The ECPR Standing Group on Extremism & Democracy invites applications for the upcoming Summer School on ‘Concepts and Methods for Research on Far-Right Politics’, which will be held at the Centre for Research on Extremism (C-REX), University of Oslo, from Monday 29 June to Friday 3 July 2020.

We are pleased to announce that the call for applications is now open for the 2nd Summer School of the ECPR Standing Group on Extremism & Democracy on ‘Concepts and Methods for Research on Far-Right Politics’. The Summer School will take place in Oslo from 29 June to 3 July 2020, and is open to 15 PhD students of different disciplinary backgrounds in the social and political sciences. The event is sponsored by the ECPR and C-REX.

The Summer School addresses young scholars and students focusing on the study of the far right in its populist, radical, and extremist manifestations. Its aim is to bolster and promote knowledge on the theoretical, empirical, and methodological underpinnings of contemporary far-right politics.

The Summer School will introduce you to concepts and theories explaining the conditions affecting far-right mobilisation and performance; and methods to tackle this phenomenon empirically. Despite the growing attention received by far-right political parties, social movements, and groups, we still lack a comprehensive conceptual and methodological toolkit to investigate its diverse expressions in multiple arenas. The Summer School will thus address young scholars and students, and discuss how to apply established research techniques to the study of far-right politics, and devise and manage primary and secondary data.

The Summer School will create an interactive learning environment and provide opportunities to:

  • Learn and familiarise with the conceptual and theoretical foundations of far-right politics, and draw on comparative empirical expertise on far-right mobilisations, electoral performances, and violent manifestations;
  • Understand the rationale and practices of a number of methods employed to study far-right politics, at the micro, meso, and macro level;
  • Develop the skills to confidently rely on mixed-method approaches and methodological pluralist practices in their own research projects;
  • Present ongoing research and receive feedback from leading scholars in the field;
  • Network with junior and senior scholars.

The Summer School will take place in Oslo and will last five teaching days, from 29 June to 3 July 2020. It will include two keynote speeches, five classes on the main concepts and theories for the study of the far right, eight methods classes, and daily afternoon sessions for the presentation of student projects:

Day 1: Monday, 29 June

  • Keynote speech: ‘Relationships to make policy or policy to make relationships? Means, ends and justifications in populist politics’ (Cathrine Fieschi, Queen Mary University of London & Counterpoint)
  • Methods class: Historical and archival research (Graham Macklin, C-REX, University of Oslo)
  • Theory class: Supply side of the far right (Cas Mudde, University of Georgia & C-REX, University of Oslo)

Day 2: Tuesday, 30 June

  • Theory class: Demand for far-right parties (Andrej Zaslove, Radboud University)
  • Methods class: Mass surveys (Andrej Zaslove, Radboud University)
  • Methods class: Expert surveys (Andrea L. P. Pirro, Scuola Normale Superiore)

Day 3: Wednesday, 1 July

  • Theory class: Far-right violence and terrorism (Tore Bjørgo, C-REX, University of Oslo)
  • Methods class: Ethnographic methods (Kathleen Blee, University of Pittsburgh)
  • Methods class: Life histories (Cathrine Thorleifsson, C-REX, University of Oslo)

Day 4: Thursday, 2 July

  • Theory class: The far right as social movement (Pietro Castelli Gattinara, C-REX, University of Oslo, and Andrea L. P. Pirro, Scuola Normale Superiore)
  • Methods class: Protest event analysis (Pietro Castelli Gattinara, C-REX, University of Oslo)
  • Methods class: Semi-structured interviews (Andrea L. P. Pirro, Scuola Normale Superiore)

Day 5: Friday, 3 July

  • Keynote speech: ‘The populist radical right and academic freedom: Promoting pluralism or constraining academic freedom’ (Sarah de Lange, University of Amsterdam)
  • Theory class: Political communication of the far-right (Caterina Froio, Sciences Po)
  • Methods class: Social network analysis (Caterina Froio, Sciences Po)

The Summer School is open to all students enrolled in a Ph.D. programme. Participants to the Summer School will be asked to write and submit a 6,000-8,000-word paper by, and no later than, 1 June 2020. The paper will be presented during the Summer School, providing a unique experience for discussion and feedback from senior scholars. English will be the working language; students are expected to have a good command of written and spoken English. Participants will be also required to complete mandatory readings for morning lectures and to actively engage in discussion during morning and afternoon sessions.

There is a participation fee of €250. The fee includes: light lunches and dinners, one social dinner, academic material, computing and internet facilities. Travel and accommodation costs are not included.

Applicants should email the following material to by – and no later than – 16 February 2020:

  • A curriculum vitae;
  • A short cover letter (max one page) explaining how their research fits the scope of the Summer School;
  • A 300‐word abstract of a proposed scientific paper to be presented during the Summer School.

Partial or incomplete applications will not be processed. Late applications will not be accepted. Applicants will be informed about the outcome by email in March 2020.

Pietro Castelli Gattinara (C-REX, University of Oslo)
Andrea L. P. Pirro (Scuola Normale Superiore)

For applications and any additional queries, please contact the Summer School organisers at:

For further details, please visit the ECPR Event Page.