ECPR Joint Session 2017: « Transnationalisation of Problems and Agendas: Theoretical and Empirical Challenges »

We would like to make you aware of the Joint Session « Transnationalisation of Problems and Agendas: Theoretical and Empirical Challenges » supported by our standing group. It will be held in Nottingham (25th- 30th April 2017). The topic might be of interest for all members of our group and for other scholars studying the construction and circulation of social problems at national/international level or related issues such as transnational expertise and mobilizations.

Deadline : 1st December 2016.

The proposals should be uploaded on the ECPR website:


How and why some events and topics are transformed into issues focusing public debate, media-attention and policy initiatives? Two different scientific traditions have brought their contributions to these puzzles. Strongly established in political science, the “agenda/s” paradigm maps the changing rankings of political and social issues, questions their interactions. Rooted in sociology, the “social problems” approach pays particular attention to actors who frame their claims successfully. It examines why some stakes become faster “problems” and policy targets.

This workshop opens up a forum to question the legacies, blind spots and possible cross-fertilizations between those research perspectives. Such debate is scientifically wothwhile when processes of transnationalisation and Europeanisation are changing the dynamics of social problems. New opportunities (and threats) linked to environmental changes, migrations and de-territorialisation are redefining supra-national agendas. Claims are travelling across borders, fostered by coalitions of actors internationally organized.

As a growing flow of research questions the internationalisation of social problem framing and policy treatment, as the availability of big data opens up new opportunities for comparative research on agendas the need for bringing these two major paradigms into dialogue is stronger than ever. This aim implies theoretical and empirical contributions.

For both approaches, the recent trends, their relationships and mutual improvements might be highlighted. For example, social problem studies suggest combining quantitative approach of media agendas with more qualitative explorations of news production and sources’ strategies or adding specific agendas to the classical agenda’s trilogy.

Empirical studies should focus on growing internationalised issues, especially “public health” issues (including here struggle against epidemics, risk management, food safety, environmental threats). How do claims on the definition and urgency of diseases travel? Who are the local and transnational actors involved in agenda setting and mobilization processes? How do national cultures, institutional patterns and mediascapes impact the construction of health issues?

Call for Paper Proposals: Austerity and its social and political consequences


Prof. Dr. Roland Sturm / Dr. Tim Griebel / Dr. Thorsten Winkelmann
Chair of Political Science I
Institute of Political Science
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg


Deadline abstract submissions: 15. September 2016
Length: max. 500 words
Please submit your abstract by e-mail to
Decision on abstracts: 30. September 2016
Submission accepted final papers: 15. January 2017

A number of books and articles have been written about the retrenchment of the welfare state caused by austerity policies. There is also a well-informed literature on the role of the EU in the Euro crisis and Germany’s preferences for policies to balance budgets and to reduce public debt. Colleagues have investigated the rise of right-wing, left-wing and populist parties as a consequence of austerity policies. In a special issue of the Zeitschrift für Politik, that will also be published as a peer-reviewed edited volume, we want to shed new light on the redefinition of politics and social relations caused by austerity policies with the help of a multidimensional and pluralistic approach.

The Publication(s) will map different dimensions and “varieties of austerity” within the European Union. It does so by looking at the discursive, social, institutional and material logics of austerity at the polity, politics and the policy level and the broader social relations within particular member states and on the EU level. Not only the phenomenon of austerity is multi-dimensional, but also its normative evaluation and the analytical foci and strategies to deal with it. We therefore follow a pluralistic understanding of science that does not privilege one form of knowledge over the other. Rather we want to sensitize the reader to the effect of different ontological, epistemological and methodological standpoints. Which aspect or kind of austerity we see, depends on the (meta-)theoretical lenses that we look through.

While some contributions might evaluate the phenomenon and the effects of austerity based on the logic of the current European or global political economy, some authors might be critical of this system as such. In addition, some papers might try to combine different dimensions of austerity, others might either focus on one dimension or transcend them altogether. And while some contributions might want to explain some aspect of the phenomenon of austerity in a scientific manner, we also welcome sceptical views of this endeavour that request to question knowledge claims themselves. We are looking for theoretical reflections as well as empirical studies that use quantitative or qualitative methodological tools to analyse austerity.

In particular, we are searching for

  • theoretical or philosophical reflections about the nature of austerity and ist consequences for democracy, society and the state;
  • empirical case studies or comparative analyses about the relationship between austerity and topics like discourses, party politics, party systems, populism and extremism;
  • empirical case studies or comparative analyses about austerity measures in different policies areas;
  • innovative methodological tools to grasp austerity.

