Section Descriptions

Section Descriptions

Northeastern Political Science Association



Congress, the Presidency and the Courts

This section welcomes papers, panels, roundtables and other presentations that add to our understanding of the United States Congress, the Presidency, the Courts and Constitutional Law. In particular, we welcome research on congressional elections, behavior, and the legislative process; presidential elections, presidential rhetoric, executive and administrative leadership, judicial selection, decision-making, and the implications of court decisions.

State and Metropolitan Politics

This section welcomes papers, panels and roundtables focused on all aspects of U.S. state, metropolitan, and neighborhood politics, including work on federalism, intergovernmental relations, city, town, county, and municipal governments (legislative, executive, and judicial). The section particularly welcomes sub-federal work in the field of American political development.

Parties, Interest Groups, Social Movements, and Electoral Behavior

This section welcomes papers, panels and roundtables that address significant theoretical, substantive, and methodological issues in the study of campaigns and elections, including voting behavior, campaign effects, campaign finance, advertising, mobilization and get-out-the-vote efforts, and primary election campaigns.

Additionally, proposals that consider the activities of any kind of political organization, including parties and interest groups, social movements/social movement organizations, and corporations, institutions, or associations that engage in political activity are also welcome.

Public Policy and Public Administration

This section welcomes papers, panels, and roundtables on all topics relating to public policy studies, and public administration, including questions and issues associated with public management and governance.

Ancient and Medieval Political Philosophy

This section welcomes papers, panels and roundtables that address all aspects of Ancient (Greek, Roman) and Medieval (Jewish, Christian, Islamic) political thought.

Modern Political Theory

This section welcomes papers, panels and roundtables that focus on Machiavelli to Hegel and German idealism, including but not limited to normative political theory and the history of ideas.

Continental Political Thought

This section welcomes papers, panels and roundtables on topics that develop insights from Marx, Nietzsche and more generally from post-Enlightenment critique.  Submissions include but are not limited to phenomenology, hermeneutics, existentialism, poststructuralism, post-modernism, critical theory, French feminism, and Marxism.

Democratic Theory

This section welcomes papers, panels and roundtables on all topics in contemporary democratic theory including deliberative democracy, identity politics, group rights, and citizenship.

American Political Thought

This section invites papers, panels and roundtables that address the political culture, history, identity, and political development of the United States from the colonial period to the present. Topics in this section have included (but are not limited to): democracy, constitutionalism, equality, liberty, citizenship, federalism, education, the role of the state, race and literature. Of particular interest are papers focusing on how the theoretical ideas or foundational ideas in American political life define the public discourse, policies, and the conduct of leaders and citizens.

International Relations

This section invites papers, panels and roundtables on topics in international studies broadly defined, including international relations theory, international law and organizations, foreign policy, globalization, human rights, international development, conflict resolution, military/strategic studies, feminist theory/gender studies, and international political economy.

Comparative Politics

This section invites papers, panels and roundtables on all areas of comparative politics, including the politics of advanced industrial, post-communist, or developing countries; cross-regional studies; broad theoretical issues such as democratization, economic development, globalization, and ethnic and nationalist conflict are welcome.

Identity Politics

This section welcomes papers, panels and roundtable proposals dealing with gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and religion.  Of particular interest are papers and panels that explore the impact of gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and religious groups on: political participation and representation in various institutions (legislative, executive, or judicial) and at all levels of governance (local, regional, national, and transnational); substantive, symbolic, and descriptive representation; the formation of political identities, and public policy-making. Topics focusing on all areas of the world and utilizing a variety of methodological perspectives are welcome. Papers examining the interplay between any of these categories are also desired.

NPSA Women's Caucus

The Women’s Caucus of the NPSA is an organization that seeks to improve the status of women in the profession of political science. We seek to promote equal opportunity for women political scientists in employment, promotion and tenure decisions, as well as graduate school admissions and financial decisions. We host a roundtable at each NPSA conference that seeks to address issues of importance to women political scientists.

Environmental Politics and Policy

This section welcomes papers, panels, and roundtables relevant to environmental politics or policy, U.S. and international. Topics may include, environmental movements; environmentalism, its variants or rivals; environmental policy formation and implementation; environmental regimes; management of common pool resources; environmental policy analysis; and sustainable development. Interdisciplinary approaches are especially welcome.

Teaching, Learning, and the Profession

This section invites papers, panels and roundtables on all aspects of undergraduate and graduate teaching, especially in the areas of integrating technology into  the curriculum, blended and online learning, the use of cooperative and collaborative learning techniques, and experiential learning. Proposals are also welcome on the future of the profession and on professional education in political science and related disciplines, including approaches to preparing new professionals  for academic and non-academic careers, and curricular issues concerning the normative imperatives of political and civic education. Finally, papers and roundtables exploring internships, study abroad, campus engagement, andglobal education are also encouraged.

Popular Culture and Politics

This section invites papers, panels and roundtables on works that explore the intersection of popular culture and politics. Especially relevant are papers that examine the ways in which film, television, literature, and music depict political institutions, affect political socialization, shape public opinion and serve as a tool for explaining concepts and fostering debate. Papers that explore popular culture as an instrument for providing context and diverse perspectives are also welcome.

Politics and History

This section invites papers, panels and roundtables on all topics in politics and history.

Undergraduate Research

This section provides an opportunity for promising undergraduate political science students to experience a professional academic conference and to contribute to our understanding of politics. It is meant to help promote undergraduate research in political science and to showcase outstanding student research. Individual and collaborative papers in any area of political science are welcome. Proposals should include contact information of the faculty sponsor of the research.



This section welcomes proposals for panels on the academic and non-academic job market in political science.

  • Job candidates who are planning to attend the NPSA conference can submit their CVs to the NPSA Employment Service Director ( for inclusion in a CV folder. Indicate your field(s) and the dates when you will be at the conference. Employers can request a copy of the CV folder by contacting the NPSA Employment Services Director ( Please indicate if you will be attending the conference. If you want to interview a candidate at the conference, you can contact him or her directly to make advance arrangements.
  • Candidates for jobs are encouraged to access APSA eJobs, the most comprehensive database of jobs related to political science, at APSA member job candidates may post their resumes and search job listings. The service is free to and offered exclusively to APSA members. APSA member employers may search job listings and candidate resumes free of charge. 
  • Candidates and employers are encouraged to visit APSA Resources, Data on the Profession, Employment Data at for information about the job market in political science.