meeting of the standing group ECPR General Conference Glasgow

The political sociology standing group meeting at the Glasgow General Conference will take place on Thursday, 17h-18h, in Maths 326

Hope to see many of you there!
SG convenors
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ASA Award for David Swartz’s ‘Symbolic Power, Politics, and Intellectuals: The Political Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu’

Professor David Swartz’s Symbolic Power, Politics, and Intellectuals: The Political Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu is the co-winner of the American Sociological Association’s 2014 History of Sociology Section Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award. This award “honors sociologists who have made significant contributions to the history of sociology by writing books or articles on the ‘cutting edge’ of sociological inquiry.” In his notice of the award, Chair Elect of the History of Sociology Section Neil Gross quoted the award committee in describing Symbolic Power as showing ”clearly how much Bourdieu has ‘to give to a sociology of politics and a political sociology’–and how central politics was in Bourdieu’s intellectual biography.”

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Standing group meetings at the ECPR Conference in Glasgow

As you are preparing your schedules for the upcoming general conference in Glasgow, please note the following two events for the Political Sociology Standing Group.  First, we have scheduled a Standing Group business meeting for Thursday September 4 17-18h at a location to be determined.  It has been very difficult to find a time that would not conflict with our panels and Thursday 17-18h seems to be the least intrusive.  The business meeting will review a number of concerns to all ECPR standing groups and brainstorm for a theme, panel topics and leaders for the next general conference.  So please join us if you can.
Second,  Nillo Kauppi and I are planning an informal gathering for dinner at some local restaurent for Saturday evening.  Time and location will be announced in Glasgow.  All are welcome.
David L. Swartz
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Cfp “Enjeux théoriques et méthodologiques d’une cartographie dynamique des espaces militants”

Appel à communications de la section thématique n°11 du prochain congrès de l’AFSP ayant pour thème “Enjeux théoriques et méthodologiques d’une cartographie dynamique des espaces militants
Les propositions de communication sont à envoyer avant le 15 octobre 2014 aux deux adresses suivantes:


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Program of the ESA midterm conference

Europe’s Global Challenges: Politics, Markets and Society

The 3rd Midterm Conference of the European Political Sociology Research Network of ESA (European Sociological Association) hosted by EuroChallenge, University of Copenhagen
28-29 November 2014

Programme ESA midtermconference Nov 2014

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Cfp: Narrating European Integration: Actors and Stories in Politics, Academia and Cultural Institutions

Call for Papers  University of Portsmouth April 16-18, 2015  Narrating European Integration: Actors and Stories in Politics, Academia and Cultural Institutions  Deadline: June 15, 2014 Contact: Professor Wolfram Kaiser, University of Portsmouth,


