2017 | BREMEN: Truth and Politics

IAPSS Autumn Convention 2017

Truth and Politics

September 13–17 in Bremen, Germany

The International Association for Political Science Students launches its Call for Papers for the IAPSS Autumn Convention 2017 in Bremen; one of the most iconic cities in Germany. This is one of the largest international conferences for students of Political Science, International Relations and related disciplines, organized every selected year: this year in partnership with the University of Bremen.

The Topic

The relationship between truth and politics has puzzled students of politics for centuries. Does truth in politics necessarily lose its importance? Or are there different ‘kinds’ of politics, whereby in some truth plays a central role, while in others it is sidelined by an effort to reach and attain power? Alternatively, should the relationship be approached through exploring the concept of truth, instead of politics, possibly revealing that objective truths are unreachable in the societal world and to a lesser or greater extent depend on interactions between and interpretations of the actors involved?

The analysis of the role of truth in politics lies at the heart of any endeavour about the meaning(s) of politics. In political theory, the inquiry dates back at least to Machiavelli, with scholars debating the many interpretations of his work, conventionally considered to justify lying and manipulation for a certain political purpose. Social science methodologists are concerned with the (im)possibility of objectivity in social research and with new ways how to increase the reliability and validity of their scientific outcomes.

Political communication research faces the dynamically changing trends in campaigning, for which the year 2016 provided the two most visible examples of the US presidential elections and the referendum on Brexit. The largely unexpected outcomes of these events also pose a challenge for students of political behaviour, challenged by the strengthening discourse on post-factual or post-truth politics. The seemingly decreasing importance of debates based on factually correct and justified reasoning poses a question of to what extent populist strategies are part of the problem or, to the contrary, a possible solution to the ‘hollowing and backsliding’ of democratic governments in some countries and regions around the globe.

Furthermore, those working on political institutions face the need to (re)examine the relevance of various kinds of rules in navigating political actions. Those who care most about the individual and her fundamental human rights have to address what kind(s) of deficiencies of human rights protection could the deconstruction of rules bring about. Truth(s) are of no less importance for public policy analysts and practitioners, as to determine how the (in)correctness of information available can influence the design and implementation of policies in various fields.

These are just some of the puzzles that fall under the umbrella of the relationship between truth and politics, demonstrating that more attention is needed to examine the basic premises we base our research on, regardless of the specific field and theoretical and methodological traditions, and thus see how, if at all, is the Millian ‘search for truth’ possible and relevant in the contemporary world.

Call for Papers

The IAPSS Autumn Convention 2017 seeks to establish an academic discussion about how politics in its various forms and manifestations relates to truth in a both historical and contemporary perspective. We welcome papers 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 Paper Submissions

Please send us your abstract of no more than 250 words by submitting the online form here. This form also includes the name of the author(s), the title of the paper, key words, home university, and e-mail address. Abstracts should be submitted by 15 July 2017. Selected candidates for student panels will be informed by 25 July 2017.

Full papers should be submitted via the available online form by 31 August 2017.


Please note that you need to be registered for the IAPSS Autumn Convention 2017 by purchasing your ticket in the IAPSS Web Store. In addition, a valid IAPSS membership is needed to be eligible to register and participate at the conference. The final deadline for registrations is 15 August 2017, but a discount will apply if you register by 30 June 2017 (31 July 2017 for panelists).

Key dates

July 15: Extended Deadline for Abstract Submission
July 31: Early Bird Fee Registration Deadline for Panelists
August 29: Final Deadline Registrations
August 31: Submission Deadline for Full Papers
September 13–17: IAPSS Autumn Convention 2017


Please do not hesitate to contact us in case of any further questions at: convention@iapss.org
We very much look forward to your submission!

AC17 Bremen

Tickets available here!

9 lectures, expert panel, and workshop, conducted by high-profile speakers, on topics such as:
– “Politics of Migration: Crisis for whom?”
– “Post-Truth or How not to think about Politics and Truth”
– “International Sanctions as an Alternative to War? First we have to understand sanction defiance

Learn more about the Convention’s program.

11 student academic panels, with diverse research perspectives, such as:
– Civil society and citizen activism in a post-truth world
– Securitization, human rights and post-truth conflict
– Truth and politics: an illusion?

Find out more on the student panels