Thank you again to all our delegates, volunteers, sponsors, exhibitors and advertisers for making the 2018 IPSA World Congress a great success. We hope to see you again at the 2020 IPSA World Congress in Lisbon, Portugal.
Movie Session 4: Docos for Politicos
The last movie session featured four films: Every Day Words Disappear - Michael Hardt on the Politics of Love, (2016), Zombie Ontology featuring James Der Derian (2016), Kiss-o-Drome (2016) and Blue Orchids (2017). After the films were shown, UQ Professor of visual politics, Dr. Roland Bleiker, facilitated a discussion with the Belgian director, Johan Grimonprez.
Here are some highlights from the discussion:
Johan: The Hardt film was an interview done for Shadow World. Zombie Ontology and then Blue Orchids, and while there is a lot of overlap with Shadow World, each emphasize different perspectives in detail.
The film asks, what would it mean if the basis of our social choices were founded on love? The most powerful recent political movements act together as multiple groups - experiments in political love. The movie encourages the audience to consider whether the world system is becoming one of the global apartheid - hierarchical and differentiated labour scheme. Are we living within a political system motivated by fear directed behind the scenes by the military industrial complex?
Interviews were conducted by military arms dealer and “fixer” Riccardo Priviterra are prominent in both Shadow World and Blue Orchid. Deeply troubling questions are raised by former New York Times investigative reporter Chris Hedges, experienced war correspondent. The Iraq War was the greatest strategic blunder in US history. Evidence shows that both major U.S. political parties were swayed, and arguably controlled, by the power of the military industrial complex. Hedges commented, ‘It isn’t Islamic fundamentalism that has ruined the Middle East, it is a permanent war. War propels you in directions you cannot expect.’
Many of the journalists who covered the longest war conducted in United States’ history were deeply affected by the shocking regimes that supported for commercial gain. Many who covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have PTSD and have been affected by what they’ve seen and covered, for the rest of their lives. When they return from covering or serving in war zones, they see the images of war are highly controlled by the media, and people don’t want to hear the truth according to Hedges. The only way to re-establish connections with other people is through love, genuine deep love, says a troubled Hedges.
Riccardo: reads from a personal diary. selling every type of weapons except nuclear. there is official and unofficial arms - no such thing as illegal arms trade. Sex and money are all that matters in war, recounts Riccardo. ‘What better enemy than a hypothetical enemy called the war on terror’, he ponders. This has created a whittling down of civil liberties worldwide.
Bleiker: Qhy film - what does it add that other mediums would not?
A discussion on emotions and their role in politics ensued. Resisting violence with love instead of on more violence will possibly not be as popular with audiences, but should be examined. Machiavelli says that fear and love cannot exist together, but these documentaries show how they can interact and co-mingle.
Johan: Images can be complex. they can contain a whole message of a book in one image. We still do not know the depth of Riccardo’s character. Despite verifying that much of his personal history did not check out, he had not served in the South Africa Special Forces, what he brings to the table does not lose its value in terms of its unvarnished perspective on war and politics.
Professional Development Café
For the Professional Development Café, the second of two “café” sessions, delegates were invited to chat with volunteer mentors. The mentors advised students and early career scholars alike on a wide range of topics. For instance, the editor of International Political Science Review, Theresa Reidy of University College Cork, and Amy Appleyard, of SAGE Publishing, were present to discuss the academic publishing process.
Meanwhile, the IPSA Program Chair and former international civil servant, Professor Füsun Türkmen of Galatasaray University, advised a group of young researchers on careers in international governmental and non-governmental organizations. She gave an insight into the benefits of a career as an international civil servant, along with advice on entry exams and minimum requirements for admission.
She gave an insight into the benefits of a career as an international civil servant, along with advice on entry exams and minimum requirements for admission.
The café session was a big opportunity for students and early career scholars to meet with mentors and gain a better understanding of the requirements for beginning a career in academia and beyond, and also presented a brilliant opportunity for the café visitors to ask any questions they had.
Plenary Session: Patriarchy is Bigger than Donald Trump
For the final plenary session, Program Chair Professor Terrell Carver (University of Bristol) introduced his longtime colleague, a seminal figure in feminist political science, Cynthia Enloe (Clark University). The captivating and engaging plenary ran for 90 minutes and was an undisputedly a highlight of the conference gauging by two standing ovations and flock of delegates from around the world who rushed up to speak with her after her keynote presentation.
