27th ECPR Summer School on Political Parties: Political Parties in the Age of Populism

The University of Nottingham
Nottingham, United Kingdom
11 September, 2017 - 12 September, 2017

Organised under the auspices of the Standing Group on Political Parties of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), this well-known Summer School is the oldest and one of the most prestigious in Europe.

The Summer School will bring together an international team of academics to train and instruct a group of 20 PhD researchers in the field of political parties, party systems and elections.

Sponsored by the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), the Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies (IAPS), the Party Systems and Governments Observatory (PSGo) and the Methods and Data Institute (MDi).

The theme of the 2017 Summer School is Political Parties in the Age of Populism. This theme enables us to examine the role and functioning of political parties under conditions of extreme challenges of different kinds - economic, political, organisational, representational, ethical, etc.

The main aims of the Summer School include to:

provide instruction and discussion of a wider range of analytical perspectives in the study of political parties, party systems and elections than normally available at a single institution
develop a multinational forum for PhD researchers and senior specialists to critically discuss their research projects and the development of the subfield
assist PhD researchers to develop their dissertation projects/theses at the cutting edge of the field, contributing to innovation in conceptualisation, measurement, analysis and theory
prepare PhD researchers for the requirements and criteria of international academic publishing, and to encourage to submit their work to academic journals
stimulate international collaboration in the field of parties, party systems and elections and to encourage PhD researchers to take part in such collaboration

The Summer School is open for PhD researchers in comparative politics, political parties, party systems, elections or representative democracy and closely related areas. The maximum number of participants is 20.

The teaching staff consists of (around nine) leading scholars in the field of parties, party systems and elections from European and American Universities.

Teaching format
The Summer School comprises an intensive programme of lectures and seminars by leading scholars in the field, and presentations with in-depth discussions of PhD researchers' dissertation projects. The teaching language will be English. The Summer School contains ten teaching days, each of which is organised around a topical research question related to the overall theme of the Summer School. Each day will comprise two main elements, each of which is scheduled to last three hours. The overall number of class contact hours will thus be 60 hours.

The first element consists of a presentation by a staff member of his/her current research, or of a forthcoming publication. This will be followed by a question-and-answer session to enable the PhD researchers to gain better understanding of how theoretical, methodological and empirical considerations coalesce at the cutting edge of the discipline. Staff will elaborate on these aspects and, if possible, relate them to the topics that are studied by the PhD researchers.

The second element consists of presentations by PhD students of their projects (which may, but do not have to be part of their PhD research), and which may focus on design, conceptualisation or empirical findings. Each of these presentations will be followed by rigorous discussion (approximate 30 minutes) with all other participants and staff. Per day two PhD researchers will present their work.

Contribution of the participants
A Summer School is only as good as its participants. All PhD researchers will be expected to fulfill the following requirements:

Prepare a paper related to the topic of their PhD research and present that paper in one of the sessions. Researchers' papers must be produced in electronic form (PDF) in advance of the Summer School and should comprise between 8,000 and 10,000 words. The best paper will be awarded the Peter Mair Prize sponsored by the Party Politics journal. It is the responsibility of the participants to ensure that a copy of their final paper and of their abstract in PDF is sent to the directors of the Summer School, to arrive no later than 20 August 2017. Papers will be available to all participants in the electronic paper room of the Summer School (dropbox). A complete list of participants' email addresses will be circulated to all successful applicants.
Chair the discussion on the presentation by another participant.
Participate actively and constructively in the sessions of the Summer School.

Assessment and accreditation
Each participant fulfilling the above mentioned requirements will receive a certificate of participation.
On special request, PhD researchers' papers may be assessed and credited by staff members of the Summer School. The credits awarded for successful participation and assessment will be 7.5 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits. This corresponds to five 600-level credits for the American university system. PhD researchers wishing to have their work accredited are advised to consult the director of the Summer School at an early stage.