Institutionalisation of Political Parties: Comparative Cases. Edited by Robert Harmel and Lars G. Svasand

Featured Panels


FP001: Migration in Europe - First annual EPS Symposium
Sponsored by the European Political Science (EPS) journal

2015 saw over one million migrants and refugees reach Europe, sparking a humanitarian crisis and differing responses to this mass migration throughout the region.  While some countries welcomed migrants with open arms, others built borders. Into 2016 the debate continues and the very principles of free movement and Schengen now seem to be in question. The Editors of the ECPR’s professional journal European Political Science (EPS) have invited a selection of leading scholars in this field to debate three key questions:

  1. How can and how should Europe cope with the mass migration to the continent?
  2. Does Europe’s future include the free movement of people?
  3. How is that future different from the Europe of today?

Date and time: Thursday 8 September, 15:50 - 17:30

Location: FA300, Faculty of Arts

Chair: Jonathon Moses (Editor, EPS), Trondheim Norwegian University of Science and Technology


  • Rainer Bauböck, European University Institute
  • Virginie Guiraudon, Centre d’études Européennes, Sciences Po
  • Peo Hansen, Linköping University
  • Philippe Legrain, London School of Economics. Independent writer and former adviser to European Commission president José Manuel Barroso


FP002: Civil Society and the Welfare State
Sponsored by the American Political Science Association (APSA)

Civil society organizations are central to the provision of welfare state services in many countries around the world.  Moreover, many welfare states are facing similar fiscal, political, and demographic trends that create opportunities and constraints for a more substantial service and advocacy role for civil society organizations in the welfare state.  This panel brings together three papers that directly address the conceptual and policy implications of the enduring differences across welfare states in the role of civil society organization despite rising demand for many community social and health services and programs.   

Date and time: Friday 9 September, 11:00-12:40

Location: FA313, Faculty of Arts

Chair: Steven Smith, American Political Science Association


  • Per Selle, Universitetet i Bergen: Neoliberalism and the Nordic Welfare State: Or Why the Voluntary Sector is so Marginalised?
  • Steven Smith, American Political Science Association: Voluntary Organizations and the Welfare State: Is it time for a New Paradigm?
  • Danielle Gluns, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster: You Made Your Bed, Now Sleep In It – The Path-dependent Role of Civil Society Organizations in Local Housing Policy


FP003: The Future of Political Science
Sponsored by the American Political Science Association (APSA)

Political science faces competing pressures for increased policy engagement and relevance on the one hand, and increased specialization and impact on the other. Further, general changes in the higher education environment, including limiting funding, a shift away from full-time tenured faculty, and higher expectations for performance, are creating increased challenges for political science researchers. At the same time, however, political science is becoming more diverse and internationalized, opening the discipline to new opportunities and voices. This panel will bring together academics from across Europe and the US to discuss these trends and to explore what they mean for the future of the discipline.

Date and time: Friday 9 September, 14:00-15:40

Location: FA313, Faculty of Arts

Chair: Steven Smith, American Political Science Association


  • Matt Flinders, University of Sheffield (Chair of the Political Studies Association)
  • Suzanne Schüttemeyer, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
  • Steven Smith, American Political Science Association
  • Phillippe Zittoun, Université Lyon II


FP004: Leadership Perception in Complex Political Decision making and Media Environments
Sponsored by the International Political Science Association (IPSA)

The political psychology discipline that emerged in the US since the seventies made obvious the vast effects of psychological features on many different aspects of national and international political decision-making. National and international affairs largely depend on interpersonal relations, but as least as much on public perception of leaders that are active in negotiations and prominently present in new and traditional media. Especially in an environment of complex political decision making (several levels of decision-making) and complex media environments (electronic media and social networks, television) the power of perception in public opinion of the personality and image of political leaders became more influential than ever.

Content and public opinion analysis in various forms was applied to such processes of public opinion formation and perception of political leaders. This study may allow to forecast undesirable developments and outcomes in international relations and at the national policy level of decision making as well. The idea is that monitoring of public speech may inform us about political developments that risk evolving into crisis. This holds for the use of psychological methods aimed at assessing both personality in politics and public perception of political leaders. Psychological profiling of political leaders and assessment of their policy and public image may contribute to more insight in their success and failure, or sometimes allow to anticipate future events and crises (Dyson & ‘t Hart, 2013).

This Panel consists of case studies dealing with UK, Germany and EU, and Russia, all of which are relevant at the international policy level. Russian cases focus on the perception of president Putin in public opinion (Shestopal, Pishcheva), on his personality profile and leadership style, and on the psychological profile of what may be his most important opponent, Alexej Navalny (Diedkova and De Landtsheer). European cases deal with the perception analysis of British politicians in micro-situations that include interviews in mass media and with the psychological profile and leadership style of the German federal chancellor Angela Merkel (Middelhoff et al.).

