Division Calls

Table of Contents

Division Chair Contact List

Division 1: Political Thought and Philosophy: Historical Approaches

Division Chairs: Eric MacGilvray, Ohio State University and Daniel Kapust, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Legitimacy is one of the most important concepts in political thought and philosophy, as questions about the origins, purposes, and proper limits of political authority have always been central to political life. The history of political thought offers a wide range of resources for addressing this theme, including social contract theory, the natural law tradition, democratic and republican forms of constitutionalism, political theology, and appeals to national or ethnic solidarity. Papers and panels may explore topics such as revolution, rebellion, civil war, and the founding of polities, or may draw on the history of political thought to enrich, inform, or critique contemporary norms and institutions. We are especially interested in proposals that challenge existing conceptions of legitimacy, and that examine the legitimacy of particular approaches to the study of political thought. This list of topics is by no means exhaustive; indeed part of the value of historical inquiry is that it can challenge existing interpretive frameworks and identify new questions and puzzles. We welcome proposals that make use of diverse methodological approaches, that draw on both Western and non-Western traditions, and that address a wide variety of texts, time periods, and cultures. We also welcome proposals that challenge, extend, or move beyond the conference theme.

Division 2: Foundations of Political Theory

Division Chairs: Emily Nacol, Vanderbilt University and Neil Roberts, Williams College

The Foundations of Political Theory Section invites papers, panels, and roundtables from all areas of political theory broadly construed.  We welcome individual submissions from scholars at all levels of the profession, and strongly encourage group submissions that include both junior and senior scholars.

This year’s theme, “The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations,” invites inquiries into a core concept that has long been debated in political theory and remains integral to the foundations of late modern political discourses.  Thinking about the problem of legitimacy invites explorations into its connection to other key concepts in political theory including, but not limited to, freedom, rights, equality, justice, democracy, citizenship, order, exclusion, domination, and power.

We welcome research projects that put notions of legitimacy in conversation with scholarship on race, colonialism, gender, sexuality, disability, religion, and class, and we are interested in work that connects these investigations into legitimacy and attendant concepts with political events, practices, and national and transnational movements and institutions—past, present, and future.  Such an intellectual endeavor also includes scholarship in our subfield that challenges the importance of legitimacy as a political ideal.

Furthermore, we are committed to fostering dialogue among scholars who employ different methodological perspectives across time, geography, and intellectual tradition.  This includes work that accepts the division between Western and non-Western thought as well as scholarship that rejects that binary.  Additionally, papers and commentary by and about those who are underrepresented or marginalized in the field is of keen interest.

Division 3: Normative Theory

Division Chairs: Jade Schiff, Oberlin College and Paisley Currah, Brooklyn College, CUNY

This year’s conference theme, “The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations,” raises pressing questions for political theorists: What is legitimacy? How is the legitimacy of political actors, processes, institutions and ideological configurations established and maintained, and how is it challenged, subverted or denied altogether? How are marginal, liminal or hybrid identities and sites of political engagement de-legitimized in political practice and in political theory? How do exercises of power silence, exclude, and demean some while giving voice to, inviting in, and elevating others? How and why are some objects of knowledge and ways of knowing legitimized and others delegitimized in political practice and political theory? These questions are not exhaustive and submissions need not be limited to the conference theme. We welcome papers on any subject in normative political theory, broadly construed, including comparative and applied political theory. We especially welcome proposals for panels that include both junior and senior scholars. We aim to develop a program that reflects the broadest possible range of themes, arguments, perspectives and  possibilities that normative political theorists can generate.

Division 4: Formal Political Theory

Division Chair: Keith Schnakenberg, University of Kentucky

The Formal Political Theory division welcomes paper, poster, or panel proposals that use game theory, social choice theory, or computational modeling to answer questions related to any substantive field in political science. This section especially welcomes substantively cohesive panel proposals, papers or panels that address the conference theme, and proposals with ties to other subfields.

Division 5: Political Psychology

Division Chairs: Andrea Benjamin, University of North Carolina and Eric Groenendyk, University of Memphis

The political psychology division welcomes submissions on a wide array of topics relating to the way groups and individuals experience politics, perceive their circumstances, processing information, form preferences, and behave.  We especially encourage paper and panel proposals that relate to the theme of the 2017 APSA Meeting: “The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences, and Aspirations.”  Questions of legitimacy are implicitly, if not explicitly, at the heart of many of the questions political psychologists are most interested in answering:  How best can we assess citizens’ true preferences and translate them into policy?  Do individuals weigh information objectively as they form their preferences?  What factors affect the reception and acceptance of elite messages?  Who really leads whom and when?  How much of a role do stereotypes and prejudices play in shaping opinions and behavior, and how can they be overcome?  How can we ensure that the voices of underrepresented groups are heard?  How well do the assumptions underlying democracy hold once psychological processes are understood?  And, how can we motivated citizens to better fulfill the role they are expected to play in democracy?  We welcome proposals from a diverse array of methodologies and disciplinary perspectives.  Clear and concisely written proposals will be especially appreciated.

Division 6: Political Economy

Division Chairs: Tom Clark, Emory University and Alison Post- University of California, Berkeley

The Political Economy Section welcomes paper and panel proposals from emerging and established research areas in political economy, broadly understood.  Submissions that address the annual meeting’s theme of The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences, and Aspirations through the lens of political economy are especially welcome.  Political economy approaches to various substantive topics in political science can yield important insights about the nature of political legitimacy. Substantive problems in contemporary politics as varied as income inequality, conflict and relationships among political institutions, the creation and support of cooperative agreements such as the TPP, make clear that political legitimacy concerns can often be understood through a political-economic approach to politics. We welcome proposals on these and other topics that utilize political economy to understand legitimacy.  We encourage substantively cohesive panel proposals that bring together scholars from within and across subfield lines, as well as across different world regions.

