The 2014 General Conference was held at the University of Glasgow
2014 was always going to be significant for the General Conference as it denoted the move from a biennial to annual event, driven by the growing demand the ECPR has seen for it. Some 1,900 participants from across the world and all stages of their career came together at the University of Glasgow for three days of sharing the best thinking across the discipline. The result, according to some of our ‘vox pops’ was ‘Very inspiring Panels and good discussions…’ and ‘…many opportunities for networking.’
The academic programme was rich and diverse, with 67 Sections covering the full gamut, from ‘Art as a Political Witness’ to ‘The new ethical terrain in international relations’ (a full list is over the page). Across these Sections, 403 panels (with an average of four to five papers presented in each) drilled down into the detail of those overarching themes.
Alongside this, participants could attend two roundtables: ‘Democracy and its Discontents’ (Chaired by Sarah Birch and with speakers Dirk Berg-Schlosser, Rosie Campbell, Leonardo Morlino and Matthew Flinders) and ‘Contested Human Rights’ (Chaired by Kelly Kollman and with speakers John Dryzek, Jan Willem Duyvendak, Todd Landmann and Christina Boswell). These are always a popular addition to the programme. This year three Featured Panels also took place: ‘State Migration and Protest in Transnational Perspective: Contributions from Political Sociology (Chaired by and featuring speakers from the stable of ECPR Press editors and authors), ‘The Significance and Implications of the Scottish Independence Referendum’ (sponsored by the University of Glasgow and Chaired by and featuring speakers from universities across Scotland) and ‘Lives in and for Political Science’ (Chaired by and featuring speakers from the stable of ECPR Press editors and authors).
The Welcome Address and Keynote Lecture were a highlight of the event, not only because of the calibre of the speakers of course, but also because of the stunning location – Harry Potter fans may have felt that they were in the ‘Hogwarts’ dining room, so dramatic was the setting of the Bute Hall (in fact, there is a rumour that some of the scenes from the films were shot in the Hall and outside on the quadrangle). Whilst there were no wizards in attendance on the night (as far as we know), there was still a magical feel as participants moved on from Iain McLean’s Keynote Lecture on fiscal federalism, to the beautiful and cavernous Kelvingrove Gallery, for the opening reception.
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