Call for papers: Panel « Thinking Reflexively about the Political Sociology of the EU » at 2019 ECPR General Conference

The political sociology panel proposal « Thinking Reflexively about the Political Sociology of the EU » for the upcoming ECPR General Conference in Wroclaw is still looking for further paper contributions. If you are interested in submitting a paper, please get in touch with dswartz[at] before February 18, 2019.




Thinking Reflexively about the Political Sociology of the EU



In European politics today, new forms of transnational power are emerging that challenge the traditional parameters of action by nation states. New actors are creating new spaces of contest that may overlap but do not snuggle fit with the traditional spaces of political action. This has called into question both institutional and constructionist perspectives that neglect underlying forms of power at work. New forms of solidarity and differentiation, both in terms of knowledge and social groups, are being created. The purpose of this panel is to encourage a more critically reflexive practice of the tools of political sociology in order to better account for these new political realities. The panel draws inspiration from Niilo Kauppi’s 2018 book Toward a Reflexive Political Sociology of the European Union: Fields, Intellectuals and Politicians. We are looking for papers that employ types of reflexive thinking to assess the recent political changes in the EU.

Nominations for the 2019 Mattei Dogan Foundation Prize

The ECPR welcomes now nominations for the 2019 Mattei Dogan Foundation Prize in European Political Sociology (deadline for nominations, March 1st).

The Mattei Dogan Foundation Prize is awarded for a major contribution to the advancement of political sociology. As written on the ECPR website, it is presented to either a scholar with an ensemble of outstanding scientific publications and constructive professional achievements or a coherent team of several researchers enjoying a high reputation in the international community of political sociologists. Please see the full description here

We would like to encourage you to come up with suggestions for nominations for the 2019 Mattei Dogan Foundation Prize, and send these to the SG steering committee (landorff[at], oscar.mazzoleni[at] until Thursday, 21st of February 2019. In consultation with our advisory board, we will then decide how to support a nomination coming from our Standing Group. Previous award winners are Hanspeter Kriesi (2017), Maurizio Cotta (2015) and Virginie Guiraudon (2013).

Political Sociology section at the next ECPR General Conference in Wroclaw, September 4-7, 2019

We are very happy to inform you that our section ‘Political Sociology: Contemporary Challenges to State-Society Relations’ with eight panels has been accepted for the next ECPR General Conference in Wroclaw, September 4-7, 2019. The steering committee of the SG with the support of its advisory committee took the initiative for the section. Hence, now it is time to come forward with some very interesting suggestions for panels and papers. The call for panels (with 4-5 papers) and individual papers is open since December, 5th via the ECPR website. It will close on 18 February 2019. See the section description here:

Standing Group’s new Steering and Advisory Committees

In conformity with decisions made at the SG business meeting in Hamburg August 2018, the steering committee of political sociology for the next three years (2018-2020) will be composed of a chair (Laura Landorff), co-chair (Oscar Mazzoleni), secretary (Carlo Ruzza) and treasurer (Tatjana Sekulic). In addition, during these three years an advisory committee will help the steering committee in its activities, composed of Cecilia Biancalana, Charlotte Galpin, Alon Helled, Niilo Kauppi, David Swartz, and Hans-Jörg Trenz.

New Generation of Leadership of the Standing Group


Dear Members of the Political Sociology Standing Group,

To borrow from JFK’s famed inaugural address, Niilo and I are passing the torch on to a new generation of leadership of our SG; Laura Landorff will be Chair and Oscar Mazzoleni will be Co-Chair. This was decided In unanimity at the SG business meeting in Hamburg. Niilo and I congratulate Laura and Oscar on their new responsibilities and look forward to what we believe will be very strong leadership for the SG. Niilo and I will join the SG steering committee. We also welcome Tatjana Sekulic as our new Treasurer and Carlo Ruzza will continue as Secretary.

Laura and Oscar will be in touch with you soon for thematic and panel suggestions for the General Conference next year in Wroclaw, Poland.

David and Niilo.

ECPR Joint Sessions at Université catholique de Louvain in Mons, April 2019

Dear Colleagues,

If any of you are planning to submit proposals for the 2019 Joint Sessions at Université catholique de Louvain in Mons, Belgium April 23-27 2019, this is a reminder that the deadline is February 1. You can submit proposals directly online at the ECPR web site ( If you are interested in getting Standing Group support, please submit your proposal to Niilo (niilo.t.j.kauppi[at] and me (dswartz[at] by January 26 so that we and the SG Advisory Board will have a chance to review it before making a decision.

Trust 2018 is off to a good start for you.


Call for paper and panel proposals for Oslo 2017

Dear Colleagues,

This is a call for panel and paper proposals for the Oslo meeting September 6-9, 2017. Our Standing Groups has been allotted just five panels, the same number as for the Prague meeting. (We requested eight.). Several of you have already submitted tentative proposals and we encourage you to firm them up and resubmit them well before the official deadline of February 15. We have also received a few paper proposals. Completed panel proposals will need a good descriptive abstract plus the titles and authors names (with authors commitments to present their papers in Oslo) for four or five papers. Panel and paper proposal guidelines and procedures can be found on the ECPR website. Your Standing Group membership via MyECPR will need to be up to date.

This call to submit paper and panel proposals is open to all members of the Standing Group. If we end up with more than five solid proposals, we will petition the ECPR Academic Convenors for an additional panel or two. There is no guarantee that such a petition will be successful but the Convenors are open to considering such proposals. (The numbers of panels is partially constrained by the available rooms at the meeting site.). In addition, the Oslo meeting will include an Open Section set of panels so if by chance your proposal does not make it into the Political Sociology Section we can try to get it included in the Open Section. The same is true for proposed papers.

Below you will find a description of the Standing Group overall theme for the Oslo meeting. This has been approved by ECPR and panel and paper proposals will need to intersect in meaningful ways with the section theme.

Finally a reminder to renew your Section membership via My ECPR if you have not already done so.

Any questions or concerns, just email us.

Happy New Year 2017

Chair. Niilo Kauppi, University of Jyväskylä, niilo.t.j.kauppi[at]
Co-chair: David Swartz, Boston University, dswartz[at]


In recent years the European welfare state has come under several challenges: economically, socially, politically, and culturally. The recent migrant crisis, for one, is challenging numerous countries in terms of social support services, security, cultural identity, and legal provision. Populist movements are challenging the dynamics of migrant integration and assimilation and the way political leadership is dealing with them. Are traditional ideals of solidarity being replaced by others? Assumptions of traditional welfare provision are also being challenged by the policies of neoliberalism. Do growing forms of economic inequality undermine the traditional safety nets afforded by state welfare policies? Forms of social solidarity have been a central concern of political sociology from its very inception. It is the social causes and consequences of these challenges that will be the focus of the panels for this section. It seems particularly fitting for political sociologists to examine those challenges at a conference in Oslo since the Nordic countries have often been viewed as model welfare states. Does the Nordic model or any other welfare state model seem capable of addressing the contemporary challenges? Other challenges target the public sphere and debate, educational reform, governance driven by rankings and technocratic indicators, social movements, law, and gender. Panels will be organized around types of challenges welfare democracies are facing, such as the welfare crises in Eastern and Balkan countries, transnational forms of solidarity in the EU, the new legitimation crisis of political leadership, the social bases of politicisation/depoliticisation, measuring institutional competitiveness and decline, revisiting the Nordic model, and the politics of flexible solidarity.

KEYWORDS: Democracy, European Union, Governance, Migration, Welfare State, Solidarity

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