The 2015 Research Sessions were held at Radboud University Nijmegen; the first of two years to be hosted by them.

Six groups of six scholars met in the Netherlands for three days of intensive discussions.  They were welcomed by the Mayor of Nijmegen at a reception at City Hall during this time.

The Research Sessions are a key membership benefit which can get new projects off the ground, or provide an opportunity to bring the last strands together and hone a publishing proposal. Below are details of the six groups that met and their different research agendas.

Group one
EASE-Project: Elites and their Societies - Longitudinal and Comparative Perspectives
The EASE project aims to analyse elites as both creators and creations of current changes and long term developments in contemporary democracies.  The Research Sessions in Nijmegen gathered researchers wishing to embark on enduring collaboration in terms of data collection, sharing and integration, scientific debate on the mentioned topic and common publications. The group plans to draft a proposal and to submit it to a major research institution.

Group two
EU Agenda-Setting Beyond the European Commission
This group met to work on a publishing project that focuses on EU agend setting taking issue with the alleged importance of the European Commission as the agenda setter.  A special issue proposal was submitted to the Journal of European Public Policy in May 2015.  Prior to this, initial concepts or drafts of papers were discussed at a preliminary workshop under the auspices of the Jean Monnet Center of Excellence at the University of Florida in March.  The group planned to follow up the Sessions in Nijmegen with a final round of comments/revisions by email/Skype in order to create a high level, innovative and coherent set of papers.

Group three
Micro-Cues to Macro Moods: Validating Social Media Data to Track Euroscepticism
This group aimed to explore the potential of how social media data can be harnessed to measure public opinion, believing that the benefits could be considerable since this form of ‘big data’ promises a low cost, real-time, continuous monitor of public mood.  The Research Sessions provided the opportunity for this established network to draft a full funding proposal and to assess longer-term funding options, as well as to identify opportunities to disseminate and discuss its progress with the scientific community en route.  This group plans also to present papers at the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), the ECPR General Conferences and at other major gatherings.

Group four
Policy Moods and Institutions – A Comparative Approach
This group has been working together for some time and used the Research Sessions to build on meetings held at previous ECPR events.  It was first envisaged in a panel at the Glasgow General Conference (P343 The Comparative Macro Policy: Policy Agendas and Policy Moods), following a meeting during the Pisa General Conference 2007 (Panel PN197, Macro polity-I). The group aims to establish a comparative framework for several stand-alone ‘policy mood’ research projects and begin work on a book on moods and institutions, a comparative approach.

Group five
Religious Actors in the Fourth Wave of Democratization: Constructive, Obstructive or Destructive?
This group met to work on a book proposal aimed at building on their previous work to systematise the role religious actors have played in the democratisation processes of the Fourth Wave across all three phases of the democratisation process (erosion of authoritarian rule, transition, and consolidation) and across a diversity of cases from all major religious backgrounds. 

Group six
Studying the Causes of Populism
This research project had its first meeting at the ECPR General Conference in 2014 in Glasgow and met again in Montreal in 2015.  The project consists of two distinct phases and aims at building a collaborative, long-term scholarly network.  The first phase is a preparatory one and is comprised of two conferences (one at the end of April 2015 at the London Centre of Brigham Young University and one at Brigham Young University in Utah in January 2016) leading towards an edited volume.  The second phase consists of the development of a series of large grant proposals which were drafted at the Research Sessions.


Event Fees

All Participants must pay their own travel costs as well as a registration fee of €100.


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