Events & Conferences* Call for papers - Teaching and Learning Conference for Politics, 2017
Call for papers - Teaching and Learning Conference for Politics, 2017
10th Annual Political Studies Association/British International Studies Association Conference
University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool (map)

Conference convenors: Professor Mike Neary and Dr Yee Wah Foo (School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Lincoln)

The University of Lincoln invites you to participate in this year's annual PSA/BISA teaching and learning conference. The theme for the conference is:

Teaching Politics as a Vocation

The conference is concerned with teaching politics in higher education. The theme for the conference is based on a lecture given by Max Weber (1864 - 1920) to the Free Students Union of Bavaria in Munich 1919 during the German Revolution, when Munich was regarded as Bavarian Socialist Republic. The title of the lecture was 'Politics as a Vocation'.

The lecture is famous for raising issues concerned with politics as a vocation. The issues dealt with in this lecture could usefully be applied to consider teaching politics as a vocation now. This includes matters with which we are already familiar, but there are other issues that might help us to consider our professional life as university teachers in a different way. If the state is 'the legitimate use of force', as Weber claimed, to what extent can teaching in state sponsored institutions be regarded as a form of violence (Allen 2014, Neary 2016)? We are used to talking about passionate teaching but how about charismatic teaching (McCulloch 2014) as well as the concept vanity in academic life? Weber had it that 'in academic and scholarly circles vanity is a sort of occupation disease' (Weber 1919). We are used to thinking of administration and bureaucracy as a negative aspect of our work but how about thinking about it as a radical gesture, full of progressive morality and ethical intent (Du Gay 2000); and, rather than complaining about neoliberal managerialism, how might we as teachers of politics construct other forms of democratic leadership in our institutions as well as taking on positions of democratic leadership and promoting collegiality (Winn and Hall 2017, Bacon 2014). It is important, following Weber, that we contextualise our thinking with reference to the political context within which we are working, which although not a time of revolution is a period of enormous political upheaval, when socialist solutions appear to have been disabled and right wing proto-fascism is coming back to prominence.

There are many other issues raised in Weber’s lecture, you might like to read it and see what it suggests to you, before offering to present your work.


Allen, Ansgar (2014) Benign Violence in Education 

Bacon, Ed (2014) Neo-colleigality in HE 

Du Gay, Paul (2000) In Praise of Bureaucracy 

Hall and Winn Mass Intellectuality and Democratic Leadership in Higher Education

MCulloch, Andrew (2014) Charisma and Patronage; Reasoning with Max Weber 

Neary, Mike (2016) Educative Power: the myth of dronic violence in a period of civil war

Weber, Max (1919) Politics as a Vocation 

Call for papers

We welcome proposals of individual papers, and round tables. Please email your proposals to Dr Yee-Wah Foo by Monday 5th June.

Individual papers

Please provide the title of the paper, an abstract (no more than 200 words) and the author’s affiliation and contact details.

Round tables

Please provide the title of the round table, an abstract (no more than 200 words) and the affiliation and contact details of at least three participants. We expect that round table proposals will include participants from at least two different institutions.


For further information, please contact Professor Mike Neary ( or Dr Yee-Wah Foo (


Registration for the conference will open in July 2017.

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