Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”


Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Schedule of Activities


The Winter School takes place at the Bamberg Graduate School of Social Sciences (BAGSS), Feldkirchenstraße 21, 96052 Bamberg. The Winter School office is in the main foyer on the ground floor. Campus map.

Please note when you register on arrival you will need to pay a €10 deposit for an ID card which allows you to purchase food from the Mensa, printing and copying, library books. This is refundable anytime after you have finished using the card but by 16:00 Friday 10 March at the latest.

Note from the Academic Convenors
The purpose of the Academic Plenary Programme is to provide methodological ‘experiences’ alongside the course(s) you are attending. The ECPR Methods School not only strives to offer excellent training through specialised courses; it also aims to facilitate methodological cross-fertilisation and debates and to contribute to career and skill building. Do take advantage of these ‘side dishes’ besides your course(s)!
Profs. Benoît Rihoux, Derek Beach and Levente Littvay, Academic Convenors.

Thursday 2 March
14:00-16:00 Registration Preparatory courses: WS office, main entrance, ground floor foyer, main building.
Friday 3 March
10:00-13:00 Registration Preparatory courses: WS office, main entrance, ground floor foyer, main building.
Preparatory Courses (3.5 hours): Main building or computer labs.
Saturday 4 March
Preparatory Courses (4 hours): Main building or computer labs.
09:30-11:30 Registration Main courses: WS office, main entrance, ground floor foyer, main building.
Sunday 5 March
15:00-17:00 Registration Main courses: WS office, main entrance, ground floor foyer, main building.
17:05-18:20 Welcome Plenary Session: Audimax, room F21/01.57, first floor, main building.

​Welcome Addresses and Course Introductions
After a few short ‘welcome’ addresses, the welcome plenary session introduces each Winter School (WSMT) main course Instructor for a very short presentation (with 1 slide) about his/her course. If this stirs your interest or raises questions, you may informally discuss these with the Instructors during the welcome reception from 19:30. Following this, the Academic Convenors present a short summary of the course programme for the 12th ECPR Summer School in Methods and Techniques (SSMT) in Budapest, including new and original courses and information about the ‘training tracks’ scheme across the WSMT and SSMT.

18:30-19:25 Course Taster Sessions 
The ‘Course Taster’ sessions cover four courses from the broad Winter School programme. The instructor of each course presents a 25 minute lecture on their course topic. This enables you to get a clearer picture of the core assumptions, goals and ‘toolbox’ within each course. There are two sessions running simultaneously, with two course tasters per session, and five minutes between each session to switch location if you wish to do so.

Course Taster Session 1A: Room F21/01.35 first floor, main building.
Fred Schaffer 'Working with Concepts in the Social Sciences'
Concepts are foundational to the social-science enterprise. This course taster presents the new week-long course on working with concepts. The course introduces two distinct ways to think about and work with concepts. One is the positivist approach to what is called concept 'formation' or 'reconstruction' – the formulation of a technical, neutral vocabulary for measuring, comparing, and generalizing. This approach focuses attention on operationalization, measurement validity and the dangers of conceptual stretching. The other is an interpretivist approach that focuses on what Schaffer call 'elucidation'. Elucidation includes both an investigation into the language of daily life and a reflexive examination of social-science technical language. It is intended to illuminate both the worldviews of the people that social scientists wish to understand and the ways in which social scientists’ embeddedness in particular languages, historical eras, and power structures shapes the concepts with which they do their work.


Course Taster Session 1B: Room F21/01.37, first floor, main building.
Philip Leifield 'Inferential Network Analysis'
This course taster introduces the week-long advanced course in the modelling of social and political networks. The primary goal is to move beyond descriptive analysis of networks and develop inferential models; primarily the exponential random graph model (ERGM), but alternative techniques such as the stochastic actor-based model (i.e. SIENA), the quadratic assignment procedure, latent space models, and the temporal network autocorrelation model will be considered as well.


Course Taster Session 2A: Room F21/01.37, first floor, main building.
Levi Littvay and Bruno Silva 'Structural Equation Modelling'
This taster introduces the summer school course in structural equation modeling (SEM) and multilevel modeling (MLM). Both are very popular analytical methodologies in the social sciences today. Multilevel modeling allows us to assess data on multiple levels of analysis as long as the sample size, on both levels, is sufficient for large-n analysis. Structural equation models combine the power of factor analysis flushing out measurement error and path analysis which are, in essence, simultaneous regression models considering complex causal structures between our observed variables or factors. Multilevel structural equation modeling (MLSEM) is marriage between the two methods in which structures of relationships can be assessed at multiple levels of analysis. 


