By Kentaro Fukumoto, Professor, Gakushuin University (Kentaro.Fukumoto@gakushuin.ac.jp)
Last winter, we canceled the seventh Asian Political Methodology Meeting in Hong Kong due to the political situation. This winter, we had a worldwide pandemic on our hands. Nevertheless, we must continue the momentum that we have built since the first AsianPolmeth meeting in 2014. Thus, we held the second joint meeting of the Asian Political Methodology group and the Australian Society for Quantitative Political Science (AsianPolmeth VIII & ASQPS IX) online from January 13 to 15, 2021. The program and session details are available at:https://sites.google.com/view/asian-polmeth-2021/home
We had an open call for submission of papers from September to November 2020. The program was composed of 25 panels (57 presentations). We had 181 registrants from 15 different countries and regions. Due to the fact that all meetings were held during the daytime in Japan, meetings were easily accessible for Asian attendees, which is rare in most U.S.-based political science online conferences. The meeting was made international due to the variety of countries and regions found among our participants this year.
We were fortunate to find many state-of-the-art method papers, some of which shared similar topics. Four pieces approached conjoint analysis from a new perspective. A few presenters tackled causal inference using panel data. Machine learning, including text-as-data and image-as-data, was popular. We also noted that applications spanned from democracy to authoritarian regimes. In particular, several works applied cutting-edge methods to China, leading to intriguing findings.
I feel that a community is emerging. Students who joined the meeting years ago came back to the conference as presenters and assistants. Scholars originating from Asia attended the session outside of the region. Of course many political scientists also participated in the panels regardless of their national origin or current national residence.
This conference was sponsored by the Society for Political Methodology. The program committee members were Kentaro Fukumoto (Gakushuin University, Japan, committee chair), Fang-Yi Chiou (Academia Sinica, Taiwan), Benjamin Goldsmith (Australian National University, Australia), Kosuke Imai (Harvard University, U.S.A.), Fernando Martinez i Coma (Griffith University, Australia), Xun Pang (Tsinghua University, China), and Jong Hee Park (Seoul National University, Korea). We also had 16 great assistants from the committee members’ universities. Among them, I’d like to express my gratitude to Shusei Eshima and Soichiro Yamauchi (both at Harvard), who provided excellent assistance to the conference organizers, in particular with their work creating and maintaining the conference website.