IAPSS World Congress

IAPSS World Congress Logo

The IAPSS World Congress is our major event as well as an established and well-recognized platform for students and junior scholars. Once a year, the World Congress provides an academic programme, as well as networking opportunities with high-level stakeholders and scholars.

As a flagship event with hundreds of students participating each year, it serves as a platform to present and discuss your own research with fellow students from the discipline. During the conference, the participants are involved in a broad range of different activities: attending one of the student-run panels with contributions from recent academic work of students, academic lectures, highly interactive debating sessions in a round-table format and an Oxford Style Debate. The program is always completed by a range of social and cultural fringe events and ends with the IAPSS General Assembly, during which members discuss the future of the Association. The theme of the Congress always corresponds with the IAPSS Annual Theme which serves IAPSS as a common thread throughout the year.

With a truly international audience with participants from usually over 50 countries from all sub-disciplines of political science, international relations, and neighboring social sciences, the IAPSS World Congress is a unique event for individual academic learning, vivid debate, and networking.

For general inquiries please check out the FAQ of the past World Congress in Madrid or contact the Head of the World Congress Team at worldcongress@iapss.org

IAPSS World Congress 2020

Democracy, Identity, and Power

April 21-24, 2020 l Vienna, Austria 

Call for Abstracts 

Priority deadline for Abstracts Submissions: January 27, 2020 

Regular deadline for Abstracts Submissions: February 17, 2020

The International Association for Political Science Students is launching its Call for Abstracts for the World Congress in Vienna. This year, we are partnering with the Central European University (CEU). If you are interested in presenting your paper, you are kindly requested to submit your abstract by 27 January (priority deadline) and 17 February 2020 (regular deadline) respectively.

Theme: Democracy, Identity and Power

Democracy, identity and power are cornerstones for understanding contemporary politics and international relations. After the end of the Cold War, democracy or more pointedly, liberal democracy has produced a domino effect, emerging and expanding across the globe at a fast rate, becoming the system of government states strive to achieve. However, not only democratic developments have been of interest in political science. Social movements, revolutions and strikes have returned to the focus of academic debates with current developments in Venezuela, Columbia, Hong Kong and other places in the world. The latest uprisings in Sudan and Algeria, and ongoing conflicts in Syria and Yemen furthermore call attention to shifting geopolitics, authoritarian survival and socio-ethnic divisions in societies.

Globalization and shifting geopolitics have heralded transformations in a myriad of subjects, including civil-military relations, international law and even domestic elections through for example discourses about the European Union. Likewise, in the wake of technological advancements, questions about the role of cyberspace in security, defense and day-to-day governance emerge, as well as human-made impacts on the climate, and the future use of natural resources. The wave of refugees that reached Europe in 2015 challenged many previous concepts and ideas of, amongst others, national, ethnic and religious identity. Economic and social gaps caused by globalization and the actions of the “established elites” have also fuelled populist discourses and right-wing movements. They challenge the traditional understanding of democracy, its practice and theory. 

Against the backdrop of all these developments, a number of questions emerge: How can democracies survive in a complex and volatile environment? What role do changing geopolitics and civil-military relations play in conflict dynamics? How can new challenges brought by new technologies, climate change and the cyberspace be dealt with and solved? To what extent has power shifted away from traditional sources of authority? 

With this conference theme, IAPSS hopes to encourage students and junior scholars of political science and related disciplines to participate in this exciting academic discussion.


Given the width of the theme of Democracy, Identity and Power, we welcome contributions focusing on a variety of perspectives. The topics addressed at the conference include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  1. Regime Change, Democratization, Backsliding
  2. (Non-Violent) Protests, Revolutions and Social Movements
  3. Citizen-State-Relations, Civil Society and Public Opinion
  4. Civil-Military Relations, Security Agencies, Non-State Actors
  5. Cyberspace and Politics, Digitalization 
  6. Representation, Elections and Voting Behavior
  7. Migration, Borders and Conflict
  8. Natural Resources, Climate Change
  9. Political Theory and State Philosophy
  10. Regional Power Dynamics and Geopolitics
  11. Contemporary Governance
  12. Political Psychology, Affection and Contentious Politics 
  13. Politics of Crisis

Call for Abstracts

We welcome abstracts from undergraduate, graduate and PhD students, as well as from junior scholars from different academic perspectives, such as: comparative politics, international relations, international political economy, political theory, security studies, public policy and administration, regional and area studies as well as political psychology and behavior studies, and international law, among others.

Guidelines for Abstract Submissions

Please send us your abstract of no more than 250 words through the online form at www.iapss.org. This form will include the name of the author(s), the title of the paper, key words, home university, and email address(es).

Full papers should be submitted via the available online form below by March 31, 2020. If the form does not appear on this page, you must log into your IAPSS website account or purchase an IAPSS membership.


Please note that you need to be registered for the World Congress by purchasing your ticket in the IAPSS Web Store. In addition, a valid IAPSS membership is needed to be eligible to register and participate in the conference. Registration for panelists may take place after abstract decisions are announced. The final deadline for registration for all panelists is March 25, 2020.

Key dates

Priority Cycle for Abstracts

We will have a priority cycle of abstract evaluations for those who would like to be informed about their decisions by February 10, 2020. If you would like to be considered in the priority cycle, you must submit your abstract by 11:59 CET, January 27, 2020. No exceptions will be made for late papers.

Regular Cycle for Abstracts

The regular deadline for abstracts will be 11:59 CET, February 17, 2020. Candidates in the regular cycle will be informed by March 10, 2020.

Full papers should be submitted via the available online form at www.iapss.org by March 31, 2020.

Overview of deadlines

  • January 27: Priority Deadline for Abstract Submission
  • February 17: Regular Deadline for Abstract Submission
  • February 10: Priority Abstracts Announcement
  • March 10: Regular Abstracts Announcement
  • March 15 : Launch of Call for Chairs and Discussants 
  • March 25: Deadline for Registration for Panelists
  • March 31: Submission Deadline for Full Papers
  • April 14: Papers disseminated among conference participants
  • April 18: Deadline for Call for Chairs and Discussants 

Please do not hesitate to contact us in case of any further questions at: wcadmincoordinator@iapss.org

We very much look forward to your submission!

On behalf of the IAPSS Executive Committee,

Lou Frisch

Head of World Congress


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World Congress 2020 - Submit an Abstract

  • Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf.

Upcoming Events

The Upcoming events calendar provides all conferences, seasonal schools and other events that are organised by or with IAPSS. Check it out to find more information about the upcoming World Congress.

Past World Congresses


World Congress 2019

IAPSS World Congress 2019 in Madrid

The IAPSS World Congress took place between May 20 and 25 in Madrid. The conference theme was Overcoming Injustice and included lectures and other interesting workshops.