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2021 NZPSA

NZPSA Annual conference 2021

29th November - 1st December 2021

Auckland University of Technology (AUT), City Campus

The Politics of Crisis

The annual conference of the New Zealand Political Studies Association will be held at AUT from Monday 29th November until Wednesday 1st December 2021. After a prolonged period of online interactions, we look forward to seeing everyone in person!

We welcome paper submissions, especially those that relate to our theme of The Politics of Crisis. Submission details are below.

The Politics of Crisis 

We are living through a world moment in which major social and political problems are frequently framed as crises. The Covid-19 pandemic has presented us with a global health crisis, leading to increased social and economic suffering in many parts of the world. It has also exposed crises in state capacity and political leadership in polities as diverse as the United Kingdom, the United States, and Brazil. The ability of international actors and institutions to cope with potential crises brought on by future pandemics, the climate emergency, pressures on trade routes and the global supply chain, and shifts in power dynamics in an increasingly multi-polar and fractured international system, is in question. For many countries, the crisis of democracy, marked by the rise of anti-system forces and anti-social political movements, has only deepened over the past two years. Democracy in Aotearoa New Zealand might not be under the same kind of pressures or to the same extent as it is elsewhere, but we face our own series of crises, nevertheless. Among other national and local problems that are described in crisis terms are the “housing crisis”, an “infrastructure crisis”, a “climate change crisis”, a “crisis in local governance” and a “mental health crisis”.  

This raises a number of questions that political scientists and political theorists might further investigate. These include some of the following, and we invite panels and papers especially on these themes:  
  • What is lost and what is gained by framing policy problems as crises? Does it get us any closer to addressing difficult political problems?  
  • How do we overcome the moment of crisis to address issues in an inclusive and equitable way? 
  • How and why was it possible for the New Zealand government to successfully address the Covid-19 crisis, but has found longer-term political problems such as housing, poverty, or climate change much more intractable?  
  • Has this sense of crisis really increased over time, or is the sense of living through crisis a normal part of doing politics?  
  • Which actors and institutions are best positioned to resolve particular crises? National or transnational ones? Government or non-government? Local government or central government? 
  • What role does the media play in creating or heightening the sense of crisis?
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. We also welcome panel sessions (3-5 speakers) and roundtable proposals related to the conference theme. 

Scheduling preference will be given to papers that are submitted by the deadline below.  
Paper submissions:

For a single author paper include: your name and institutional affiliation (if applicable), paper title, and a 150-250 word abstract.

For a paper with multiple authors include: the names, institutional affiliations and email addresses of all authors of the paper, the name of the conference presenter(s), the paper title and a 150-250 word abstract.  

For panel session and roundtable proposals: please ensure the commitment of all presenters to attend the conference before submitting your proposal. Include information, as above, for all authors and presenters. Abstracts must be submitted for a paper to be included in a panel session. Indicate the unifying theme of the session and where else in the conference the paper proposals might be placed should the panel session or roundtable not proceed for any reason.  

Email paper submissions to: nzpsa2021@aut.ac.nz  

Initial Deadline: 5pm, Friday 3rd September. The deadline will be extended if the programme is not full at this point. Submitters will be informed on a rolling basis about the acceptance of their proposals.

Conference Prizes:  

Postgraduate students may be eligible for the following Conference Prizes: 
  • A Postgraduate Conference Prize for the best paper in the field of Environmental Politics and Policy.
  • A Postgraduate Conference Prize for the best paper in the field of Aotearoa New Zealand domestic politics.
  • A Postgraduate Conference Prize in any other field of political studies.
To be eligible for one of these awards, your paper must be accepted for inclusion into the conference; submit your abstract as above. Information about applying for the awards is on this page https://nzpsa.co.nz/prizes. Please note that the awards process is not managed by the conference organisers


Details TBC


Details TBC

Covid-19 Disclaimer:

Conference details as released assume that Auckland is in a Covid-19 alert level of 1 or 2 at the time the conference is scheduled. We may, however, be required to cancel or make changes to the conference, possibly at short notice, either because of a change in alert levels or because of uncertainty about the safety of proceeding with an in-person conference at the scheduled time. We appreciate the difficulty this poses for those planning on attending. We will proceed in a cautious way and on the advice of our institution.

We are not in a position to offer advice, or assume risk, for people wanting to attend this conference from outside New Zealand, including overseas-based New Zealand citizens and permanent residents. 
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