About Us

About Us

Established 2006.

This Standing Group aims to be a venue for explicit cross-national comparative studies of political institutions. The Standing Group focuses on two analytically distinct research areas: the origins and the effects of political institutions. Institutional design is a dependent and an independent variable, and we include in this distinction analyses showing how policies and outcomes channelled initially by institutions may feed back on these institutions – the call in many countries for institutional reform to accommodate problems of responsiveness and legitimacy speaks to this cyclic perspective.

Aims and objectives

We seek to create a network of scholars in order to encourage cross-national comparisons, and to integrate the work of comparativists with that of area specialists and promote scholarly debate about how to combine aggregate data and individual level data. The common ground in this Standing Group is explicit and systematic comparative research, and we seek to bridge and combine approaches of quantitative and qualitative analysis. We are open to any theoretical perspective used to study causes and effects of political institutions comparatively. Comparative research can benefit enormously from methodological and theoretical cross-fertilisation. The Standing Group seeks to promote studies focusing on the agenda and policy consequences of institutional arrangements. Such studies may be both empirical and normative.


  • Endorse at least one Workshop at the Joint Sessions and one Section at the ECPR General Conference;
  • Permanent discussion and exchange of ideas;
  • Newsletter with information about comparative datasets, new publications, teaching resources, conferences and seminars, access to working papers, etc.;
  • Periodic summer schools to graduate students interested in the field of comparative political institutions.

How to join the Standing Group

If you would like to join the Comparative Political Institutions Standing Group, you will need to create a myECPR account at http://www.ecpr.eu/. This only takes a few minutes, and you need not be from an ECPR member institution to do so. Then, click on the following link, and select ‘Join Standing Group’.


If you are from an ECPR member institution your membership to the SG is automatic. If you are from a non-member institution we will need to accept your application to join, so your membership status will be ‘pending’ until we accept you.

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