Conference

PSA21 Annual Conference

The PSA are delighted to announce that the Annual Conference for 2021 will take place in Belfast in partnership with Queen's University Belfast and Visit Belfast. 

We'll have more information in the coming days and weeks so do keep an eye on this page to find out the timeline!

 

Conference theme: Resilience. Expertise. Hope.

The Covid-19 pandemic will have a lasting impact on all aspects of our lives and the societies in which we live, providing new challenges, but also opportunities, in terms of how we think about and study socio-economic organisation, democratic institutions and international governance, as well as the fundamental questions of justice and equality that provide the normative underpinnings to social scientific research. The 2021 PSA Conference seeks contributions that address these multifarious challenges and opportunities in the context of three overarching themes: Resilience, Expertise and Hope.

Resilience, Expertise and Hope will be crucial ingredients in our ability to adapt and respond in the wake of fundamental disruption. They will also prove invaluable in informing and shaping diverse and evolving research agendas in political science to make sense of and understand the global economy, global ecosystems and the climate, public health, international security, and many other interrelated issue areas that combine to generate the most pressing challenges of our age.

Resilience is a key factor in determining the ability of any organisation, institution and society to manage and cope with severe stress, whether in the form of impending threat by disease, conflict, economic and environmental crisis, socio-political dissatisfaction and the pressures it generates, and so on. Without resilience we cannot cope and as history informs us, current crisis can quickly turn into future catastrophe. Expertise is a prime commodity, especially in times of upheaval and uncertainty. In an era of emergent populism and disinformation where expertise is increasingly suspect and experts often denigrated, we need to better understand the role of experts and what political conditions enhance or impede their voice and ability to contribute solutions to imminent challenges. Hope is essential in any moment where what may be construed as an existential crisis can trigger fatalism or a naïve sense of optimism. Without hope in our fundamental societal and political institutions and arrangements we proceed towards that critical phase in which, as in the words of Yeats, “the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity”. Hope can pull us back from the brink, and political science research at its very best can contribute in this regard too.

We trust that Belfast, the dynamic and vibrant capital city of Northern Ireland – rich in political history and current exciting cross-cultural developments at the crossroads of British and Irish, European and global cultures – will provide an inspiring environment in which to welcome you to the PSA Conference in 2021.