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As US Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton prepare to go head to head in their first debate, political scholars will gather at UNSW to dissect the US election campaign and other topics from same-sex marriage and Islamophobia to metadata retention laws and the politics of royal commissions as part of the 2016 Australian Political Studies Association (APSA) annual conference.

Hosted by UNSW's School of Social Sciences, the three-day conference will bring together Australia’s pre-eminent scholars working in International Relations, Political Science, Political Philosophy, Public Policy, Law and aligned disciplines to explore the theme The Politics of Justice and Rights: challenges and future directions.

The conference will open on Monday 26 September with a keynote address by Professor Jennifer Hochshild, Professor of Government at Harvard University and president of the American Political Science Association 2015-2016.

The following day, Professor Hochschild will be joined by Professor Simon Jackman, CEO of the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, and former NSW Premier and Foreign Minister Bob Carr to discuss the US Presidential campaign in a US Election Plenary chaired by Anne Summers.

UNSW Professor Louise Chappell, one of the conference organisers, said: “At a time when politics is more unpredictable than ever, this year’s conference will consider key contemporary issues including new forms of representation, the future of mainstream political parties, indigenous and refugee justice issues and better measures to protect human rights.

“And on the same day that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump meet in the first Presidential debate, the meeting will focus minds about the outcome of the US election in November and what the implications may be for Australia.”

Conference highlights include:

  • It’s Only Metadata: Political posturing on privacy principles (Rob Nicholls, UNSW)
  • Examining Islamophobia in Australia (Matteo Vergani and Fethi Mansouri, Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation)
  • Appointing royal commissions for political gains: is it a bad thing? (Heath Whiley, University of Tasmania)
  • Same-sex marriage debate in Australia: public opinion and policy congruence (Andrea Carson, University of Melbourne, Shaun Ratcliff, Monash University, Yannic Dufresne, Universite Laval)
  • He’s “Taken Back the Reins” and She’s “a Backstabbing Murderer”: A comparative media analysis of the Prime Ministerial ascension of Julia Gillard and Malcolm Turnbull (Blair Williams, ANU)
  • Postcolonialism and Sport: How racialised representations of Aboriginal athletes impede professional sport coaching opportunities (Nicholas Apoifis, UNSW, Andrew Bennie, Western Sydney University, Demelza Marlin, WSU/UNSW)
  • Satire, reform and preaching to the converted (Mark Rolfe, UNSW)

For the full conference program click here 

What: 2016 Australian Political Studies Association (APSA) Conference, The Politics of Justice and Rights: challenges and future directions.

When: Monday, 26 September – Wednesday, 28 September

Where:  Mathews Theatres, School of Social Sciences, UNSW, Kensington