Course Taster Session 2B: Room F21/01.35, first floor, main building.
Carsten Schneider 'Qualitative Comparative Analysis'
This course taster introduces the summer school course in set-theoretic methods and their application in the social sciences with a focus on Qualitative Comparative Analysis. The introductory course is complemented by an advanced course that is taught at the Winter School in Bamberg. The course starts out by familiarizing students with the basic concepts of the underlying methodological perspective, among them the central notions of necessity and sufficiency, formal logic and Boolean algebra. From there, the course moves to the logic and analysis of truth tables and discuss the most important problems that emerge when this analytical tool is used for exploring social science data.

19:30 Welcome reception and refreshments: First floor foyer, main building.
Monday 6 to Friday 10 March
Main courses: Main building or computer labs.
Generally courses are taught either morning or afternoon. Please note some courses require you to work from your own laptops as lecture rooms do not include computers. Please check with your Instructor.
Monday 6 March
08:00-09:00 Late registration Main courses: Main entrance, ground floor foyer, main building.WS office, main entrance, ground floor foyer, main building.
Tuesday 7 March

Brown Bag Lunch Sessions
These are free to attend lunch-time sessions, consisting of presentations by experts in ‘hot’ methodological topics, followed by an open debate. You can also pre-order a lunch bag for €4.00 to be delivered to the session.

NB: Places are first come first served on a registration basis. Session 1 maximum 122 places and session 2 maximum 206 places.  To pre-book your space on one of the sessions please email  If you also wish to pre-book lunch you will need to complete a booking form (available in the Winter School office) and hand it in with your payment to the WSMT office before 10:30 Monday 6 March.

Brown Bag Lunch Session 1: Room F21/01.35, first floor, main building
'The replication crisis and experiments in the social sciences'

Speakers: Wolfgang Luhan and Levi Littvay
Chair: Benoît Rihoux

In the past couple of years it seems as though an epidemic is spreading through the experimental sciences, especially in psychology and medicine. Large numbers of studies on well-established results could not be replicated. Around half of all published findings are not replicable and the implication for the credibility of research is enormous. Facing a true crisis, experimental researchers, including political scientists, came together to consider what went wrong and how they could fix it. The crisis itself, as well as the proposed solutions have far reaching implications going well beyond psychology and experimental research. Our brown bag will present the potential causes of the problem and the potential solutions proposed while considering the broader conversations and their implications for researchers.​

Brown Bag Lunch Session 2: Room F21/01.37, first floor, main building
'Methodological challenges of studying the new right-wing populism in Europe and the US'

Speakers: Fred Schaffer, Inaki Sagarzazu, Bruno de Silva
Chair: Thomas Saalfeld

This brown bag discusses the methodological challenges in studying right-wing populism, elections and voting behavior across Europe and the US. What impact does declining political trust have for our ability to do survey research, or to engage in interpretive dialogues with actual voters? ​ Do surveys even enable us to capture anti-elite sentiments? Or if they do to some extent, do they enable us to understand what is going on? How can we use interpretive research of perceptions held by individuals, or qualitative insights from studying small groups to shed light on broader dynamics?

Wednesday 8 March
Thursday 9 March

Call for Presenters - 'Convince us' Sessions: Thursday 9 March 12:45-13:45
F21/01.35 & 01.37, first floor, main building

If you are registered for the Winter School and keen on getting feedback on your course, then join us for the ‘Convince us’ sessions on Thursday at lunch time!

These are two parallel interactive workshops in which PhD researchers have the opportunity to present some of their work to an audience of participants and instructors and receive feedback. Each workshop has space for three presenters who will give a short oral presentation (max. 10-minutes each) of a draft paper that will have already been submitted. The paper can be a first draft of a journal article or a thesis chapter (max. 20 pages). We especially invite presentations on methodological issues, or focussing on the methodological aspects of the thesis. Discussions will take pace in a friendly and supportive atmosphere with the goal of helping the presenters straighten their argument.

Interested? Then complete the application form and email to Lea Sgier and Kathrin Thomas by Friday 27 January 2017.

The deadline for papers from the accepted presenters is Friday 3 March 2017.

If you are unsure if your idea is suitable, contact Lea and Kathrin with any questions and they will get back to you.

All participants are welcome to join the audience. No pre-registration is required. You may bring a cold lunch e.g. sandwich.

The ECPR ‘Convince us’ sessions are endorsed and organised by the ECPR Standing Group on Political Methodology (SGPM)

Friday 10 March
16:00 Deadline for ID card refunds from WS office
18:00 Close of Winter School office