Academics, politicians and cultural institutions develop and tell ‘stories’ about European integration. They can present European integration as a peace project or as the creation of a group of ‘founding fathers’; or, in various counter-narratives, as a bureaucratic monster that serves capitalist interests or seeks to destroy proud consolidated nation-states. Such stories seek to explain integration as a ‘process’, to legitimize (or call into question) the European Union, its institutions and policies or to describe, critically evaluate and contextualize the present-day EU for citizens who visit museums or watch films, for example. The resulting narratives of European integration can be explicit or implicit. They can have a strong teleological, or even theological, thrust, including narratives opposing European integration, membership or further integration, or they can be more open to pluralist interpretations of post-war European history and contemporary EU politics. They constitute, in any case, a formidable weapon in controversies over European integration, its spatial scope, political finality and policy objectives. Equivalent narratives have, in the past, played a crucial role in imagining nations and their histories, and in forming and legitimizing new states in Europe. They also rely heavily on broader categories such as Christianity, modernity, civilization or the West – possible parallels with the present-day EU which help explain the emphasis on, and increasingly fierce opposition to, narratives of European integration with strongly positive normative connotations. This trans-disciplinary conference seeks to explore actors in three key fields, politics, academia, and culture, and their narratives of European integration. Participants can discuss different political actors such as EU institutions, political parties or social movements; academic disciplines; or cultural institutions such as museums or film festivals. They can also cover different time-periods during the twentieth century up to the present-day. They may employ a variety of methods used in the humanities and/or social sciences. However all papers, whether they examine particular regions or Europe as a whole, should have a transnational scope in analyzing actors and narratives. We are not interested in papers on e.g. ‘Swiss narratives’ of European integration. Moreover, all papers should adopt a dual focus with a view to a possible collective publication: they need to address, in a first section, the actors who produce, disseminate and propagate narratives of European integration including e.g. institutions, individual entrepreneurs or networks; and, in a second section, the narrative(s) that these actors develop and propagate. The conference is organized jointly by Wolfram Kaiser, Professor of European Studies, and Marie Curie Fellow Richard McMahon. Prof. Kaiser works on networks and narratives of European integration promoted by EU institutions and in history museums and exhibitions (see e.g., with S. Krankenhagen and K. Poehls, Exhibiting Europe in Museums. Transnational Networks, Collections, Narratives and Representations, Berghahn 2014). Dr. McMahon conducts research into evolving narratives in the academic field of European Studies . The conference forms part of the activities of the ‘Transnational Europe’ research cluster co-led by Wolfram Kaiser, within the Centre of European and International Studies Research (CEISR) at the University of Portsmouth, UK. The conference is funded by the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence for the Study of Transnational Europe, which is linked to CEISR and will cover accommodation for two nights and reasonable travel costs. The deadline for paper proposals is 15 June 2014. Please send your proposal (short CV and an abstract in English of no more than 300 words) to both Wolfram Kaiser at Richard McMahon at

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Conference ‘Sexual Causes. Sexuality and Collective Mobilization’, University of Lausanne, June 5-7 2014

From contraception to “gay marriage,” from abortion to prostitution or rape, there are many sexual issues which have mobilized people in recent decades. Indeed, since the “sexual liberation” phenomenon observed principally in the west in the 1970s, “sexual causes” have multiplied throughout the world, without, however, always attracting the scholarly attention they deserve. This symposium is thus devoted to mobilization related to sexuality, without any historical or geographical limitations.

Conference organized by the Centre de recherche sur l’action politique (CRAPUL)

Information on the conference program here 

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2 research positions, University of Potsdam (Germany), sub-project of research group on international public administration

The University of Potsdam (Germany), Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, invites applications for two positions:

Academic Staff Members (Reference number: 113/2014)

Successful candidates will work for 26 hours per week and should be able to begin work on 1 June 2014. Both positions end on 31 May 2017. Remuneration is based on German pay grade 13 “TV-Länder”.

The positions are associated with the larger Research Group “International Public Administrations. The Emergence and Development of Administrative Patterns and their Effects on International Policy-Making”, which is funded by the DFG and coordinated by Professor Christoph Knill (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich). Successful candidates will contribute to the project “Who has a say? Extent, Variation and Determinants of Expert Authority of International Public Administrations”. The project analyzes to what extent and under what conditions international public administrations (secretariats of intergovernmental organizations) enjoy expert authority and how their expert authority varies and why. It focuses on the secretariats of the World Bank, FAO, UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, WHO, OECD, OCHA, OHCHR and EU-ECHO and the issue area „Human Security“. Specific tasks include

Contributing to conceiving, preparing and implementing a survey among government officials in a stratified sample of 80 countries by means of computer-assisted telephone interviewing
Processing, cleaning and analyzing survey data by means of appropriate statistical procedures
Collecting data by means of a) literature and document analysis and b) semi-standardized interviews with staff in international public administrations and experts
Processing and coding of collected data
Contributing to analysis of research results and publications
Applications should either be emailed to Marion Dräger ( or by sent by post to Professor Andrea Liese, Chair of International Organizations and Public Policy, August-Bebel-Straße 89, 14482 Potsdam. Deadline: 07.04.2014.

