Standing Groups and Research Networks are an important and integral element of the ECPR and play a key role in delivering the mission of the organisation to its membership and wider community. The ECPR’s groups and networks provide a basis for the nurturing and development of all sub-fields of political science, whether broad or specialised, reflecting and helping to grow the diversity and inclusivity of the ECPR.
Standing Groups and Research Networks operate as distinct groups with their own memberships but under the auspices of the ECPR. As such, they can organise and participate in a wide range of activities that enable them to develop and grow their field of research and offering to the scholarly community, and by association enable the ECPR to extend its reach beyond both its membership and traditional boundaries.
Standing Groups organise significant sub disciplinary areas or broad research themes over an indefinite time period; they have a sizeable membership base, and they offer a wide range of activities.
Research Networks organise relatively small sub disciplinary areas or specialised research themes and can operate over a temporary lifespan, possibly testing the viability of a group before applying for Standing Group status.
As integral parts of the ECPR, groups and networks are formally embedded in the academic programmes of the Joint Sessions and General Conference and the editorial structure of the PRX (Political Research Exchange) journal. These formal structures allow Standing Groups and Research Networks not only to help shape the academic content of these important ECPR activities, but also to provide an outlet for research stimulated by the group and produced by its members.
The ECPR has over 50 groups and networks covering a broad range of thematic areas; from the well-established Standing Groups on Gender and Politics, International Relations and the European Union, to the more recently formed Research Networks on Food Policy and Governance, Political Culture and Voting Advice Applications.
Membership to groups and networks is open to anyone with an interest in that field and with a MyECPR account. Scholars who are affiliated to an ECPR member institution can automatically join any group or network via the relevant pages on the website. Scholars who are not affiliated to an ECPR member institution can apply to join via the relevant pages, but must have their application accepted by the Steering Committee of the group.
There is no compulsory charge to join a group, but some may ask for a voluntary donation to help support its activities. Group membership runs alongside the ECPR's membership year 1 October - 30 September. All members are asked to re-join groups on a biennial basis, through MyECPR or the relevant pages on the website.
See here for a full list of all Standing Groups and Research Networks
Any scholar affiliated to an ECPR member institution can propose the establishment of a new Standing Group or Research Network via the forms here. The application process requires both detail of the rationale behind the creation of the group and the commitment to join from at least 100 (for Standing Groups) and 20 (for Research Networks) scholars from member institutions. Further guidance can be found in the Framework for Standing Groups and Research Networks or by contacting ECPR staff.
The ECPR's groups and networks are governed by the Executive Committee and supported operationally by all departments at Harbour House in order to enable them to develop and deliver a range of activities. This support includes:
In April 2019 the ECPR published the revised Framework for Standing Groups and Research Networks, replacing the 2014 version. The 2019 Framework builds on the structure of the previous document, developing further the guidance around the governance and operations of both Standing Groups and Research Networks and their intrinsic role in delivering the mission of the organisation.
"Wherever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship" - Harry S. Truman