The SPSA Annual Conference 2019 & Dreiländertagung will take place at ETH Zurich from 14 - 16 February 2019

The SPSA Annual Conference 2019 & Dreiländertagung

Guiding Theme 2019

«The End of the West? Liberal Orders under Pressure »

In 1989, with the end of the East-West conflict, the "West" seemed to have become the undisputedly dominant formation of world politics. Francis Fukuyama called the "end of history", the US became the only and indispensable world power, the wave of democratization seized the globe, western-dominated international organizations from the World Trade Organization to the European Union deepened and expanded.

In 2019 the "West" is under massive internal and external pressure. With the election of President Trump in the US and the UK referendum on leaving the EU, two pioneering nations are questioning the foundations of the Western world order. The electoral successes of right-wing populist parties challenge the liberal constitutional state, European integration and globalization from within; from outside, it is the emerging China and an aggressive Russia.

The "West" is defined by the interplay of liberal domestic and international orders. The common commitment to liberal human rights, the rule of law and democracy underpins the Western community of values; open and rights-based societies find their equivalent in an open and rights-based international order, which in turn promotes prosperity and security in the participating societies.

The congress sets itself the task of investigating the development of national and international liberal regimes, their exciting interaction and the crisis of the "West" from a political science perspective. Does the liberal global and European order erode its social foundations, e.g. by promoting inequality and technocratic politics? On the other hand, how resistant are liberal state and international institutions to the advance of authoritarian populism? These and other questions are to be analyzed and discussed in a large number of panels and working groups from different sub-disciplines of political science and with the participation of the German, Austrian and Swiss political science associations.

Conference Program 2019

Keynote Speech