CPS Newsletter - September 2015
In this issue:
   The next IPSA World Congress of Political Science will be held in Istanbul      (Turkey) from July 23 to July 28, 2016. The theme of the 2016 edition is            'Politics in a World of Inequality'. Further details can be found at the congress         website.

   CPS will be present with the following 13 panels:

- Class voting in a Post-Piketty World
- Contested Hybrid Democracy: Endorsing or Revisiting the Liberal Model in non-Western           Countries?
- Displacement, Social Movements and Contested Meaning of Land and 'Home': The South         Asian Experiences

- Inequalities in Coalition Governments
- Land Inequality, Violence, and the State
- Non-elective Procedures in Divided Societies
- Political Parties in 'Post-Communist' Europe: Old 'Specifities', new 'Normalities'?
- Political Sophistication as a Resource of Unequal Political Participation in Democracies
- Presidential Re-election in Latin America
- State Responses to Digital Dissent in an Unequal World in the Twenty-first Century
- Studyng Asylum Adjudication from Below: North American and European Perspectives
- The Performance of Prime Ministers in Comparative Perspective
- 'Riots' and Mobilizations against Violent Police Deviances: An International Comparative Perspective

Chairs, abstracts and further details can be found here. The deadline for papers proposal is October 7, 2015.

The call for open panels is now closed, but the call for closed panels is open until October 7, 2015.
Please, do not hesitate to propose a panel under the auspices of RC06. You may find instructions at this link.

The CPS  would like to organize one or two panels at the IPSA Congress in Istanbul on the referendum as a crisis-solving device. Everybody who is interested to participate is invited to submit a short written proposal within September 25th (

Description of the call:
'We see the referendum as a continuation of the negotiations by other means', said Greek Minister George Katrougalos, alluding to Clausewitz famous definition of war. The recent Greek referendum on the debt resolution plan proposed by European bodies and the IMF has revived the much debated issue of the potential impact of referendums on crisis resolution. Admittedly, referendums have often be called in the last decades, especially in Western Europe, to solve problems of internal party or coalition crisis - often on EU issues. But one has probably to come back to Gaullist referendums, or to the referendum on Monarchy in post-war Belgium, to find in Europe a use of the device with such a clear function to unblock a serious crisis at national and international level.
This panel is seeking theoretical and empirical papers about the crisis-solving - or crisis-worsening - potential of referendums, the factors on which it depends, and the ex-ante or ex-post legitimacy of such referendums even when they do not fully meet the requirements of democracy. Beyond the Greek case, case-studies refering to other referendums held in all parts of the world in a context of severe crisis will be very appreciated.
The next ISA Forum of Sociology will be held in Vienna (Austria) from July 10 to July 14, 2016. The theme of the 2016 edition is 'The Future We Want: Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World'. Further details cab found at the forum website.

CPS will be present with the following 12 sessions and 3 joint sessions:

List of sessions
- Citizenship: Dynamics of Choice, Duties and Participation
- Futures and Pasts in the Future of Political Sociology
- How the Past Shapes Struggles for Equality: Contrasting Legacies of Reform and Revolution
- Is Political Inequality Rising, Falling or Staying the Same?
- Parties as Membership Organizations: A Longitudinal Perspective
- Political Sociology and the War on Terror
- Regionalism Old and New: Between Economy and Geopolitics
- The Poli-tics/-tricks of Development and the Plight of Marginal Communities in 21st Century   South Asia
- The Political Consequences of Precarious Employment
- The Regulation and Funding of Political Parties in Comparative Perspective
- The Right in the Southern Cone: Power Dynamics within Political Parties in Brazil, Chile and      Argentina
- Transnational Social Movements and European Democratization

List of joint sessions
- Economic Inequality, Distributive Preferences and Political Outcomes (with RC42 Social           Psychology)
- Elites, the Poor and the Welfare State in Unequal Democracies (with RC07 Futeres Research)
- Expertise and Interests: For a Sociology of Think Tanks (with RC14 Sociology of                       Communication, Knowledge and Culture)

