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The Western

The Politics of Identity, Intergroup Bias, and Conflict and Cooperation
April 13 - 15, 2017 – Hyatt Regency, Vancouver, BC - Canada

Program Chair's Section:

Stephen Nicholson
2017 WPSA Program Chair
University of California, Merced
Email: snicholson@ucmerced.edu

Section 1: Comparative Politics

Section Chairs:

Ryan Carlin
Georgia State University


Gregory Love
University of Mississippi

The Comparative Politics section welcomes papers and panels on a broad range of substantive topics, including the study of democracy, dictatorship and regime transitions, accountability and representation, civil war, comparative political institutions (political parties, party systems, electoral rules, legislatures, courts, and central banks, etc.), political behavior (participation, voting, and social movements), and comparative political economy. We are also interested in soliciting papers that interpret the mandate of ‘comparative politics’ in new ways, i.e., that step outside the traditional canon of established subjects. We encourage papers from a variety of methodological perspectives.

Section 2: Critical Perspectives on Higher Education

Section Chair:

Susan Sterett
Virginia Tech

WPSA’s main call for papers mentions “concerns about changes in higher education in the United States and other countries, as faculty governance wanes, the use of contingent labor under exploitative conditions increases, and an economized bottom line increasingly becomes the yardstick for success in teaching and research.”
This section invites papers that examine higher education from any perspective or methodological approach, but especially encourages papers that examine the many perils and opportunities currently facing higher education, including diminished resources, online and alternative methods of instruction, increased dependence on adjuncts, expanding administrations, issues surrounding academic freedom, junior faculty support, faculty governance, research funding, and peer review or any other relevant topic facing higher education.

Section 3: Environmental Political Theory

Section Chairs:

John Hultgren
Bennington College


Eli Meyerhoff
University of Minnesota

The section gathers together activists and scholars who are interested in what political theory can contribute to larger policy debates and intellectual discussions about environmental issues. The goal is to connect theory with practice. The numbers at EPT events have been growing for more than five years, and participants consistently are enthusiastic about the significant benefits of developing this important intellectual community. We seek proposals which employ the tools, texts, or insights of political theory to improve our understanding of the environment, the human-nature relationship, contemporary environmentalist research agendas, academic pedagogy, public policies, and ethical concerns.

Section 4: Environmental Politics

Section Chair:

Leah C. Stokes
University of California, Santa Barbara

The section invites papers that focus on the politics of environmental problems and/or the processes by which they are addressed. Proposed papers and panels that emphasize comparative environmental politics are encouraged, as are papers that emphasize theory building and empirical testing with cutting-edge political methodology. Of particular interest are papers that use environmental policy as a critical research setting to address core questions in political science and public policy.

Section 5: Executive Politics

Section Chair:

Jeffrey Cummins
California State University, Fresno

This section welcomes papers that deal with executive politics, whether in terms of internal development or with respect to linkages with other institutions and phenomena. In light of the conference theme, papers that engage topics relevant to politics in the Age of Obama are particularly encouraged, especially those that provide analytical evaluations of Barack Obama’s policy leadership and his administration’s institutional dynamics. In addition, paper proposals that signify theoretical development in the study of executive politics are welcome. Potential panel topics include, but are not limited to: staffing and administrative politics, rhetoric and public engagement, post-9/11 institutional evolution, inter-branch linkages and unilateral action.

Section 6: Gender, Race and Intersectionality

Section Chair:

Anna Sampaio
Santa Clara University

Intersectionality has attracted substantial scholarly attention since the 1990s. Rather than examining discourses and structures such as gender, race, colonialism, class, sexuality, (dis)ability, nation, religion, and transnationalism as separate and distinct dimensions of political life, we seek proposals which examine how they mutually construct one another. We welcome paper and panel proposals that draw on a wide range of quantitative and qualitative methods, as well as a variety of social groups and contexts within the US and beyond. We especially encourage submissions on: ways to further develop and push against existing disciplinary, epistemological, methodological and theoretical boundaries; the relationship between theories of intersectionality and institutional, community, and activist practices; Indigenous worldviews and intersectionality; intersections between faith/spirituality and other categories; how intersectionality operates in the production and organization of normalized and deviant bodies; and the role of intersectionality at the transnational and global level.

