Third ECPR-ODIHR Summer School on Political Parties and Democracy

8 min

When: 17 August 2020 (All day) – 23 August 2020 (All day)

Where: Warsaw/Poland or Bishkek/Kyrgyzstan (to be confirmed)

Organized by: Standing Group on Central East European Politics, Standing Group on Political Parties of the European Consortium, European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)


Summer school

Foto: Pixabay

The summer school event will bring together an international team of academics and practitioners to train and instruct a group of 20 MA/PhD researchers, practitioners and civil society activists in the field of political parties and democracy.


Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, the format of the school might be changed – adopting a “hybrid” or “online only” arrangements.


Organisers and sponsors

The summer school is organised under the auspices of the Standing Group on Central East European Politics and the support of the Standing Group on Political Parties of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR).


The sponsors are the European Consortium for Political Research and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), while the event is also supported by the OSCE Academy in Bishkek, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw and the Centre for the Study of Parties and Democracy.



The main aims of the summer school are to:

  • provide instruction and discussion on a wider range of issues in the study of political parties, party systems, elections and democracy
  • develop a multinational forum for both junior scholars and practitioners to critically discuss their research projects
  • assist PhD researchers to develop their dissertation projects, contributing to innovation in conceptualisation, measurement, analysis and theory
  • prepare PhD researchers for the requirements and criteria of international academic publishing, and to encourage them to submit their work to academic journals
  • help practitioners to understand the main academic findings regarding party politics and democracy promotion
  • build on the most recent developments and challenges of political party development and democracy promotion presented by the “Global Agenda for the Renewal of Representation”
  • stimulate international collaboration in the field of parties, party systems, elections and democracy, encourage PhD researchers and practitioners to take part



The summer school event is open for MA/PhD researchers, practitioners and civil society leaders in the field of political parties, elections, representative democracy and closely related areas (e.g. anti-corruption, gender equality, political participation).


Participants should be from and working on OSCE post-communist member states (i.e. Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Estonia, North Macedonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan).


The maximum number of participants is 20. Organisers will attempt to achieve both a gender, diversity, and a regional (i.e. Central and South-Eastern European as well as post-Soviet region) balance.



Applications should be appropriately filled in (please do answer all the questions) and submitted to both and by Friday, 19 June 2020 (inclusively). They should be joined by a 500-word abstract(and up to 5 keywords) of the applicant’s proposed paper. No other documents (e.g. CV, passport) are required at this stage.


A preliminary selection of shortlisted participants will be made by Tuesday, 30 June 2020, conditioned to the final submission of papers by Friday, 31 July 2020. The papers should be a maximum of 8000 words.


The shortlisted participants may also be contacted for a Skype interview before final acceptance.


Those participants failing to submit the papers in time will be prevented from participating in the school.


Applications by citizens from and/or working on other countries than those mentioned above, incomplete (e.g. missing questions, no abstract or keywords) applications or those submitted after the deadline as well as from those applications who have already obtained (i.e. defended) their PhD will not be considered.



The teaching staff consists of 9 leading scholars and practitioners in the field of political parties, elections and democracy from leading universities and international organisations.


Teaching format

The summer school includes an intensive programme of lectures and seminars by leading scholars and practitioners in the field, and presentations with in-depth discussions of participants’ projects. The working language (both for papers and presentations by participants) will be English only. The event contains 7 teaching days, each of which is organized around a topical research question related to the overall theme. Each day will comprise of two main elements, guest speakers presentations and students presentations. The overall number of class contact hours will thus be 45 hours.


The first element consists of a presentation by a guest speaker/expert on a specific topic related to the theme of the school. This will be followed by a question-and-answer session.


The second element consists of presentations by participants of their projects (which may, but do not have to be part of their PhD research). Each of these presentations, which should be no longer than 10 minutes, will be followed by a rigorous discussion (approximate 40 minutes) with all other participants and staff. Per day, up to three participants will present their work. Each participant will also act as discussant in one of the sessions.


All high quality papers might also be included in a final volume edited by the OSCE Academy in Bishkek and ODIHR, to be confirmed.


The East European Politics journal will also award a prize of €100 to the best paper presented at the event (both 2020 winter and summer sessions) and some small grants might be available for the papers which would require additional research/revisions.


Assessment and accreditation

Each participant fulfilling the above mentioned requirements will receive a certificate of participation.


On special request, PhD researchers’ papers may be assessed and credited by staff members of the School. The credits awarded for successful participation and assessment will be 6.5 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits. PhD researchers wishing to have their work accredited are advised to consult the directors of the School at an early stage.



In the event the summer school (traditional face-to-face) format is allowed, most of participants will be accommodated in single rooms at organiser’s discretion.


In the case the summer school adopts a “hybrid” or “online only” format, there will be no accommodation provided for online participants.



There are no fees. In the event the summer school (traditional face-to-face) format is allowed, B&B accommodation (8 nights starting on August 16th), tuition, lunches and one reception-dinner are sponsored by the organisers.


Any travels arrangements/expenses (including visa, health/travel insurance, etc.) will be organized/covered by the participants. However, if the summer school finally runs as usual, a very limited number of participants (maximum 2 from ECPR institutions) will have the opportunity to get their travel reimbursed on a merit-base.



The event is, in principle, planned to be hosted by the OSCE Academy in Bishkek. If, due to the pandemic, it is not possible to do so, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) will be the venue – to be confirmed.



The summer school is directed by:

  • Dr Katarzyna Grzybowska – Walecka – Assistant Professor at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, Head of the MA Programme on Politics in Cyberspace and editor of the journal Politologia
  • Dr Fernando Casal Bértoa – Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham, co-director of REPRESENT, member of the OSCE/ODIHR “Core Group of Political Party Experts”, and co-editor of the Routledge Book Series on Political Parties and Party Systems



Kopiraj link