Division 7: Politics and History

Division Chairs: Kent Eaton, University of California, Santa Cruz and Naomi Murakawa, Princeton University

In keeping with this year’s annual meeting theme of “The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences, and Aspirations,” the Politics and History Section invites scholars to apply historical-institutional approaches to the study of legitimacy. Such work will be especially critical in answering central analytical questions highlighted in this year’s theme statement: What are the determinants and consequences of legitimacy (or a lack thereof)? Where does legitimacy come from, how does it shape political outcomes, and how has the very definition of legitimacy changed over time? We especially welcome submissions that illuminate variation in the historical processes and patterns through which legitimacy accumulates, as well as episodes of political contention that produce the opposite outcome over time—delegitimation and the withdrawal of legitimacy. We encourage submissions that explore the past as well as submissions that proffer historically-informed analyses of important contemporary political and public policy issues, including but not limited to Black Lives Matter movements and the legitimacy of policing and the carceral state; the global refugee crisis and the normative, historical foundations of immigration policies; neoliberalism and the legitimacy of the welfare state; the viability and legitimacy of rising global and intra-national wealth inequality; the legitimacy of the electoral process and political parties; and the legitimacy of the state and scientific  expertise in the face of climate change. We especially welcome substantively cohesive panel proposals that bring together scholars from diverse subfields and perspectives and that compare regions of the world.

Division 8: Political Methodology

Division Chair: Jowei Chen, University of Michigan

The Political Methodology division welcomes paper, panel, and roundtable proposals addressing all aspects of empirical methodology.  As in previous years, we encourage proposals dealing with measurement, estimation, research design, model specification, and theory development and testing. We welcome proposals that develop new techniques as well as innovative applications of existing techniques.

This year’s conference theme, “The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations,” is an opportunity for individual researchers and groups of scholars to engage in broader discussions about the conceptualization and measurement of phenomena relating to political legitimacy. We encourage proposals addressing practical and theoretical issues in empirical political science research, difficulties in handling and analyzing increasingly large and complex data sets, and possibilities offered by recent statistical, theoretical, and computational advances.

Proposals that address the conference theme as well as proposals with potential ties to other divisions are especially welcomed.

Division 9: Teaching and Learning in Political Science

Division Chair: Rebecca A. Glazier, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

The Teaching and Learning in Political Science division invites paper and panel proposals that contribute to the scholarship of teaching and learning. The division particularly invites proposals relevant to the conference theme “The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences, and Aspirations”, which relates to the division in at least two ways. First, issues of legitimacy, usually determined through formal or informal assessments, often play a central role in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Proposals in this vein could address, for instance, the legitimacy of various assessment methods, instructional delivery models, or pedagogical tools. Second is the very legitimacy of the field of teaching and learning in political science. Increasing rigor in the field, together with greater visibility of quality research, has brought greater legitimacy to the scholarship of teaching and learning in recent years. Proposals in this vein could include, for instance, retrospective roundtables, discussions of publication expectations, and forward-looking research.

As always, the Teaching and Learning in Political Science division welcomes a wide range of topics for proposals, including but not limited to: innovations in curriculum and program design, classroom teaching, instructional technology, experiential learning, online courses, graduate training, undergraduate research, advising and mentoring, administration, and assessment.

The Teaching and Learning division is strongly committed to honoring the diversity of institutions with which ASPA members are associated, and we welcome submissions from political scientists at community colleges and two-year institutions, as well as from four-year colleges and universities.

Division 10: Political Science Education

Division Chairs: Joseph Roberts, Roger Williams University and Terry Gilmour, Midland College

Political Science Education pursues pedagogies that are innovative, inspiriting, and assessable while providing students rich, dynamic, and engaged learning experiences in the classroom and through simulations, service learning, community engagement, or study abroad (among others). Political science education is not simply the acquisition of knowledge about political phenomena but the development of skills and habits of learning necessary to mold well rounded full citizens of the polis. The theme for the 2017 Annual Meeting is The Quest for Legitimacy. Legitimacy is a central question in all fields of the discipline.

Salient debates—whether about representation, equality, voice, accountability, institutionalization, protest, revolutions, international norms, disputes, war—can all contain questions of legitimacy at their core. Moments of social and political change often center on contestation about what is considered legitimate, including some of the more prominent movements in the last several years, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, Arab Spring protests, the global refugee crises, increasing nationalism and xenophobia in established democracies, debates about universal health care and other social policies, environmental regulations, the rights of minority groups, and the apparent widespread increases in inequality. Legitimacy is also closely tied to numerous core concepts, including the creation of order, the exercise of power, and the nature and role of political authority.

These debates are central to what we do as educators in the classroom in myriad ways. What new questions of legitimacy are changing the topics we teach, how we might teach those topics, and the articles, books, or other resources we might use to engage students on these questions? Are there new pedagogical strategies that we can employ to engage students in these questions of legitimacy? How effective are new or innovative projects that ask and answer questions of legitimacy, such as recent crowd sourced reading lists on Black Lives Matter or Women Also Know Stuff, that apply to the classroom experience? How does assessment of student learning reflect the legitimacy of the experiences of our changing student demographics?

As the Annual Meeting theme encourages papers focused on the Quest for Legitimacy, we encourage similar themes for the section that highlight research on how political science education can increase the legitimacy of student experiences both within and outside of the classroom. The quest for legitimacy is a transformative question that is at the root of all of our work as educators. How might technology serve to deepen understanding of legitimacy in various communities? How would one assess the impact of such technology? How do new pedagogical practices including simulations and games, cross-disciplinary and inter-institutional interactions, and others provide students opportunities for developing skills for understanding different communities, effective citizenship, and political analysis? What pedagogies provide new avenues for accessibility to a diverse population of students? How do we assess and improve the access issues to innovative learning opportunities such as internships, externships, or service learning? How is our political science curricula evolving to address the Quest for Legitimacy both in higher education, generally, and our discipline, in particular? How do the various political science sub-disciplines re-imagine their pedagogy to best engage their students in grasping the Quest for Legitimacy?

Political science education has a long history of utilizing a broad range of program formats. While individuals may propose traditional papers and panels, the Association is also interested in other settings including Mini-conferences that are extended time-blocs focused on some theme, Research Cafés, Sequential Paper presentations where scholars can receive feedback from an exclusive discussant, Roundtables, Author(s) Meet Critics sessions, Short Courses (perhaps not limited to Wednesday), and Poster Presentations with Discussants. Per the mission of this section and as the questions above suggest, we encourage a wide range of topics for papers and (theme) panels, including but not limited to innovations in curriculum and program design, classroom teaching, instructional technology, experiential learning, online courses, graduate training, undergraduate research, advising and mentoring, administration, and assessment.

The Political Science Education section is strongly committed to honoring the diversity of institutions with which ASPA members are associated, and we welcome submissions from political scientists at community colleges and two-year institutions, as well as from four-year colleges and universities.

Division 11: Comparative Politics

Division Chairs: Tom Pepinsky, Cornell University and Sara Wallace Goodman, University of California-Irvine

The Comparative Politics section welcomes proposals that make theoretical, conceptual, and/or empirical contributions to any area of comparative politics. Submissions could involve institutional development and change, the politics of identity, democratization or regime dynamics, political economy, state-society relations, social cleavages, subnational conflict, globalization and domestic politics, and many more.

