Theme: Challenges to Democracy and the Role of Political Science
Karlstad: 4 - 6 October 2017
Welcome to the Swedish Political Science Association's annual conference 2017. This year we convene in Karlstad and at this website you will find information concerning important dates, accommodation and other practical details relating to your stay. In addition to hosting workshops we plan for a keynote and panel discussion related to the overarching theme for this year's conference. This is:
Challenges to democracy and the role of political science
In recent years, the development in world politics has been dominated by events and processes often described as serious challenges for the foundations of liberal democracy. Not only are liberal democracies trying to handle a persistent financial crisis, a growing climate threat, an international political arena in transformation, terror attacks and large numbers of refugees. They are also dealing with a systemic critique of the contemporary political institutional capacity and future, manifested in Great Britain’s exit from the European Union, the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, and a broad, growing support for extreme right wing parties throughout Europe. These pressing challenges also share the common trait that they do not easily fit in to established dichotomies such as global-local, internal-external, right-left and market-society, so often reiterated in public discourses. Rather, the present situations seem to call for new forms of political analysis as well as political practice.
It is crucial, in such times of dramatic events and uncertainty, to reflect upon the significance and role of political analysis. The discipline of political science has a complex relationship to its object of study where challenging issues of critique, relevance, independence and public benefit are in constant negotiation. Our hope is that the conference in Karlstad can function as a forum to discuss and reflect on our role, and our identity, as political scientist in a time where the principles of liberal democracy are shaken in its foundations.