January 2013 APT newsletter

The Britain and Ireland Association for Political Thought (APT) is now recognised by HEFC as a learned society with the standing to be consulted on a variety of research issues. So members were able to defend the interests of political theory in the UK Research Excellence Framework – we nominated four people for the Politics panel and succeeded in securing the appointment of one of them – Richard Bellamy – thereby increasing the number of theorists by one.

We have been working on engagement with research councils – Jeremy Jennings has represented us at various meetings of the AHRC, and we submitted comments on the AHRC strategic plan. We also successfully nominated Richard Bellamy, Thom Brooks and David Owen to the Peer Review College of the AHRC. We have submitted suitably critical views on the Open Access proposals and will be nominating candidates for the ESRC research committee.

In the current climate it is increasingly important to build links with other groups, both nationally (members participated in a panel on refereeing at the PSA conference) and internationally –we maintain friendly relations with the US APT, some of us will of course be in Chicago at APSA and we are hoping to raise our profile there. We welcome input from members on these and any other initiatives they believe we should be making. In particular, if you are attending APSA, please get in touch via email, our webpage or Facebook.

Our Website is now live: http://www.associationforpoliticalthought.ac.uk and working well as an information clearing house for conferences, seminars and symposia, and for jobs. We are also using Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AssociationForPoliticalThought; And Twitter: @Polthought.

Archive appeal: If you have any past conference programmes and/or lists of participants, please send them to conference@associationforpoliticalthought.co.uk for inclusion on the archive pages.

The Political Thought Conference 2013, at St Catz Oxford, January 3-5, convened by Gary Browning and Elizabeth Frazer, was very successful – intellectually, socially, and materially. Academic convenors David Owen and Dan Butt put together a terrific progamme with papers of a very high standard by Duncan Bell, Alan Finlayson, Rob Jubb, Ruth Kinna, Patchen Markell, Margaret Moore, Anne Phillips, and Lea Ypi – they all did a great job responding to fearsome and challenging questions. The field of political thought is wide, and the audience for this conference diverse, and questions come from many different standpoints. Thanks to all the contributors.

AGM January 4 2013

As usual the AGM of the APT and the Conference was held on Friday afternoon Jan 4. We agreed that the conference needs to grow somewhat, and we need to make a particular effort to increase participation by younger professional political theorists and graduate students. The convenors will continue to work for increased attendance, and to build up financial resources and reserves by securing higher levels of sponsorship, while trying to maintain the traditional atmosphere of informality and plenary participation in single full length paper sessions. We agreed that from next year the conference will begin earlier – 2 p.m. rather than 4 p.m. Thursday, with a session especially aimed at graduate students on some aspect of professional political theory. We also agreed that there will be a competition over the summer, to select a doctoral student’s paper to be included in the conference programme.

Academic convenors for the conference 2014, to be held at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, January 9-11 2014, are Chris Brooke and Moya Lloyd

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