Graduate Student Conference

"Conflict and Contestation"

Friday, February 10, 2017

Politics and conflict are invariably entwined. Not only does politics engender conflict, but conflict also constitutes politics. Conflicts and contestations have been instrumental in deciding elections, redrawing borders, and redefining critical political concepts like citizenship, rights, and statehood. In recent events, such as Brexit and the United States presidential election, we also see the ways that electoral contestation creates dramatic upheavals and alters relationships between states and within them. Political science is also concerned with longer progressions of conflict and contestation that shape institutions and institutional dynamics. These conflicts materialize in debates around identity politics, labor, democratization, and other issues that deeply divide societies. At the heart of these conflicts is a quest for political, social, and economic power. The consequences of contested, conflicted, and contentious politics have both empirical and normative implications for our understanding of when, why, and how politics creates and responds to such fissures.

Our conference seeks to engage students from peer programs with our own faculty and students on a set of small panels, focused and engaged with student work. This year, the keynote address will be given by Christian Davenport of the University of Michigan. The title of his talk is “Try to repress this! The conflict and contentious politics moment in political science.” 

Conflict & Contestation

University of Pennsylvania
208 S. 37th Street, Room 217
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6215
Phone: (215) 898-7641

Anne Norton Chair
Matthew Levendusky Graduate Chair
Marc Meredith Undergraduate Chair