21st ECPR Standing Group Summer School Political Parties in Modern Democracies


Kris Deschouwer (VUB)

Jean-Benoit Pilet (ULB)

Emilie van Haute (ULB)


Kris Deschouwer (VUB) : Kris.Deschouwer@vub.ac.be

Jean-Benoit Pilet (ULB): jpilet@ulb.ac.be

Emilie van Haute (ULB) : evhaute@ulb.ac.be


Université libre de Bruxelles and Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium

Financial Support

Gratefully received from the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), the FNRS and the FWO.

Target Groups

Students studying for research degrees (M.Phil/Ph.D.) in comparative politics, political parties or democracy. The maximum number of participants is 20 for didactic reasons.

Objectives and Requirements

The theme of the 2011 Summer School is 'Political Parties in Modern Democracies’. It will be taught by an international team of leading academics specializing in comparative studies of European politics, political parties, and democratic performance.

Our aim is to provide researchers with access to a wide range of core analytical perspectives in comparative European politics; to develop a multinational forum for researchers and senior specialists to critically discuss their research projects; and to encourage researchers to produce high-level research with strong potential for future publication.

The School consists of 2 weeks teaching, with around 70 hours class contact made up of roughly equal proportions of staff lectures, student presentations and seminar discussion. The first day of courses will consist in a crash course on Basic concepts and measurements for the analysis of parties and party systems. Group activities will also be organized.

Faculty for the 2011 School include Anne Rasmussen (Leiden), Bonnie Meguid (Rochester), Kris Deschouwer (Brussels), Emilie van Haute (Brussels), Jean-Benoit Pilet (Brussels), David Farrell (Manchester), Zsolt Enyedi (CEU, Budapest), Peter Mair (EUI Florence), Romain Lachat (Barcelona), Nonna Mayer (Paris), Petra Meier (Antwerp).

Students are required to submit a 7000-8000 word paper before the start of the School, which will then be presented at one of the Sessions. The papers will be assessed by leading academics teaching at the School, with constructive feedback provided during the Sessions.

Students must attend all Sessions, and critically discuss the paper presentations of fellow students and senior specialists. Successful participation in the School will be fully accredited (10 ECTS or equivalent).

Academic Programme

Monday September 12

Arrival of participants / Welcome drink

Tuesday September 13

Kris Deschouwer, Jean-Benoit Pilet & Emilie van Haute

Basic concepts and measurements for the analysis of parties and party systems

Wednesday September 14

Romain Lachat

Restructuring West-European Party Systems in the Age of Globalization

Thursday September 15

David Farrell

Political Parties and Electoral System Change

Friday September 16

Anne Rasmussen

Political parties and the European Union

Visit to the European Parliament

Monday September 19

Bonnie Meguid

Strategies of electoral competition

Tuesday September 20

Zsolt Enyedi

Parties and Party Systems in the New European Democracies

Wednesday September 21

Petra Meier

Political Parties and the Representation of Gender

Thursday September 22

Nonna Mayer

Political Parties and the Challenge of Right Wing Extremism

Friday September 23

Peter Mair

Political parties and modern democracy


The program fees for students is 750€ and has to be paid within 14 days after confirmation. The fee includes accommodation, lunches, course material and the social program. Attendees will be responsible for their own transportation costs to and from Brussels. Payment of the attendance fee will confirm your participation.


Applicants must email the completed Application Form and a 500-word abstract of their proposed paper to Jean-Benoit Pilet (jpilet@ulb.ac.be) and Kris Deschouwer (Kris.Deschouwer@vub.ac.be) before 1 June 2011.

Applicants will be informed of the outcome by email as soon as possible. Those offered places must confirm their participation within 7-10 days by e-mail and they must pay a minimum of one third of the fees by July, 15. Without these two confirmations places may be offered to applicants on the reserve list.