ECPR Joint Sessions 2019

ECPR Joint Sessions 2019

ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops, Mons, 8-12 April 2019
Call for Papers

Workshop Political Parties and Deliberative Practices: Use and Abuse
This workshop is endorsed by the Standing Group.

There are three major reasons for which political parties may engage with deliberative democracy: intra-party democracy, parties’ functions and their public image. First, many political parties have complex organizations in which the rights of members are important. As such, members make increasing demands to receive a voice in the decision-making process. The use of primaries for candidate selection is used much more than in the past also in Europe but fails to cover more aspects of intra-party democracy. Second, political parties may be inclined to use deliberation to fulfil their tasks in contemporary times. Deliberation may constitute important opportunities for political parties to augment their influence and legitimacy. They could do so by involving citizens in decision-making processes that are contested and require debate before implementation. Third, political parties could use deliberative practices to alter their image. Deliberative forums may provide political parties the ideal tool to send a signal that they made changes, to reinvigorate activism and to reshape the public perception about them. For example, to indicate that they are not the sole decision-makers and their actions rest on informed decisions, parties in office can organize deliberations to (re)connect the population with policies.

This workshop aims to invite scholars to analyze how political parties use or abuse deliberative practices to achieve their goals. The directors encourage three types of papers:

1. Theoretical papers that discuss the link between political parties and deliberative practices (micro and macro). These papers could refer to the turn created by the deliberative democracy both in the organization and activity of political parties.

2. Empirical papers that scrutinize the causes, forms, and consequences of the use of deliberation by political parties. These may include, among others, the events organized to reinvigorate intra-party democracy, deliberation organized with the aim to alter a policy-making process and the ways in which political parties foster or impede deliberation in the whole political system.

3. Methodological papers seeking to provide a systematic way to assess the use of deliberation by political parties across different political systems.

Both single case studies, comparative analyses (small and medium N) and large N approaches are invited. There is no preference for qualitative or quantitative techniques of analysis. The focus of the workshop is predominantly on established and new democracies in Europe, but valuable contributions from other political settings and geographic areas are welcome.

Details about the workshop are available at and applications can be done using the myecpr system ( Application deadline: 1 December 2018, early applications are strongly encouraged.

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