WESTERN POLITICAL SCIENCE ASSOCIATION
2023 WPSA ANNUAL MEETING
CELEBRATING OUR 76TH ANNIVERSARY IN SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
April 6 - 8, 2023
Unity in the Midst of Disunity: The Role of Political Science in Democracy

Program Chair's

JASON CASELLAS
2023 WPSA Program Chair
University of Houston
Email:
jcasella@central.uh.edu

Section 1: Comparative Politics

Section Chair:

Dana el Kurd
University of Richmond
delkurd@richmond.edu

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:

Jonathan Benjamin Alvarado
Texas Christian University
jalvarado@unomaha.edu

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:

Steve Vanderheiden
University of Colorado
vanders@colorado.edu

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:

Juliet Carlisle
University of Utah
juliet.carlisle@utah.edu

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:

Meredith Conroy
Calfornia State University, Santa Barbara
mere.conroy@gmail.com

This section welcomes papers that deal with executive politics, whether in terms of internal development or with respect to linkages to other institutions and phenomena. We welcome papers that address specific controversies and questions relating to the current U.S. presidential administration as well as papers that signify theoretical development in the study of executive politics. 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 Chairs:

Ivy Cargile
California State University, Bakersfield
icargile@csub.edu
and
Natasha Alteema McNeely
University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley
natasha.altema@utrgv.edu

 

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:

Benjamin Gonzalez O'Brien
San Diego State University
bgonzalezobrien@sdsu.edu

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:

Bryce Reeder
University of Missouri
reederbw@missouri.edu

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:

Natasha Behl
Arizona State University
natasha.behl@asu.edu

This section invites submissions for papers, panels, and roundtables on a broad range of interpretive methodologies, methods, and modes of analyses, including, but not limited to, ethnography, discourse analysis, narrative analysis, semiotics, visual analysis, oral history, intersectional feminist analysis, hermeneutics, phenomenological research, and participatory action research, as they pertain to the study of political phenomena. Papers may critically analyze the theoretical and philosophical traditions and presuppositions that inform interpretive inquiry, address the practical challenges of conducting interpretive research, or examine the interpretive questions and assumptions raised by a specific political topic. Papers may also examine how interpretive inquiry can provide valuable insight into current pressing political matters, e.g. state, racial, and sexual violence, global health pandemics, environmental policy and politics, cyberpolitics, political polarization, and the political mobilization, organizing, and representation of marginalized communities.

We especially encourage proposals that address this year’s conference theme “Lighting Up the New Dawn— Recover, Reconcile, and Rebuild @ 75.” This year’s anniversary celebration provides us with the opportunity to critically reflect on the development, position, and influence of interpretive inquiry within the discipline. We also invite individuals to indicate their willingness to serve as session chairs and/or discussants even if they do not submit paper or panel proposals.

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

Scott Hofer
St. Francis College
scottjhofer@gmail.com
and
Matthew Ward
University of Louisiana
mmward49783@gmail.com

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, "Lighting Up the New Dawn— Recover, Reconcile, and Rebuild at 75." For example, in what ways are legal actors and institutions responsive to the challenges and opportunities posed by COVID, emerging social movements and contentious politics, and the new Roberts Court? 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:

R. Lucas Williams
Texas Southern University
luker1217@gmail.com

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:

Allison Archer
University of Houston
amarche3@Central.UH.EDU

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:

Jason Morin
California State University, Northridge
jason.morin@csun.edu

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:

TBA

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 Chairs:

Ines Valdez
The Ohio State University
valdezi@polisci.osu.edu
and
Erin Pineda
Smith College
epineda@smith.edu

The Political 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:

Jeff Becker
University of the Pacific
jbecker@pacific.edu

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 Chair:

Long Bui
University of California, Irvine
longb@uci.edu

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:

Douglas Dow
University of Texas at Dallas
dougdow@utdallas.edu

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 Chairs:

Gabriele Magni
Loyola Marymount
gabriele.magni@lmu.edu
and
Mary McThomas
University of California, Irvine
mary.mcthomas@uci.edu

The section welcomes proposals that address the conference theme of “recovery, reconciliation, and rebuilding” by considering the changing status of sexuality and gender identities in the United States and globally. We are especially interested in papers that take an intersectional approach to the location of LGBTQI people at the fault lines of recent political contests, especially as they have been disproportionately impacted by the populism, nativism, democratic backsliding, and politics that have marked the twin pandemics of Covid-19 and anti-Black racism as well as the resurgence of the far-right globally. Among the wide range of topics worthy of exploration are the ever-shifting terrain of LGBTQI rights developments (e.g., anti-trans legislation in the U.S.), fluctuations in societal attitudes toward sexuality and gender, LGBTQI movement organizing, backlash and opposition to such movements/rights (e.g., the growing momentum of “gender ideology” around the world), the nature of sex work in the global political economy, and public health crises and their disproportionate impact on queer communities.

Additionally, work exploring new frontiers in pedagogy and research that centers sexuality and gender identity in the profession is also welcome.


