Archive for December, 2010

The CPSA is Hard Up for Money


The Canadian Political Science Association is hard up for  money. In a recent email the Board of Directors asks members to “explore issues about sponsorship of CPSA activities, especially the annual conference.”

They continue: “We …would like to know CPSA members’ views about who would and would not be appropriate sponsors, and about the conditions under which the Association might accept money or in-kind contributions.”

I had no idea the CPSA was on its uppers! But, let’s think.

We surely can’t request support from the institutions, organizations, businesses, groups and individuals that are objects of our professional attention.

The trouble is that very little escapes a political scientist’s  attention. Within the limits of the guidelines for ethical research involving humans drawn up by Canada’s granting councils, we poke our noses into everything. We examine and query every aspect of Canadian public life, just as it suits us. And we don’t shun the private; we canvas private mores, behaviors, and opinions in the attempt to describe Canada’s “political culture.” We examine the public-private distinction.

I think there’s nothing for it. The CPSA members themselves will have to pony up. Whatever happened to the CPSA Trust Fund?