Since the first meeting of the Western Political Science Association (WPSA) was held on the University of Utah campus in November 1947, the association has grown into one of the largest political science associations in the nation. Today, the association represents a dynamic group of scholars from a wide range of backgrounds and with diverse scholarly interests. More than 1,000 political scientists participate in the association's annual meeting, where they share research, coordinate activities with colleagues, reconnect with friends, and peruse exhibits set up by publishers and others. The two official journals of the association, Political Research Quarterly and Politics, Groups, and Identities are among the most respected publications in the discipline. The association has expanded its presence online, especially through its Virtual Communities, which brings scholars together virtually for panels, colloquia, workshops, reading or writing groups, pedagogy discussions, and other events. The WPSA can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

One individual who has played a particularly important role in this history is Elizabeth (Betty) Moulds, who served as Secretary Treasurer from 1985 to1998 and Executive Director from 1998 to 2009. In December 2009, Political Research Quarterly published a short article by Betty on the changes in the association from its creation through the end of her tenure as Executive Director. Betty's insightful history of the association is available through SAGE publications at: Click here to view the article.

To learn more about the association's history, and those of affiliated groups, follow these links:

WPSA Historical Timeline

Elizabeth Moulds
“Where We Came from: Defining the Western Political Science Association”

G. Homer Durham
“The Western Political Science Association: The First Ten Years and the Next Ten”

Hugh A. Bone
“The Western Political Science Association: The Next Decade”

Original WPSA Constitution

Political Research Quarterly

Ronald J. Hrebenar
“On the Origins of the Western Political Science Association and ‘PRQ’"

Amy G. Mazur and Cornell W. Clayton
“Sixty Years of Political Science at Political Research Quarterly”

Politics Groups and Identities

Shaun Bowler , Timothy Kaufman-Osborn , Valerie Martinez-Ebers , Kenneth
J. Meier, and Ronald Schmidt
“How PGI Came About…”

The Names on the WPSA Awards

William E. Connolly Award

Clay Morgan Award

Betty Moulds Award
See her history of the Western Political Science Association (above)

Don T. Nakanishi Award
Andrew Aoki and Pei-te Lien
“Introduction – Exploring and Expanding the Political World Pioneered by Don T. Nakanishi”

Betty Nesvold

Charles Redd Award

WPSA Groups

Jane H. Bayes
“A Collaborative History of the Western Political Science Association’s Women’s Caucus Western Region and the Caucus for Women and Gender Justice 1970 – 20211”

Creation of Committee on the Status of Women and other Resolutions

Judith Van Allen
(a little bit on the early years of the Women’s Caucus)
“Politics and the Writing of ‘Sitting on a Man’”

Kennan Ferguson, Michaele Ferguson, Kathy Ferguson, Mary Hawkesworth, Renée
Heberle, Jill Locke, Lori Marso, Laurie Naranch, and Karen Zivi
“WPSA Feminist Theory Workshop”

Dvora Yanow and Peregrine Schwartz-Shea
“Doing ‘Interpretation and Methods’ @ WPSA: Nevertheless, They Persisted!”

Chicano Status Committee Report 1975

John Meyer
The Environmental Political Theory Workshop: An Oral History

Jamie Mayerfeld
The Climate Action Committee

Dvora Yanow (Emerita, California State University, East Bay) and
Ron Schmidt (Emeritus, California State University, Long Beach)
Starting the (Im)migration and Citizenship Section @ WPSA

Pei-Te Lien and Andrew Aoki
The Many Firsts for Advancing Asian Pacific American Politics at the WPSA

Keep checking back as we add to the stories all year.