanding the value that the Conference provides to members, encouraged the Networks to fill some of the gap by organising smaller, network-specific events, and it made funding available for that purpose. Several NZPSA networks helped to fill the conference void by organising such events online and in-person.
The 2019 NZPSA Conference was hosted by the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Canterbury. The conference theme, “Community, Security, Humanity”, brought focus upon local, national, and international politics in the wake of the March 15 terror attack in Christchurch. The keynote speakers Lianne Dalziel, Aliya Danzeisen, Golriz Ghahraman, and Katharine Gelber illuminated different dimensions of the political factors preceding and following on from the attack. Members of the Christchurch Muslim community, including Imam of Masjid Al-Noor, Gamal Fouda, also contributed compelling and emotional accounts of the events of March 15 and the political environment surrounding them.
Every effort was made to ensure the conference was run on sustainable grounds, including the elimination of single-use plastics, and provision of plant-based catering.
The 2018 NZPSA Annual Conference was held at Victoria University of Wellington on November 26-28. The theme was ‘Representation and Responsibility’. Conference participants were encouraged to reflect on the interplay of representation and responsibility in politics, including questions such as: what forms of representation promote the interests and values of disadvantaged groups? How do current patterns of representation affect important socio-economic and political outcomes? How do we distribute responsibility for solving local and global problems? What kinds of responsibilities do political leaders and citizens have for these problems? How do wekeep our representatives and rulers accountable? It was a highly successful event with 120 registrations, over 130 papers and analysis of politics in more than 46 different countries.
November 29 - 1 December
The 2017 NZPSA Conference at the University of Otago was a great success with over 150 in attendance, more than 100 papers on the programme and an inspiring keynote address by Professor David McNally. Our thanks go to the team at Otago for their hospitality and efficiency. The theme of this year’s conference was (Dis)ordering Politics: Exclusion, Resistance and Participation. The conference featured three public events to explore the theme – a keynote lecture by Prof David McNally of the University of York (Canada), and two panel discussions on Indigenous Politics and the New Zealand Election – in addition to the usual topic streams.
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.