Professor Enloe kick-started her lecture by mapping the birth of the #MeToo movement and its importance in international politics. She discussed the important societal role that investigative journalism plays in a free and open society. It was journalists that broke open the story of disgraced Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein in 2017. After a long and storied career, Weinstein feels from grace amid dozens of allegations of sexual harassment and assault with the many females with whom he worked. Watch out for the “stars” Enloe cautioned. Whether they are stars in the Academy or in Hollywood, those in power who are propped by institutions, including intentionally disempowered human resources departments, should be under even greater scrutiny.
Enloe continued by outlining the problem posed by non-disclosure clauses in sexual harassment cases, and how this clause is an example of structured “patriarchal silence”. Professor Enloe emphasized the importance of “listening out for silence; it is something that you have to learn how to do” stated Professor Enloe. She stated the term “sexual harassment” was coined circa 1979, and how sexual harassment is not limited to specific workplaces or to specific parts of the world.
She recounted a story of learning about how very well-educated, top-tier senior female economists at the International Monetary Fund spent time each more thinking about how to dress in a manner that was both professional and would not draw unwanted male attention. This story highlighted that there is concern about workplace dynamics at the highest levels of international organizations, as well as, academe. During her plenary, she posed an open-ended questions to the audience: ‘Does a misogynistic workplace impact on policy formation by that organization?’ Does workplace culture reflect in the work product of that institution?
An appreciation for journalists and editors was also present throughout Professor Enloe’s lecture. Without the hard work of those working in the journalism industry to uncovers stories such as the Weinstein scandal, it is inconceivable that the story could have been compiled in such a way that caused global outrage. Prof Enloe wrapped up her session by reminding us that we must be “curious feminists” and look for the politics that is occurring in the most intimate of places. Her speech was met with two warm standing ovations.
An engaging and educational 30-minute Q&A session followed her lecture. Topics discussed included: the prominence of sexual harassment in academia/research, Enloe’s opinion of naming perpetrators in sexual harassment cases and the impact of the non-disclosure clause on asylum seekers living in Australian detention centers.
Featured session: Free Speech or Speech Regulation? Determining the Limits of Controversial Speech in Comparative Politics, Philosophy, and Law
The panel session featured a discussion of free speech and speech regulation, relating to hate speech and its boundaries, chaired by Prof Erik Bleich, with presentations from Ms Anjalee de Silva, Prof Kath Gelber, Prof Bleich, Dr Alexander Brown, and Dr Louise Richardson-Self. The presentations neatly brought together different parts of the hate speech and free speech debate, including gendered vilification online, the inherent harm in hate speech, how the European Court of Human Rights decides hate speech cases, whether we have a right to be heard, and the optimal definition of hate speech.
The presentations were followed by comments from the discussant, Dr Matteo Bonotti, before the session was opened for audience questions. The panel responded to thought-provoking questions on the prevalence of online vilification, the regulation of online vilification by online service providers, and alternatives to the legal regulation of hate speech.
Closing Ceremony of the 25th IPSA World Congress
The 25th IPSA World Congress concluded with a lively ceremony. Master of Ceremony, Professor Sarah Maddison, welcomed IPSA Past President Ilter Turan to the stage, along with newly-elected IPSA president, Professor Marianne Kneuer. IPSA Program Co-Chairs, Professors Terrell Carver and Füsun Türkmen, delivered a joint address in English and French, the two official languages of the World Congress.
COPA Chair Jørgen Elklit presented the Stein Rokkan Travel Grant Award to Aeshna Badruzzaman from Northeastern University in the USA. The Francesco Kjellberg Award for Outstanding Papers went to Hanno Jentzch and Maroine Bendaoud. Dr. Marian Sawer, Editor, International Political Science Review, presented the Wilma Rule Award: IPSA Award for the Best Research on Gender and Politics. The Wilma Rule Award was given to Ki-Young Shin, Jackie F. Steele and Mari Miura – congratulations!
IPSA Secretary-General Guy Lachapelle recognized the IPSA past president and program co-chairs, and the excellent efforts of the local organizing committee for the 25th World Congress of Political Science. Thanks to the hard work of all parties, some 2,239 delegates from 84 countries enjoyed a well-conceived, highly inclusive program.
