Thursday, 8 January 2015
Final Day of Conference (Belated)
It's been a very busy few hours (well 50 hours +) since the APG conference finished.
The first session was a panel on "The Discipline of Politics in America: Origins, Problems and Prospects" - an excellent title, since we covered history of the discipline of political science (and associated disciplines), philosophy and thoughts on where the subject may develop in the future. Louisa Hotson traced the development of various lines of thought, with an emphasis on Chicago - and took us through hopes and disappointment. Nathan Pinkonski discussed Leo Strauss. Stephen Welch looked at the positivist basis of American political science.
The final session included John Berg on the politics of coal - tracing the various reasons why this subject has been so important in American politics (as it has been in British). Ron Mendel discussed the Occupy Movements of 2012, while the final paper by Richard Johnson, of the University of Oxford - "Deracialisation: Re-examination of a political strategy" was of such quality that he was awarded the postgraduate prize for best paper.
It was an act of genius for the founders of the APG annual conferences to arrange them for the first days of the new year. This was my fourth conference - and each has set the new year off to an excellent start. They have been interesting and thought provoking. As an added bonus - the APG involves a really nice group of people. Fun and stimulating!