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Democratic Innovations

Standing Group

Established 2010

Number of members: 324


  • Nicole Curato (Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, University of Canberra)
  • Lala Muradova (University of Leuven)
  • Marina Lindell (Åbo Akademi)
  • Sofie Marien (University of Leuven)

Steering Committee

  • Kimmo Grönlund (Åbo Akademi)
  • André Bächtiger (Universität Stuttgart)
  • Jane Suiter (Dublin City University)
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The focus of the Standing Group is on innovations that aim at deepening 'thin' representative democracy and their impacts on communities, structures, systems, policies and democratic participation. Despite a fundamental triumph of democracy, several tendencies in contemporary democratic systems give rise to concern, e. g. declining voter turnout and the support for populist parties or policies. Many scholars have called for more participatory forms of democracy where citizens are effectively included in political decision-making. By now, several democratic innovations have been tried out – different forms of citizen deliberation, direct democracy or governance with citizens’ associations. The focus of the Standing Group is to evaluate the benefits, disadvantages and shortcomings of democratic innovations. The SG organizes sections at the ECPR General Conference, and sponsors Workshops at the Joint Sessions.


Constitution of the ECPR Standing Group “Democratic Innovations”

I. General

  1. The Standing Group Democratic Innovations is an international association of scholars dedicated to the study of democratic innovations across the world.
  2. The Standing Group aims to:
  1. Contribute to the development of the theoretical and empirical studies of democratic innovations across the world;
  2. Establish, develop and maintain an international network of researchers in the field;
  3. Develop links between experienced academics and junior scholars working in this field;
  4. Organize sections at ECPR General Conferences and Joint Sessions , regular events for the international research community such as summer schools and specialized conferences;
  5. Articulate the Standing Group members’ views vis-à-vis ECPR central bodies and the wider academic community;
  6. Create and maintain a website about the Standing Group and its activities.
  7. Publish results of the conferences, sections and panels held by the Standing Group in edited books and monographs as well as in articles in peer review journals;
  8. Disseminate information and material for political actors, e.g. mayors, city councils, members of parliament, civil society;
  9. Apply for network funding to institutionalize and strengthen networking (e.g. within the COST-frame) and support mobility of fellows (PH.D. students, junior and senior fellows, professors);
  10. Encourage collaborative research by providing support for application for collaborative research grants.


II. Membership

  1.  In addition to scholars affiliated to an ECPR member institution the SG DI also accepts members who are not affiliated to an ECPR member institution. The SG DI accepts members not only from Europe, but from all parts of the world. Applications must be registered at ECPR Central Services. The Members of the Steering Committee decide about the membership. All members need a MYECPR account.
  2. The Standing Group DI does not charge a separate membership fee.


III. Governance

  1. The Standing Group is governed by a Steering Committee consisting of five members elected by and from the Standing Group members for a period of three years, renewable.
  2. Elections will be conducted by electronic ballot.
  3. If individual members of the Steering Committee resign before the end of the end of the Steering Group’s regular term of office, the Steering Group may conduct an electronic election to replace that member.
  4. At least six months before the Steering Committee’s term of office expires, it invites candidates from among the Standing Group members to nominate themselves within one month. If after that deadline fewer than five candidates and/or fewer than two candidates affiliated to ECPR member institutions have nominated themselves, the nomination period is extended for another month.
  5. If only five candidates have nominated themselves, including at least two candidates affiliated to ECPR member institutions, they are declared elected.
  6. If more than five candidates have nominated themselves, but only two candidates affiliated to ECPR member institutions, the latter two candidates are declared elected; elections will be held only to assign the remaining seat on the Steering Committee to one of the candidates not yet declared elected.
  7. If sufficient candidates have nominated themselves to have elections for all or part of the seats, the Steering Committee notifies ECPR Central Services within a month after nominations have closed of the names of the candidates, and of the number of seats to be filled.
  8. ECPR Central Services will notify all Standing Group members of the period within and manner by which they can cast their vote.
  9. The electoral system is STV as used for ECPR Executive Committee elections.
  10. If all five seats on the Steering Committee are to be filled, and the candidates who meet the electoral quota do not include at least two candidates affiliated to ECPR member institutions, the non-affiliated candidate meeting the electoral quota with the lowest number of votes is removed. This procedure is repeated until at least two candidates affiliated to ECPR member institutions are elected.
  11. At its first meeting, the newly elected Steering Committee elects its own Convenors and Treasurer. The Convenors and Treasurer are affiliated to ECPR member institutions. The newly elected Convenors immediately notifies ECPR Central Services of the names and functions of the new Steering Committee.
  12. Annually a business meeting is held to which the Steering Committee invites all Standing Group members. The business meeting is held during the ECPR General Conference or, if applicable, during the Standing Group’s main conference in a given year.
  13. This Constitution can be amended by a two-thirds majority of Standing Group members voting in an electronic ballot, provided at least thirty percent of Standing Group members cast a vote.

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