The 2020 meeting in Los Angeles has been cancelled due to the spread of COVID-19. In its place, the Association will be hosting an optional online meeting later in the spring. Please read for details about these events and how to receive a refund.
In early March, the Association’s offices began to receive a steady stream of emails from participants concerned about attending the conference because of the threat posed by the novel coronavirus. Very early on, the members of the Executive Council began to consider whether to cancel the conference and to hold a virtual meeting instead. The Council could not immediately cancel the conference, however, because of legal and financial considerations, but it was finally able to do so in mid-March. The hotel will be cancelling all guestroom reservations.
With the cancellation of the Los Angeles conference, the Executive Council has approved a proposal to hold an optional online conference to take place on Thursday-Saturday, May 21-23. The plan is to hold the online conference using the same panels and structure as in the scheduled conference, but to conduct the panels using Zoom. We are working on having everything as well structured as possible so that participation will be easy, both for panel participants and those who want to be in the audience. We will be sharing more information with you very soon. Please note that participation in the online conference is optional. We recognize that some of those appearing on the original program will be unable to participate, or may prefer to make alternative arrangements for sharing their work.
The Executive Council has approved a refund policy for the 2020 conference. The Association’s standing policy is no refunds. However, given the unprecedented situation this year, the Council voted to provide refunds to anyone requesting one for the Los Angeles meeting. However, the Council is asking members to forego a refund if they can do so, or to donate an equivalent amount, as a way of supporting the Association. The Association faces a loss of some $160,000 this year from lost registration fees, which is approximately the same amount as our annual budget. Your contributions will help the Association address this loss. If you intend to participate in the online conference, you can still receive a full refund. We will be sending out an email soon on the information we need from you to process the refunds. The form will also ask whether you intend to participate in the online conference. Click here for refund form.
We are all facing a difficult situation. We urge members to be careful and to follow health warnings.
A statement reflecting on the choices confronting the WPSA in light of the carbon impact of academic conferences. Written by WPSA president Jamie Mayerfeld, joined by the members of the WPSA Climate Committee.
Opportunities for Workshops, Mini-Conferences, and Special Events
The annual meeting not only presents an opportunity for traditional research presentations and panels, but also a place for interested groups to schedule special events and workshops. On the Wednesday right before the conference begins, there may be some space available to accommodate groups who wish to hold workshops or offer short courses. In addition, if you are part of research community that is interested in holding a meeting in the spring, we may be able to accommodate your group by coordinating a mini-conference within the conference. The association does not charge for providing the space and support for these mini-conference, though the attendees are required to register for the WPSA meeting. There is also the opportunity to host receptions, business meetings, and special events. For information about these opportunities, please contact Richard Clucas, WPSA Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WPSA Anti-Harassment Policy
The Western Political Science Association was created for the purposes of promoting the study and teaching of government and politics, to foster research, and to facilitate the discussion of public affairs. The Association promotes these purposes in the spirit of free inquiry and free expression. The primary event in which WPSA members gather is at the Association’s annual conference. Harassment of colleagues, students, or other participants at the conference, or at any other WPSA-sponsored event or forum, undermines the principle of equity at the heart of the Association’s principles and is inconsistent with the principles of free inquiry and free expression. Consequently, harassment is considered by the WPSA to be a serious form of professional misconduct.
The WPSA is committed to providing a safe and welcoming conference environment for all participants, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, or religion.
“Participant” in this policy refers to anyone present at or directly involved in WPSA meetings, including staff, contractors, vendors, exhibitors, venue staff, WPSA members, and all other attendees.
2. Expected Behavior
All participants at WPSA meetings are expected to abide by this Anti-Harassment
Policy in all meeting venues including ancillary events and official and
unofficial social gatherings.
• Abide by the norms of professional respect that are necessary to promote the conditions for free academic interchange;
• If you witness potential harm to a conference participant, be proactive in helping to mitigate or avoid that harm;
• Alert conference or security personnel if you see a situation in which someone might be in imminent physical danger.
3. Unacceptable Behavior
Unacceptable behaviors include:
• persistent and unwelcome solicitation of emotional or physical intimacy;
• persistent and unwelcome solicitation of emotional or physical intimacy accompanied by real or implied threat of professional harm;
• intimidating, harassing, abusive, derogatory, or demeaning speech or actions by any participant in an WPSA meeting and/or at any related event;
• prejudicial actions or comments related to race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, or religion that coerce others, foment broad hostility, or otherwise undermine professional equity or the principles of free academic exchange;
• deliberate intimidation, stalking or following;
• harassing photography or recording;
• sustained disruption of talks or other events;
• physical assault (including unwelcome touch or groping);
• real or implied threat of physical harm.
The Western Political Science Association would not be successful without the generous assistance of a number of outside groups.
We would like to thank the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of San Diego for the financial support it provided for our annual meeting held in San Diego, April 18-20, 2019. The university’s continuing support over the years is much appreciated.
The Pi Sigma Alpha Lecture by UC President Janet Napolitano was one of the highlights of the conference. We want to thank the Center on Global Justice at UC San Diego for co-sponsoring the talk.
The WPSA has been taking steps to improve the services we provide to community college faculty. We would like to thank the American Political Science Association for supporting the community college mini-conference.
Finally, we would like to thank the following exhibitors and advertisers for their participation at our annual meeting:
Cambridge University Press
Oxford University Press
Taylor and Francis/ Routledge
Temple University Press
The Scholar's Choice
The University of Chicago Press
University of Minnesota Press
The contributions made by these are very much appreciated. Again, thank