81st Annual Midwest Political Science Association Conference
Thursday, April 4 through Sunday, April 7, 2024
Hybrid Format: In-Person at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, IL or Online

All Panels/Paper Sessions, Roundtables, Lightning Talks and Working Groups will Feature a Hybrid Format (for In-Person or Virtual Participation). Undergraduate Poster Sessions will be In-Person Only.

Conference Program Co-Chairs:
Gisela Sin, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Elizabeth Suhay, American University

Learn more about the conference. Sign up here to receive email communications about the conference.

About Working Groups / Conferences-within-a-Conference

Working Groups

Working group participants agree to attend, as audience members, a small group of related sessions at the conference. A volunteer coordinator for each working group proposes a topic or theme, selects the sessions for the group to attend, promotes the working group, recruits participants, and facilitates communication among participants. A working group may also organize sessions of their own and/or hold a meeting for additional discussion and interaction. MPSA staff handles scheduling logistics (i.e., ensuring that participants are free during those sessions which the working group is attending) and maintaining rosters. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals and cohorts to stimulate focused thought and discussion around a specific theme, topic, or specialization without the hassle of logistics.


Individuals holding a Ph.D. may submit a proposal to convene a conference-within-a-conference, or multiple organized sessions related to a single theme, topic, or area of study. Proposals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The convenor(s) are responsible for recruiting participants, organizing them into sessions, and facilitating communication and cooperation within the group. MPSA staff will assign meeting space, provide for the logistical needs of the group, maintain a roster of participants, help to promote the event, and work with the convenor(s) to accommodate scheduling requests. This is an excellent opportunity for cohorts to gather around specific areas of study that may not be well-represented in the normal conference sections, or to develop specific projects like an edited volume.

If you are interested in organizing a Working Group or Conference-within-a-Conference, please contact MPSA Professional Development Manager, Lewis Hoss, Ph.D. at hoss@mpsanet.org.

2024 Conferences-within-a-Conference

Association for Politics and the Life Sciences Annual Conference

The 2024 Annual Meeting of the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences (APLS) will be held on Friday afternoon at the MPSA conference. APLS is dedicated to the advancement of research pertaining to the following broad categories: new directions in politics and the life sciences, biopolitics, life science policies (e.g., health policy, genetically modified foods, stem cell research), neurobiology and politics, bioethics, bioterrorism, environmental policy and communication (e.g., media coverage and public opinion about climate change), genetics and politics, biotechnology, and other biopolitical topics. This year’s conference features new research in politics and the life sciences, along with a keynote and reception on Friday afternoon.

Convenor: Patrick A. Stewart, University of Arkansas

Chinese Development and Governance

This mini-conference follows eight successful China Development and Government workshops organized by several Asia Fellows in the Ash Center at the Harvard Kennedy School. The event gathers doctoral candidates, postdoctoral fellows, and junior scholars in the field of Chinese politics based in North America and Asia. During a full day of panels held on Saturday, participants will present new research on Chinese elites, international issues pertaining to China, and new issues in Chinese governance including environmental governance, AI applications, digital technology and institutional pressures. The mini-conference will also feature a book talk by En Li, recent author of Betting on the Civil Service Examinations: The Lottery in Late Qing China (Harvard University Press, 2023); and a publishing lecture entitled “Navigating the Publication Process: From Dissertation to Manuscript.”

Convenors: Chunying Yue, Harvard University; Dapeng Wang, Harvard University; Seong-Hyon Lee, Harvard University; Rey-Sheng Her, Tzu Chi University; Jun Wang, Chinese Academy of Social Science

CMPS Scholars Research Network Mini-Conference

The CMPS Scholars Research Network will host a mini-conference at MPSA 2024 featuring papers that delve into the results of the Collaborative Multiracial Post-Election Survey (CMPS) 2020. Original researchers and collaborators on the CMPS 2020, and their coauthors, will present their research from this comprehensive survey. The opportunity to present offers a valuable platform to share your findings, engage in constructive discourse, and contribute to the broader scholarly conversation, along with other contributors. A list of collaborators and contributors can be found here.