IPSA Secretary General Prof. Guy Lachapelle recognized the excellent work of World Congress and Events Director Joanne St-Pierre, who was in daily contact with the Australian local organizing committee to bring the Congress into fruition. A warm round of applause was given to the small but mighty group of volunteers in their bright orange tee shirts, many of whom worked long days to help delegates navigate the Brisbane Conference and Exhibition Centre, support registration and check-in, write daily summaries for the website and support the social media outreach for this international academic conference. For many of the volunteers, it was their first exposure to an international academic congress, and the reports were overwhelmingly positive!
The next IPSA World Congress will be held in Lisbon, Portugal in 2020, with Professors Bertrand Badie and Hasret Dikici Bilgin serving as program chairs. Looking ahead, Local Organizing Committee representative Edalina Sanches addressed the World Congress delegation and shared a brief video about Lisbon. Sanches then received the IPSA Congress Flag from Professor Katharine Gelber, along with Ilter Turan and newly elected president Marianne Kneuer, ending the 25th IPSA World Congress, and setting the stage for the 26th edition of the event.
Contributing editors: Alex Rubino, Amelia Edwards, Bernadette Hyland-Wood, Isabella Fredheim and Molly Murphy
Movie Session 3: Docos for Politicos: The Illegal We do Immediately, the Unconstitutional Takes a Little Longer’
In this third movie screening session, two Johan Grimonprez movies, What I Will, (2013) and Shadow World (2016) were presented. Shadow World presented a provocative discussion surrounding the norms of the “war on terror”, Western Hegemony and the relationship they have with asymmetrical non-state actors. To help facilitate discussion in a Q&A session along side director Johan Grimonprez was Prof. James Der Derian, Prof. Terrel Carver & Dr. Sarah Percy who shared a debrief of their thoughts.
A constant presence throughout the Docos for Politicos sessions Prof. Derian praised Johan’s ability to “marshal the world of art with the world of politics.” An ontological theme is present throughout Johan’s films that demand audiences to consider the representations of reality that we routinely accept as fact. An audience member lamented the state of affairs world politics seems to find itself, “a post-truth world” in which national intelligence agencies can act with impunity in the shadows. Prof. Derian, in reference to this question, wanted to highlight the fact that we need to “leave the nostalgia of one truth behind; the truth has always relied on the others right to speak and our obligation to listen, the truth has always been a relational construct.”
Prof. Terrell Carver offered a number of themes that came to mind after the session. Mainly Johan’s ability to pull out images, footage and photographs that force the past into our present, these images encourage us to think harder about how the grammar of the past is operating today and whether these constructs are truly competent. This became a consistent theme for discussion for audience members and discussants. One audience member highlighted the fact that this movie demands a re-definition of security, re-theorization of security thinking and how it affects the world. Dr. Sarah Percy agreed with this statement, she believed “that old concept and empirics don’t make sense in the contemporary world anymore … We are catching up with how we theorize security, however, this wider thinking needs to be extended.”
Dr. Sarah Percy felt the film clearly revealed the nexus between war and profit, while the historical trajectory of this reality has been consistent, this truth is often lost in the rhetoric of political discourse on the global stage. Dr. Percy explained that in today’s contemporary “world as a battlefield”, there is an immense amount of fluidity between “the black market, white market and state market for force.” She offered an evaluation of the different kinds of Private Military Companies operating in the film and within the world. While it is often the PMC’s that offer “soldiers of fortune” that reach the headlines, she exhorted Johan’s film for shining a light on more logistics-based companies such as former Vice President Dick Cheney’s company Halliburton; their subtlety allows their executives to function within the revolving door of Private and Public often without scrutiny.
Mr. Johan Grimonprez begun his debrief with an anecdote: as the story goes there was a cartoon picture hanging above Alfred Hitchcock’s desk, in this picture were two ghosts chewing on a reel of film, one is saying to the other “well I like the book better.” Johan wanted to highlight that his film only offers a glimpse of the masterpiece that is Andrew Feinstein’s book Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade and encouraged audience members to read it. While he admitted the film offers a sickening state of affairs, he hoped the film highlighted our need to “find a way out and resort back to that connection that ultimately we as humans all strive for.” The final shot was archival footage of the legendary Christmas Truce on the frontlines of the Western Front in the First World War in 1914. Despite the carnage of modern warfare and greed, this film ultimately reminds us that the human spirit not only begs for connection with one another, it relies upon it in order to survive.
