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3rd Summer School of the Standing Group on Extremism and Democracy: Concepts and Methods for Research on Far-Right Politics

4 – 8 July 2022, Sciences Po, Paris

Registration is now closed.

Would you like to learn how to study and interpret the manifestations of far-right politics across time, arenas, and national contexts?

Join the third instalment of the Summer School on Concepts and Methods for Research on Far-Right Politics which takes place at Sciences Po, Paris from 4 – 8 July.

Organised by our Standing Group on Extremism and Democracy, the Summer School is convened by Pietro Castelli Gattinara (Université Libre de Bruxelles) and Andrea Pirro (Scuola Normale Superiore) and in collaboration with the Center for Research on Extremism (C-REX).  

The event will focus on the study of the far-right in its radical, populist, and extremist manifestations, boosting your knowledge of the theoretical, empirical, and methodological underpinnings of contemporary far-right politics.

You will be introduced to the concepts and theories explaining the conditions affecting far-right mobilisation and performance, and methods to tackle this phenomenon empirically.

About the Summer School

Despite the growing attention received by far-right political parties, social movements, and groups, we still lack a comprehensive conceptual and methodological toolkit to investigate its diverse expressions in the multi-organisational field.

The Summer School will thus address young scholars and students, and discuss how to apply established research techniques to the study of far-right politics, and retrieve and manage available data on attitudes and electoral behaviour.

  • Five teaching days (a total of 25.5 hours of didactic activities)
  • Two keynote speeches
  • Six classes on the main concepts and theories for the study of the far-right
  • Six methods classes
  • Daily afternoon sessions for student presentations

Join an interactive learning environment with opportunities to:

  • Get familiar with the conceptual and theoretical foundations of far-right politics, and draw on comparative empirical expertise on far-right mobilisations, electoral performances, and violent manifestations;
  • Understand the rationale and practices of a number of methods employed to study far-right politics, at the micro, meso, and macro levels;
  • Learn to confidently rely on mixed-method approaches and methodological pluralist practices in your own research project;
  • Present your research and receive feedback from leading scholars in the field;
  • Network with junior and senior scholars.

The Summer School will compare and combine different theories, critically assessing the merits of extant theoretical and empirical studies and posing new research questions and deducing testable hypotheses.

It will also give special attention to the following research strategies and methods:

  • Introduction to quantitative data analysis for the study of far-right politics. You will be presented with existing datasets on right-wing political violence (using multiple sources: police archives, newspaper data, etc.), as well on far-right attitudes and electoral behaviour.
  • Elite interviews and life histories to address far-right activists’ perceptions and interpretations;
  • Ethnographic approaches to investigate far-right activism;
  • Protest event analysis to measure far-right mobilisation across time and space;
  • Expert surveys to measure party positions and issue salience on given political spaces/policy dimensions;
  • Field experimental designs for the study of media effects;
  • Digital methods for the study of the far-right in the online environment.


The Summer School is open to all students enrolled in a PhD programme.

You will be asked to write and submit a 6,000 to 8,000-word Paper by, and no later than, 1 June 2022. The Paper will be presented during the Summer School, providing a unique platform for discussion and feedback from senior scholars.

You will also be required to complete mandatory readings for morning lectures and to actively engage in discussion during morning and afternoon sessions.

The Summer Scholl will be delivered in English; you will therefore be expected to have a good command of written and spoken English.

A participation fee of €275* applies and includes light lunches, one social dinner, academic material and facilities. Travel and accommodation costs are not included.

*To encourage students from different backgrounds and universities to participate, a fee waiver will be granted to two successful applicants.

The call for applications is now closed.

To apply, you must submit the following, by – and no later than – 17 February 2022:

  • Your CV
  • Cover letter explaining how your research fits the scope of the Summer School (max 500 words)
  • Abstract of a proposed scientific Paper to be presented during the Summer School (max 300 words)

Partial or incomplete applications will not be processed. Late applications will not be accepted.

You will be informed about the outcome of your application by email in March 2022.


  • Cas Mudde University of Georgia and C-REX, University of Oslo
  • Nonna Mayer Sciences Po
  • Tore Bjørgo C-REX, University of Oslo
  • Kathleen Blee University of Pittsburgh
  • Linda Bos University of Amsterdam
  • Pietro Castelli Gattinara Sciences Po and Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Maura Conway Dublin City University
  • Caterina Froio Sciences Po
  • Andrea L. P. Pirro Scuola Normale Superiore
  • Andrej Zaslove Radboud University
  • Pietro Castelli Gattinara Sciences Po and Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Andrea L. P. Pirro Scuola Normale Superiore and Steering Committee Chair, ECPR Standing Group on Extremism and Democracy 
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