The Standing Groups within the ECPR have largely (though not entirely) grown out of the experience of various workshops at the Joint Sessions and research groups – and more recently the General Conference. They provide a means of increasing collaboration between scholars specialising in the same area of research/academic interest and an informal structure which allows a closer form of exchange.
Standing Groups are open to individuals in ECPR member institutions as well as those from non-ECPR institutions.
What do the Standing Groups do?
The size of the groups varies enormously, from the very large (many hundreds of individual members) and active Standing Group on International Relations to the smaller (up to about fifty individual members) more specialised groups, such as the Standing Group on Theoretical Perspectives in Policy Analysis. Hence, the activities of the groups can range from organising major conferences, summer schools and publishing books and journals to simply maintaining a website and mailing list.
How are the Standing Groups organised?
The larger groups are led by an elected Steering Committee or in the case of very small Standing Groups, one or two convenors. Some of the groups charge a small membership fee which is used to contribute to the organisational costs of the group – for example, to cover the costs for the steering committee to meet, to pay a graduate student to maintain a mailing list or website. ECPR Standing Groups are encouraged to organise business meetings during other ECPR events, such as the Joint Sessions and General Conference.
What can the ECPR do for its Standing Groups?
Although Standing Groups fall within the general umbrella of the ECPR, they are largely autonomous – and are encouraged to be so. The only fixed requirement is that the Executive Committee receives annual reports and where grants have been awarded, documentation is provided to support expenditure. It is also expected that the ECPR is acknowledged in publicity where appropriate. In return, the ECPR can do a lot to help and stimulate its Standing Groups by:
- Providing an annual grant of up to £500 (or Euro equivalent) for administrative costs in running the Standing Group;
- Publicising Standing Group activities and publications;
- Assisting in organising Standing Group conferences, organising book exhibitions and so on;
- Giving priority to Standing Groups that wish to organise sections at the General Conference;
- Providing administrative grants of up to £4,000 (or Euro equivalent) p.a. for Standing Group summer schools.