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Welcome to the 2019 New Zealand Political Studies Association Annual Conference

"Security, Community, Humanity"

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Thursday, November 28 • 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Ethics, Authority, and Leadership

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Stephen Winter
Rules, standards and factors: assessing historic redress claims

To assess a redress application is to assign a monetary value to the claim. The process involves deep epistemic and communicative challenges Assessment converts an individual’s private injurious experience into a common public quantifiable metric—money. That conversion is hard. The quantity of compensation communicates an appraisal—what the disvalue of injury is worth. It is difficult to assess the disvalue of historic abuse and neglect and the resultant foreseeable damage: information is partial and complex and people can reasonably make differing judgements as to the disvalue of different experiences. This paper explores some of the benefits and drawbacks associated with common assessment techniques.

David Bromell
Ethical competencies for public leadership

Diversity in proximity generates conflict. The smaller the “room” the greater the conflict. So who do I need to be and become, and how do I need to behave, to work well (effectively and ethically) in public life with people who want and value different things? And how can we manage conflict politically in ways that minimise domination, humiliation, cruelty and violence? At the 2018 Conference, David Bromell introduced his latest book project, Ethical competencies for public leadership: Pluralist democratic politics in practice. This will be released in Springer International’s professional book series in late 2019. David will report back on the project and how it turned out. He did not set out to identify a comprehensive set of competencies (or virtues) for public leadership but focused on a limited set of mutually reinforcing leadership practices for a pluralist democratic politics. By drawing on political theory and social ethics, he frames these leadership practices as ethical competencies in the form of personal resolutions: When exercising leadership in public life with people who want and value different things, I will be … civil, diplomatic, respectful, impartial, fair and prudent.

Sian Troath
Trust as a Strategic Resource

The lines between within the state and outside the state are blurred. The lines between war and peace are blurred. What constitutes security in this environment? One way to think about both new strategies of cognitive or society-centric warfare and the information capitalism conducted by large corporations is to understand them as a threat to trust. Both of these threats seek to undermine the social trust that binds societies together, the trust populations have in their government, and the trust in relationships between states. In such a scenario the best defence, then, is to build trust. When trust is understood as a strategic resource, building trust must be seen as a necessary and effective defence strategy. Given the blurring of the lines between inside and outside the state, and between peace and war, building trust should not only focus on relationships between states, though that remains important. Trust must also be built within the state, to ensure a resilient society in the face of changing security challenges.

Xavier Marquez
Charisma and Authority

This paper explores the connections between the idea of charisma and the idea of authority, including the ways in which social, political, and economic changes affected the “staging” of charismatic authority starting in modern times. It begins by briefly sketching the religious genealogy of the idea of charisma, from its origins in Pauline theology (specifically 1 Corinthians and Romans) to its usage by German theologians in the 19th century (drawing in particular on John Potts’ history of charisma). It then presents a detailed account of Weber's paradigmatic account of charisma, stressing the ways in which he appropriated and secularized what was until then essentially a religious concept with little applicability outside theological polemics. Weber's main conceptual innovation was to connect charisma to authority, and thus to the recognition by others of exceptional qualities demanding obedience, independent of their religious content. Charisma must nevertheless be distinguished from a number of superficially similar concepts, including celebrity, prestige, fame, and popularity, insofar as superficially related concepts like celebrity or fame do not have the same connection to authority, though they may grant influence or cultural prestige. But charismatic authority, like all authority, needs to be staged to reach any group larger than a few people; and the technologies available to represent charisma and decode such representations changed immensely over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. Moreover, changes in the economy, society, and politics also produced new sources of ‘charismatic competition,’ as industrial leaders, artists, and demagogues could and did make claims to authority based on charismatic claims that sometimes conflicted with the routinized charisma of traditional monarchs. The final section of the paper systematically explores the ways in which these changes affected the staging of charismatic authority.


David Bromell

Adjunct Senior Fellow, Dr David Bromell

Xavier Marquez

Xavier Marquez
avatar for Sian Troath

Sian Troath

Sian Troath

Stephen Winter

Stephen Winter

Thursday November 28, 2019 1:30pm - 3:00pm NZDT
Eng Core 129, Meeting Rm 1 Engineering Core

Attendees (9)