Graduate Student Conference

Politics: Just in Time?

March 16, 2018
Philadelphia, PA

An increasing sense of urgency fuels our engagement with politics today. From crises that spread like wildfire on social media to concerns that democratic norms may be eroding before our very eyes, the here and now seems to have us firmly in its grasp. Yet, cries of democratic backsliding and calls to make America great again at home, and fears of extremism and war abroad, also renew our relationship with the politics of the past. Is political change just a matter of time? Can we count on politics to come to the rescue, just in time? Have politics ever been just, in time? Are politics bound to their own times, or are some politics just timeless?

The graduate students of the University of Pennsylvania Department of Political Science invite submissions for this years graduate student conference, Politics: Just in Time?. We welcome submissions from all subfields and related disciplines that address pressing problems for governments, societies, and markets, just in time.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:


  • American and comparative political development
  • Borders and boundaries
  • Civil conflict
  • Critical junctures
  • Democracy and democratic norms
  • Historical antecedents
  • History of political thought
  • Identity
  • International order
  • Migration and refugees
  • New media and social networks
  • Populism
  • Religion and culture
  • Rise of new powers
  • Social in/exclusion
  • Social movements
  • Theories of (in)justice

We welcome applicants representing a diverse array of substantive, disciplinary, methodological, and theoretical approaches. Our conference seeks to engage students from peer programs with our own faculty and students on a set of small panels. We also offer a lunchtime panel of Penn faculty on topics related to the theme of the conference and a keynote address by Jennifer Hochschild, 2015-16 APSA President and Professor of Government at Harvard University.

Abstracts (not to exceed 500 words) should be submitted to by Sunday, January 14, 2018. Selected participants will be notified by the first week of February, and monetary travel assistance may be available. We look forward to your submissions and to a dynamic conference!