ECPR Standing Group in Political Parties

Summer School

The Summer School on European Parties and Party Systems

The 2013-2015 ECPR PhD Summer Schools on Political Parties will take place at the Center for the Study of Democracy, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg,Germany.

23rd ECPR PhD Summer School on “Political Parties and Democracy”

September 7-13, 2013 at the Center for the Study of Democracy,

Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany.

This well-known PhD Summer School is organized by the “Standing Group of Political Parties” of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) and will bring together an international team of academics (professors, researchers and students) working in the field of political parties and democracy.


The theme Political Parties and Democracy enables us to analyse the role and the function of political parties in “old” and “new” European democracies but also in other regions of this world.


Our aim is to provide researchers with access to a wide range of core analytical perspectives in comparative 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.

Target Group

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).  

Teaching Team

The single session in the Summer School will be taught by an international team of leading academics specializing in comparative studies of comparative politics, political parties, and democratic performance. The following colleagues have agreed to participate as lecturers in the Summer School:

Professor Dr. Ingrid van Biezen (Leiden University)

Professor Dr. Daniele Caramani (University of St. Gallen)

Dr. Elisabeth Carter (Keele University)

Professor Dr. Ezolt Enyedi (European University, Budapest)

Professor Dr. Richard Katz (John Hopkins University, Baltimore)

Professor Dr. Hans Keman (Free University of Amsterdam)

Professor Dr. Wolfgang Merkel (Science Center Berlin)

Professor Dr. Wolfgang Müller (University of Vienna)

Professor Dr. Andrea Römmele (Hertie School of Governance, Berlin)

(The titles of the lectures will be available shortly)

Teaching Format

As in the past years, the School consists of two weeks teaching, with around 70 hours class contact made up of roughly equal proportions of staff lectures, students/researchers presentations and seminar discussion. Group activities will also be organized.

Students/researchers 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.

The best paper will – hopefully as in the past – be awarded the Peter Mair Prize  sponsored by the journal Party Politics.

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 (6 ECTS or equivalent).


Professor Dr. Ferdinand Müller-Rommel (Chair in Comparative Politics and Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy, at Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany)

Professor Dr. Richard Luther (Professor of Comparative Politics at Keele University and Convenor of the Keele European Parties Research Unit (KEPRU)

Aims and Background
In 1998, the Parties Standing Group of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) adopted a highly successful series of multinational Summer Schools on European Parties and Party Systems. First held in 1991, these annual Summer Schools bring together an international team of academics to teach a group of circa twenty junior researchers (mainly MPhil/PhD students) working on European party politics. Until 2003, most were (co-)directed by Ferdinand Müller-Rommel and Kurt Richard Luther and held initially at the Universität Lüneburg and then at Keele University. From 2004 to 2006, the Summer Schools were directed by Hans Keman at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and from 2007 to 2009 by Peter Mair at the European University Institute, Florence. From 2010 to 2012, they will be co-hosted in Brussels by the ULB and VUB.

The main aims of the Summer School include
a) to provide junior academics researching into European parties and party systems with access to a wider range of academic approaches and expertise than would normally be available at a single university, and;
b) to stimulate closer academic co-operation between research students in Political Science by providing a multinational forum for them to discuss their research with fellow students and specialist staff from universities in a wide range of countries.

A number of staff contributions to previous Summer Schools have been published in the following volume: K.R. Luther & F. Müller-Rommel (eds) (2002) Political Parties in the New Europe: Political and Analytical Challenges, (Oxford: Oxford University Press). A paperback edition appeared in August 2005.


Written by ECPR Standing Group on Political Parties

April 15, 2011 at 8:42 pm