We particularly welcome submissions that address the year’s conference theme: The Quest for Legitimacy.  We welcome proposals that examine how actors understand legitimacy, for example in the context of political upheaval, rising nationalism, social movements, or transnational conflict. Proposals may alternatively focus on how legitimacy is contested, through debate, through elections, or through other means. Proposals may also consider the consequences of legitimacy for comparative politics, focusing on particular national contexts or particular world events. Our expectation is that successful proposals will tie this year’s conference theme to the many different subdisciplines within comparative politics.

Single-country and cross-national proposals are equally welcome, as are proposals from all methodological approaches. We are open to submissions from scholars working from any theoretical perspective and at any stage in their careers. Well-organized panel proposals are particularly welcome. In particular, we welcome panels that reflect the institutional, gender, and many other diversities characteristic of our discipline.

Division 12: Comparative Politics of Developing Countries

Division Chairs: Carew Boulding, University of Colorado at Boulder and Irfan Nooruddin, Georgetown University

We welcome proposals for comparative politics research that aids in our understanding of developing countries. We are especially interested in research that addresses important substantive questions with theoretical and empirical contributions.

Division 13: Politics of Communist and Former Communist Countries

Division Chair: Lucan Way, University of Toronto

I encourage quality submissions on all topics including those that touch directly and indirectly on political legitimacy: public opinion, inequality, institutions, protest, revolution, international conflict, and international norms.  In particular, recent trends raise a number of salient questions.  Have western dominated international organizations such as NATO and the European Union lost some of the legitimacy and support that they used to have? How has an increasingly forceful China and Russia affected politics in Communist and post Communist countries?  How do issues related to legitimacy manifest themselves in the extremely wide range of political regimes that encompass the Communist and post Communist world? How have do these different countries deal with the social and political challenges of the 20th and 21st century?  I especially welcome panels or roundtables that touch on and compare different regions of the world.

Division 14: Comparative Politics of Advanced Industrial Societies

Division Chairs: Zeynep Somer-Topcu, The University of Texas at Austin and Seth Jolly, Syracuse University

The division welcomes paper and panel proposals that identify theoretically and substantively important problems in the study of advanced industrial societies, as well as proposals that employ diverse and innovative methodological approaches and empirical data. In accordance with this year’s theme, “The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations”, we welcome both comparative institutions and comparative behavior proposals that examine questions such as how institutions in advanced industrial democracies gain, preserve, enhance, and lose legitimacy, and how voters/citizens in these democracies attribute legitimacy to and evaluate the legitimacy of political institutions and actors. We are also receptive to proposals that go beyond the conference theme to address key issues across advanced industrial societies.

 

Division 15: European Politics and Society

Division Chair:  Erik Jones, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University

The section welcomes papers and panels in any area of European politics and society, broadly understood. We would especially welcome innovative panel formats, including the use of roundtable and author-meets-critics to include work in progress. The theme of the 2017 Annual Meeting is: “The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations”. The quest for legitimacy in Europe is having a powerful impact on politics and society.  It is transforming political parties and party systems, giving rise to new forms of political organization, fueling separatist movements within countries, and challenging the process of European integration.  The stimulus can be found in factors as diverse as demographic change, industrial innovation, globalization, migration, and identity politics.  It also influenced by developments outside Europe, from the United States and the Western Hemisphere around to Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, China and India.  As a result, Europeans are raising fundamental questions about the role of the state, the purpose of forming a European Union, and the boundaries of what constitutes Europe.  The British referendum on European Union membership is only the most obvious illustration of this dynamic.  The challenge for analysis is to understand why legitimacy in Europe is so under threat and what this means for the legitimacy of Europe as a concept.

Division 16: International Political Economy

Division Chair: In Song Kim, MIT

The International Political Economy  (IPE) section welcomes paper and panel proposals that identify empirically and theoretically important problems in which political forces interact with economic factors, broadly defined. In keeping with the 2017 Annual Meeting theme “The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations”, we are particularly interested in submissions that address how the choices of various economic policies are driven by legitimacy concerns and distributional implications over domestic and international actors. We encourage substantively cohesive panel proposals that bring together scholars from different subfields with diverse methodological and theoretical perspectives.  Roundtable proposals should be specifically focused on the theme of “The Quest for Legitimacy” in which groups of scholars engage in critical discussion of challenges and opportunities in understanding representation, equality, institutionalization, and international norms in the field of IPE.

Division 17: International Collaboration

Division Chairs: Krzysztof Pelc, McGill Univeristy, and Leslie Johns, UCLA

The International Collaboration section welcomes paper and panel proposals for the 2017 APSA conference.  This year’s theme is: “The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations”.   We encourage proposals dealing with international collaboration broadly defined.   This includes, but is not limited to: international organizations; international law and governance; diplomacy; economic coordination; conflict mediation and dispute settlement; and transnational advocacy.  As such, we welcome proposals that address either conflict or international political economy or other substantive issues and welcome proposals from all theoretical and methodological perspectives.

Division 18: International Security

Division Chairs: Nuno Monteiro, Yale University and Keren Yarhi-Milo, Princeton University

Consistent with the 2017 APSA Annual Meeting theme, we invite paper, panel, and roundtable proposals related to the topic of legitimacy and its application to research questions in international security, coming from any theoretical or methodological approach. The concept of legitimacy directly or indirectly shapes many of the key questions in international security. Debates about relations among great powers, the threat and use of military force, foreign military intervention, territorial claims, the development and use of nuclear weapons, as well as the deployment of new forms of military technology such as drones and robotics, often revolve around unavoidable issues of legitimacy. Similarly, the legitimacy of different forms of government, international institutions, and emerging non-state and quasi-state actors—and its consequences for international security—has been the subject of much debate. We welcome any and all scholarly contribution on these topics.

Division 19: International Security and Arms Control

Division Chair: Dan Lindley, University of Notre Dame

Division 20: Foreign Policy

Division Chair: Desha Girod, Georgetown University

The Foreign Policy section invites proposals for panels, papers, and roundtables that align with the conference theme, “The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations.” The theme raises a wide range of important questions for scholars of foreign policy. For example, when does foreign policy affect the legitimacy of certain issues, groups, governments, or international organizations? What determines the degree of legitimacy that major actors in world politics assign to the foreign or domestic policies of specific countries? Which actors have a stake in establishing legitimacy in foreign policy and which audiences hold them accountable? Where do beliefs about what counts as legitimate behavior come from and how do these beliefs change? Why are some actors more legitimate than others in the foreign policy making process? How does legitimacy affect the creation of foreign policy or moderate its effects? The division welcomes proposals from a diversity of methodologies.