This call is open for innovative contributions on the subject of austerity from multiple disciplines. We are very much looking forward to your abstracts!

Prof. Dr. Roland Sturm / Dr. Tim Griebel / Dr. Thorsten Winkelmann


Standing Group business meeting, September 9, during the ECPR General Conference in Prague

Dear Political Sociology Standing Group members,

Since we believe that several members will be leaving Prague on Saturday we have decided to reschedule the Standing Group business meeting to Friday September 9, 1600-1730. The location will be announced later. Please note this change on your program calendar.

At the meeting we will elect new officers, decide on a theme for the next general conference, review our experience in Prague, and discuss any other SG related issues. We hope you will be able to arrange your schedule to include this business meeting.

Best wishes for the remainder of the summer.

Niilo Kauppi & David Swartz

Call for panel discussants: ECPR General Conference 2016

We are looking for two or three additional discussants for the following panel for Prague. If you would be interested in discussing one or both these books, please contact David Swartz at

Panel title: Rethinking Recent Conceptualizations of Power in Political Sociology

Chair: David Swartz

Co-Chair: Claudia Wiesner

Presenters: David Swartz & Claudia Wiesner

Discussants: Anja Thomas, Hans-Joerg Trenz, Niilo Kauppi

Conceptualizing power is a central theme and core concern of political sociology. How one approaches the social basis of political life is shaped by guiding conceptions of power. Two recent books, one in German and the other in English, assess and critically evaluate recent conceptualizations of power that are of interest to political research, particularly in the European context. Demokratisierung der EU durch nationale Europadiskurse by Claudia Wiesner and Symbolic Power, Politics, and Intellectuals: The Political Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu by David Swartz offer different perspectives on these recent trends. This panel will draw inspiration from these two books by having the authors present their works followed by responses by discussants.


David L. Swartz

Boston University – Sociology


ECPR Standing Group Membership Renewal

Letter from the ECPR:

You may be aware that since the ECPR implemented the new Standing Group framework, your membership to the Standing Group will now be renewed on an annual basis. The new Standing Group membership year will start on 1 January 2016, and as such, you are now able to renew your membership via the ECPR website.

In order for you to remain part of the Standing Group, could I please ask you to log in to your MyECPR account, select the ‘My Groups’ tab, and click on ‘Renew Membership’ next to the name of the Standing Group. You have up until 31 December 2015 to renew your membership, after which you will be removed from the group. If you are from a non-member institution and you renew before the end of the year your membership will automatically continue into 2016; if you don’t your membership request will need to be approved again.

Thank you for your assistance with this matter

If you have any questions regarding the renewal process, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Best wishes

Helen Cooper, Communications Officer


European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR)

Harbour House

Hythe Quay



Tel: +44 (0) 1206 630040

Call for panel proposals for the upcoming general conference in Prague September 6-9, 2016

This is a call for panel proposals for the upcoming general conference in Prague September 6-9. So far we have three panel proposals, one on the intersection between nationalism and inequality, one on recent conceptualizations of power in political sociology, and one on the implications (notably lobbying) of career trajectories of EU civil servants. We need more.

Would you be interested in proposing something? For panel proposals at this stage (before November 16) we just need a good topic title with a short description of what kinds of presentations ideally would be included. Niilo and I will look over all the panel proposals we receive and come up with a theme and description of the section proposal for ECPR.

You could also offer a section proposal though that would be more involved. A section proposal needs a thematic title, a description, and 4-8 panels on subtopics that fit within the thematic title. All of that would also need to be sent us before November 16.

Finally, I would note that currently migration seems like the elephant in the EU room. A very important current political sociology issue. It would be desirable if we had a panel on that topic. Anyone interested.

For ECPR guidelines on sections and panels you can look at

Best regards,


New steering committee

A new steering committee for the SGPS was chosen for the years 2015-2018 at the Standing Group meeting in Montréal. It is composed of the conveners Niilo Kauppi (University of Jyväskylä and CNRS) and David Swartz (Boston University), the secretary Carlo Ruzza (University of Trento) and the treasurer Hélène Michel (University of Strasbourg).

Agenda for the SGPS meeting at GC Montreal 28 August 2015

Agenda for the SGPS meeting at GC Montreal 28 August 2015

1. Organisation of meeting
2. Election of convenor, co-convenor, treasurer and secretary for 2015-2018 (3 years). Volunteers needed. David Swartz and Niilo Kauppi would be ready to continue.

3. Section at GC Prague 2016. We will need 2 volunteers to organize the political sociology section at the conference.
4. Other matters arising (Joint sessions, cooperation with other organizations, publications…)

5. Date of next meeting