Section 20: Public Administration

Section Chairs:

Charles Mitchell
Grambling State University
mitchellc@gram.edu

This section invites paper proposals that address questions related to public administration, public management, and governance. This includes scholarship engaging questions about networks, collaboration, policy implementation, governance relationships, citizen engagement in public affairs, public workforce diversity, technology, the role of non-profits in service delivery, administrative ethics/dissent/resistance, and other similar questions. Transnational administrative questions and/or comparative studies of public administration are welcomed. Finally, we invite studies of the institutional and administrative foundations of inequality, inequity, marginalization, oppression, and exploitation—and how to address them. The section encourages and will highlight diverse research epistemologies, methodologies, and methods.

Section 21: Public Opinion and Political Psychology

Section Chair:

Angel Saavedra Cisneros
Bowdoin College
asaavedracis@gmail.com

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:

Elizabeth Maltby
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
elizabeth.maltby@unlv.edu

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 Chairs:

Angel Luis Molina
Arizona State University
almolin5@asu.edu
and
Chris Towler
California State University, Sacramento
towler@csus.edu

In recent years the central questions of REP scholarship have become, more than ever, critical features of the nation’s political discourse. For the 2022 WPSA conference, we invite proposals for papers, panels, and roundtables, as well as other, innovative presentation formats which demonstrate the power, significance, and broad diversity of our work.

We welcome proposals, for example, which focus on the electoral mobilization and political empowerment of racially marginalized communities; on the political consciousness and policy views of individuals within those communities; on gendered systems of racialized power; on the rise of Black, Latinx, Asian American/Pacific Islander, and Indigenous leaders; on patterns of intra- and inter-racial policy conflict, as well as racial disparities in labor markets, housing, professions, education, health care, criminal injustice, electoral access, environmental risk, immigration, and other key policy arenas; on the politics and practices of social movements to end police violence, dismantle patriarchal systems, protect immigrants, and build community power; on the presence (or absence) of racial themes in popular culture, literature, and media; on racial political history; and on other topics which center the politics of race and ethnicity, in local, national, and international contexts.

We have no methodological restrictions or preferences (all are welcome), and we actively solicit work from a wide range of theoretical, substantive, and normative approaches. We welcome papers and panels which facilitate engagement with advocates and practitioners from outside the academy. We value the insights and contributions of emerging scholars, and welcome proposals from students, as well as from established scholars at all ranks. Finally, we invite contributions which explore innovative pedagogies and modes of classroom/community engagement, and others which focus on the particular needs, strengths, and contributions of first-gen, non-traditional, veteran, and recovering students.

Section 24: State, Local and Urban Politics

Section Chair:

Jason McDaniel
San Francisco State University
mcdaniel@sfsu.edu

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 2018 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:

Renee Van Vechten
University of Redlands
renee_vanvechten@redlands.edu

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 Chairs:

Peter Burns
Soka University
pburns@soka.edu

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:

Alvaro Corral
Wooster College
alvarojcorral@gmail.com

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:

Markie McBrayer
University of Idaho
markie.mcbrayer@gmail.com

Seventy-five years ago, in 1947, the United Nations held its first ever Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), triggering global political attention to women and gender dynamics. It was not until Spring 1969 that the American Political Science Association (APSA) created its own Committee of the Status of Women (Mitchell 1990), over 20 years later. This illustrates the critical relationship between women, gender, and politics scholarship and feminist activism at local and global levels. As WPSA also celebrates its 75th year, we ask for gender scholars to embrace the theme of “lighting up the new dawn” and to think about importance of 1) imagination and 2) feminist political activism for recovering, reconciling, and rebuilding democratic governance. Panels that include policy practitioners and/or activists are welcome, as well as papers that reflect creativity and imagination to foster “a more just and inclusive new dawn for America and for the world,” (WPSA Conference Theme Statement). This section also 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 from scholars at all stages in their careers, methodological traditions, and cross-disciplinary approaches are invited to submit their work.


Section 00: Program Chair's Section: Lighting Up the New Dawn— Recover, Reconcile, and Rebuild @ 75

Section Chair:

Jason Casellas
University of Houston
jcasellas@uh.edu

This2023 annual meeting will be held in the aftermath of a trying time in our world, most especially the multiple challenges of economic insecurity, inequality, climate change, public health, democratic instability, and international conflict. Given these and myriads of other challenges not only in the United States but across the world, the WPSA is excited about reconvening scholars from all types of institutions to come together and explore where we have been and examine political problems from multiple perspectives, including historical, analytical, quantitative, qualitative, interpretive, normative, and empirical points of view. What are some examples of how division has impacted our political discourse and what role can we political scientists play, as individuals and as members of an association to help find ways to foster unity and coalescence around shared principles? How can our research and teaching contribute to fostering unity in the midst of disunity? What does unity mean for WPSA and its members? Under what circumstances can we realistically achieve unity in the midst of disunity?

We invite proposals that discuss the many ways we can think of unity in the midst of disunity from the points of view of our very diverse range of sections to help realize a renewed understanding and appreciation of the democratic pluralism that undergirds our society. We encourage members to submit proposals that explore how feasible and achievable unity is in the midst of such polarized division and in what ways division and disunity have affected and will affect the endurance of the American experiment in constitutional self-governance.

MINICONFERENCE LISTINGS:

Section 29: Miniconference: Asian Pacific American Politics

Section Chairs:

Loan K. Le
Institute for Good Government and Inclusion
lkle@thinkiggi.com
and
Ngoc Phan
Hawaii Pacific University
ntphan@hpu.edu