A thoughtful Q&A session followed with questions from conference delegates representing different perspectives including Argentina, India, South Africa and the United States. A number of the conference delegates indicated that they plan to organize a showing of Shadow World (2016) in their respective academic institutions in order to discuss related security and public policy issues.
Plenary Session: President’s Plenary: Challenging the Borders of Liberal Democracy: The Global Rise of Populism
The third plenary session of the 25th IPSA World Congress was presented by the IPSA Past President (2016-2018), Prof. İlter Turan (Emeritus Professor of Political Science, Bilgi University, Turkey), and explored the rise of populism as a challenge to the borders of liberal democracy. This session brought together notable scholars from different regions of the world including Dr. María Esperanza Casullo (Associate Professor Universidad Nacional de Río Negro in Argentina), Prof. Duncan McDonnell (Professor in the School of Government and International Relations, Griffith University), Prof. Ersin Kalaycıoğlu (Professor of Political Science, Sabanci University , Turkey), Prof. Leonardo Morlino (Professor of Political Science, Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli (LUISS), Italy, and Prof. Pippa Norris (Paul F. McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics at Harvard University, United States).
Prof. Morlino’s presentation, titled ‘New Populism and Protest Parties’ called out the key differences between the traditional populist parties with a strong leader and without intermediate structures and the new protest populist parties that mobilize the dissatisfaction and resentment of voters towards the political class, but also toward specific policies and policy issues (austerity, security, immigration) and/or institutions (parliament, government, parties, central banks), and international organizations. Prof Morino reminded the audience to distinguish between ‘extremist parties’ (or anti-system) and ‘radical parties’: the former have an ideology (total opposition) and strategies (high conflictuality) that are incompatible with existing systemic constraints; the latter increase the level of confrontation with other political forces and institutions (high conflictuality) because of their anti-establishment characteristics, but without a total rejection.
Prof. Pippa Norris delivered her presentation on ‘Tipping Points, Cultural Backlash and Rising Populism’. She noted the diverse range of leaders in different populist parties, however, argued that two things unite them: their anti-establishment beliefs and popular sovereignty. She continued to state that this opens the door for authoritarian values, including group security, group conventionalism, and group loyalty, arguing that populists are “reverting back to nationalism and isolationism.”
Prof. Kalaycıoğlu presented on ‘Democracy and Populism: The Achilles Heel of Democratic Government’ and spoke about how populism switched from being a left-wing movement to becoming a right-wing movement in the mid-20th Century. He acknowledged the difficulties in defining populism but discussed two common themes that run through most populist parties: firstly, the will of the people, and the direct relationship between the people and the leadership.
Prof. McDonnell, who spoke on ‘Respectable Radicals? Right-wing Populists and Mainstream Parties’, argued that the recent trajectory of populist parties has led to acceptance and recognition by both the public and mainstream political parties. This, he argued, is in direct contrast to the imposition of sanctions and prevalence of negative media coverage, as Austria was previously subject to. Additionally, right-wing populists are no longer embarrassed to acknowledge their similarities with other right-wing parties. This change in opinion is such that populist parties have increased their respectability, without them losing their radical nature or rhetoric.
Dr. Casullo’s presentation, titled ‘Populist Myths and Populist Bodies: Understanding Populist Representation’, focused on populist leaders as focal points in the “us vs them” antagonism, and both the producer and the symbol of the frontier between “us” and “them”. She argued that populist representation is created between both verbal and visual discourse, which combines the hero and villain, damage and redemption rhetoric with the body of the leader. In turn, the ‘body of the leader becomes a symbol that creates an image of the people’. Her point was succinctly made by using an example of the populist leader Donald Trump, eating KFC in a private jet – a good example of politician behaviour that is contrary to the norm.
Research Methods Café
During this café event, IPSA delegates had the opportunity to sit down with experts to learn more about a range of quantitative and qualitative methods. Academics from various universities led the discussions, providing an introduction to each method and answering questions from participants. Designed for researchers at any stage in their career, the café allowed participants to explore new research methods for the first time or to explore methods they were familiar with in more detail.