Division 21: Conflict Processes

Division Chairs: Govinda Clayton, University of Kent and Molly Melin, Loyola University, Chicago

The Conflict Processes section invites paper, panel and roundtable proposals broadly related to the onset, resolution and dynamics of political conflict.  This year’s conference theme, “The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations,” explores the many contemporary debates surrounding legitimacy, its definition, its causes and consequences. This topic has particular relevance within the study of conflict processes, as rebellions, disputes, and wars are each agents of change that involve actors, interactions and outcomes whose legitimacy is often contested.  How is legitimacy created, diminished or contested in the processes of political conflict? Does the concept of legitimacy change over time or is it a static concept? In what ways can violence be legitimate, and which actors can legitimately act violently?  Submissions can focus on a variety of topics that may have implications for concepts of legitimacy, including the global balance of power, international institutions, the effect of new technologies, and evolutions in the international economic order. We welcome proposals from a broad array of theoretical and empirical approaches that are focused on increasing our understanding of conflict processes.

Division 22: Legislative Studies

Division Chair: José Antonio Cheibub, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and Alan Wiseman, Vanderbilt University

The legislative studies section welcomes papers and panels that address this year’s conference theme, “The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations.”  With the rise of legislative gridlock and partisan conflict in the United States, Europe, and other developed, and developing, democracies in recent years, scholars have found themselves increasingly engaging profound questions regarding the efficacy of representative government; and how variations in political institutions affect the ability of contemporary legislatures to engage in meaningful lawmaking.  To that end, we welcome proposals that engage the ways in which legislatures, and legislative institutions, facilitate legitimacy within political systems, broadly defined.  Among the topics that we would hope that panels would explore would be: the determinants and consequences of variations in descriptive representation in legislatures, the role of the legislature in a broader political system, the evolution and impact of political institutions in legislative settings, the factors that contribute to effective policymaking in legislatures, and the roles and evolution of political parties in legislative settings.  We are also interested in papers and panels focusing on other topics of interest to scholars of legislative politics, including scholars of sub-national assemblies, as well as legislative practitioners.  The legislative studies section embraces proposals from a broad array of theoretical foundations and empirical methodologies, including large and small-sample empirical studies, historical analyses, and formal theory.

Division 23:  Presidents and Executive Politics

Division Chair: Douglas Kriner, Boston University

This year’s conference theme on political legitimacy focuses our attention on questions that are central to the study of presidents and executive institutions across the globe.  Political struggles over what constitutes the legitimate exercise of executive power are both pervasive and protean.  Many actions once derided by their critics as illegitimate – such as executive initiative in foreign affairs, or even the issuance of vetoes based on policy, rather than constitutional grounds – are now accepted as routine instruments of executive leadership.  However, the expansion of executive power in many polities to meet varied challenges including those posed by terrorism, globalization, and institutional gridlock has reopened old debates and sparked growing concerns about the scope of executive power.  More broadly, protestations of “rigged” electoral systems and democratic deficits raise fundamental questions about the legitimacy of political systems and of the executive’s place within them.

The Presidents and Executive Politics Division welcomes paper and roundtable proposals that address core questions about legitimacy and executive governance, broadly defined, both in the United States and around the world.  We encourage submissions that employ innovative theoretical and methodological approaches to yield new perspectives on long-standing questions.  Consideration will also be given to complete panel proposals, particularly to those that resonate with the overarching theme on executive legitimacy.  Finally, because questions of executive legitimacy are inextricably linked with broader debates and research trajectories, we particularly welcome proposals with connections to other divisions.

Division 24: Public Administration

Division Chairs: Kelly LeRoux, University of Illinois at Chicago and Vicky Wilkins, American University

Legitimacy represents a theme of enduring relevance for the field of Public Administration. As a field concerned with the study of bureaucratic organizations and the unelected actors who manage them, lead them, and constantly exercise discretion in policy implementation, legitimacy is of paramount importance. Indeed, legitimacy has proven to be a fluid and fragile state for most public organizations.

What factors shape citizen perceptions of bureaucratic legitimacy? In what ways do routine encounters at the street level serve to strengthen or diminish citizen perceptions of legitimacy?  How does the use of performance management and the data yielded by these approaches influence stakeholder perceptions of bureaucratic legitimacy? Does bureaucratic representation influence citizens’ perceptions of legitimacy? To what extent do bureaucratic rules and red tape, or other internal and external factors, affect public employees’ perceptions of legitimacy? When legitimacy is undermined by the actions of a few, how can public organizations work to restore it?

The public administration section invites paper and panel proposals that specifically address these types of questions. While embracing methodological diversity, we seek proposals that theoretically grounded and employ rigorous research designs and methods. Proposals that span subfields and/engage scholars from other sections are especially welcome and encouraged.

Division 25: Public Policy

Division Chair: Eric Patashnik, Brown University

The Public Policy section serves a diverse community of researchers who study policy to address the big questions of political science: who governs, and to what ends? The section welcomes proposals on all aspects of the policy process and the causes and consequences of government decisions (and non-decisions). These submissions could involve policy development and change, policy feedback, policy diffusion, agenda setting, historical and comparative perspectives on policy, and many more.

Proposals addressing this year’s conference theme – the Quest for Legitimacy—are particularly welcome. In a fundamental sense, public policy is based on coercion:  Government forces people to pay taxes, participate in social programs, and abide by regulations whether they agree with these policies or not. In an era of declining trust in government, rising partisan polarization, and growing income inequality, what constitutes legitimate policy? What forces shape the legitimation of policy processes, outputs and outcomes? Is policy legitimacy based on tradition, evidence, responsiveness to public opinion, fidelity to constitutional norms, or moral commitments?  Or is it simply the product of power struggles? At one time, scholars of American government claimed there was a “legitimacy barrier” that constrained the scope of policy, preventing government from intervening in markets and civil society in certain ways. Once the legitimacy barrier was breached, however, the political debate allegedly shifted from whether government’s role was appropriate to the benefits and costs of further action in the area. Has the legitimacy barrier indeed fallen in the U.S.—or are many “settled” debates about the role of the Policy State being reopened? Why does contestation about the the political legitimacy of some policies like the ACA and the Voting Rights Act continue long after their enactment?

