Mississippi Political Science Association (MSPSA) 2015:




Politics and Policy:

Evolving Practices and Societal Impacts



February 13-14, 2015


Jackson State University, Jackson, Mississippi


President: Leniece Titani-Smith, Jackson State University


Vice President: Elizabeth Evans

Mississippi Valley State University


SUBMISSION DEADLINE: December 10, 2014


Call for Papers


A society’s emergence and continued existence rest on the demands and tolerance of its populace.  The governing political body is challenged to address all of society’s evolving needs.  This requires vigilance and a willingness to create new or alter existing policies and practices.  What remains is that a society’s response is based on its political experiences and policy.  Whether local, state, national or international, political processes and policies must evolve to reflect ever changing societal experiences and perspectives.  This conference will serve as a venue to share research reflecting points of view on evolving practices and societal impacts of today’s politics and policies. Some issues that might be addressed include immigration, felon disenfranchisement, religion in the public square, policy and power, poverty, politics of inclusion and exclusion, and others.  What is the relationship between immigration policy and human services policy?  How does disenfranchising felons advance a society?   How do evolving politics impact society?  How do evolving policies impact society? 

This year’s theme invites scholars to address politics and policies in coping with challenges presented by a changing world. We invite papers, poster presentations and Roundtables/panels from a variety of theoretical and empirical perspectives on the theme and are accepting abstracts or proposals for research relating to the theme, as well as the following suggested topics:

·       Political Participation (e.g., Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the Voting Rights Act, Citizens United decision)

·       Immigration (e.g., growing Latino population in the U.S., in the U.S. South, policy, path to citizenship, border protection, tension between state interests and federal regulations, federalism and control of immigration policies)

·       Gay Marriage (e.g., recent Supreme Court ruling on DOMA, passage of laws restricting/allowing gay marriage)

·       Race Relations (e.g., post-racial America? Pre- and post-Obama, increased racism during Obama’s administration?)

·       Women’s Reproductive Freedom (e.g., passage of laws restricting/enhancing women’s reproductive rights, the tension between women's reproductive rights and personhood movements)

·       Healthcare (e.g., access, affordability, quality, value, government provision of)

·       Infrastructure (aging, unsafe, privatization of maintenance, public or private ownership)

·       Local and State (e.g., fiscal conditions, taxation, mandates, budgeting, budget gaps, funding allocation, localism, elections, policy, policy outcomes )

·       Technology and Politics (e.g., 24 hr. news cycle, alternative news media, social media and politics, impact of alternative news on political information acquisition, technology as a distraction, convenience and privacy concerns, technology and campaigns).

·       Climate Change (e.g., the impact of local activity and behavior on the climate, the impact of climate policy and regulation on local areas, the impact of climate change on local areas)

We also welcome contributions that may or may not be explicitly related to this year’s theme. The program is open to faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students. Also, we welcome contributions from related disciplines.

The meeting will be held at Jackson State University in Jackson, MS on February 13-14, 2015.


Proposing Papers, Panels, and Roundtables: Please fill out Form A below and submit via email to Dr. Elizabeth Evans, Department of Social Sciences, Mississippi Valley State University, MVSU 7227, Itta Bena, MS 38941, or via email to edevans@mvsu.edu.  All paper proposals must include an abstract. Panel proposals must include abstracts of all papers to be presented—these abstracts should be submitted together if possible. Roundtable proposals should include a title, a list of participants, and a description of the topic to be covered. Notification of receipt of proposals will be sent via email shortly after submission, and decisions by conference authorities will follow soon afterward. Schedule decision will be made as the conference date draws closer.


DESIGNATING CHAIRS AND DISCUSSANTS: We encourage faculty and graduate students to serve as chairs of and/or discussants for panels, preferably for a panel that does not include the faculty member/grad student’s own paper. Those proposing entire panels should designate a chair; a discussant may be named, but we ask that you consider allowing a discussant to be drawn from a pool of interested individuals—to provide outside commentary true to the spirit of academic conferences. Please mark Form A indicating an interest in serving as a chair and/or discussant.


CONFERENCE/REGISTRATION FEES: Form B below should be mailed separately to Dr. Stephen Phillips at Belhaven University or paid at the conference. We prefer that conference/registration fees be paid in advance of the meeting date, though individuals may register and pay when they arrive. No one will be allowed to participate in the conference without both fees paid.


OTHER HIGHLIGHTS: There will be prizes awarded for the best paper presented by a graduate student and the best paper presented by an undergraduate student. In addition to the panels, the association may offer additional programs, such as a reception with a keynote speaker, mock trial demonstration, etc. These programs depend on budget and membership interest.


LOCATION: The conference will take place on the campus of Jackson State University in Jackson, MS. 


HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS: Several hotels are available in Jackson, MS. Locations and directions to the event facilities will be provided shortly. 


DIRECTIONS:  Directions to the event facilities and the hotels will be sent out before the conference. A second announcement will be made in mid-October. It will include specific details (e.g., directions to the campus facilities, hotel accommodations, exact dates when accepted papers should be submitted to discussants, etc.).