There was a mixture of methods to learn about, including well-established methods such as applying qualitative data and comparing survey results, and methods that are used less frequently in political science, such as visual analysis. Other topics included comparing international surveys and applying data. Participants were particularly interested in learning how to apply these methods to their own research in a way that would produce reliable, high-quality results that could be published. SAGE Publishing provided live demonstrations of their online resources, including a ‘Methods Map’ and ‘SAGE Research Methods’. These have been designed to assist researchers from the design stage of their work, through to the implementation and writing stages. To find out more about SAGE’s online resources for research, visit http://methods.sagepub.com/
2018 Global South Award Lecture and Ceremony
2018 IPSA Global South Award winner Meenakshi Bansal delivered an award lecture titled "Transformational Changes in Participation of Women in India's Electoral Politics". After the lecture, the award certificate and prize were handed over to Dr. Meenakshi Bansal by Prof. Jørgen Elklit, the chair of the IPSA Committee on Organization, Procedures and Awards.
Dr. Bansal highlighted the importance of women’s participation in electoral politics and decision making as a fundamental pre-requisite to “equitable societies, effective governance, and improving development outcomes.” Her research stressed the importance of the upcoming Women's Reservation Bill, which seeks to reserve one-third of seats for women in the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies, if passed, this would likely ensure a pathway forwards for equitable and participatory democracy.
Featured session: Digital Borders and Non-Borders
The morning’s all-female Congress Theme session was chaired by IPSA’s newly-elected President, Prof Marianna Kneuer on the topic of ‘Digital Borders and Non-borders’. Presenting in the panel were Prof Karen Mossberger, Prof Ariadne Vromen, and Prof Svetlana Bodrunova. The session aimed to explore the inclusivity of digital media and its effects on both political communication and the relationship between the public and private spheres.
Prof Mossberger of Arizona State University presented ‘Digitial Citizenship and Digital Inequalities’, which looked at internet access as a necessary tool for effective participation in democratic society and how this is a means of empowerment. Although the UN declared internet access a human right in 2012, Prof Mossberger noted that there are significant gaps between developed and developing economies as to how many people have regular access to the internet. It is theorised that these gaps are due to gender, economic performance, and education. The UN has tasked itself with getting half of the world’s population online by 2025, however Prof Mossberger argued that access to information is not enough to ensure effective digital citizenship: for example, clickbaiting, misinformation, proliferation of information, and online anonymity all pose similar problems for digital equality.
She was followed by Prof Vromen’s presentation on ‘Digital Participation to Digital Rights: A New Political Agenda in the Age of Platforms, Privacy and Surveillance’. Her presentation focused on digital rights and privacy and the borders between the public and private aspects of our lives, paying particular attention to the current issue of data profiling and monetisation. She discussed her research, including a survey and a focus group, and what the results of this research tells us about how concerned people are for their privacy and whether users are concerned about how companies, particularly social media organisations, use their private data.
Finally, Prof Bodrunova of St Petersburg State University presented ‘The Borders in the Public Sphere: Polarized Media for Fragmented Audiences’ regarding internet use in Russia and the hypothesis that the internet would repair divisions in Russian society. She explained Russia’s social structure, and how these discrete divisions are in fact mirrored by Russia’s use of the internet, despite initial hopes that the internet would become instrumental in repairing these dissections and become a sphere for public discourse.
The Australian Political Studies Association Presidential Panel
Australian Political Studies Association Presidential Panel focused on accountability, integrity and 21st Century constitutionalism. The panel was made up of three speakers: Prof. AJ Brown from Griffith University (Australia), Dr Grzegorz Makowski from Collegium Civitas (Poland) and Paul Heywood from the University of Nottingham (UK). The fourth member of the panel, Professor Fiona Wheeler, sent her regrets. Professor Katharine Gelber from the University of Queensland (Australia) was the panel’s Chair.
Prof. Brown opened the panel with his discussion on integrity within institutions. He asked, how are institutions evolving to include integrity? Is there virtue in trying to constitutionalize integrity? He explored the possibility of adding a fourth branch of government to the Australian Constitution dedicated to integrity alongside the current legislative, judicial and executive branches. However, there are some challenges associated with this. He explained that if an integrity agency were added, its independence would be as important as the independence of the judiciary.