Section 7:( Im)migration and Citizenship

Section Chair:

Tom Wong
University of California, San Diego

The last four decades have witnessed a dramatic increase in international migration throughout the world, raising important political questions in many countries. We seek paper and panel proposals from a wide range of scholars studying and analyzing the overlapping subjects of international migration and politics, immigration policy, immigrant integration policies and their implementation, political incorporation and “citizen-making,” and the changing meanings and practices of “citizenship” in an era of heightened international migration. We seek proposals from scholars studying these overlapping subjects in a variety of settings, including global, national, sub-national, regional, municipal, using a variety of approaches, from single-state to comparative, and drawing on a variety of methodologies and methods. We would also welcome expressions of interest from those planning to attend the meeting who are not submitting papers on this topic this year but who have an interest and research background in it and would like to be involved as session chairs or discussants.

Section 8: International Relations

Section Chair:

Michael Koch
Texas A&M

This section welcomes papers that address the international dimensions of political relations. Research should examine interactions between units in the international system. Papers may focus on any subfield of international relations, including (but not limited to) international organizations and law, international conflict and security, foreign policy interactions, terrorism, international institutions and regimes, global environmental relations, technology, and international political economy. A broad mix of papers is encouraged, including a variety of methods and theoretical perspectives. For this meeting, we particularly welcome papers that deal with future relations and policy considerations consistent with the conference's theme.

Section 9: Interpretation and Method

Section Chair:

Samantha Majic
City of University of New York

This section invites papers and panels that critically reflect upon the traditions, presuppositions, and methods laden within interpretive political inquiry. Papers may range from foregrounding longstanding modes of thought and their presuppositions such as with hermeneutics and critical theory or which examine the specific interpretive questions and assumptions raised by a particular political topic. Paper and panel proposals that explore the conference theme of "The Politics of Peril and Opportunity"with respect to interpretive methods are especially welcome.

Section 10: Judicial Politics, Legal Politics and Public Law
Section Chair:

Rorie Spill Solberg
Oregon State University

The section welcomes papers or panels that investigate the role of legal actors and legal institutions in the United States or comparative contexts as well as those that explore how politics, institutions, and ideas shape and constrain the law’s development. We particularly encourage proposals that address the theme of the conference, “Transnational Borders, Equity and Social Justice.” In what ways are legal actors and institutions responsive to transnational issues? In what ways are they constrained? How do transnational issues complicate the section’s long-running attention to equity and social justice? We hope to receive proposals with diverse theoretical, practical, and methodological perspectives using a variety of approaches, from the conventional to the creative. The section welcomes panel proposals that offer opportunities for participation by a mix of senior scholars, junior scholars, and graduate students. When proposing book panels, consider submissions that include more than one book, and submissions that link the work of an established scholar with the work of a more junior, emerging scholar

Section 11: Legislative Politics

Section Chair:

Scott MacKenzie
University of California, Davis

The section welcomes papers on any topic related to the study of the U.S. Congress, state legislatures, or other legislative institutions. Topics might include congressional parties, committees, representation, leadership, rules, procedure, reform, policy making, budgeting, floor behavior, historical development, and race/ethnicity in legislative institutions. Individually, what determines the choices that legislators make, and how do the tough votes that they cast affect their electoral fortunes? How do legislative and governmental institutions shape the contours and outcomes of these policy debates, and do decisions made in hard times have a reciprocal effect on the shape of institutions? Proposals that take advantage of variation across countries, across time within a single legislature, or across sub-national legislatures will be especially welcome as well as papers analyzing the influence of lobbyists, executive branch, or bureaucracies. Both American and comparative politics scholars are welcome to submit proposals.

