Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence, 25-29 June 2018

The ECPR Standing Group on Extremism & Democracy, the Centre for Research on Extremism (C-REX), and the Centre on Social Movement Studies (COSMOS) invite applications for the upcoming Summer School on ‘Concepts and Methods for Research on Far-Right Politics’, which will be held at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Florence, Italy, from Monday 25 to Friday 29 June 2018.

We are pleased to announce that the call for applications is now open for the 1st Summer School of the ECPR Standing Group on Extremism & Democracy on ‘Concepts and Methods for Research on Far-Right Politics’, sponsored by the Centre for Research on Extremism (C-REX), the European Council for Political Research (ECPR), and the Centre on Social Movement Studies (COSMOS). The Summer School will take place in Florence, Italy, from 25 to 29 June 2018 and is open to 15 Master’s and PhD students of different disciplinary backgrounds in the social and political sciences, as well as early career researchers interested in the study of far-right politics.

The Summer School focuses 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 School will focus on how to study and interpret the different manifestations of far-right politics across time, arenas, and national contexts. The School will introduce students 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 the multi-organisational field. The School will thus address young scholars and students, and discuss how to apply established research techniques to the study of far-right politics, and create, retrieve, and manage available data. In sum, the School intends to create an interactive learning environment where graduate students will have the opportunity 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 levels;
  • Develop the skills to confidently rely on mixed-method approaches and methodological pluralist practices in their own research projects;
  • Present their ongoing research and receive feedback from leading scholars in the field.

The Summer School will take place in Florence and will last five teaching days, from 25 to 29 June 2018. The Summer School will include two keynote speeches and five teaching days focusing on particular themes related to the overall topic of the Summer School:

Day 1: Monday, 25 June

  • Keynote speech: ‘The Study of the European Far Right: Towards a Fourth Wave?’ (Cas Mudde, University of Georgia)
  • Theory class: Theories and concepts of the far right (Cas Mudde, University of Georgia)
  • Methods class: Historical and archival research (Matteo Albanese, University of Lisbon)

Day 2: Tuesday, 26 June

  • Theory class: Populist radical right parties in Europe (Andrej Zaslove, Radboud University)
  • Methods classes: Mass surveys (Andrej Zaslove, Radboud University); Expert surveys (Andrea L. P. Pirro, Scuola Normale Superiore)

Day 3: Wednesday, 27 June

  • Theory class: The far right as a social movement (Pietro Castelli Gattinara, University of Oslo, and Andrea L. P. Pirro, Scuola Normale Superiore)
  • Methods classes: Interviewing and life histories (Giorgia Bulli, University of Florence); Protest event analysis (Pietro Castelli Gattinara, University of Oslo)

Day 4: Thursday, 28 June

  • Theory class: Far-right violence in Western Europe (Jacob Ravndal, University of Oslo)
  • Methods classes: Quantitative data on political violence (Jacob Ravndal, University of Oslo); Ethnographic approach (Kathleen Blee, University of Pittsburgh)

Day 5: Friday, 29 June

  • Theory class: Far-right political communication (Caterina Froio, Catholic University of Lille)
  • Methods class: Internet and social network analysis (Caterina Froio, Catholic University of Lille)
  • Keynote speech: ‘Gender and the Far Right’ (Kathleen Blee, University of Pittsburgh)

Applicants should email the following material to ead.summerschool@gmail.com by – and no later than – 11 March 2018:

  • A curriculum vitae;
  • A short cover letter (max one page) explaining how their research fits the scope of the Summer School;
  • A 500‐word abstract of a proposed scientific paper to be presented during the Summer School.

Applicants will be informed of the outcome by email no later than 26 March 2018. Those offered places must confirm their participation through enrolment by – and no later than – 10 April 2018, after which places will be offered to applicants on the reserve list.

There is a fee of €225 to participate to the Summer School. Light lunches, welcome drinks, a social dinner, academic material, computing and internet facilities will be available for free to all participants. Travel and accommodation costs are not included. However, the ECPR is generously offering two Travel & Accommodation Grants of €250 each. You should indicate in your application whether you would like to compete for these grants. Please note that in order to qualify for such grants, participants will have to meet all the following criteria:

  1. Be from an ECPR member institution who have paid their annual membership fee (you can check to see if their institution is a paid member here);
  2. Have paid their Summer School fees in full;
  3. Not be receiving any other funding to attend the Summer School, i.e. must be self-funded;
  4. Be subject to adequate academic performance during the Summer School, as assessed by the Summer School organisers.

The host institution (Scuola Normale Superiore) is also offering accommodation at its residence (Residenza Capitini) at a discounted price of €13,35/night per person for a single bedroom. Please, also confirm upon enrolment whether you would like to reserve a room for your stay. Availability is limited, so reservation is highly recommended.

Participants to the Summer School will be asked to write and submit a 7,000-8,000-word paper by 1 June 2018. The paper will be presented during the Summer School, providing a unique experience for discussion and feedback from established 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 the mandatory readings for morning lectures and to actively engage in discussion during morning and afternoon sessions.

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

For applications and any additional queries, please contact the Summer School organisers at: ead.summerschool@gmail.com.

View PDF here.