Dear All,

Welcome to the first, introductory, newsletter of the Anti-politics and (De)politicisation specialist group (APDSG) funded by the British Political Studies Association (PSA).  This newsletter serves as an introduction to the group as well as highlighting upcoming events organised by the APDSG.

The APDSG has been established in order to provide a forum for researchers examining those processes throughout society that seem to have marginalised normative political debates.  These processes have also contributed to an estrangement of elected politicians, reducing their ability to act as well as fostering an air of disengagement, disaffection and disinterest in politics (broadly conceived).

Although these topics have been the subject of much research and academic debate for some time, scholars interested in ‘anti-political’ phenomena have tended to talk past each other rather than to each other. The purpose of this group is hence to foster interaction, collaboration and debate amongst researchers focusing on these disparate but potentially interconnected areas of research.


In the next academic year we will be holding a number of events to advance the specialist group. These events will collectively underpin the development of a research agenda for studying depoliticization and anti-politics. As such, it will incorporate theoretical, conceptual and empirical work from a wide variety of research traditions and disciplines. The events will specifically aim at:

  • Generating research questions for addressing the processes and tensions associated with depoliticization and anti-politics (both empirically and theoretically);
  • Developing collective capacities for joint research projects and proposals;
  • Discussing and organising future research outputs (edited books, articles, special issues, policy papers and other related outputs). We already have one forthcoming special issue on ‘Depoliticization, Governance and the State’ to be published in Policy & Politics in January 2014, with plans for more outputs currently under development.

In particular, we plan three significant events to be sponsored by the specialist group in the next academic year:

1.      Policy & Politics Conference, Bristol, 17-18 September 2013.APDSG has two panels on ‘Politicization, Depoliticization and Public Policy’ confirmed for 18 September.  Details can be viewed here:

2.      First annual workshop on Depoliticization and Anti-politics, University of Sheffield, ICOSS Building, Friday 24 January 2014 (more details TBA)This will be the first workshop organised by APDSG in association with the newly established Sir Bernard Crick Centre for the Public Understanding of Politics at Sheffield. The single day workshop will focus specifically on presentations of research and grant proposals, discussions of future research questions and outputs, and in-depth feedback on working papers.

More details of specific sessions and travel grants will be available later in August. If you are interested in attending or presenting please let us know, so that we can estimate costs and capacity required.

3.      PSA Conference, 14-16 April 2014, Manchester.The 2014 PSA General Conference will be held in Manchester. Building upon very successful panels in the last two years, and the special issue on depoliticisation, APDSG will be organising and sponsoring panels and papers submitted by our members at the conference. The call for papers and panels has been published, with the final deadline on 27 October 2013 (/conference/2014-conference).

If you have a relevant proposal for a panel or paper, please send it to us by 13 October 2013 and we will submit a set of panels. We will also be using the Conference to hold our second general meeting, which is open to all and at which we hope to appoint more members to the APDSG’s board of conveners.

Please let us know if you would be interested in attending any of these events, and if you would be interested in being involved with the management and governance of the APDSG more generally.

Yours Sincerely,

Pinar, Caroline and Matthew