Codes of Conduct at Political Science Conferences: Prevalence and Content

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Academic conferences are important institutions for promoting new research and facilitating conversations about the field. As a venue for knowledge exchange, professional development, and networking, conferences ideally promote positive environments that make scholars from underrepresented groups feel welcome. Yet, negative experiences at conferences are well documented. Codes of conduct have been promoted as tools to reduce harassment and discrimination. This article examines the prevalence and content of codes at US-based political science conferences and workshops. More specifically, we analyze whether and how codes address issues of sexual misconduct and identity-based discrimination. We find that 19% of 177 surveyed conferences have a code of conduct. Conferences that are older and larger are more likely to have codes, as are conferences that are run by organizations with permanent staff and relevant committees. We argue that effective conference codes must contain definitions, reporting channels, and enforcement procedures. Many of the analyzed codes did not explicitly define prohibited behaviors, specify mechanisms to report code violations, or describe consequences for misconduct.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPS - Political Science and Politics
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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