It is also important to define exactly what integrity means, and understand the differences between personal and institutional integrity. While many other countries have audit institutions included in their Constitution, Australia does not. However, recent news reports suggest that we may be on the cusp of a new federal anti-corruption body. While this sounds like a positive step, it will be vital to understand how this will be rolled out, and how it will relate to parliament, executive and judiciary before a judgement on its value can be made. The fourth branch is only worthwhile if it works properly and can function in a truly independent manner.
Dr. Makowski approached the topic of institutional integrity from a Polish standpoint. In Poland, there are integrity institutions within the constitution - unlike in Australia. However, this does not mean that there is more integrity within Poland’s institutions. There are still problems when it comes to managing basic separations of power, and it is impossible to maintain democracy without well-functioning checks and balances.
Some people claim that this issue is so extreme that Poland is ‘back sliding’ into authoritarianism. Dr. Makowski disagrees, but does believe that there are serious issues with integrity. Without the basic features of liberal democracy, such as the separation of powers, corruption cannot be prevented. To explain his perspective, he compared the current situation in Poland to Baudrillard’s idea of the simulacra. Polish politicians claim that they do not want ‘democracy with adjectives’, such as liberal democracy. However, Dr. Makowski says that this is unsustainable: a nation must evolve into a liberal democracy or backslide into authoritarianism. Currently, the Polish government has institutions that make it appear to be a liberal democracy, but on the inside, many of these institutions are not performing the checks and balances that they should. For example, Parliament is not reflective or critical. Much of the civil service are nominated or elected by the ruling party, rather than hired on merit. The judges in the courts are selected based on their loyalty to the ruling party. These are just a few examples of the way in which democratic institutions remain only by name. This simulacra produces real consequences, including systemic corruption. The future may be grim: Poland risks backsliding to authoritarianism if it is pushed out of the EU or if the EU itself breaks down.
Paul Heywood wrapped up the speeches with his talk on the difference between integrity and anti-corruption. He asked, how should we understand integrity and how do we build it in a meaningful way within institutions? It’s important to note that what is often meant by ‘integrity’ is ‘not being corrupted’ rather than the actual definition of integrity. This works on the basis that if you get rid of corruption, you will have integrity. However, Professor Heywood disagrees with this assumption and calls it “minimum standards logic”: having integrity is more than just avoiding corruption.
While there is a lot of talk about integrity, many institutional leaders do not know how to maintain and build integrity in a practical way. Integrity has historically been seen as a characteristic of individuals, but it needs to be adapted to the public realm. As an alternative, Professor Heywood suggests that it is necessary to focus on building a robust disposition to act positively and pursue integrity at an institutional, rather than individual, level. This means focusing on duties to the public and moving away from minimum standards logic and vague appeals to moral values.
The panel was then concluded with a Q&A session from the audience, which delved into these topics in more depth.
AusPSA Awards Reception
On Tuesday, 24-July 2018 the Australian Political Studies Association held its 2018 awards ceremony at the Queensland Museum of Art in Brisbane Australia. The Master of Ceremony was A J Brown, Professor of Public Policy & Law at Griffith University. The event was held in the exquisite Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, around the Watermall water garden surrounded by the Amata Women’s Paintings, see https://www.qagoma.qld.gov.au/whats-on/exhibitions/amata-womens-paintin…. The collection features Tjala Arts, a leader in the vibrant contemporary Indigenous Western Desert painting movement.
During the 2018 APSA dinner, a series of awards were given for the best postgraduate paper to Prudence Brown at University of Queensland, PhD Thesis Prize to Dr. Luke Kimber Craven, the Inaugural Thelma Hunter PhD Thesis Prize was awarded to Dr. Isobelle Barrett Meyering, and the APSA 2018 Crisp Prize was awarded to Dr. Peter Tangney for his monograph “Climate Adaptation Policy and Evidence: Understanding the Tensions Between Politics and Expertise in Public Policy (2017). APSA 2018 awards also included the Crisp Prize to Dr. Peter Balint, Mayer Journal Prize to A/Prof. Carolyn Hendricks, ANU, and the Academic Leadership in Political Science Award to Professor Ariadne Vromen from the University of Sydney.
