#PSA12 Conference preview and liveblog (Wednesday)

Day two in the Big Brother house Europa Hotel, and the Political Studies Association conference has another full day planned. Throughout the conference, a liveblog will capture tweets (hashtag #psa12) and photos and links to what’s happening. (You can also catch a quick round up of some of yesterday’s events in a previous post.)

Prof Monica McWilliams will chair the Consociational Theory and Powersharing in Northern Ireland keynote plenary this afternoon, with contributions from Proj John McGarry (Canada), Prof Brendad O’Leary (USA), Prof Rupert Taylor (South Africa) and Prof John Cash (Australia).

Later this evening, deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness is the after dinner speaker in Belfast City Hall, with an welcome by deputy Lord Mayor, Alderman Ruth Patterson and a pre-dinner introduction by Rt Hon Peter Riddell.

There are more than thirty panel sessions running throughout the day, covering in excess of 100 papers. Some of those that catch my eye include:

  • Aspects of Republicanism – asking whether “New dissidents are but old Provisionals writ large?”; Republican memoirs and contested memory of the Hunger Strikes; and dealing with the past from nationalist and republican perspectives.
  • Swiss Politics Today – looking changes and developments in Swiss politics, as well as the impact of e-voting and smart-voting on parties and democracy.
  • The Comparative Politics of Memory: Constructing the Past for Contemporary Ends – ‘inner unity’ after German unification; the Hungarian extreme right; and different means and different ends in the Czech Republic and Poland.
  • Interpreting and Explaining the Peace Process – From democratic deficit to the budget deficit: clouds, silver linings and unexpected consequences in NI politics; and Examining the never ending but fundamentally altering Peace Process.
  • Local Political Elites: Councillors, Officers, Parties and New Processes of Local Democracy.
  • Re-imagining the Union – ‘Internal decolonisation’ and the UK state.
  • The Future of Loyalism – with two academics, a cleric and Jackie McDonald – who’s listed in the conference programme as ‘Jackie McDonald (UDA)’.

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  • Peter Parker

    I hope no-one in the plenary session had the bad grace to mention Monica McWilliams’ predictable failure to secure the UN Special Rapporteurship that she had been lobbying for. At the last UU event I attended where she was speaking, we were all expected to applaud the news that she had (somehow) made the shortlist for the post, dealing with truth and reconciliation – one subject she avoided like the plague when at the Human Rights Commission.

  • Peter – no. Monica merely introduced the four speakers who all had varying views on consociational theory.