More information

Complete Job Advertisement (includes detailed information on essential and desirable qualifications as well as on required application documents)
Summary of Research Project

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Partecipazione e conflitto 

Call for paper for a special issue on:


Guest Editors:

Giacomo D’Alisa, Institute of Science and Environmental Technologies (ICTA), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Francesca Forno, University of Bergamo

Simon Maurano, University of Bergamo



Looking at the history of social movements, we may identify periods during which these actors have prevalently opposed the dominant power structure directly by using protest actions (i.e. conflicting and resisting the dominant socio-economic structure), and periods in which movements have prevalently proposed and sustained forms of self-help and self-production – mutualism, economic cooperativism – i.e. developing their resilience through commoning.

Like in the past, the mobilizing capacity of social movements to this day is conditioned by the environment within which these actors operate. The degree of openness/closedness of political, economic and cultural opportunities not only affects the action strategies adopted by these collective actors, but also their organizational structure.

In the current economic crisis, social movements simultaneously face two types of challenge: firstly, they are confronting institutions which are less able (or willing) to mediate new demands for social justice and equity from various sectors of society in the wake of the successful neo-liberal attack on the social welfare system and the consequent retreat of the state; secondly, giving the highly individualized structure of contemporary society, they also experiencing difficulties in building strong and lasting bonds of solidarity and cooperation among people, bonds which constitute a fundamental resource for collective action.

It is in this context that potentially huge protest waves are in fact often short-lived, and it is here that we see the rise and consolidation of new mutualistic and cooperative experiences within which (like in the past) new ties for collective action are created. Apart from spectacular events given special attention by the media, over recent decades it has in fact been at the local level in particular that social movements have continued to expand, promoting community-led initiatives for social and economic sustainability, which in some cases have played a decisive role in the fight against poverty and in defending human and environmental rights.

Such organizations include those promoting solidarity-based exchanges and networks, barter groups, new consumer-producer cooperatives, time banks, microfinance, local savings groups, ethical banks, alternative social currency, citizens’ self-help groups, pro-sumption practices, solidarity purchasing groups, social enterprises, fair trade, and others communing practices.

Grassroots economic activism sprang up during the economic crisis in Argentina and other Latin American regions. Similar initiatives also developed in Europe before and after the 2008 crisis – e.g. the flourishing of local currencies and barter networks in Greece and Spain; the Plataforma contra los Desahaucios and the citizens’ assemblies in neighbourhoods which help residents with foreclosure/housing issues in Spain; the alternative cashless production and exchange systems such as the Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS) in the UK; the GAS (Gruppi di Acquisto Solidale) groups in Italy; the French AMAPs (Associations pour le Maintien d’une Agriculture Paysanne) and the CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) movement which started in Europe and spread to the U.S.; the so-called Transition Town Movement, as well as more radical groups promoting degrowth and nowutopias. All these networks and practices attest to a new kind of politics through the creation of bottom-up participatory initiatives promoting a ‘solidarity economy’, as seen in countries confronting crises in the past.

While indicative of citizens’ capacity to self-organize in order to tolerate, absorb, cope with and adjust to the environmental and social threats posed by neoliberal policies in order to cover basic and urgent needs regarding food, shelter, health, childcare and education, these informal networks are also attempting to change an economic system increasingly perceived as unfair by building an alternative system within it based on greater mutual solidarity between individuals and the environment. That means that unlike more ‘classic’ social movements, such informal networks are much more involved in constructive and thoroughly organized forms of dissent towards contemporary capitalism and its transnational organization by promoting and diffusing innovative economic practices throughout society.

Despite the rapid growth of grassroots economic activism, there is still currently very little information available. The purpose of this special issue is to gather empirical studies that might shed light on new forms of self-organization that address both the intensification of economic problems and the difficulties of rebuilding social bonds and solidarity within society, emphasizing solidarity as a means by which to re-embed the economic system within social relations, starting from a local level. We are particularly interested in collecting contributions that address the organizational aspects, the individual stories and biographical consequences of this form of activism, as well as the role of the political representation of these organizations and their ability to influence decision-making processes. Comparative studies will be particularly appreciated, but theoretical considerations and in-depth cases studies are also welcomed.

