Public Release: 

102nd American Political Science Association Annual Meeting examines role of power in politics

Meeting will be held from August 31 to September 3 in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia Marriott and Loews Philadelphia

American Political Science Association

Washington, DC--The 102nd Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA) will convene from August 31-September 3 in Philadelphia, PA on the timely theme of "Power Reconsidered." The APSA meeting is the world's largest gathering of political scientists; over 730 panels, round tables, and sessions will take place and approximately 7,000 participants are expected to attend.

From discussions about the "power elite" and "military-industrial complex" in the 1950s to more recent debates on the rule of law, political participation and equality, socio-economic disparities, institution building, terrorism and war, political scientists have long been interested in the concept of power and its use in politics. The 2006 APSA Annual Meeting provides a unique forum for informative discussions and research presentations from a wide range of scholars and political observers. The focus of the meeting, according to program chairs Rick Valelly (Swarthmore College) and Judith Goldstein (Stanford University), is "the understanding of both the theoretical bases of power and its empirical effects."

  • Highlights will include plenary sessions on:

    • The Clash of Cultures and American Hegemony with Sam Huntington (Harvard University), Francis Fukuyama (Johns Hopkins University), Benjamin Barber (University of Maryland, College Park), Stephen Walt (Harvard University), and James Kurth (Swarthmore College)
    • Thinking About Power with Nannerl Keohane (Princeton University), Steven Lukes (NYU), Matthew Crenson (Johns Hopkins University), Jack Nagel (University of Pennsylvania), and Linda Williams (University of Maryland)
    • The State of American Democracy: An Audit with Robert Kuttner (The American Prospect), Jacob Hacker (Yale University), Walter Mebane (Cornell University), and Paul Pierson (University of California, Berkeley)
    • Political Power: Who Governs? Who Votes? Who Cares? with Robert A. Dahl (Yale University), Kathryn Pearson (University of Minnesota), Nelson W. Polsby (Institute of Governmental Studies), Steven J. Rosenstone (University of Minnesota), Paul M. Sniderman (Stanford University), and Raymond E. Wolfinger (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Other notable events will include:

    • The 2006 APSA Presidential Address by Ira Katznelson (Columbia University), entitled "At the Court of Chaos: Political Science in an Age of Perpetual Fear," drawing on years of research and reflection including the 2003 award-winning book Desolation and Enlightenment: Political Knowledge After Total War, Totalitarianism, and the Holocaust (Columbia University Press)
    • The 2006 Pi Sigma Alpha Guest Lecture, delivered by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell on "Leadership"
    • The New Political Science Plenary featuring the Honorable John Conyers (D-Michigan), recipient of the "Lifetime Achievement Award for Public Service"

    Hundreds of additional sessions will be held at the meeting on topics directly related to notable public debates today. These will address issues such as the Iraq conflict, terrorism, post-9/11 U.S. foreign and security policy, Hurricane Katrina, immigration, religion in politics, political polarization, voter behavior, and the 2006 midterm elections--where the question of power and its use remains central. To view examples visit or search the full meeting program at

    "We live in dangerous and unsettling times. Such moments present a special challenge to political scientists, both as scholars and as citizens," said APSA President Ira Katznelson. "In thinking about power and its ramifications, we shall bear in mind such pressing issues as the place of religion in public life, the character of civil-military relations, and the commitment to constitutionalism in the face of emergency."

    Members of the media are invited to pre-register for press credentials at until Monday, August 21. On-site registration will also be available.


    The American Political Science Association (est. 1903) is the leading professional organization for the study of politics and has over 14,000 members in 80 countries. For more news and information about political science research visit the APSA media website,

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