The Public Policy section is open to all methodological and theoretical perspectives. While paper proposals are welcome, we strongly encourage well-organized panel proposals.

Division 26: Law and Courts

Division Chair: Patrick Wohlfarth, University of Maryland

The animating theme of APSA 2017 – “The Quest for Legitimacy” – speaks to many core debates in scholarship on law and courts. The concept of legitimacy has informed the study of judicial institutions among many political systems, the motivations of actors operating within those institutions, and the state of the law.  The Law and Courts section invites papers, panels, and roundtables on a diverse range of topics in law and judicial politics, including those that aim to advance our understanding of the potential importance, and meaning of, legitimacy for courts in different legal systems.  Proposals that develop novel theoretical ideas, original data, or innovative methodological approaches are especially welcome.  The section also encourages submissions that might be suitable for co-sponsorship with other divisions.  Proposals that articulate clearly and concisely the project and research question are most appreciated.

Division 27: Constitutional Law and Jurisprudence

Division Chairs: Emily Zackin, Johns Hopkins University and Megan Ming Francis, University of Washington

The Constitutional Law and Jurisprudence division invites proposals exploring the conference theme of “The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations” in relation to constitutional drafting, interpretation, and political practice. Papers might address the way that particular constitutional texts or interpretations of those texts achieve or lose legitimacy over time, and the role that political actors, institutions, or social movements have played in these processes. Scholars might also explore how constitutions and constitutional interpretations can be used to legitimate or de-legitimate particular political practices, or consider whether and why determinations of legitimacy differ across different communities and different venues of interpretation and practice. The conference theme also prompts inquiries into the normative conditions for constitutional legitimacy and the content of that concept. The division co-chairs welcome proposals from a range of sub-fields, and hope to facilitate conversations between scholars who study different parts of the world and those at different stages of their careers.

Division 28: Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations

Division Chairs: David Konisky, Indiana University  and Neal Woods, University of South Carolina

The Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations section invites proposals related to the conference theme “The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations,” as well as other theoretically grounded and methodologically rigorous proposals that contribute to our knowledge of federalism and intergovernmental relations.  In addition to traditional paper proposals, we encourage submissions for full panels, roundtables, and author-meets-critics sessions. The section welcomes proposals with comparative perspectives as well as those focusing exclusively on American federalism and intergovernmental relations.

Division 29: State Politics and Policy

Division Chair: Jamie Monogan, University of Georgia

The State Politics and Policy Section invites conference participation proposals for the 2017 APSA Annual Meeting. We are glad to consider proposals for panels, papers, posters, and roundtables. All proposals that hold the promise of interesting, original work on politics and policy in the American states are encouraged. In particular, we are interested in proposals which examine the 2017 APSA theme, “The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences, and Aspirations.” State politics research that relates to representation, equality, voice, accountability, institutionalization, or protest can fit neatly with this theme of legitimacy. Methodological diversity, as always, is welcomed. Also, because of the utility of examining the states within a broader comparative perspective, we encourage proposals that include analyses of subnational units outside the U.S. and state-related proposals cross-listed with other sections.

Division 30: Urban Politics

Division Chairs: Tom Vicino, Northeastern University and Yue Zhang, University of Illinois at Chicago

The concept of legitimacy is central to many classic debates and contemporary issues in urban and local politics. From local democracy and urban social movements to immigration and public goods provision, salient debates can all contain questions of legitimacy at their core. To echo this year’s conference theme, the Urban and Local Politics Section welcomes proposals that examine any aspect of urban and subnational politics that address, but not limited to, the issue of legitimacy and relevant concepts. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches are welcome. While the section invites proposals focusing on American urban and local politics, it particularly encourages the submission of proposals that investigate the urban political dynamics in other world regions or adopt a comparative perspective.

Division 31: Women and Politics Research

Division Chairs: Nadia E. Brown, Purdue University and Magda Hinojosa, Arizona State University

The Women & Politics Section invites submissions that directly address issues concerning politics and women, gender, and sexuality. We are especially interested in receiving proposals related to the conference theme: “The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations.” This quest is inherent in much of the academic work on women and politics, as it includes questions about representation and under-representation, political belonging, concepts of citizenship, policy debates and policy-making, and the role of changing norms and mores. Papers that critically investigate and examine women of color and other under-theorized groups of women are highly encouraged.

We encourage both individual paper submissions and organized panel submissions. Panel submissions must include at least four papers, a panel chair, and at least one discussant. The program co-chairs may add additional papers to these panels when appropriate. We ask that all faculty members submitting proposals also volunteer to serve either as panel chairs or as discussants. The conference now includes new presentation formats. Please consider submitting proposals for one of these new formats. Please submit all proposals to a second APSA section to allow us the opportunity to co-sponsor panels.

Division 32: Race, Ethnicity and Politics

Division Chairs: Eric L. McDaniel, University of Texas at Austin; Pei-te Lien, University of California, Santa Barbara

The Race, Ethnicity and Politics Section welcomes submissions recognizing the role of race and ethnicity in shaping institutional and individual action. We are particularly interested in research that examines how race and ethnicity influence policy formation and implementation. Further, we are interested in work that will advance our theoretical understanding of how race and ethnicity influences political participation in its many forms. Finally, given the increased attention being paid to racial and ethnic tensions, in the United States and globally, we invite research that provides theoretical and substantive advancements in our understanding of how racial and ethnic groups think about politics, as well as members of “non-communities of color”..

We encourage submissions that embrace the range of innovative presentation formats for APSA 2017 such as teaching, research and outreach cafes; mini-conferences; short courses; 30-minute paper presentations; and author(s) meet critics discussions, as well as more traditional papers, panels, and roundtables. Given the interdisciplinary nature or race, ethnicity and politics, we will actively seek opportunities to co-sponsor with other divisions, and members of other social science disciplines.

Division 33: Religion and Politics

Division Chair: Amélie Barras, York University and Erin Wilson, University of Groningen

Religion and politics are often entangled in processes of legitimation within and across different religious and political communities and contexts. In line with the theme for this year’s general conference, the APSA Religion and Politics Section invites submissions of individual papers, panels and roundtables that explore processes and strategies of legitimation across multiple layers and aspects of religion and politics. How, why and by whom are certain religious practices, beliefs, institutions and leaders legitimized and others not? What are the processes underpinning these legitimation efforts? How does religion interact with other factors such as gender, class, race, education, political affiliation, amongst others, as part of such processes of legitimation? What are the impacts of these legitimation processes on how religion and/or religious freedom are being delimited and shaped? More generally, how do they participate in shaping and regulating the religious? How and to which extent do these processes vary in function across different historical, social and political contexts? What are the impacts of transnational politics in fostering an international understanding of what is religiously legitimate? What is the role of scholars, especially political scientists and IR scholars, in contributing to, informing and supporting these legitimation processes? Religion and Politics is an interdisciplinary field and submissions that foster exchange between diverse theoretical and analytical approaches are welcome.

