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Political Methodology

Standing Group

Number of members: 312


  • Bernd Schlipphak (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster)
  • Theofanis Exadaktylos (University of Surrey)
  • Johan A. Elkink (University College Dublin)
  • Kathrin Thomas (Princeton University)

Steering Committee

  • Lea Sgier (University of Geneva)
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The Standing Group provides a venue for methodological discussions among European political scientists and interested scholars and students from adjoining disciplines. The Group circulates information about new tools and approaches to studying political phenomena, promotes and facilitates cooperation on various methodological issues, broadly defined, and provides an organisational basis for supporting new initiatives in political methodology.

Aims & Objectives

The Standing Group on Political Methodology aims at fostering and preserving quality, diversity and dialogue in the study of politics. It is based on a broad and encompassing view on methods and methodology, at all stages of the research process. We aim to:

  • facilitate cooperation and new initiatives in political methodology;
  • promote new methods and techniques;
  • promote awareness of the diversity of methods in European political and social sciences;
  • create bridges across quantitative and qualitative approaches.

The Standing Group promotes collaboration with sections of other political science associations and ECPR Standing Groups, as well as the ECPR Methods School to create an open forum of dialogue.



I. Preamble


(1) The ECPR Standing Group on Political Methodology (hereafter, SGPM) brings together scholars dedicated to addressing all aspects of political methods and methodology, such as emerging methodological developments or problems, new applications, as well as to teaching the principles and practices of research methods for the study of politics.

(2) The SGPM is open to all methodological approaches.

(3) The SGPM’s mission is to (a) contribute to the transparent and rigorous use of and reflection on established research methods in political science, as well as to the development, diffusion and evaluation of new, innovative methods, (b) encourage dialogue, cooperation, and collaboration on methodological issues, (c) support initiatives dedicated to methodological research, and (d) help bridging across and between different methods.

II. Structure


(1) The SGPM is governed by a Steering Committee (hereafter, SC) consisting of five members. At least three members of the SC need to be affiliated with an ECPR member institution. While all SC members have equal rights, the SC selects a Convenor among the five seats, whose function is to act as the main contact to the ECPR. The SC also designates a Treasurer to overlook the financial activities of the SGPM. It is mandatory that the main Convenor and the Treasurer are affiliated with an ECPR member institution. The Convenor rotates every year.

(2) An annual SGPM business meeting is held at the ECPR General Conference. All SGPM members are invited to attend the business meeting.

(3) Each SC member is elected by the members of the SGPM for a period of three years. Re-election is possible. In case a SC member resigns, the SC may offer the vacant seat to the candidate with the next highest vote share from the previous election to replace the resigning member. Alternatively, the SC may decide to hold early elections to find a successor.

(4) The first election of the SGPM’s SC is held in July-August 2016. The election will be completed by an electronic ballot on the ECPR website. All SGPM members, including external members, have the right to vote in the SC election. Following the example of the ECPR Executive Committee Election, the voting system is Single Transferable Votes.

(5) The SGPM’s SC launches a call among the SGPM members for nomination of candidates for the SC seats. SGPM members may nominate themselves within 30 days from the day of the official call. The majority of the candidates should be affiliated with an ECPR member institution. If only five candidates are nominated for the SC seats, the candidates are declared as elected, given that at least three of the candidates are affiliated with an ECPR member institution. In case more than five candidates are standing for office, but only three of them hold an affiliation with an ECPR member institution, these three candidates are declared as elected and elections will only be held for the remaining two seats. The resigning SC ensures that enough ECPR affiliates apply for the election.

(6) The retiring SC notifies the ECPR Central Services of the names of the candidates within 30 days from the day the nomination period closed. The ECPR Central Services supports the retiring SC members with the organisation of the next election as well as liaises with and informs the SGPM members of the time period within, and the manner by which they can cast their votes.

(7) The newly elected SC begins its work on the first day of the month following the official announcement of the election results by the SGPM and the ECPR Central Services.


III. Membership


(1) The SGPM is open to all individuals with a scholarly interest in political methods and methodology regardless of their institutional affiliation. The SGPM is committed to an inclusive culture and to respecting diversity.

(2) Scholars affiliated with an ECPR member institution can join the SGPM as a member by registering with the SGPM through their MyECPR accounts. Individuals from other institutions may apply for SGPM membership. Each application requires evaluation by a member of the SGPM’s SC. Acceptance is based on the applicants scholarly interest in political methodology. As soon as the SC has notified the ECPR’s Central Services of its decision to admit an external applicant, their membership becomes effective.

(3) The SGPM reserves its rights to charge a membership fee in addition to the fee paid by the ECPR member institutions. However, currently the SGPM does not charge any membership fees.


IV. Amendments


(1) The SGPM’s SC commits to continuity. However, if future SCs feel that this constitution requires amendment, the future SC has the right to propose a new or amended constitution to its members, which must be approved by at least two-thirds of the SGPM members, in a free and fair election. The vote is valid if at least 30% of the members have participated in the election.

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