ECPR General Conference – Call for Panels and Papers

We would like to invite you to submit individual papers or full panels (4-5 papers) for the “Challenges to Democracy in Southern Europe” Section (S08) at the ECPR General Conference in Montreal. (26-29 August 2015)

The Section offers a forum for innovative empirical research and encourages a range of disciplinary perspectives and methodological approaches. Selected papers from this section will be considered for publication.

Regarding geographical scope, the Section accepts country case studies of Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Cyprus and Malta. Intra-South European comparative studies are particularly welcome.

The Section is proposed on behalf of the ECPR Standing Group in Southern European Politics and welcomes proposals for panels and papers from members and non-members of the Group. Please also note that you do not need to belong to an ECPR member institution in order to participate in the General Conference.  All you need is to sign up for a MyECPR account.

Key dates & Contacts:
16 February 2015, Deadline to submit paper or panel proposals. (max. 150 word abstracts)

Paper proposals are welcome on any topic relevant to the Section theme and do not need to be proposed in the context of any particular panel. Link to submit a paper proposal:

Panel proposals should include a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 5 papers. The panel titles below are indicative – proposals may be submitted on any topic relevant to the Section theme. Link to submit a Panel proposal:

To sign up for a My ECPR account: and click on ‘Create new account’

For questions, please contact the Conveners:
Evren Celik Wiltse, South Dakota State University,
Susannah Verney, University of Athens,


Since the mid-20th Century, Southern Europe has witnessed a variety of regimes including brutal dictatorships, military rule and flourishing pluralist multi-party democracies. During the 1970s, from Spain and Portugal to Greece and Turkey, all across the region the military-authoritarian regimes seemed to run out of steam. There was a significant surge of democratic politics, wherein the old guard receded and new actors with more cosmopolitan agendas took power. Various forms of democratic government were implemented during this era, most times as part and parcel of the European Union accession process.

Since the protracted recession of 2008, however, the democracy tide seems to have reversed. As Europe began to experience a severe economic crisis, its repercussions were acutely felt in Southern Europe as well. These new political and socio-economic challenges are taxing even for the most established democratic welfare regimes. Increasing unemployment and underemployment, growing disenchantment with conventional politics and the rising electoral success of anti-immigrant, anti-systemic parties are all worrisome signals that keep political scientists busy.

The panels in this section try to address some of the pending issues in the region that cast a long shadow on democratic politics in Southern Europe. A non-inclusive list of possible themes for panels could include:

– Democracy & Use of Force
– Democracy and Markets
– Democracy & Voters
– Democracy, Rule of Law and Religion
– Democracy, Civil Society and Social Movements
– Democracy & Foreign Policy

A more detailed description of the section can be found below. Please feel free to contact the conveners, if you have other topics that are not covered above, but are relevant to the democratic challenges in Southern Europe.

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