The first Joint Quantitative Political Science Conference for Asia and Australasia was held from January 9th to 11th at the University of Sydney, Australia. This combined the 4th annual Asian Political Methodology conference (Asian Polmeth IV) and the 5th annual meeting of the Australian Society for Quantitative Political Science (ASQPS V). The conference was co-sponsored by: the Program for Quantitative and Analytical Political Science, Princeton University; the School of Social and Political Sciences and the United States Studies Centre, University of Sydney; the School of Politics and International Relations, Australian National University; and the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne. Participants were welcomed by Professor Simon Tormey, Head of SSPS at University of Sydney, who opened the conference.
The Asian Polmeth meeting is devoted to promoting research and education in quantitative social sciences in Asia, and providing opportunities for individual quantitative social scientists and local research communities around the globe to exchange research ideas and build academic ties. ASQPS is committed to the promotion and development of quantitative research in political science in Australia and the wider region, with an emphasis on expanding the use of quantitative methods, supporting the training of PhD students, and fostering the community of active quantitative researchers and their connections with scholars around the world.
The Program Committee issued a Call for Papers in March 2016 and received 2 panel proposals, 39 paper proposals, and 14 poster proposals by September 2016. The final program included 36 papers in 15 panels, and 13 poster presentations. Conference attendance including presenters and non-presenters totalled 71 people. Participants were from Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States (the online program can be found here: http://asiapolmeth.princeton.edu/online-program ).
The keynote speaker was Professor Douglas Rivers of Stanford University, whose talk, “Estimating the Mean Square Error of a Survey with Unknown Selection Bias,” focused on the challenges of using survey data for analysis or prediction in an era of low survey response rates and changing patterns in political participation. The talk was a highlight of the conference, emphasizing cutting-edge approaches to vexing problems within and beyond academia. It was an honor to host Prof. Rivers.
The conference papers and posters focused on new research in and applications of quantitative methods in political science. Methodology topics covered included estimating treatment effects, text as data, prediction, causal inference from observational data, and dimensionality and measurement. Applied topics included intra- and inter-state conflict, parties and elections, human rights, and international political economy. There was also a special panel on Australian Survey Data and Data Sources organized by Professor Ian McAllister of the Australian National University. The poster sessions provided many opportunities for PhD students and junior scholars to discuss their research and receive feedback from peers and senior colleagues.
On January 8th there were two excellent pre-conference workshops for PhD students and early career researchers. Professor Leonie Huddy (SUNY Stony Brook) led a workshop on Population Survey Experiments and Professor Stanley Feldman (SUNY Stony Brook) led a workshop on Measurement Theory. Sponsored by ASQPS, these were attended by 18 students and faculty.
The Program Committee for this conference was composed of Benjamin E. Goldsmith (University of Sydney; 2017 host and organizer), Svitlana Chernykh (Australian National University), Fang-Yi Chiou (Academia Sinica), Richard Frank (Australian National University), Kentaro Fukumoto (Gakushuin University), Leonie Huddy (SUNY Stony Brook), Kosuke Imai (Princeton University), Aaron Martin (University of Melbourne), Xun Pang (Tsinghua University), Jong Hee Park (Seoul National University), Shaun Ratcliff (University of Sydney), and Shawn Treier (Australian National University).
The Asian Political Methodology Conference was first organized by Kosuke Imai in 2013, and the first ASQPS meeting was organized by Ben Goldsmith, Aaron Martin, and Yusaku Horiuchi in 2012.
The 2018 Asian Polmeth Meeting will be held in Seoul, South Korea in January. The next ASQPS meeting will be held in Wellington, New Zealand, in December 2017.
We look forward to seeing you in Seoul and Wellington!
Ben Goldsmith is Associate Professor, Department of Government & International Relations, University of Sydney, Australia.
Conference Day 1
Conference Day 2
Conference Day 3