Call for Papers: 5th International PhD Conference of the Association for Political History


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Jyväskylä, Finland, 20–22 June 2017

2nd Call for Papers, 9 December 2016


The Association for Political History (APH) was created in September 2014 for promoting Political History, broadly defined as the history of institutions, parties, public policies, as well as the history of ideas or political cultures and behaviours. APH welcomes historians working from different perspectives, including the most recent and innovative ones, such as transnational history. One of the main goals of APH is to strengthen international cooperation in the field of education and research, thus promoting the quality of research. Furthermore, APH will provide high-quality training opportunities for PhD candidates and advanced masters students in Political History. See http://www.associationforpoliticalhistory.org/ for further information.

The institutions currently attached to APH are: Research School Political History (The Netherlands-Flanders), SciencesPo, Jyväskylä University, Luiss University Roma, King’s College London, Bielefeld University,  Aarhus University. The University of Antwerp, University of Geneva and Södertörn University, among others, have recently joined the network. APH also supports the international linkedin group for PhD candidates in Political History. See https://www.linkedin.com/grp/home?gid=8191700.

The fifth annual conference of APH will be organised at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. APH invites PhD students from the participating institutions to apply by 28 February 2017 for 16–24 slots to introduce their dissertation projects for comments from their peers and senior scholars from the member universities as well as by  external commentators and keynote speakers.

The conference will be opened in the evening of 20 June 2017 with a round table surrounding a forthcoming methodological volume and entitled “Methods for analysing institutions, action and discourse in political history”. On 21 June, the programme will include two keynote lectures on the conceptual history of the welfare state and on post-war transnational history. The conference will be closed in the afternoon of 22 June after a practical session on challenges encountered at different stages of a dissertation project as well as on the future job market for political historians. Kindly mention in your proposal if you wish to speak in this practical session.

Each paper presenter should have 1­–3 years’ experience in doctoral studies by the time of the conference. Your abstract and paper should start with a formulation of a particular scholarly point that you want to make and/or problem to which advice from the commentators and other participants is sought. The range of topics is not limited, but particularly welcome are dissertation projects which are linked to the fields of expertise in Comparative European History at the University of Jyväskylä:

• early modern polities and political cultures

• comparative and transnational history

• history of post-war societies

•  history of parliaments and/or foreign policy

• political transformations connected to the First World War and the Russian Revolution, 2017 being the centennial of the independence of the Republic of Finland.

The deadline for applications including an abstract of 250–500 words, university affiliation and an explanation of the relation of the paper to the PhD project is 28 February 2017. The applications should be sent by e-mail to pasi.t.ihalainen@jyu.fi. The acceptance of the proposed papers will be confirmed by the end of March 2017.

An accepted paper of no more than 6,000 words must then be submitted to the conference organisers by 3 June 2017 at the latest. The paper will be made available to the other participants during the following week on a closed website. Kindly include in your paper a brief introduction for those who may be unfamiliar with the period, country, organisation or theme of study. The oral presentation of the papers during the conference must not exceed 10 minutes, the rest of the time being reserved for comments and general discussion.

Paper presenters should be PhD students in the APH member universities. As a way to expand the network we invite doctoral students from universities that are not yet members of the APH to also propose papers. The final acceptance of the paper then depends on the student’s home institution agreeing to pay the annual institutional membership fee of the APH (currently EUR 300) which provides an entrance to the conferences for both the senior academic staff and PhD students. Consult the head of your department on the readiness of your home institution to participate before submitting your proposal. If you are interested in an individual membership instead, contact APH coordinator Margit van der Steen (margit.van.der.steen@huygens.knaw.nl) for further information.

The organisers will cover the travel expenses and accommodation costs of one senior scholar from each member institution and of the invited keynote speakers and specialist commentators. The participating institutions are expected to cover the travel and accommodation costs of their doctoral students but we aim at providing all meals and social programme, including a Midsummer night cruise. There will be no registration fee for this conference. For further information on travel to Jyväskylä, accommodation, venues, programme etc. see the conference website at https://www.jyu.fi/en/congress/history/aph.

The conference will be preceded on 18–20 June 2017 by the European Information and Research Network on Parliamentary History (EuParl.net) Workshop “Parliaments, the Executive and Foreign Policy in Comparative and Transnational Perspectives”, organised by the Academy of Finland Project “Supra- and Transnational Foreign Policy versus National Parliamentary Government, 1914–2014”. See https://www.jyu.fi/hum/laitokset/hie/tutkimus-vanha/keskittymat/supranational_foreign_policy for a description of the project and contact pasi.t.ihalainen@jyu.fi for further details on the preliminary programme and possibilities to attend as speaker or audience.

About travel to Jyväskylä: book a flight preferably to Helsinki Airport (book early to get best rates) from which there is a comfortable train connection and coach connections to Jyväskylä (change train in Tikkurila and for some services in Tampere, travel time three hours). Train tickets start from EUR 30 return if you book well in advance. There may also be connections flights available to Jyväskylä but they increase the costs considerably.