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New Zealand Politics Studies Association Conference

NZPSA 2017: (Dis)ordering Politics: Exclusion, Resistance and Participation

The Department of Politics at the University of Otago is very pleased to be hosting the 2017 New Zealand Political Studies Association Conference in Dunedin as part of our 50th anniversary celebrations. The conference will be held on the 29 November - 1 December, with a postgraduate workshop on Tuesday 28 November and we very much hope that you will be able to join us.

2017 NZPSA conference keynote public lecture:
From Global Slump to Trump: The Economics and Politics of Crisis, Resistance and Reaction

Wednesday 29 November, Burns 1 5:30 - 7pm

Prof David McNally of the University of York (Canada).

In his book, Global Slump published in 2010, David McNally analyses the global financial meltdown as the first systemic crisis of the neoliberal stage of capitalism. He argued that – far from having ended – the crisis ushered in a whole period of worldwide economic and political turbulence. This prognosis has proven to be remarkably accurate. The year immediately following the publication of Global Slump, 2011, was the worst year for global capitalism since 1968 – a year of crisis, revolutions, revolts, and global anti-capitalist protests. Since then regimes, both authoritarian and liberal democratic, have proceeded to implement programmes of fiscal austerity and vigorously suppress outbreaks of popular resistance to austerity. Brexit and Trump's victory mark a rightward shift in the politics of governing elites but as the surprisingly strong support for Bernie Sanders shows this shift has been contested and is best viewed as a complex moment in a turbulent and rapidly changing historical conjuncture. In his keynote, David draws upon both Global Slump and Monsters of the Market to provide a critical analysis of 'the Trump moment' in global politics.

For an audio recording of the keynote address please click here (starts at 4.58min).

Panel Discussion: Disordering Politics: The Politics of Dissent

Wednesday 29th November, Burns 1, 11.30am - 1pm

Chair: Professor Janine Hayward, University of Otago

The panel:
Morgan Godfery, Writer and trade unionist
Dr Mariah Bragh, Victoria University of Wellington
Teanau Tuiono

Indigenous politics is fundamental to the ongoing (dis)ordering of politics. This panel of experts talks about the role and value of dissent and resistance for indigenous peoples in New Zealand and elsewhere.

For an audio recording of this panel discussion please click here (starts at 9.27min).

Panel Discussion- New Zealand's experience of Dis(ordering) Politics: the 2017 general election evaluated

Friday 1st December, Burns 1, 1.30 - 3pm

Chair: Dr Bryce Edwards, Political commentator

The panel:
Associate Professor Jennifer Curtin, University of Auckland
Professor Andrew Geddis, University of Otago

New Zealand's general election of 2017 took place in the context of global electoral flux and ideological change. But to what extent did this have any impact or visibility in New Zealand political parties, campaigning, or voting? This panel session looks at some of the main themes of the conference – such as how issues of class, inequality, race, gender, and also populism and anger – have played in part in the local campaign and the 23 September outcome.

For an audio recording of this panel please click here (starts at 10.40min).

Past Seminars / Discussion Panels

100 years since the Russian Revolution 1917: A Panel Discussion on its Legacy and Contemporary Relevance

Hosted by Dr Rosemary Overell, University of Otago

This panel will debate and discuss the legacy of 1917 on the hundredth anniversary of the Russian Revolution. The October Revolution of 1917 was of world historic significance because for the first and only time in history a popular movement of workers and peasants overthrew an absolutist monarchy and attempted to build a socialist society. Tragically the revolution degenerated into an authoritarian regime of terror as Stalin took power and then moved to systematically eliminate all opposition, including the bulk of the Bolsheviks who played leading roles in the October Revolution.

Associate Professor Brian Roper, University of Otago
Dr James Headley, University of Otago
Dr David Neilson, University of Waikato
Andrew Tait, Journalist, union activist, member of the International Socialist Organisation

Click here for audio recording

Are the US and China on the road to war?

Hosted by Professor Philip Nel, Univesity of Otago

The rise of China since Deng Xiaoping initiated landmark economic reforms in the late 1970's is one of the big stories in world politics. To name only the most obvious benefits of China's rise, the largest number of people in human history have been lifted out of poverty, and China's impressive economic growth has bolstered the world economy in the post-2008 global financial crisis. However, the story does not end there. In recent years, we have also seen a clear increase in tensions between China and the U.S. What are the sources of these tensions? Can they be moderated? What is the likely trajectory of the U.S.-China relationship in the twenty-first century? Join us in exploring these questions with our panel of specialists.

