PTPS workshop for junior scholars

The call for papers for the 2021 Junior Scholars' Workshop is now closed. Information about the 2022 workshop will be posted here when it becomes available.




Uniquely among the social sciences, political science remains committed to the rigorous study of normative and ideational questions. Among normative domains of inquiry, political theory alone seeks to engage with the empirical social sciences. The academic study of politics at its best takes seriously that politics is a domain of both persuasion and coercion, of both ideals and institutions. Key concepts such as “legitimacy” and “equality” inform the empirical analysis of politics, and even as aspirations should reflect the real circumstances of politics.


While the most enduring contributions to political science reflect this connection between the normative and empirical, the demands of specialization and the intellectual division of labor can discourage younger political theorists from investing in the tools necessary to engage with empirical social science. To help counteract these tendencies and to encourage such border-crossing research, an ongoing collaboration among the political theory programs at Stanford, New York University, McGill, and Duke* is sponsoring a series of Junior Scholars Workshops. The goal is to highlight exciting research by junior scholars and to contribute to the development of their scholarship. The first was held at NYU on November 1-2, 2019. This second workshop will be held in conjunction with a larger McGill conference on constitutionalism in political theory and political science; the conference was delayed from 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic and is now scheduled to be held remotely April 28- May 1.


We invite paper proposals from scholars with the Ph.D. in hand who hold postdoctoral fellowships, who have not yet held a tenure-track appointment, or who have held a tenure-track appointment for less than four years. Four to six article-length unpublished political theory papers will be accepted for presentation at a works-in-progress workshop, at which faculty from the PTPS collaborative group will serve as commentators. Papers should recognizably draw on and/or contribute to empirical or positive modes of inquiry in political science. Co-authored papers are welcome, especially co-authored papers that represent a collaboration between normatively-oriented and empirically-oriented scholars.


To apply, please submit an abstract (no more than 1000 words) and curriculum vitae to Jacob Levy (McGill) at ms268 [at] (j)tlevy [at] with Junior Scholars Workshop in the subject line. The deadline is March 1, 2021.

*Team members: Jack Knight, Jacob Levy, Alison McQueen, Josiah Ober, Rob Reich, Melissa Schwartzberg

Back to top