Section 12: Media and Political Communications

Section Chair:

Danielle Joesten Martin
California State University, Sacramento

The section invites proposals for innovative and original research at the intersection of politics and communication, broadly conceived. The section welcomes all research methods and analytical approaches that advance understanding of the practices, processes, and policy implications of political communication in all its forms. Preference will be given to proposals that connect research with fundamental questions about politics. This includes but is not restricted to: investigations of structural and economic influences on political news content, media and campaign effects, the relationship between mass media communication and elite communication, comparative examinations of media and media systems, inter-institutional communication, regulation of the media, discrepancies between news reporting and real world events, and the impact of new media on political knowledge and behavior. Proposals for papers or panels tackling methodological and theoretical challenges in the study of political communication are of particular interest. The organization of panels will reflect the interests of those whose proposals can be accommodated.

Section 13: Parties, Interest Groups and Social Movements

Section Chair:

Samara Klar
University of Arizona

We seek proposals that address new methodological and theoretical challenges in the study of parties and partisanship, interest groups, and social movements and mobilization. We are also interested in proposals that focus on the intersection of gender, race, ethnicity and partisanship, especially with regard to theories of representation and mobilization. We encourage proposals that examine these questions in a wide variety of settings.

Section 14: Political Theory and Its Applications
Section Chair:

Robert S. Taylor
University of California, Davis

This section welcomes papers at the intersection of political theory and empirical concern, creating a critical dialogue between theory and practice. Papers are especially welcome which attempt to analyze or synthesize practical programs of political activism or institutional design, or to revise and refresh theoretical bodies of knowledge in light of empirical (including historical) analysis.

Section 15: Political Theory: Critical and Normative
Section Chair:

Heather Pool
Denison University

ThePolitical Theory: Critical and Normative Theory section of the WPSA welcomes proposals in all areas of contemporary political theory including but not limited to feminist theory, democratic theory, liberalism, Marxism, political aesthetics, comparative political theory, legal theory, critical race theory, queer theory, cultural studies, critical geography, and environmental political theory. This section also encourages proposals that adopt normative-philosophical and/or critical-theoretical approaches to major topics in political science including, among others, multicultural politics, neoliberalism, nationalism, transnationalism and globalization, state power, technologies of security, civil society, social movements, representation, democratic governance and citizenship, and political identity. Papers that develop a contemporary perspective on enduring theoretical concepts, such as equality, justice, domination, sovereignty, rights, the subject, civic virtue, and moral judgment, are also welcome. Finally, the section would be especially interested in panel proposals that address ongoing controversies within
the field of political theory.

Section 16: Political Thought: Historical Approaches
Section Chairs:

Nicholas W. Drummond
University of Missouri

The "Political Thought: Historical Approaches" section of the WPSA seeks papers that interpret and theorize the canon, other political literatures, archives from all periods, and that explore the political dimensions of artistic and cultural products in historical perspective. Papers that adopt critical, transformative, and/or comparative perspectives on these historical materials are welcome, as well as those that address the political dimensions of classical and modern themes of intellectual history. Such themes may include freedom, equality, justice, authority, modernity, liberalism, individual rights, republicanism, virtue and private interest, enlightenment, science and reason, democracy, race, gender, federalism, libertarianism, populism, nationalism, power, sexuality, luxury, sovereignty, representation, punishment, revolution, friendship, and so on. Papers that focus on specific political thinkers are also welcome.

Section 17: Politics and History

Section Chairs:

Chloe Thurston
Northwestern University

The section welcomes proposals for papers or panels covering the broad scope of the study of politics, policy and institutions using historical perspectives to address issue areas of contemporary concern. In particular, the section encourages submissions from scholars whose work focuses on developmental themes related to major political processes including institutional reform and policy change and concepts, such as democratization, citizenship, political representation, and political parties. We especially encourage research that locates American political development in comparative and historical frameworks and that addresses the intersection of major group identities, such as race, class, gender, and religion.

