Notes from the Political Sociology Section Meeting in Prague

Dear Section members,

Here are notes from the 11/9/2016 Section meeting in Prague. They were initially shared with those who attended the meeting for their corrections and suggestions. We are now sharing them with all of you. Please review in particular the suggestions for themes for the next gathering in Oslo and let us hear your preferences or suggestions for topics not mentioned here. We need to apply to ECPR for a spot on the Oslo program by early November.

Our best wishes,

David and Niilo


Recipients: Dorota Dakowska, François Buton, Oscar Mazzoleni, Hans-Jörg Trenz, Juan Roch Gonzalez, Inan Izci, Christian Schmidt-Wellenburg, Hélène Michel, Carlo Ruzza, Tatjana Sekulic, Marylou Hamm, Sebastian Büttner, Sofia Antunes, Cristiano Gianolla, Frank Borchers, Johannes Kiess, Cristiano Bee, David Swartz, Niilo Kauppi.


1. Discussion concerning the topic of the Section at the next general conference in Oslo. Niilo suggested something around the welfare state, its challenges, a topic that might interest our Nordic colleagues, and others too. Oscar suggested the topic of Welfare chauvinism, and specifically the split between nationals and others. Hans-Jörg for his part thinks something around Challenges to solidarity and welfare would be interesting. Inan suggested a micro-level approach to everyday life politicization. Johannes would like to see something on attitudes, a more sociological perspective. Sebastian mentioned the state, and state practices, the social transformation of the state. Dorota would like to see something on academic research and policy advice. Someone (perhaps Oscar) mentioned populism, the challenges of inequality. Niilo proposed something on the tools of governance, knowledge, indicators and rankings.

We will continue brainstorming online on the topic for the Oslo conference. If you have additional thoughts since our Prague meeting, please share them. Official ECPR deadline for section proposal is mid-November.


2. Niilo and David mentioned that there will be in the future 4000 euros (a sizable increase over previous allocations) for SGs to be used as seed money to start new initiatives for the Section, such as starting a summer school. Alas, the money cannot be used for food and drink as happened in Montréal. David and Niilo will pass on more information when they get it.


3. Discussion concerning publications. There is a new online journal initiative coming out of ECPR and we might participate. But we have little information from the central offices of ECPR on what this might look like. Carlos said he might be interested in being the editor for political sociology but we need to get more information on this project also before doing anything.

Palgrave has a series on European Political Sociology directed by Hans-Jörg and Carlo. Niilo and David are on the editorial board. All are encouraged to submit proposed manuscripts to the editors for review. Manuscripts need to focus on European concerns and be comparative.

There was some discussion on encouraging book (just recent publications) presentations within the Section panels at the GC since there currently is no opportunity for author meets critics sessions except for ECPR Press publications. This would open the opportunity for authors publishing with other presses to present their recent work. Hans-Jörg was critical of this since it does not correspond to the format of the conference and its purpose which is to present new research. Also how would books be selected? Niilo suggested we could send an email to all members of the Sg and ask them to propose books that could be discussed at the GC in Oslo. This way everyone would get a chance to propose something to be discussed. David thinks that books could be selected around a panel theme just as papers are. We agreed that this needs further discussion before implementation.


4. These individuals were unanimously elected for these positions in the SG for two years (2016-2018): Niilo and David chairs, Hélène treasurer, Carlo secretary.

Members of the advisory committee of the SG (2016-2018):

Cristiano Gianolla, Oscar Mazzoleni, Tatjana Sekulic, Hans-Jörg Trenz