ECPR Summer School
Central European University, Budapest
26 July - 10 August 2018

Plenary programme

Methodological experiences to complement your courses, facilitate methodological cross-fertilisation and debate – and to boost your employability!

Official Welcome and reception

Sunday 29 July and Sunday 5 August, 18:00–21:00

Location: N15 The Auditorium

The CEU Auditorium is in the centre of the city. Following short welcome addresses, the Academic Convenors will present this year’s Academic Programme,

  • explaining the course programme logic
  • defining the articulation between courses
  • introducing Instructors and Teaching Assistants
  • revealing courses at our forthcoming Winter Methods School
  • presentation of awards: the 2017 Dirk Berg-Schlosser Award for outstanding pedagogy as a Teaching Assistant at Method Schools will be presented on Sunday 29 July; the Cora Maas Award for the best evaluated Methods School course in 2017 will be presented on Sunday 5 August.

At the first week welcome (Sunday 29 July), Erin Jenne and Levente Littvay (CEU), will deliver a 30-minute lecture on 'Populism and Nationalism in the 2018 Hungarian Elections'.  Tamás Rudas (Hungarian Academy of Science), will deliver a 30-minute lecture at the second week welcome (Sunday 5 August) on 'Politics and Methods'. The welcome address and lectures will be followed by an informal reception at which you can socialise with Summer School Instructors, Teaching Assistants and fellow participants. You can then go out and discover the beauty and charm of Budapest by night!

Lecture (First Week Welcome): Populism and Nationalism in the 2018 Hungarian Elections; Erin Jenne and Levi Littvay

Central European University has become a leading research institution in the study of theoretical and applied populism and nationalism. CEU researchers launched the Comparative Populism Project last year to better understand the phenomenon from a comparative perspective. Among other things, 66 trained coders have analysed over 400 speeches given by heads of governments, including a thorough tracing of the Hungarian (and Italian) election campaign. The Comparative Study of Election Systems placed populism and nativism as their study theme for 2016-2021; to contribute Hungarian data (for the first time since 2002) we also collected a representative face-to-face public opinion survey. At this lecture, we present the preliminary findings from these efforts with a focus on Hungary, in hopes of better understanding the political situation facing Hungary and CEU.

Lecture (Second Week Welcome): Methods and Politics; Tamás Rudas

Politics, political science and political science methodology are changing. As politicians become more and more interested in finding actions with positive public response, political science concentrates more and more on evaluating actions, past or future, rather than understanding their real implications. There is a vast array of methods to do so, from mental experiments done with a few friends of the researcher, to simple tasks performed by minimally paid volunteers or to harvesting tweets. A change of paradigm taking place and many of our methods but also many of our beliefs may become obsolete. The presentation will offer a few remarks that may come handy when deciding which methods to choose.


Brown Bag Lectures

Brown Bag Lectures are lunchtime sessions (with a "brown bag" lunch arranged if you wish for around 2,000Ft), consisting of a presentation by experts, followed by an open debate.  Lunch order forms are available at the Summer School office - orders need to be made and paid for by 11:00 the day before the Lecture.

Tuesday, 31 July, 12:45-13:45

Advances in Multi-Methods Research

Location: N13 302

Multi-method designs are increasingly popular. However, there is much confusion about what multi-method designs are, and what they can be used for. This brown bag brings together some of the leading methodological experts on multi-method research for a critical review of the state-of-the-art, along with offering suggestions for how to use multi-method designs in practice.

Speakers: Ingo Rohlfing (University of Cologne) and Erin Jenne (CEU).

Wednesday, 8 August, 12:45-13:45

How Can Methods Help Me Get Published?

Location: N13 302

Publish or perish? But how? What are the golden rules for publishing books and articles? And how can strong methodological skills help (or hinder?) publication?

Do the standards differ significantly across different research cultures? This session will provide practical guidance from experienced researchers.

Speakers: Patrick Jackson (American University), Peregrine Schwartz-Shea (University of Utah) and Elias Dinas (University of Oxford).


Course Taster sessions

These sessions cover four courses from the broad Methods School offer. Each Instructor presents a 25-minute lecture on their course topic followed by a short Q&A, giving you a clearer picture of each course's core assumptions, goals and toolbox. Two parallel sessions run over lunchtime breaks, on the following days. You may bring along a cold lunch.

Wednesday, 1 August, 12:45–13:45

Session 1A Ethnographic and Other Field Research Methods: Introduction Cai Wilkinson (Deakin University)

Location: N13 301

Abstract Do you want to undertake fieldwork, but are unsure how it works and what it can add to your research? This session provides a practice-orientated overview of  interpretive/ethnographic fieldwork methods. Beginning with a discussion of key principles and concepts, Cai will focus on three data generation methods commonly used in fieldwork: observation, participation, and interviewing. By the end of the session, you will have gained an appreciation of fieldwork not just as a process of data collection, but also as a reflexive practice that generates ‘thick descriptions’ of socio-political events and phenomena capable of producing novel insights into their meanings and significance. 

Session 1B Multivariate Statistical Techniques for Comparing Countries Bruno Cautrès (Sciences Po Paris)

Location: N13 303

Abstract How to engage in a systematic study of 'sequences', that is, successions of standard categorical states or events (professional positions, stages in political processes, etc)? Sequence analysis is a unique set of tools for representing, comparing and clustering sequences, for extracting prototypical sequences and for mining sequence populations. This session will feature real-life examples of each of these tools, including a presentation of its famous optimal matching algorithm.

Tuesday, 7 August, 12:45–13:45

Session 2A Methods in Political Theory and Normative Analysis Andres Moles (CEU)

Location: N13 301

Abstract Political theorists have famously ignored methodological questions for long time. This trend has been changing in the last few years, and there’s now a burgeoning interest in methodological questions in political theory. This course offers an introduction and a critical assessment of the methods most commonly used by analytical political theorists. The course is structured as follows: what questions do political theorists usually address, the structure of normative political theory and conceptual analysis. 2 ‘Reflective equilibrium’ – seeking coherence between our considered judgements about specific cases and the general principles that govern them. 3 Should facts play any role in political theory, and if so, what facts should we take into account and how much weight should they have. 4 Idealisation. What makes ideal theory ideal, what is its point, and what is the relation between ideal and non-ideal theories? 5 Should political theory abandon its moral core and remain normative?

Session 2B – Applied Experimental Research John Jost (New York University)

Location: N13 303

Abstract This course will emphasise creative hypothesis generation and theory building. You will complete exercises designed to clarify the conceptual foundations of your own work and help you develop multiple hypotheses concerning empirical relationships among independent, dependent, mediating, and moderating variables. John will help you develop useful manipulations and measurement strategies that overcome common methodological problems.


"Man is by nature a political animal" - Aristotle

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