The continuing relevance of the original mission
2020 will mark 50 years since the creation of the ECPR in 1970. During 1969 and 1970, Jean Blondel and Stein Rokkan, working with Peter de Janosi of the Ford Foundation and other prominent European scholars, shaped the concept of a ‘European Consortium for the Promotion of Political Science’. The objectives of the organisation and its founders were ambitious yet straightforward: ‘to break down the barriers between the national traditions of the discipline and create a truly international community of scholars within Europe…’
Fifty years on, despite all the success, progress and achievements of the ECPR, that goal remains valid today. Many barriers may have come down or been broken in the past 50 years, but there remains important work still to do. In particular, there are still a number of political scientists today who find it difficult – for a range of different reasons – to participate in ECPR activities and events, despite Blondel and Rokkan’s articulation in 1970 of the goal of the ECPR ‘to enable all political scientists in Europe to benefit from the advantages resulting from the existence of the Consortium.’
With this in mind, the Executive Committee has decided to set up a 50th Anniversary Fund dedicated to supporting political scientists facing difficulties joining our activities and events whatever the reason (economic, political, social or other).
The Fund has been set up with an initial donation from the ECPR of £10,000, to which all members of the ECPR community (and especially those from richer or more advantaged countries) are invited to contribute to help it grow and increase the range of its disbursement. Donations can be made online here via PayPal Donate. Further details of how scholars can apply for financial assistance via the Fund will be available in the coming months.
The anniversary year will see a number of events and activities taking place to mark the occasion – to reflect back on the work of the ECPR and the ways in which it has shaped the development of political science in Europe throughout this period; and to look forward to the future and how the organisation can continue to serve the discipline it helped create. We hope you will not only join us at our events in our 50th year but also help others to do so by making a donation to the 50th Anniversary Fund.
Slider images: ECPR Founders top row L-R Jean Blondel, Stein Rokkan, Peter de Janosi (of the Ford Foundation, which provided the grant to establish the ECPR) and Richard Rose; bottom row L-R Serge Hurtig, Hans Daalder, Norman Chester, Rudolf Wildenmann and Jorgen Westerstahl. ECPR now top row L-R Simona Piattoni (first female Chair of the Executive Committee), Winter School 2018 participants, Summer School 2017 participants, student helper at the 2017 Oslo General Conference; bottom row L-R 2018 Hamburg General Conference Plenary Lecture, 2016 Winter School Instructor, current ECPR Chair Kris Deschouwer at the 2015 Montreal General Conference, participants at the 2018 Nicosia Joint Sessions and Elinor Ostrom delivering the Stein Rokkan Lecture at the 2011 St Gallen Joint Sessions.