PSA Annual International Conference 2021
Resilience. Expertise. Hope
29th – 31st March 2021

The PSA’s Annual International Conference 2021 will be held in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast, (School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy, and Politics) and Visit Belfast. 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.

The 2021 PSA Annual International Conference is planned as a hybrid conference which blends the digital world and physical world together to produce the opportunities and interactions of a physical conference, with the added accessibility of an online conference.


  • Professor Alister Miskimmon
  • Dr Stefan Andreasson

Conference Venue

Queens University Belfast, University Rd, Belfast BT7 1NN

Conference Timeline

Monday 26th October 2020 @23:59: Deadline for submitting proposals

Monday 30th November 2020:

  • Notification of Acceptance: Acceptance/rejection emails sent to Corresponding Authors
  • Conference registration opens (Early Bird Rates)

Monday 8th February 2021: Registration deadline for presenting authors of accepted abstracts. Failure to register will result in the abstract being excluded from the conference programme.

w/c 22nd March 2021: Deadline for presenting authors to upload papers (not compulsory)

*Please note the conference timeline is subject to change


Please submit your paper or panel via the conference website here. Please visit the conference page on our website here for regular updates.

Please note that currently it is only the PSA21 Conference which is open for submissions. Information on the PSA’s Undergraduate Conference and the Teaching and Learning Conference will be available in due course.

If you have any queries regarding the submission process for the conference please contact and we will be happy to assist.