In addition, we encourage submission of new and innovative program formats, such as mini-workshops, interactive discussion and conversational sessions, and other styles and formats. The section will host a workshop within the main conference on the theme ‘Religion and Human Rights’ and we encourage submissions of presentations for this as well.

Division 34: Representation and Electoral Systems

Division Chair: Mitchell Brown, Auburn University

The division welcomes paper and panel proposals on any aspect of electoral systems that reflect the full range of the field’s empirical, theoretical, and methodological diversity. We are particularly interested in proposals for papers on in elections, electoral systems, and representation consistent with the theme for the 2017 conference. We welcome papers that explore institutional similarities and diversities across electoral systems, and issues associated with political representation of diverse interests and identities. We strongly encourage papers that address this theme from a comparative perspective, including US state comparisons from the 2016 election, and welcome the innovative use of a variety of methodological approaches.

Division 35: Political Organizations and Parties

Division Co-Chairs: Diana Dwyre, California State University, Chico and Beth Leech, Rutgers University

The Political Organizations and Parties (POP) section welcomes proposals for papers, panels, and roundtables on any topic related to Political Organizations and Parties, including interest group politics, political and social movements, political activism, political parties and the intersection of two or more such organizations or activities. POP encompasses research on legislatures, elections, policy-making, and any other aspect of politics in which political organizations participate. We especially encourage proposals that address the 2017 conference theme, The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations. Scholars are encouraged to provide thorough descriptions of their proposed paper to aid in the selection and panel creation process.

Division 36: Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior

Division Chairs: Tiffany D. Barnes, University of Kentucky and John Barry Ryan, Stony Brook University

The section welcomes paper and panel proposals on a wide range of topics related to elections, public opinion and voting behavior, including political participation, electoral choice, party competition, campaigns and electoral integrity, both within the United States and in comparative perspective. Research advancing new theories, analyzing original data, or employing innovative methodological approaches are especially welcome. Proposals addressing the conference’s core theme of “The Quest for Legitimacy” are encouraged, but we welcome all proposals that are theoretically distinctive and empirically innovative. We are especially interested in substantively cohesive panel proposals and roundtables.

Division 38: Political Communication

Division Chair: Stephanie Burkhalter, Humboldt State University

The section welcomes proposals for papers, panels, and roundtables on topics related to political communication, such as news media structure, production and content, strategic communication and framing, political use of social media, campaigning, political attitudes and behavior, and democratic deliberation. The conference theme, The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations is ripe for political communication scholarship, as political legitimacy is fundamentally reflected and conveyed through language and symbols with news media and political elites playing critical parts in establishing or rejecting legitimacy for societal ideas and actors. Proposals that include research that relates to the conference theme and/or makes innovative contributions to the extant literature on the research question are especially appreciated. Proposals should include a concise statement of the research question(s), a description of the data and methodology, and a brief summary of how the project relates to current literature. Proposal reviewers ask that paper proposal submissions be no more than one page single-spaced.

Division 39: Science, Technology, and Environmental Politics

Division Chair: David Shafie, Chapman University

The Science, Technology, and Environmental Politics (STEP) Section welcomes proposals which enhance our understanding of the role science, technology, and the environment address this year’s theme – the Quest of Legitimacy. STEP proposals should provide theoretically grounded, rigorous, and innovative methodological approaches that engage scholars across disciplines to identify how we can legitimatize the value and importance of broadly conceived contemporary issues such as climate change or good governance. We encourage scholars to submit proposals which explore topics, theories, and methods relevant to STEP and how we can play a role in the legitimation process.

Division 40: Information Technology & Politics

Division Chair: Leticia Bode, Georgetown University

The Information Technology & Politics section invites paper, panel and roundtable proposals relating to research on new media, digital communications, and other manifestations of political activity using information technology, broadly construed. We particularly encourage proposals connecting to the APSA 2017 theme of legitimacy. How does the use of information technology convey or undermine legitimacy in formal and informal political contexts? Under what circumstances do representation, equality, voice, and accountability manifest in digital communications? What role do mobile communications and cyber infrastructure play in encouraging or inhibiting legitimacy? These questions and debates should be thought of as a starting point rather than an exhaustive list of potential topics to be tackled by authors in the ITP section. The section encourages ambitious proposals that take on theoretically rich and underexplored questions using robust and appropriate research methods.

Division 41: Politics, Literature, and Film

Division Chair: Joshua Foa Dienstag,  UCLA

Film and literature are both a window onto politics and an element of politics itself when we understand that term in its wider meaning.  While the section is interested in all elements of this relationship, this year we are especially interested in panels and papers that isolate something distinctive about the way film and literature inform us about politics or participate in politics.  What is it that we can learn from these media that we cannot learn from inquiry into other kinds of sources?  Is there something available to us through the arts that is not available through traditional political theory or other kinds of analysis?  What are the stakes (claims?) of these cultural objects in light of so many other kinds of information about politics? These questions ask of the legitimacy of the arts to politics, and of the legitimacy of politics to the arts.  In light of this, the overall conference theme of legitimacy offers many points of overlap with the concerns of our section and we are especially interested in proposals that capitalize on this

Division 42: New Political Science

Division Chair: Wendy Wright, Bridgewater State University

Power undergirds any discussion of political legitimacy—often functioning such that the less visible power is, the more legitimate political action appears. New Political Science as a section is devoted to transforming the world through actively engaging with and studying politics; with this purpose, we welcome proposals that seek to render the mechanics of power more visible, question the function of legitimizing ideologies, or challenge the roles of power and legitimacy altogether. We seek to foster and support work that shares this mission through confronting racial injustice, capitalist oppression, misogyny and patriarchy, climate change, state violence, neoliberalism, and other issues addressing the arbitrary exercise of power across the global community.

As the Caucus for a New Political Science celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2017, we also are particularly interested in proposals that connect Marxism, anarchism, socialism, and/or other critical traditions across recent generations, in both theory and action. We hope to incorporate insights from our past as we look to build a New Political Science for the future.

