2016 General Conference, Prague

Nearly 2,000 scholars from across 50 countries gathered in Prague for the 10th ECPR General Conference. This milestone was marked with the largest attendance at an ECPR event, second only to the 2011 Conference in Reykjavik, which broke all records (and incidentally was the largest event ever held in Iceland alongside the Eurovision Song Contest!).

Charles University in Prague were the hosts for four days of panels, roundtables and social events. Over the duration of the event some 1,926 Papers were presented across 463 Panels and 67 Sections. A carefully structured academic programme meant that scholars from all areas of the discipline and across all career stages were able to participate in, and benefit from, invaluable discussion and debate.

As summer stretched well into September, some of the old faculty buildings were as hot as the topics discussed in them! Participants on Twitter not only kept us up to date on the latest thinking in their field, but also shared the University’s beautiful architecture and wonderful views seen through their panel room windows. Prague, it seems, captured the hearts of many participants.

The academic programme is always complemented by engaging social and plenary events. This year Rogers Brubaker delivered the Plenary Lecture on ‘Religious Dimensions of Political Conflict and Violence’ to an audience of more than 800. The full Lecture is on our YouTube channel. Both this and the Welcome Address took place at the magnificent Art Nouveau Municipal Hall, followed by the social highlight of the event – the welcome reception. Participants were treated to beautifully presented French cuisine with hot and cold finger food and desserts to die for! A fantastic jazz musician, Jan Kyncl, provided the backdrop to a hugely enjoyable evening.

The plenary programme ran throughout the event and included four Roundtables and seven Featured Panels with subjects ranging from professional ethics in political science and gender in political science research, to migration in Europe and civil society and the welfare state.

Many participants took to social media to share their conference experiences – 611 of them in total! This means that over a quarter of all participants were actively tweeting using the hashtag ecprconf16. This generated a total of 1,601 tweets about #ecprconf16 reaching an astonishing 1.4 million users. Twitter provides a wonderful snapshot of the event from myriad perspectives – you can see the feed from the event at the bottom of the page.

Thanks must go to the Section Chairs for shaping the academic programme and Panel Chairs and Discussants for delivering engaging and stimulating Panels. The Local Organisers at Charles University and their legions of red-shirted student helpers must also be thanked extensively for their smooth and efficient running of the event and their (very!) warm hospitality.

What a few participants said about the Conference:

‘The conference was brilliant. I liked the feel of a conference stream in my field within the conference. I attended many panels, and the panel on which I presented was well attended. This has not been my experience as an American at conferences in the US. Well done!’

‘A special thanks to the very many, super friendly staff who were friendly and helpful!’

‘One of the best organized conferences I have attended.’

‘I have been attending ecpr conferences since 2007 and this was one of the best!’

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