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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.

Submission Guidelines

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 1, 2019.

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

Postgraduate Workshop

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


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

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