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2019 NZPSA

November 27th-29th 2019  

The Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Canterbury is very pleased to be hosting the 2019 NZPSA Conference in Christchurch.  The conference will be held on the 27th-29th of November with a postgraduate workshop on the morning of the 27th of November.

Conference Theme: Community, Security, Humanity

On the afternoon of 15 March, 2019, a gunman attacked two Mosques in Christchurch, killing fifty innocent civilians and wounding fifty more. The reverberations from this horrific act of terrorism have overturned many of the previous assumptions about New Zealand politics and society, generating vital debates about the nature of our community, the ways in which we think about security, and the interaction between these events and our broader sense of humanity. NZPSA 2019 presents us with an opportunity to consider how this violent rupture impacts upon and transforms our way of thinking about politics in this country and in the wider world. These themes emphasise both differences and commonalties; the recognition that each community is always composed of a multitude of different communities, all sharing the common expectation that they can live their lives with a reasonable degree of security and dignity. We encourage paper, panel, and roundtable submissions related (but not limited) to the following questions:


  • How have local communities in New Zealand and the wider world typically been defined by explicit and implicit methods of inclusion and exclusion?
  • How do we work toward ensuring the representation of minority and marginalised voices at all levels of politics in local communities and in wider national societies and in what ways can insights from indigenous, postcolonial, and decolonial politics guide this process? 
  • In what ways have the media and political leaders worked to foster or combat anti-Islamic/Islamophobic sentiment and other forms of violent extremism in the community?
  • How can academic communities best respond to the challenges posed by eruptions of political violence within our own societies?


  • Are existing security institutions at the local, national and international levels fit for purpose? 
  • How effective are practices of counter-terrorism and what are the possibilities for transforming security practices to protect all sections of society?
  • To what extent can restrictions on hate speech aid in the provision of security to marginalised groups?
  • What insights into the emergence of white supremacist or other forms of terrorism can be gained from feminist and gender analysis and why have these perspectives been given little attention in security policy formation?
  • In what ways can the experiences of other states in responding to terrorism offer lessons for New Zealand?


  • Can human rights and common humanity serve as useful concepts and categories for considering the paths out of a violently divided political environment?
  • What are the possibilities and problems with thinking in terms of ‘inclusion’ and ‘tolerance’?
  • In what ways, if at all, can responses to mass violence demanding ‘kindness’, ‘peace’ and ‘love’ be put into practice?
  • To what extent are futures being constructed through participation that reflects moral agency and leads to better futures for all, whether in civil society, or in global or local communities?

These questions are intended as broad provocations and should not be understood as exclusively focusing on the Christchurch attack. 

In addition to the above themes we encourage submissions from all areas related to comparative politics, political theory, international relations, media and politics, and New Zealand politics. There are no set streams for this conference as we aim to encourage intersectional conversations on common themes, so panels will be constructed primarily on a thematic rather than disciplinary basis 

We also welcome roundtable proposals related to the conference theme.

Conference Registration

Registration for the 2019 conference is now live and can be accessed here: https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/nzpsa-annual-conference-tickets-70092706171

Submission Guidelines

We are happy to advise that the deadline for paper, panel, and roundtable submissions for the NZPSA Conference has been extended to Friday, August 30.

Individual Papers: Please submit a 150-200 word abstract to NZPSA2019@canterbury.ac.nz. All submissions will be assessed for inclusion in the conference programme on a rolling basis and will be allocated to relevant panels in due course.

Panels: Panel coordinators should submit a panel title and 4-5 abstracts to NZPSA2019@canterbury.ac.nz. Please ensure that all panellists are committed to attending the conference prior to submission. If a full panel cannot be accommodated the individual papers will be considered for inclusion on other panels.

Roundtables: Roundtable coordinators should submit the roundtable title with an abstract of 150-200 words to NZPSA2019@canterbury.ac.nz, explaining the themes to be addressed and 4-6 participants. Please ensure that all panellists are committed to attending the conference prior to submission.

The deadline for paper, panel and roundtable submissions is August 30, 2019.

Details of registration, conference dinner, and postgraduate workshop are coming soon.

Keynote Speakers

Professor Katharine Gelber

Katharine Gelber is Head of the School of Political Science and International Studies, and Professor of Politics and Public Policy, at the University of Queensland. Her research is in the field of freedom of speech, and the regulation of public discourse. She has been awarded several ARC, and other, competitive research grants. In November-December 2017, she was a Visiting Scholar at the Global Freedom of Expression Project, Columbia University, New York. In Dec 2017, she jointly hosted, with Prof Susan Brison, a workshop at the Princeton University Center for Human Values on, 'Free Speech and its Discontents'. In 2014, with Prof Luke McNamara, she was awarded the Mayer journal article prize for the best article in the Australian Journal of Political Science in 2013. In 2011 she was invited by the United Nations to be the Australian Expert Witness at a regional meeting examining States' compliance with the free speech and racial hatred provisions of international law. In 2009 she presented the Mitchell Oration in Adelaide on the topic 'Freedom of Speech and its Limits'. She is the author of three monographs (Free Speech After 9/11, OUP 2016; Speech Matters, UQP, 2011, Speaking Back, John Benjamins, 2002), and three edited books (incl. Free Speech in the Digital Age, OUP 2019). Kath is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia, and a former President of the Australian Political Studies Association and has served on its Executive Committee (2010-2018). She was Chair of the Local Organising Committee for the July 2018 World Congress of the International Political Science Association, Brisbane which brought 2400 political scientists to Brisbane. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the Australian Journal of Politics and History.

Aliya Danzeisen

Aliya Danzeisen is lead coordinator of the Women’s Organisation of the Waikato Muslim Association (WOWMA) and Assistant National Coordinator of the Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand. Aliya was a finalist for the New Zealand Women of Influence Awards 2016 and has participated in several global summits on female leadership and countering violent extremism. She was a presenter at Massey University’s 2018 National Security Conference in Auckland, resulting in an article in the Line of Defence Magazine National Security Conference special edition (Winter 2018).

Postgraduate Workshop

The 2019 Postgraduate Workshop will be held on the 27th of November. Details will be announced closer to the conference.

Local Government Elections Research Symposium

The 6th symposium on local government election research, looking specifically at the 2019 local elections, will be held on the 27th of November. Details are available here https://nzpsa.co.nz/Local-Government-Elections-Research-Symposium


For general inquiries, please email: NZPSA2019@canterbury.ac.nz

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