Submissions that address the annual meeting’s theme of The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations from any of the subfields of political science as well as from interdisciplinary perspectives are invited.

Division 43: International History and Politics

Division Chair: Jelena Subotic, Georgia State University

The International History and Politics section welcomes proposals for papers and panels that explore topics of international history as well as contemporary international topics using historical methods and approaches. Following the APSA 2017 program theme, we especially seek proposals that address issues of legitimacy in international politics, in both historical and contemporary terms. How has international legitimacy been conceptualized throughout history? What actors, processes, regimes have been considered legitimate at particular times and why? How is the concept of international legitimacy different today? How do we understand historical conditioning of legitimacy of international institutions, political regimes, and our own historical interpretations of the past? How do we understand the changing legitimacy of the international order, power, hegemony, or enduring hierarchies in the international system? Who are the legitimate and illegitimate actors in international politics and who decides? How is legitimacy historically contested and historically confined? Proposals that engage in a dialogue between international relations and history are especially encouraged, as are submissions that lie at the intersection of international security, diplomatic history, and international historical sociology.

Division 44: Comparative Democratization

Division Chair: Thomas Flores, George Mason University

The Comparative Democratization section seeks papers and panels that address fundamental questions regarding the study of democracy in the modern world.  These questions include, but by no means are limited to, conceptual definitions of democracy and democratization; the role of elections in transitions to and consolidation of democratic rule; the function of formally democratic institutions (e.g., legislatures, political parties) in non-democratic contexts; economic spurs or barriers to democratization; the durability of non-democratic regimes; the multifaceted interrelationships between democracy and political violence; the role of the outside world, especially democracy promotion by the West, in democratization; and the role of civil society in democratic change.  The section welcomes work defined by either its theoretical insights (e.g., new definitions of democracy, formal-theoretical work) or methodological innovations (e.g., in measurement, estimation) and research on any region of the globe.  Papers and panels that probe questions of legitimacy – the theme for APSA 2017 and an important vein in research on comparative democratization – will be especially welcome. The section also welcomes submissions that depart from the standard panel format, as described on the APSA website.

Division 45: Human Rights

Division Chair: Rhonda Callaway, Sam Houston state University

We welcome proposals for analytic, empirical, and theoretical research on human rights norms, concepts, and practices, along with policy-relevant research concerning the political causes, consequences, and amelioration of human rights violations.

In keeping with the annual theme of “The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations,” we especially invite proposals that focus on the nexus between human rights and legitimacy.  The very notion of human rights often engenders a debate on the legitimate role they play in the international community.  How do states and other international actors define legitimacy when it comes to human rights? Which institutions bestow legitimacy when it comes to human rights?  Who are the actors that help legitimize human rights and conversely what actors seek to de-legitimize human rights? How do recent actions of states, organizations, as well as individuals, (e.g., terrorist acts in France, Turkey, and in the United States; England’s Brexit; and the rhetoric by right-wing politicians in Europe and America) challenge the legitimacy of human rights as well as the human rights regime?  How do citizens across the world view human rights, particularly in the face of such issues as the increasing terrorist threat, the continued conflict in Syria, the prevalence and spread of the Black Lives Matter movement, and debates about immigration? How does these different audiences address and convey their views? Lastly, how do those who aspire to enlarge the role of human rights (e.g., humanitarian intervention, R2P, the validity of third and fourth generation rights including issues regarding climate change and the environment) operate in the international community in order to legitimize their views?

To enhance the presence of human rights research on the program, we encourage constituted panels with diverse topics and composition, as well as proposals amenable to co-sponsorship with other sections–which should be indicated by the presenter.

Division 46: Qualitative Methods

Division Chair: Katerina Linos, UC Berkeley

We welcome papers, panels, and roundtables relating to qualitative and mixed methods. Both contributions that advance qualitative methodology, as well as substantive contributions that apply qualitative or mixed methods in innovative ways are very welcome.  The section embraces a broad understanding of qualitative and multi-method research: a wide variety of methods – including archival research, interviews, ethnography, descriptive case studies, interpretive work, as well as work that combines qualitative approaches with quantitative observational, experimental, or quasi-experimental research is very welcome. In the past, panels and papers focused on methodology have engaged with topics such as process tracing, case selection, field research methods, internal and external validity, data transparency and replication, among many others. Papers related to the APSA 2017 theme- The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations- are particularly welcome.

Division 47: Sexuality & Politics

Division Chair: Melissa Michelson, Menlo College

The Sexuality and Politics section welcomes proposals that address intersections of human sexuality and governance. While not restricted to the following list, topics of interest might include HIV/AIDS policy, intersex rights, sex education, LGBTQ politics, sex trafficking, and comparative studies that address the regulation of sexuality. The section also welcomes diverse methodological approaches to the study of sexuality related politics and policy. Specifically, we encourage qualitative, quantitative and critical approaches.

Division 48: Health Politics & Health Policy

Division Chair: Colleen Grogan, University of Chicago

The conference theme for 2017 is “The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations.” Debates about universal health care, health system reform, and public health policies, have at their core basic questions—is the role of the state in financing and/or providing health services legitimate? Is private sector authority considered legitimate and under what circumstances? What policy designs are considered politically legitimate to achieve health equity or more meaningful health choices? As these questions illustrate, legitimacy is closely tied to core concepts in health politics, including the how the system is organized, the exercise of power, and the nature and role of political authority.

The section invites proposals that address the politics of these issues, as well as other pressing health politics issues that have emerged due either to societal changes (e.g., growing inequality; racial marginalization and exclusion; migration and global migrants), or transforming health systems in the US and globally.  When submitting such proposals, keep in mind that we encourage proposals for papers, panels, and roundtables.  In addition, we also suggest that you consider submitting your proposal to a second APSA section as well as this one. This will facilitate co-sponsored panels.  Finally, we welcome submissions from those who wish to serve as chair or discussant of a panel.