A warm round of applause was offered to Katharine Gelber, Professor of Politics and Public Policy at University of Queensland, who served the Australian Political Studies Association for 8 years. Prof. Sarah Maddison was welcomed as the new APSA president. Prof. Maddison is a professor of social and political sciences at the University of Melbourne.
Contributing Editors: Alex Rubino, Amelia Edwards, Bernadette Hyland-Wood, Isabella Fredheim and Molly Murphy.
Movie Session 2: Docos for Politicos
The second film session featured Raymond Tallis: On Tickling (2017) and Double Take (2009), with director Johan Grimonprez again participating in Q&A sessions with the audience. In this Q&A, Professor James Der Derian, Dr. Brendon O’Connor & Dr. Sebastian Kaempf helped facilitate discussion, each offering their respective impressions and analyses of the films.
With imagery that forces viewers to contemplate the relationship between fiction and reality, Double Take is an ontological journey that offers a myriad of open interpretations for past and future audiences. Despite this pluralism, a clear theme was identified: the commodification of fear in society through the proliferation of television during the climaxes of the Cold War.
This second glance at history, Dr Brendon O’Connor believed, encouraged audiences to consider the relationship between popular culture and politics. With reference to Nixon’s ‘Kitchen Debate’ alongside more contemporary US politics, Brendon cautioned the phenomenon of politics as popular culture. When this takes place, “Truth becomes up for grabs and arbitrary, reality and fiction meld together” – Dr. Brendon O’Connor. Many of the discussants theorised the adaptation of the film’s themes to a modern setting. Alarmist rhetoric through the first iterations of colour television was considered quite eerily similar to that which is seen today via social media platforms and the 24/7 news cycle.
Professor James Der Derian highlighted his appreciation for Johan’s films, especially his tendency to blend art and politics as well as fiction and non-fiction on screen to emphasise this phenomena in the real world. “The combination of fiction and non-fiction appears to be a growing trend in discourse of world politics, with double or even triple realities surrounding the same event” - Professor James Der Derian.
Johan Grimonprez manages to not only offer a cultural historical exploration of the Cold War and the emergence of television through his film Double Take; he also challenges the ontological foundations of the stories that we collectively tell ourselves and questions the methods in which they are made possible.
Plenary Session: The Future of Human Rights in an Era of Narrow Nationalism: The Margin for Cross-Border Concern and Action
Program Chair Füsun Türkmen began the second plenary session, warmly introducing speaker David P. Forsythe, the Charles J. Mach Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. An authoritative voice in the international politics of human rights, focused on the future of human rights and nationalism. An authoritative voice in the international politics of human rights, Professor Forsythe focused on on the future of human rights and nationalism, discussing illiberalism, and the United States as a liberal hegemon. Touching the work of the ICRC and George Soros, Professor Forsythe emphasized the importance not only of civil and political rights but also of socio-economic rights.
Professor Forsythe’s keynote was on the topic of nationalism, both old and new, and the gap between the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and ‘the nature of the world we see around us.’ He spoke at length about what unites all nationalists, old and new: their lack of commitment to human rights. Additionally, he mapped the trajectory of human rights in recent history, arguing that while the difficulties in protecting human rights are not new, significant progress has been made by those who are ‘fighting the good fight’ in support of human rights.
As of today, there are 65 million victims of forced displacement. Given the current humanitarian crisis, Forsythe’s presentation discussing the future of human rights and nationalism proved both insightful and timely. These issues pose real threats to stable, liberal democracy. In the United States, there is a vigorous debate and considerable pushback on Trump’s policies. In fact, the public outrage over recent immigration policies at the Mexican Border caused a change in policy. Forsythe noted debate however, was about “American values”, with very little attention on international standards.
The speech was followed by a Q&A session, with questions on topics of: the use of social media as both advancing and hindering the human rights cause; the younger generation’s potential in advancing human rights; and the dissatisfaction with liberalism which is turning people toward illiberalism, and the possibility of elevated global conflict under the Trump Administration. Forsythe suggested that a number of more concerning structural problems beyond the current U.S. president. They include:
- Decline in civility of political debate
- Ad hominem attacks on Congressional colleagues
- Gross economic inequality
- Supreme Court decisions allowing dark money
On this point, Professor Forsythe noted Russia’s recent interventions in elections and civic society, as an example of states manufacturing chaos in the West, with a view to paint liberalism as ineffective and undesirable. Professor Forsythe ended on a positive note, reminding us that the advancement for human rights is seldom achieved without struggle. As evident in the fight for women's suffrage, dismantling Apartheid, or as recent as marriage equality, it is in fact possible. Millennials in Europe, North America and South America, have an important role to play, and have done a great deal to advance the non-persecution of LGBTQ citizens.
