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Political Anticipation

Research Network

Established 2022 - Number of members: 37

Steering Committee Chair

  • Camelia Florela Voinea (University of Bucharest)

Steering Committee

  • Holger Molder (Tallinn University of Technology)
  • Klaus G Troitzsch (Universität Koblenz)
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The ECPR Research Network on Political Anticipation has been created to aggregate the research people and works which are distributed in various disciplinary areas, but which essentially concern various concepts of anticipation for relevant issues in political science and connected interdisciplinary theoretical and methodological domains. It aims to become a European research group able to emphasize and endorse the work, trends, and resources for political anticipation research in Europe and the world. This research network aims to find the appropriate answers to the need of political science community to approach the strong phenomena which are shaking the Europe and the world: the global pandemics, the war in Ukraine, the decline of democracy and the rise of populism and extremism, and - last but not least - the climate change and its direct and side-effects are but few of the visible and non-visible, predictable and non-predictable associated phenomenology. These are the challenges of the future. While this future appears threatening, it is still open to our choices and abilities to design a preferable future for politics, society, and human civilization. Political Anticipation aims at aggregating the students whose main research work is that of approaching this great challenge.

Aims & Objectives

The ECPR Research Network on Political Anticipation aims at aggregating research fellows, research groups, and research works approaching all currently known paradigms of studying the possible, probable, wild and preferable futures. Research which concerns issues of anticipation and is relevant for political research is rather distributed in many scientific areas either closely connected, like the social sciences or rather distant, like climate change or medical research. 
In political research, the classic paradigm of prediction is still the most powerful with its enormous resources of impressive empirical data, analysis methodologies, and theory able to make prediction on various issues concerning future situations with the aim of avoiding or tackling risks, identify alternative solutions, and improve policy reach and outcome. However, the complexity of the real situation and phenomena goes far beyond determinism or even non-determinism. Future studies, also characterized as ‘possible’, ‘probable’ and – most interesting! – ‘preferable’ futures describe many areas in which theoretical and methodological research on anticipation has been developing. 

Besides the aim of aggregating and unifying a corpus of theory and methodology in political anticipation, our research network aims at emphasizing the relevance and high utility of such studies for political science, especially at a time when digitalization not only that has penetrated all dimensions of our daily life, but has also raised questions on how the political organization, and participation would look like in this new era? – It is our aim to configure a European core of political anticipation research which could include students and experts from different areas but united by their interest in developing the necessary resources and types of expertise for the design of a political space of the future.

Our short-term objectives are therefore based on the idea of building up collaboration between individuals and groups developing research in various futures and anticipation areas in Europe and the world: participating in ECPR general conference and joint sessions of workshops would provide for the appropriate framework of collaboration which could foster communication and presentation of research issues and outcomes. Our new series of RNPA Lectures and Webinars, as well as our Newsletter would also add a conceptual space to this ECPR collaboration framework. 
Our long-term objectives address the need for the foundation of projects, programs and institutions for political anticipation research which could systematically develop this ECPR framework. The elaboration of political anticipation packages of courses and seminars for the ECPR Winter and Summer Method Schools would be one of our fundamental objectives meant as a competence-building program.


I. Participating in the ECPR Academic Events:
     1. Endorsing sections and panels for the annual ECPR General Conferences, 
     2. Organizing Joint Sessions of Workshops in which all relevant research centres in Europe and world could participate and present their ongoing research projects 
     3. Providing course packages on political anticipation for the ECPR Method School
II. Competence-building projects and solutions for European and national institutions (National Governments, EU, OECD, Lisbon Council) interested in anticipatory approaches of decision making, policy making, approaching security risks and public threats, and increasing resilience of governance institutions