Section 18: Politics, Literature, and Film

Section Chair:

Robert Watkins
Columbia College Chicago

This section welcomes proposals at the intersections of politics and aesthetics broadly conceived. We are especially interested in papers and panels that examine the connections between democratic representation and aesthetic representation. We also welcome papers that explore particular texts or films either as forms of political rhetoric or in conversation with political theory or other forms of political expression. The theme of this year’s conference, “peril and opportunity” seems especially suited to literary and filmic representation. Why is this so? Is political art in permanent tension with politics as “the slow boring of hard boards”? Are some particular genres of art (film, television, literature) better suited to political engagement than others? What is the nature of aesthetic power in politics and what are its limits?

Section 19: Politics and Sexuality

Section Chair:

Jeremiah Garretson
California State University, East Bay

The section welcomes proposals that address politics and sexuality broadly conceived, in an empirical and / or critical manner. Especially interesting would be proposals that address the conference theme of “(Re)Imagining Our Future(S): Obama’s Election, Global Crises, And Political Science Practices” by considering the changing status of sexuality issues in the United States and globally. Among the topics worthy of exploration are such as the changing acceptance of gay marriage, the nature of sex work in the global political economy, intersectionality and sexuality, and exploring political science assumptions about the conduct of research in studying sexuality. In addition to traditional proposals for research papers and panels, the section welcomes proposals that address issues of sexuality and politics creatively. Feel free to contact the organizer with questions and / or ideas.

Section 20: Public Administration

Section Chair:

David Nixon
University of Hawaii

This section invites paper proposals that address questions related to public management and governance. Consistent with the conference theme, proposals addressing transnational administrative questions, or comparative studies of public administration, are particularly welcome. The field of public administration has a history of confronting challenging questions related to geographic and organizational boundaries. Public administration scholarship engaging questions about networks, collaboration, policy implementation, and governance relationships can advance the dialogue on boundaries during the conference. Papers addressing citizen engagement in public affairs, public workforce diversity, technology, the role of non-profits in service delivery, and other questions relevant to public administration are also welcome. The section encourages and will highlight diverse and rigorous research methodologies and empirical analysis.

Section 21: Public Opinion and Political Psychology

Section Chair:

Bethany Albertson
The University of Texas at Austin

The section welcomes proposals that are related to the political perspectives and preferences of members of the public. This includes but is not restricted to investigations of the sources of public opinion, processes of opinion formation, the relationship between context and public opinion, the relationship between public opinion and public policy, and the relationship between public opinion and elite behavior and decision making. We also seek proposals that use a psychological lens to examine political decision-making and behavior as well as proposals that examine political phenomena in the service of developing and enhancing psychological theory. Proposals that focus on information processing, identity formation and its consequences, the role of emotion and affect, personality at the elite or mass level, socialization, media and campaign effects, intergroup relations, and leadership are welcome as well.

Section 22: Public Policy

Section Chair:

Graeme Boushey
University of California, Irvine

This section invites paper proposals in all areas of public policy studies, including but not limited to: theory-based research on the processes of policy making and change, and public engagement in those processes; and practically oriented policy analyses and program evaluations. In all cases, authors are encouraged to incorporate empirical, theoretical, and normative concerns in their papers. Keeping with the conference theme, papers addressing recent and future policy issues, and those incorporating interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary perspectives and methods are strongly encouraged. All policy issues will be considered, as will all levels of policy making from the local to the international arena.

Section 23: Race, Ethnicity and Politics

Section Chair:

Chris Towler
Western Washington University

The Race, Ethnicity, and Politics Section invites papers that examine the political implications of issues of equity and social justice along transnational borders, particularly as they are related to the politics of race and ethnicity and to the intersections of race and ethnicity with other identities and axes of inequality. Individual papers, full panels, and roundtables are all invited. In addition to traditional paper and panel formats, we welcome proposals that bridge theory and practice by bringing together scholars, activists, and other practitioners; that examine the contributions of political science to policy development; that develop resources for community members, advocates, policy makers, and other political actors; and that develop pedagogical tools and resources for students. We also encourage proposals that examine intersecting inequalities and political identities, and that bring work together from across subfields, methodologies, and epistemologies.