Professor Alex Tan, Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Canterbury, Christchurch
Professor Robert Patman, Department of Politics, University of Otago
Dr. Nicholas Khoo, Department of Politics, University of Otago

Click here for the audio recording

Gender, Feminism and Politics

Hosted by Professor Janine Hayward

As part of the 50th birthday of politics at Otago this panel explores the significance of gender to politics, in its various dimensions. How has feminism changed traditional approaches to the study of power (politics)? The discussion will encompass the politics of gender, drawing on social and political theory, peace and conflict studies, and comparative politics and institutions.

Dr Carla Lam, University of Otago
Associate Professor Jennifer Curtin, University of Auckland
Dr Rebecca Stringer, University of Otago
Dr Heather Devere, University of Otago

Click here for the audio recording

Election 2017: How healthy is New Zealand's democracy?

Hosted by Professor Janine Hayward

As we head towards the General Election on 23 September, this panel will discuss what we can expect from politicians, the media, interest groups and voters. What are the big issues at stake in this election, and how likely is it that those issues will be addressed? Just how democratic is New Zealand today?

Dr Bryce Edwards (Political Commentator)
Hannah Ballantyne (OU Politics student, POLSA exec, UniCrew)
Tree La Rooy (Tertiary Education Union)
Dene MacKenzie (Political Editor, ODT)

Click here for the audio recording (starts at 1:25)

50 years of educating politics students and myself at Otago

Emeritus Professor James R. Flynn

During my fifty years at Otago (1967-2017), thirty years as HOD, the university, my students, and my image of myself have altered. The university became student-centred, the students better (in most ways), and I became more absorbed in giving them and myself a measure of human autonomy.”

Emeritus Professor James R. Flynn was appointed inaugural professor of Political Studies at Otago in 1967. The Department of Politics invites you to share in our 50th birthday celebrations and hear Prof. Flynn's reflections on 50 years of teaching politics at Otago.

Click here for the audio recording (starts at 1:28)

The Middle East Today

Hosted by Professor William Harris

The panel will report on latest developments and circumstances in Turkey, the Israeli-Palestinian arena, and the Syria crisis. In Q & A, we are happy also to discuss jihadism, the situation in Iraq, and the involvements of Russia and the United States across the Fertile Crescent.

Dr Leon Goldsmith, University of Otago
Dr Nigel Parsons, Massey University
Hosted by Professor William Harris

Click here for the audio recording

The BIG idea whose time has come: A basic income grant for all?

Hosted by Professor Philip Nel

Concern about declining decent work opportunities, growing child poverty, and the prohibitive costs of complex welfare provision all lead to one conclusion: Serious attention must be given to the introduction of a Basic Income Grant, a cash income for every adult/household. The idea is 500 years old, and experimentally applied in a number of places in the world. Is it appropriate for New Zealand, and how will it work?

Professor Philip Nel, Department of Politics, University of Otago
Mr Lowell Manning, President, Basic Income New Zealand (BINZ)
Dr Murat Ungor, Department of Economics, University of Otago

Click here for the audio recording

Opinion pieces

The department of politics at the University of Otago turns 50 in 2017. This is a monthly series of celebratory reflections in the Otago Daily Times on politics during the past 50 years. These have been reproduced with permission from the Otago Daily Times.


Is there a place for Corruption? Professor Philip Nel asks, can corruption be beneficial?


The turing points of politics Dr Bryce Edwards writes we're at a another major turning point in authority systems.


World afloat in sea of debt Professor Philip Nel and PhD candidate Can Cinar discuss global debt.


The Global South: from victims to agents of change Dr Lena Tan discusses the global south.


Detente and its legacy shaped relations Professor Robert G. Patman looks at superpower detente and the beginning of the end of the Cold War.


The legacy of the Six Day War Professor William Harris looks at the Six Day War of 1967.


From merger to dissolution? Dr Jim Headley looks at the European Union and the United Kingdom 50 years on.


The politics of reproduction Dr Carla Lam asks what reproduction has got to do with politics in 2017.


Similarities and differences to 1966 Election Professor Janine Hayward and Dr Chris Rudd look back at New Zealand politics in 1966.


Party of contradictions leads China into the future Dr Nicholas Khoo writes about China


NZ should take more refugess Associate Processor Vicki Spencer looks at the refugee crisis and the UN's 1967 Protocol.

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