Parliamentary accountability: Assessing the link between citizens and elites in national and supranational politics in Europe

Aims and scope:

Parliaments play central roles in European political systems at both the national and supranational level. At the national level, they bring together the democratically elected representatives of the people, who to a greater or lesser degree seek to represent the interests of their constituents. At the supranational level, with the Lisbon treaty, the European Parliament has cemented itself as a central decision-making institution of the European Union. At both levels, parliaments have a significant hand in legislating, budget-making, and legitimating policy-making processes. Recent challenges such as the economic and refugee crises, the rise of Euroscepticism and extremist nationalist parties, and the emergence of conflicts of varying intensity close to EU borders have reinforced the idea that European parliaments, now more than ever, need to legitimate their work and attempt to address the policy challenges faced by Europe. This PhD School seeks to investigate how they might do so, and the manner in which parliaments connect with and represent the citizens of Europe at the national and supranational levels.

The PhD School invites young scholars working on research questions relating to national and European parliaments to present a research paper and get feedback from peers and leading academics in the field of parliamentary research. We invite work addressing (but not limited to) questions of:

  • The impact of national and European parliamentary elections on parliamentary activities
  • The link between citizens and parliamentarians at the national and supranational levels
  • Parliamentary speeches and their content, including the application of quantitative and qualitative text-analysis techniques
  • Parliamentary voting behaviour
  • The communication strategies of parliamentary representatives through the media, and online through social media platforms
  • The role of parliamentary committees in policy-making processes
  • The evolving role of national parliaments in European and EU politics
  • The impact of formal and informal institutions on parliamentary decision-making processes

The summer school will be structured around morning presentations by leading scholars in the field of parliamentary politics, and will be followed with afternoon presentations from PhD participants. Our aim is to provide young scholars with networking opportunities with established experts in the field, and to get feedback on their research.


Prof. David Farrell :: University College Dublin Prof.

Prof. Stefanie Bailer :: University of Basel

Prof. Jon Slapin :: University of Essex

Dr. Thomas Winzen :: ETH Zurich

Dr. James P. Cross :: University College Dublin

Prof. Gavin Barrett :: University College Dublin


Applicants should send a CV and a short abstract of no more than 500 words explaining the topic of their PhD research, the paper they plan to present, and the reasons why they should be invited to participate to

APPLICATION DEADLINE: April 1st, 2016. Successful candidates will be notified by April 15th, 2016.

Fees, travel and accommodation:

There is no fee for participation. The summer school will cover travel expenses (up to €350) and hotel accommodation for up to 3 nights for 14 selected participants.

More details can be found here:

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