Rethinking Europe’s Boundaries of Action and Inaction: Crisis and Beyond
The second Congress Theme Session was chaired by Professor Philomena Murray with a view to exploring ‘the boundaries of the European Union’s action and inaction in the context of multiple crises’. The panel was co-chaired by Dr Hartmut Mayer, and papers were presented by Professor Ian Manners, Dr Sophie Meunier Aitsahalia, Professor Mario Telò, and Professor Yvonne Galligan.
Professor Ian Manners, from the University of Copenhagen, presented ‘The European Union’s Normative Power in Planetary Politics’ which addressed planetary politics, what the EU normative power is, and what it means to discuss EU within planetary politics. He was followed by Dr. Sophie Meunier Aitsahalia, of Princeton University, as she presented ‘Confident or Confidential? The European Union as a Superpower in Spite of Itself’, which looked at the EU’s status as ‘the world’s second superpower’, and the external power it holds. She addressed the rise of illiberal regimes in the EU, and how this could consequently alter the EU’s power as the preferences of the Member States change.
Professor Mario Telò presented ‘A Crisis of Regionalism? EU and ASEAN Coping with an Increasingly Competing International Politicization and Differentiated Cooperation/Integration’, which focused on the challenges facing the EU’s traditional institutional set. Finally, Professor Yvonne Galligan of Queens University Belfast presented ‘Europe and the Scope for Action on Gender Equality in a Time of Crisis – Constrained Internal Legitimacy, Cosmopolitan Global Legitimacy’, which looked at the tensions surrounding the EU’s role as a champion of women’s rights and argued that feminist knowledge has been wrongly sidelined in the course of responding to internal and border crises. The session was followed by a thought-provoking Q&A session as the four panelists took questions from the floor.
Concert by GRAMMY® Winning pianist Angelin Chang
Angelin Chang, GRAMMY® Award Winning pianist and Co-Chair of RC18, presented a breathtaking music concert of classical piano repertoire including well-loved pieces by Australian arranger George Percy Grainger (1882-1961), Beethoven and a Chinese piece titled “Moonlight in my Heart”. She delivered a masterful performance to an appreciative audience.
Angelin Chang is the first pianist of Asian heritage to win a GRAMMY®, as well as the first American female awarded. An active IPSA participant since the Paris 1985 IPSA World Congress, Dr. Angelin Chang RC18 Co-Chair with Dr. Teh-Kuang Chang, RC18 Chair and Founder. Angelin Chang is Professor of Law and Professor of Music at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and Cleveland State University, Ohio, U.S.A.
Dr. Chang was accompanied on the stage with her venerable father, Dr. Teh-Kuang Chang is Professor of Political Science. Dr. The-Kuang initiated the Research Committee on Asian and Pacific Studies, established at the 1976 IPSA World Congress in Edinburgh, United Kingdom, and held its first panel on Asian Studies at the1979 Moscow World Congress, an IPSA turning point to extend beyond the European-American tradition.
Contributing Editors: Alex Rubino, Amelia Edwards, Bernadette Hyland-Wood, Isabella Fredheim and Molly Murphy
At every IPSA World Congress, the International Political Science Association provides numerous travel grants to facilitate the participation of scholars who live and work in developing countries; who would otherwise not be able to attend the IPSA World Congress.
There are 30 IPSA travel grant recipients from 21 countries receiving grants at the 2018 IPSA World Congress of Political Science in Brisbane. IPSA Secretary General Prof. Lachapelle met the travel grant recipients at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Tuesday, July 23rd.
Prof. Lachapelle also met the three recipients (Lydia Risi, Audrey Gagnon and Tristan Masson) of the Participation Grant , which was offered by the members of the National Assembly of Quebec (Canada) and LOJIQ (Les offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec).
We congratulate all our award recipients and appreciate their participation in the 2018 IPSA World Congress.