Submission procedureand dead-lines:

Articles, written in English, will be submitted to a peer review process according to the following schedule:

– Submission of long abstracts (about 1,000 words): 30 April 2014

– Selection of long abstracts: 31 May 2014

– Submission of articles: 31 October 2014

– Provision of peer review feedback: 31 January 2015

– Submission of revised drafts: 31 March 2015

Publication of the issue: 15 July 2015

Articles should be no longer than 10,000 words, including notes and references. A maximum of 10 articles will be published.

Please refer to the editorial guidelines available at

Please address any queries to:

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Partecipazione e Conflitto

Call for papers for a special issue on:


Guest Editors:

Francesco Raniolo, Università della Calabria,

Marco Damiani, Università di Perugia,

Lorenzo Viviani, Università di Pisa,


The crisis of political parties in contemporary societies and democracies is composed of different points of views, that require a joint effort for social and political science to try to understand the changing relationship between citizens and parties. Compared to the political mass models, which are typical of the second half of the twentieth century, parties undergo deep processes of transformation. The beginning of a critical season for the traditional forms of political organization goes back to those years; and this critical season can be configured as ideological, organizational and institutional. The main indicators of the crisis are, mainly, due to: i) an increase of the distance between the democratic institutions and the citizens-voters, ii) a decrease of the number of activists and members of political parties, iii) a constant decrease of the political and electoral participation at all levels of government. On the other hand, between the twentieth and twenty-first century, the political parties has strengthened the structure of their political organization and the weight of their parliamentary activities within the institutions, becoming more and more «state-centered parties», characterized by the progressive reduction of the forms of territorial settlement and the growth of the importance of central organisms and the representatives of the assemblies, especially those elected in national parliaments. This results in significant changes of the organizational model and their political functions. In the face of these changes, will the parties still remain a key player for the functioning of contemporary democracy?

The branch of research the call deals with the analysis on how the parties, which the public appointment made strong but are frail in credit, relate with a “re-opened” civil society, that is virtually the right place where social links can grow again and the political requests can find a voice. The aim of this special issue is to consider the planning, ideological, strategic changes of the parties and their crisis as well as to rebuild their ability in giving life to a new networking role. The ideological block and the colonization strategies towards institution and society, and the “linking” strategies towards the varied realities of the public and political domain go alongside. For these parties, the selection of the political class takes place via a reciprocal contamination among the various members of the network, where the personalization of politics and leadership becomes a relevant aspect in planning the consent and developing the political identities. It is not, therefore, a simple confrontation between the epitaph and the revival of the parties. The fact concerns, once more and as it has always been in the history of political parties, the link with the social changing, looking to the behavior of a political class, which has the task of understanding and, at the same time, addressing this change itself. It is a many-sided link, grounding a net able to create a new link between institution and society, following those patterns of identity and organization that can express new contents, importance and trust towards the mover of the political representation.

In this regard, we welcome in particular:

– political parties

– electoral studies

– leadership, personalization and presidentialisation of politics

– organizational models and membership

– internal democracy, primaries

– political communication and electoral campaigns

– political parties, lobbies, other political organizations

– parties, institutions and policies

– political parties and foreign policy

– populism and challenges to democracy

– political parties in non-democratic regimes

– political system and case studies

Peer Review Policy: Partecipazione e Conflitto adheres to a standard double-blind peer review process. Each article submitted will be evaluated by Editors and Editorial Board. If congruent with the object of the call for papers, it will be reviewed by at least two anonymous scholars.



Submission procedure:


Articles, written in English, will be submitted to a peer review process according to the following schedule:

– Submission of long abstracts (about 1,000 words): 30 May 2014

– Selection of long abstracts: 15 June 2014

– Submission of articles: 15 September 2014

– Provision of peer review feedback: 15 November 2014

– Submission of revised papers: 30 December 2014

Publication of the issue: 15 March 2015

Articles should be no longer than 10,000 words, including notes and references. A maximum of 10 articles will be published.

Please refer to the editorial guidelines available at

Please address any queries to one of the three guest Editors.

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