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MA student reports from APSA Conference in Chicago

MA student Emanuel Ingold, who graduated from PAIS this September, recently attended the 2013 Annual Meeting & Exhibition of the American Political Science Association from 29 August to 1 September in Chicago. He presented a paper at the conference entitled 'The Impact of Economic Sanctions on Respect for Human Rights after the End of the Cold War' on the Human Rights and Global Governance panel.

This paper is available for download on the Social Science Research Network's website, where it has been listed on the SSRN's Top Ten download list for PSN: Conflict Processes (Topic).

img_4654.jpegEmanuel's summary of the APSA Conference

At the end of August 2013 I made my way to Chicago, not for tourism but for the American Political Science Association Annual Conference. Being one of the most important and largest conferences in the field of Political Science – there were over 6000 Political Scientists - I was extremely excited about going there.

I found out about the conference when one of my friends, a PhD student at the University of Geneva, suggested that I hand in an abstract for the APSA conference in December 2012. A couple of months later, I had a positive reply from the chair of the Human Rights and Global Governance panel. My paper is entitled ‘The Impact of Economic Sanctions on Respect for Human Rights after the End of the Cold War’, which fitted the panel very well. To fund my trip to Chicago, I asked my personal tutor Toni Haastrup whether the department could help me out financially. PAIS gave a very generous contribution and so I accepted my offer to present at the beginning of April.

Before the conference began, I took a couple of days to discover the city of Chicago. This was actually an amazing experience. I love the city for all its museums, deep-dish pizzas, village-like neighbourhood and skyscrapers. But then the conference came closer and tension was rising. I attended the first-timers breakfast and discovered that I was probably the youngest and least experienced person all around there. Most of the other first-timers were at least in their second year of their PhDs.

And then came my big moment: on Saturday morning at 8 am, I presented my paper on a panel with professors and PhDs from Berkeley, Purdue and New York University. I had some valuable comments from Courtney Hillebrecht, the discussant helping to improve it. I have not decided what will happen to the paper but overall, it was a very stimulating panel.

For me, this week was, academically, the most challenging and interesting of my life. It helped me foster my aspirations to follow an academic career path and that is why I am grateful that PAIS helped to make this happen.