Convenors: Tabitha Bonilla, Northwestern University; Nazita Lajevardi, Michigan State University; Jamil S. Scott, Georgetown University

Cultural Theory Working Group

The Cultural Theory Working Group is an international gathering of scholars who use the political cultural theory developed by Mary Douglas, Aaron Wildavsky, and others to advance subfield understandings and explanations in political science. The group will attend several panels featuring papers that engage with cultural theory and will hold a meeting on Saturday.

Convenor: Brendon Swedlow, Northern Illinois University

Organized Crime and Politics

This mini-conference brings together scholars whose research intersects with Organized Crime and Politics, broadly defined. Selected papers are united around a broad definition of organized crime and its effects on political dynamics and actors. Specifically, the topics that will be addressed are organized crime groups’ effect on local governance, and electoral behavior; policing, crackdown, and violent groups; as well as the social, and economic consequences of crackdowns; and organized crime’s impact on citizens’ lives. Panelists examine these topics using different methodological approaches, including quantitative methods, formal models, experiments, case studies, ethnographies, and mixed methods. Further, this mini-conference also offers evidence from diverse contexts, including Italy, as well as countries in Latin America (i.e., Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Uruguay, and Peru), and Africa (i.e., Nigeria and Kenya), along with the Indian case.

Convenors: Martin Castillo Quintana, University of Chicago; Adee Weller, Emory University; Mariana Ramírez Bustamente, Vanderbilt University

Politics and Political Economy of Eurasia

This is the fifth annual meeting of the Eurasian Political Economy Workshop at MPSA. The event brings together scholars with a focus on political economy (broadly understood) in the former Soviet Union and neighboring states. This year’s workshop includes sessions on the war in Ukraine, Russian politics, authoritarian strategies, identity and mass mobilization, and media and propaganda, and features on roundtable discussion on conducting research during difficult times. Panels will be held throughout the day on Friday and Saturday.

Convenor: Guzel Garifullina, University of Richmond

Politics of Identity Across the Subfields

This is the sixth annual meeting of the Politics of Identity Across the Subfields Mini-Conference at MPSA. The goal of this event is to bring scholars of identity from across the subfields of political science—American politics, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory—into conversation with one another. This year’s event features new research on nationalism(s), perceptions of identity, intergroup contact, and empathy. Panels will be held on Saturday morning.

Convenors: Cara Wong, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Avital Livny, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Primary Elections
Sponsored by Unite America

Taking place alongside the 2024 US presidential primary elections, this mini-conference features new research on measurement, voting behavior and candidate strategies in primary elections, the role of political parties in primary elections, and the consequence of primary election reform. The event is sponsored by Unite America and panels will be held throughout the day on Thursday.

Convenors: Sarah Anderson, University of California-Santa Barbara; Dan Butler, Washington University in St. Louis; Colin Case, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Laurel Harbridge-Young, Northwestern University; Rachel Porter, University of Notre Dame

The Separation of Powers
Sponsored by the Carl Levin Center for Oversight and Democracy 

This mini-conference features new research on a number of particular topics related to the separation of powers including appointments, executive power, and oversight. The event is generously sponsored by the Carl Levin Center for Oversight and Democracy and panels will be held throughout the day on Friday.

Convenor: Nicholas G. Napolio, University of California, Riverside

Representative Bureaucracy Workshop

This workshop consists of five panels that will be held on Saturday and features new research that is informed by or intersects with representative bureaucracy theory.

Convenors: Kenneth J. Meier, American University; Danyao Li, University of Southern California; Austin McCrea, Texas Tech University

State of the Student Vote Workshop 2024

The 2024 State of the Student Vote Workshop will bring together practitioners and scholars working toward 100% college student voter participation. 2023 Student Vote Research Network (SVRN) grantees will present the results of their projects to increase nonpartisan civic learning, political engagement, and voter participation among college students, and 2022 grantees will share updates from their ongoing work. Practitioners and scholars will then discuss what these results mean for the nonpartisan student voting field and how findings can be integrated into programs and resources for colleges and universities across the country. Remaining gaps in research will be discussed and explored.

Convenor: Melissa Michelson, Menlo College