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Global politics heads down under

Nearly 2,000 political science experts were in Brisbane for the 25th IPSA World Congress of Political Science in July. (Photo Credit: BilLiang/Getty Images)
Nearly 2,000 political science experts were in Brisbane for the 25th IPSA World Congress of Political Science in July. (Photo Credit: BilLiang/Getty Images)

Political science experts from around the world were recently gathered in Brisbane to share their research and debate on world politics and governance for the 25th IPSA World Congress of Political Science, the first such event to be held in Australia. 

The five-day congress drew more than 2,400 experts from 85 countries at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) from July 21 to 25, delivering an economic boost of A$7.7 million for the local economy. 

The event win was secured through a team effort by Tourism and Events Queensland, BCEC and the city's economic development board Brisbane Marketing, in partnership with local and national universities, and professional conference organiser ICMS Australasia.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the congress had attracted nearly 1,000 more delegates than projected, with 80% of delegates visiting from international destinations. 

"Hosting a congress of this scale demonstrates Brisbane's appeal as a business, research and leisure destination, and contributes to employment and economic benefits across our accommodation, venue, tourism and service sectors," Cr Quirk said.

The Queensland Government said it was proud to support the IPSA World Congress of Political Science through Tourism and Events Queensland as part of the It's Live! in Queensland events calendar. 

BCEC General Manager Bob O'Keefe said the Centre was honoured to be selected as the venue for the world's most prestigious international meeting for political science scholars. Such events, he said, demonstrated the world-class capabilities and expertise of BCEC. 

"Securing conferences of this nature reflects the close collegiate relationship the Centre shares with Brisbane's universities and academic community," O'Keefe said. 

The impact of information technologies on global borders, the future of human rights and the rise of global populism are a few of the topics to be explored under the congress theme 'borders and margins'. 

Guy Lachapelle, International Political Science Association (IPSA) Secretary General and Professor of Political Science at Canada's Concordia University, said: "An IPSA World Congress is always a moment to look over the state of our discipline but also to look upon what IPSA has accomplished after 25 IPSA World Congresses. Today, our Association is certainly stronger, the collective membership has increased since 1949 (from four to 57) and has become a reference for debating world issues."