Date and time: Saturday 7 September, 09:00-10:40

Location: FA313, Faculty of Arts

Chair: Christ'l De Landtsheer, University of Antwerp
Co-Chair: Helen Shestopal, Moscow State University
Discussant: Peter Bull, University of York


  • Peter Bull, University of York: 'I Don’t Claim to be a Perfect Leader': Discursive Constructions of Leadership in Political Discourse
  • Christ'l De Landtsheer, University of Antwerp: Personality Profiles of the Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Opposition Leader Alexej Navalny
  • Helen Shestopal, Moscow State University: Transformation of Putin’s Perception in Russian Society (2000-2016)
  • Christ'l De Landtsheer, University of Antwerp: The perception of Political Personality and Complex Decision Making: The Psychological Profile and Leadership Style of Angela Merkel, the World’s most Powerful Woman


FP005: The State and Governance in Post-Transition Period
Sponsored by the International Political Science Association (IPSA)

The great expectations in the beginning of regime change with a goal to form democracy are often followed by deep societal frustration a few years later. Both expectations and frustration are probably an inevitable part of any radical transformation, unfortunately hopes and individual dreams are never fulfilled. The real evaluation of the transformation process can be done only later, two to three decades of development affirm the quality of institutionalization and consolidation of new regimes. Almost thirty years after it is still difficult to evaluate the results of transformation in former communist countries.  On the one hand, many countries became members of EU and NATO or they were invited to enter the “club”, that can be interpreted as an international certificate of fully-fledged democracy. On the other hand, we are confronted with very weak, captured and fragile/failed states. It seems that state building and democracy building were separated processes, that building of the institutions, principles of accountability and oversight were underestimated. This Panel would like to answer several questions connected with such a situation: What is the role of sequencing in political transitions of states, modes of governance and regimes? What is the role of political parties in the formation of clientelistic network, why political parties are in post-transition countries often interpreted as a risk for further democratic development? Can democracy defend itself in post-transition period? And can new typology of militant democracies be useful analytical tools for analysing diverse political regimes, their potential for regime fall or regime regeneration.

Date and time: Saturday 10 September, 11:00-12:40

Location: FA313, Faculty of Arts

Chair and Discussant: Vladimíra Dvořáková, University of Economics, Prague
Co-Chair: Mikhail Ilyin, National Research University, Higher School of Economics – HSE


  • Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos, University of Athens: Can Democracy in the Western Balkans Defend itself in Post-Transition Period?
  • Mikhail Ilyin, National Research University, Higher School of Economics – HSE: Carts and Horses, Institutes and Practices. Varieties of Sequencing and Outcomes of Political Transitions
  • Olivera Komar, University of Montenegro: The Last Ex-Communist Party Still Undefeated
  • Joanna Rak, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń and Roman Baecker: Toward the Typology of Militant Democracies
  • Petr Vymetal, University of Economics, Prague: Wrongdoings in Political Parties Funding as a Risk for Democracy – the Lessons from the Czech Republic


FP006: Deliberative Democracy in Europe
In association with ECPR Press

Democracy in Europe is under pressure. The financial crisis has strained relationships between ordinary citizens and their elected representatives. Many European countries have swung, in some cases decisively, to the right – weakening the architecture of democracy. Constitutional courts are being undermined, press freedom curtailed and public spheres increasingly polarised. And then there are the political upheavals and social division that Brexit brings in its wake.

These problems present a serious challenge to proponents of deliberative democracy: the space for free, open and inclusive debate seems to be shrinking fast, along with the conditions that support it. To address this challenge, the Panel takes as its starting point arguments presented in a recent ECPR Press publication, Constitutional Deliberative Democracy in Europe (below), edited by Min Reuchamps and Jane Suiter.

The Panel will reconsider those arguments in the light of recent political developments. It also seeks to map out a future research agenda for deliberative scholars interested in the future prospects for democracy in Europe. Emerging local, national and regional challenges will be highlighted and deliberative approaches and solutions assessed.

Date and time: Thursday 8 September, 11:00-12:40

Location: FL401, Faculty of Law

Chair: Ian O'Flynn, Editor ECPR Press, and Newcastle University
Discussants: Paul Blokker, Chalres University in Prague and Didier Caluwaerts, Vrije Universiteit Brussel


  • Marie Dufrasne, Université Saint-Louis - Bruxelles
  • Brigitte Geissel, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
  • Sergiu Gherghina, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
  • Kimmo Grönlund, Åbo Akademi
  • Jane Suiter, Dublin City University


FP007: The Political Science Monograph in a Changing Communication Ecology
In association with ECPR Press

Scholarly communication is undergoing momentous change, in the context of multiplying publication channels, electronic formats and Open Access. Yet books have been overshadowed in debates about the associated challenges facing political science, even though they have been formative for many parts of
the discipline.

This Panel brings together stakeholders in political science scholarship to explore three questions: One, what is the current status of the book in contemporary political science, in terms of contributing to debates, reaching readers, attracting citations and gaining promotion? Two, what is the role of books in the kind of research we publish: how does the extended format and materiality of print books help shape ideas and work in individual projects and broader debates? Three, how do emerging trends and models of digital books and Open Access obstruct or offer ways of developing the elements of longform research communication that are of value to the study of politics?

Date and time: Friday 9 September, 14:00-15:40

Location: FA201, Faculty of Arts

Chair: Alexandra Segerberg, ECPR Press and Stockholm University


  • Martin Bull, ECPR and University of Salford
  • Ambra Finotello, Palgrave Macmillan Publishers
  • Peter Kennealy, Editor, ECPR Press and European Univerity Institute 
  • Richard Rose, University of Strathclyde



"Politics determines the process of "who gets what, when, and how"" - Harold Lasswell

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