Conference Objectives

The IPSA International Mid-Term Conference aims to examine the challenges of digitalization for the discipline of Political Science. The Conference provides a platform for reflecting about what political science means in a network society. The intention of the Conference is threefold: 1) the reflection on the discipline and one of the most relevant challenges, namely digitalization; 2) connecting the National Associations of IPSA, the Research Committees but also the IPSA ‘leading personnel’, encouraging networking and cooperation; 3) offering a platform for addressing problems as well as designing ideas for the future work within IPSA. Scholars from all over the world will discuss about theory, empirical aspects, methodology, teaching and learning, consulting, and publishing. Critical questions to be addressed will be:

  • How did our discipline react in the last years to the challenges of the digital era and how can it respond in the future? What new demands or tasks emerge for the discipline? 
  • Do we need new theories and concepts? How should studies be tailored to capture the empirical implications of digitalization in the various subdisciplines? Where is interdisciplinary cooperation required? Which methodological tools are necessary or adequate for research?
  • Are there new subjects political science has to address? How does the reconfiguration that digitalization induced in polity, politics and policies change the research on domestic or international politics? 
  • Which new opportunities provides digitalization for teaching (see e.g. MOOCs)? Who can benefit from e-learning and how? How can citizenship education benefit from digital modes of knowledge and value building? 
  • What implications does digitalization have for authors and publishers? 
  • What new challenges come up for political consulting? With which challenges are political foundations, think tanks etc. confronted through digitalization? 

It is an upmost concern of this Conference to encourage a regional stocktaking in order to get an idea of the challenges and opportunities of digitalization in most world regions. Moreover, the Conference intends to offer a broad and multifaceted reflection of the main theme. Therefore, besides scholars of our National Associations and Research Committees there will be included also practitioners, representatives from publishing houses, foundations, thinks tanks etc. 

The Conference will include different formats: Key notes, Roundtables as plenaries, panels structured in a parallel way. Panels are going to be organized as closed panels (by invitation of the Program Chairs in cooperation with the RC Chairs) and as open panels on the basis of a Call. Moreover, the Conference will count with rapporteur s for every conference day. There reports will enter into a final statement that the Program Chairs will expose. This final statement will also serve as a point of orientation for the future work for IPSA on this subject.