PSA Postgraduate Network Annual Conference

Last week, I presented at the Political Studies Association Postgraduate Network Annual Conference, hosted at Oxford University. Although I have presented at an academic conference before (see here), this was the first in which I was presenting a fully blown original paper (the photo on the right shows the panel that I was part of). The paper argued that the importance of local parties and incumbency might be enough to mitigate the scale of the predicted losses for the Liberal Democrats at the next general election (I’ll blog about that another time). I’m pleased that the paper was well received, and a good debate followed.

The conference itself brought together PhD students from across Europe, presenting on papers relating to British politics, the middle east, feminist theory and much more. A big thanks must go to the organisers of the conference, who did a great job in getting everything done. The conference was broken up into panels. I was in a panel named ‘Issues in Contemporary British Politics’, alongside Ruth Garland from the LSE and Benjamin Martill from Oxford University. Presentations lasted 10-15 minutes each, followed by 30-45 minutes of discussion.

All in all, it was a great experience, and also my first time in Oxford. It was a really good opportunity to present at a conference where perhaps the pressure was not so strong. Given it was the postgraduate network, you were not expected to give a flawless presentation of coherent argument (though of course I hope I did!), but more a chance to develop your research skills and learn more about the research that’s going on around you.


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