The ECPR’s Standing Groups and Research Networks 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. They play a key role in delivering the mission of the organisation to its membership and wider community.
Standing Groups organise significant sub disciplinary areas or broad research themes over an indefinite time period; they have a sizeable membership base, and they offer a wide range of activities.
Research Networks organise relatively small sub disciplinary areas or specialised research themes and can operate over a temporary lifespan, possibly testing the viability of a group before applying for Standing Group status.
As integral parts of the ECPR, groups and networks are formally embedded in the academic programmes of the Joint Sessions and General Conference and the editorial structure of the Political Research Exchange (PRX) journal. These formal structures allow Standing Groups and Research Networks not only to help shape the academic content of these important ECPR activities, but also to provide an outlet for research stimulated by the group and produced by its members.
Standing Groups are open to individuals in ECPR member institutions as well as those from non-ECPR institutions.
How to join a Standing Group or Research Network
Membership to groups and networks is open to anyone with an interest in that field and with a MyECPR account. Scholars who are affiliated to an ECPR member institution can automatically join any group or network via the relevant pages on the website. Scholars who are not affiliated to an ECPR member institution can apply to join via the relevant pages, but must have their application accepted by the Steering Committee of the group.
There is no compulsory charge to join a group, but some may ask for a voluntary donation to help support its activities.
How does the ECPR support its Standing Groups and Research Networks?
The ECPR’s groups and networks are governed by the Executive Committee and supported operationally by all departments at Harbour House in order to enable them to develop and deliver a range of activities. This support includes:
- The membership management platform held on the ECPR’s secure servers, including an integrated messaging system allow Steering Committees to communicate directly with members lists
- A free WordPress website, fully branded in line with ECPR guidelines which can then be subsequently maintained by the Steering Committee
- Financial support for groups and networks to hold their own events and to sponsor those of related organisations
- Preferential treatment for Workshop and Section proposals endorsed by groups and networks
- Provision of allocated time slots and meeting rooms opportunities for business meetings during the General Conference
- Annual meetings of Steering Committee members with the Executive Committee and ECPR staff at both the General Conference and a dedicated ‘Retreat’ over two days at Harbour House
- Full support of the Communications Department to publicise group activities and publications through email, online and social media
In April 2019 the ECPR published the revised Framework for Standing Groups and Research Networks, replacing the 2014 version. The 2019 Framework builds on the structure of the previous document, developing further the guidance around the governance and operations of both Standing Groups and Research Networks and their intrinsic role in delivering the mission of the organisation.