Division 49: Canadian Politics

Division Chair: Daniel Cohn, York University

The 2017 conference theme of “The Quest for Legitimacy” is of particular interest to scholars of Canadian politics. Although Canada has enjoyed 150 years of relatively peaceful political evolution, both the public and academic researchers see gaps in the legitimacy of many of the country’s institutions and the ways in which they operate. The Senate; the single-member plurality electoral system; the procedures of regulatory tribunals (such as The National Energy Board); the powers of the prime minister; the role of political staff and also that of the bureaucracy, are but a handful of examples where questions of legitimacy have persistently arisen in recent years.  Given the significant minority of Quebeckers who belong to the sovereignty movement, and the number of indigenous peoples who have long waited to have their historic claims recognized, even the legitimacy of Canada itself is a question that cannot be avoided.  We also cannot ignore the Canadian tradition in political economy associated with studying the mechanisms by which the state strives to balance the need to maintain democratic legitimacy, order and economic competitiveness. We are therefore encouraging proposals for papers that look at Canadian politics through the lens of legitimacy and/or attempts to build it; how the legitimacy of political institutions — or the lack of legitimacy — has influenced the actions of organizations and individuals; how legitimacy is understood and granted by individuals and communities; and of course proposals for papers that explore legitimacy from the perspective of political philosophy using Canadian examples.  Alongside of this, as always, we also encourage the submission of proposals on other themes dealing with Canadian politics that are of interest to members.

Division 50: Political Networks

Division Chair: Jacob Montgomery, Washington University in St. Louis

Politics is largely a process through which individuals come together to reach decisions and create collective outcomes.  And in many cases it is driven by formal and informal relationships between individuals, institutions, and states.  In settings ranging from protests to legislatures to international negotiations, it is partly through these relationships that decisions are reached and legitimacy is either challenged or bestowed.  Further, the study of these relationships, which unites researchers with diverse interests, itself creates scholarly connections that challenge traditional subfield boundaries. The Political Networks section solicits papers that apply network concepts to questions in political science ranging from substantive studies to advances in methodologies. We encourage both single-paper proposals as well as organized proposals for thematic panels, short courses, workshops, and non-traditional formats.

Division 51: Experimental Research

Division Chairs: Conor Dowling, University of Mississippi and Amber Wichowsky, Marquette University

The Experimental Research section invites proposals addressing the full range of experimental methods from all subfields of political science. Specifically, we welcome submissions engaging experimental methods at theoretical, methodological, or empirical levels. This year’s conference theme—“The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations”—offers an opportunity to explore how experimental methods may be used to tackle questions specifically related to the determinants and consequences of legitimacy. Questions of democratic accountability, representation, equality, participation, and institutionalization especially fit this theme, but proposals concerning other areas of research are also welcome, as are both traditional and non-traditional submission formats.

Division 52: Migration & Citizenship

Division Chairs: Louis DeSipio, University of California, Irvine and Maria Koinova, University of Warwick

International migration poses an ongoing challenge to state legitimacy and the legitimacy of multinational organizations.  In the spirit of the conference theme – “The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations,” the Division solicits papers and panels that examine the challenges and opportunities presented by large-scale international migration to states, subnational institutions, international actors, social groups in the receiving state, and migrant communities themselves.  We understand the study of migration broadly to also include questions of social and political incorporation of and political rights for migrant communities and challenges presented to states and social institutions by new and established migrant communities and the political alliances migrant communities establish with domestic political actors.  Also presenting a potential challenge to state legitimacy is the emergence of transnational political activity among migrants, including transnational activity that challenges or supports the government in the state of emigration.

We welcome individual paper proposals as well as well-organized panel proposals, and other formats (e.g., roundtable, semi-structured debates, short courses) with a view toward greater inclusion of participants at different career levels.

Division 53: African Politics

Division Chairs: Claire Adida, University of California, San Diego and Cédric Jourde, University of Ottawa

The African Politics Conference Group (APCG) invites submissions for proposals that focus on sub-Saharan African countries. We welcome proposals that reflect all areas of inquiry in the study of African politics, as well as a wide range of methodological approaches. We are particularly interested in submissions that speak to the annual meeting’s theme, “The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations”. Many African states aspire to improve their legitimacy in the eyes of various audiences, from their own citizens to the international community, just as they face competition from non-state actors that provide key public goods. On top of that, technological changes have introduced new audiences, new modes of communication, and therefore new challenges for a region often described as comprised of “weak states” facing “legitimacy crises”. We welcome proposals that consider these challenges and their implications for how we conceptualize the African state.

Division 54: Ideas, Knowledge and Politics

Division Chair: Paul Gunn, Goldsmiths, University of London

The aim of the Ideas, Knowledge and Politics division (previously known as the Political Epistemology” division) is to promote research on, and discussion of, the nature and significance of political actors’ ideas, perceptions, knowledge, and knowledge claims. We welcome submissions from any subdiscipline addressing the origin of the knowledge and ideas—i.e., the beliefs and interpretations—of political actors, or the impact their knowledge and ideas have on political outcomes, or the normative implications of the sources or accuracy/inaccuracy of their beliefs. One of the division’s key objectives is to promote interdisciplinary dialogue, so panel and roundtable proposals that include both normative theorists and empirical researchers will be especially welcome. We especially encourage submissions from political psychologists, scholars of public opinion, specialists in American political development and the history of ideas, ideational scholars in the empirical subdisciplines, and epistemic normative theorists.

Division 55: Class and Inequality

Division Chair: Nicholas Carnes, Duke University

The rise of economic inequality around the globe is one of the most significant social, economic, and political developments of the last half century. The Class and Inequality Section welcomes paper proposals from all subfields that address the topics of economic inequality and social class stratification, especially those with broad implications for scholars working in other areas of the discipline. We hope to create diverse panels that explore important questions about class and inequality from a variety of different intellectual perspectives.

Division 56: American Political Thought
Paul Carrese, Arizona State University, (paul.carrese@asu.edu); James Stoner, Louisiana State University, (poston@lsu.edu)

The related group on American Political Thought invites proposals for papers, traditional panels, and roundtables that address the political culture, history, identity, and political development of the United States.  This includes research on topics such as democracy, constitutionalism, equality, liberty, citizenship, federalism, education, the role of the state, race and literature – and any or several of these as informing the 2017 APSA meeting theme of the quest for legitimacy, which APT is uniquely positioned to address at this time of severe polarization, confusion, and perhaps crisis in the legitimacy and sustainability of America’s constitutional-political order.  The field of American Political Thought offers a uniquely integrative approach to the study of politics that provides space for inquiry beyond either the American Politics or Political Theory fields alone.  With American politics becoming increasingly empirical and political theory increasingly abstract, we welcome proposals on theoretical study of American politics, to include the interplay of ideas and other elements that shape our ideas-driven politics.  Paper or panel proposals that address the APSA 2017 theme of political legitimacy would be welcome, perhaps especially those that help us determine whether there are any fixed standards in American political thought for defining legitimacy, and what deeper resources APT can bring to understanding and redressing the new depths of polarization and political rancor affecting local, state, and national politics in America..