The School of Politics and Global Studies benefited in 2013 from a generous gift from 1980 alumnus, Brian A. Kopf. Kopf earned his B.S. in Political Science from Arizona State University. He also attended DeVry Institute, becoming an expert on information technology. He retired from J.P. Morgan Chase Bank as vice-president in 1952.

Kopf also was dedicated to helping the less-fortunate through St. Vincent de Paul, where he was named volunteer of the year, and to the Sun Valley Animal Shelter. Kopf’s loyalty to ASU remained strong and he enjoyed his association with his alma mater, particularly as a long-time member of the Sun Angels. He also supported Channel Eight, Sun Devil Athletics and now, his estate gift benefits our students, faculty and staff. Kopf passed away in 2012.

Previous conferences, courtesy of the Brian A. Kopf Fund, include:

"Norms and Minority Group Politics" | Fall 2019

The School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University is excited to be hosting a Kopf conference on Norms and Minority Group Politics. The conference will focus on the pervasive role of norms (broadly defined) in shaping people’s political attitudes and behavior as well as their impact on political institutions, processes, and outcomes. The conference will explore norms in the context of minority group politics focusing both on how norms shape attitudes and behavior within minority groups as well as attitudes and behavior toward minority groups. The conference will bring together junior scholars and pair them with established senior scholars, with opportunities for mentoring and networking. 

"Diversity in the Judiciary: Does it Matter for Democratic Inclusion, Representation or Inequalities" | Spring 2019

Our proposed conference examines how diversity on courts may impact judicial processes, social and economic inequalities and public opinion in the U.S. and around the world. We understand diversity and inclusion in a broad sense including gender, race, ethnicity and socio-economic status. Participants specialize in American Politics, Law, Comparative Politics and Political Theory.

"Internationalizing Kosovo, 1989-2019" | Spring 2019

The conference will bring together scholars from different disciplines to explore these and other dimensions of the “Kosovo case” and its impact on policy-making and scholarship in international relations, in the United States and beyond. Our goal is to have IR theorists engage with local knowledge and contextual expertise, and for regional specialists to put their work into comparative political perspective.  Through sustained attention to this protracted conflict and its cascading diplomatic, military and legal consequences, we seek to generate new perspectives on the roles of different political actors in transforming norms and driving change in the theory and practice of international relations. 

"New Perspectives on Statebuilding" | Fall 2018

At this conference, SPGS faculty and outside visitors will discuss working papers which draw on and inform debates outside of the traditional state building literature, for example on sub-national politics, authoritarian institutional design, colonial legacies and new states.

"Subnational Politics" | Spring 2018

This conference featured faculty from SPGS and outside of the university. The group focused on Subnational Politics through a series of discussions and presentations.

"Ethnic / Religious Identities and Party Competition" | Spring 2017

The conference will bring together scholars that have worked on identity-based voting and those who have written on the limitations of economic voting models along with scholars who study  “non-economic” populism and the effect of migration, religion and ethnicity on political mobilization. Due to its emphasis on the processes of party competition, the conference will focus on these issues within electoral democracies.

"Symbolic Representation? Groups and Representation in Contemporary Democratic Politics" | Spring 2016

What is symbolic representation? The proposed conference seeks to improve our understanding of the dynamics of representation by untangling the causal connections between changes in descriptive representation, substantive representation, and symbolic representation.

“How does Gender Shape Violence and Coercion?” | Fall 2015

A growing body of scholarly work investigates the effects of gender on attitudes and behaviors towards the use of political violence and coercion. Studies have pointed to the different approaches taken by elite men and women in the resolution of interstate conflict, sexual abuses and harassment within the state security apparatus, and the necessity of prioritizing policies to combat sexual and domestic violence. This conference brings together a wide range of scholars to engage in a joint investigation into the study of gender as a cause and consequence of violence and coercion.

Special issue of the journal Conflict Management and Peace Science, co-edited by Sarah Shair-Rosenfield and featuring an article by Reed Wood

Ethnic and Religious Conflict Conference | Spring 2015

With the support of SPGS and the Center for Studies of Religion and Conflict at ASU, our Working Group organized an international Conference on Ethnic and Religious Conflict that took place in February 2015 at ASU. The conference, attended by leading scholars in political science, sociology, anthropology and history, analyzed the implications of these different kinds of groups for political mobilization, violence and conflict.

How Do We Know What We Know? Conference | Spring 2015

The conference brought together several prominent Human Rights scholars and practitioners to try and tackle the question of documenting Human Rights practices and abuses. Bringing together different methodological perspectives, participants presented on several cutting-edge research practices to try and better understand where and how many abuses of Human Rights occur and how better Human Rights practices develop.

Women, Media and Politics: A Comparative Perspective | Spring 2014

This conference examined women, media and politics through a series of discussions and presentations.