Section 24: State, Local and Urban Politics

Section Chair:

Shauna Reilly
Northern Kentucky University

Past WPSA meetings have been characterized by especially rich work in the area of state, local, and urban politics. We hope to continue and expand upon that tradition for the 2017 meeting. This section welcomes papers on a wide variety of topics, addressing different types of questions, using varied methods, and specifying different units of analysis. We strongly welcome work that is comparative in nature or addresses larger questions of federalism, but these are not requirements. Given the conference theme we especially encourage research on sub-national politics that might shed light on conflict and consensus in the arena of the Politics of Identity and Intergroup Bias.

Section 25: Teaching, Research, and Professional Development

Section Chair:

Roger Rose
University of Minnesota, Morris

The section welcomes proposals on all topics related to educating both undergraduate and graduate students. Proposals could explore such topics as: advising, assessment, civic engagement, curriculum development, diversity within the classroom, educational goals, experiential learning, applied learning, internships, pedagogic responsibilities, service learning, simulations, teaching strategies, and technology. The focus may be on pedagogic practice or the scholarship of teaching and learning. Qualitative, interpretive, quantitative, theoretical, or philosophical approaches will all be considered.

Section 26: Undergraduate Research Posters

Section Chair:

Andrew Owen
The University of British Columbia

Undergraduate students are invited to present posters on research they are conducting under the supervision of their Political Science faculty advisors. Any topic appropriate to the political science discipline – broadly conceived – is welcome.

Section 27: Voting and Elections

Section Chair:

Loren Collingwood
University of California, Riverside

The section welcomes panels and papers on topics related to important theoretical, substantive, and/or methodological issues dealing with electoral behavior in the United States and in comparative perspective. Among others, topics could include campaign effects, election forecasting, campaign finance reforms, alternative voting technologies, voter registration, mobilization, and turnout. This section welcomes panels and papers on topics related to campaigns and electioneering in the United States and in comparative perspective with particular attention to whether and how the behavior of candidates affects outcomes. Topics include campaign effects writ large, advertising, mobilization and get-out-the-vote efforts, strategy, primary election campaigns, and media coverage of campaigns. Proposals examining the role of fundamentals in relation to campaign efforts are especially welcome, along with proposals that highlight the use of new or novel data, observational or other, that are well-suited to study campaign efforts.

Section 28: Women and Politics

Section Chair:

Jackie Filla
Mount Saint Mary's University

This section welcomes papers and panels that examine the interaction of gender and power in political institutions, social movements, and textual encounters (theoretical, legal, literary, visual, or mass media). Proposals that bring a gender analysis to the conference theme of peril and opportunity are welcome along with other relevant topics in women and politics. The conference theme of peril and opportunity in locations from cities to borders to mobile topics of environmental, economic, and bodily crises may be productively examined in this section. Proposals from scholars at all stages in their careers, methodological traditions, and cross-disciplinary approaches are invited to submit their work.

Section 30: Conference within a Conference: Political Economy of Development

Section Chairs:

Cesi Cruz
University of British Columbia


Peter Lorentzen
University of California, Berkeley

This “mini-conference” aims to bring together a small number of social scientists for an intensive day of discussion. We construe development broadly to include any aspect of economic or political/institutional development, in any time period. The mini-conference will run all day on April 13th. The aim of this mini-conference is to facilitate a sustained conversation within a small group of scholars about leading-edge research in this area, so participants will be expected to attend all panels and may also be asked to serve as discussant or chair on other panels.

Section 31: Mini Conference on Asian Pacific American Politics

Section Chair:

Loan Le
Institute for Good Government and Inclusion (IGGI)

We invite all proposals that affect the lived experiences of Asian Pacific Americans, both for scholarship that fits within traditional conceptualizations of race, ethnicity and immigrant politics as well as scholarship that focuses on contemporary problems. Research might consider whether and how the forever foreigner stereotype intersects with modern police controversies; how Asian American (and intersectional) identities empower or produce disadvantages for Asian American social and political incorporation over time; and obviously, what role Asian Americans play in the 2016 elections. We welcome all proposals!



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