Organizers, abstracts and further details can be found here. The deadline for papers proposal is September 30, 2015.
Call for panels at next APSA Annual Meeting (September 1-4, 2016, Philadelphia)
The Committee for Political Sociology (CPS) has the mission to establish a community of scholars who have scientific interest in examining the relationship between political and sociological phenomena. We invite proposals for panels that are broadly relevant to this area. Given the nature of the Committee, comparative panels will be favored. Proposals that are submitted to other divisions/related groups, as co-sponsored panels, will be given top priority in the final selection process.
We also invite offers to serve as panel discussants and chairs.
Organizer & Contact:
Emilie van Haute, Université libre de Bruxelles (Belgium)
CPS President & Secretary:
Laurence Morel, University of Lille (France)
PROCEDEM is a new working group of the Centre de Recherches Politiques de Sciences Po Paris (CEVIPOF) affiliated to the CPS. Please, find below its official presentation:
Research Group on Democratic Procedures (PROCEDEM )
Centre de Recherches Politiques de Sciences Po Paris(CEVIPOF)/CNRS UMR 7048

During the last decades a number of experiments in participatory democratic procedures have taken place. Some of these, such as citizens’ juries or neighbourhood councils, have been quite new, while others, such as public consultations and public inquiries, have been more conventional. Some success notwithstanding, the record of these experiments has been mixed, and the fact that interest in such procedures remains low seems to confirm the prediction, voiced by their critics, that these processes often fall into the hands of minorities. This in turn suggests a renewal of interest in those more traditional procedures that have the capacity to involve a large number of citizens in public and political life. The most prominent example of this is election, but the regular use of referendums and the systematic use of random recruitment of citizens to public office also belong in this category. Each of these procedures refers to a different kind of democracy. Representative democracy, the historical source and symbol of which is the parliamentary organisation – including a protected legal opposition – is based on elections. The direct type of democracy is based on popular votes through referendums while the sortive type of democracy is characterised by the use of sortition or random selection in the choice of officials or representatives (this can operate at a local, regional or national level).
The research group intends to devote a large part of its work to an exploration of these democratic procedures. Their design, evolution, form and function will be studied in comparison with each other but consideration will also be given to how they can be creatively combined to serve particular democratic and political objectives. The feature common to them all is that they are not democratic in themselves, but have the capacity to become democratic provided some general conditions are met and certain rights guaranteed. We can include the rule of law, universal suffrage, freedom of political expression, the separation of powers and the existence of an impartial judicial system under these headings. A referendum, for example, can only work successfully when coupled with a truly representative democracy operating under the rule of law. In the absence of these conditions it can be subject to manipulation by uncontrolled leaders or parties. The research group will seek to define these general preconditions in greater detail and explore how they operate.
In addition the group’s interest in these procedures does not only lie in their potential impact on the development of democracy, but also in how they might enhance the general effectiveness of the political systems in which they might be used. Random recruitment, for instance, effectively fights against corruption by limiting the power of appointment; the referendum, especially where it derives from a popular initiative, may serve to increase confidence in the institutions and performance of political systems. This is well illustrated by the Swiss example.
Ultimately the aim of the group is to provide theoretical frameworks and empirical analysis that can feed directly into social and political practice. We are committed to providing the tools with which current political problems can be understood and addressed. At the same time we see ourselves as generating and developing new ideas for the future.
The newly created group on 'Personalization and Politics' will hold a conference in Lüneburg (Germany) in Spring 2016 on the following topic (more information soon):
Contemporary Challenges to Democratic Leadership: The Impact of Premiers
1.New data on the website!
The first phase of the MAPP project consisted in collecting longitudinal data on party membership figures with the help of country experts. This first phase is getting to an end and data are now progressively added on the website ( in the form of Excel files. These files include longitudinal party membership figures for no less than 30 countries! These data are there to be used, and all works that use or refer to this data should acknowledge its source by means of bibliographic citation. Citations must appear in footnotes or in the reference section of publication. The bibliographic citation for each country data is mentioned in the ‘description of the data’ of the corresponding Excel document.
2. Participation to events
- ECPR General Conference, Montreal, Canada, August 26-29, 2015

    Section 07 – Canadian and European Political Science in Conversation
    Chairs: William Cross and Richard Katz
    Panel 'Political Parties as Membership Organisations: Challenges and Explanations'
    Section 46 – Public Opinion, Social Movements, Interest Groups, Political Parties and               Policy Change
    Chairs: Laura Morales and Christine Arnold
    Panel 'How are Party Organizations Responding to Social Change?'
    Panel 'Intra-Party Organization, Representation and Responsiveness'
- APSA Annual Meeting, San Francisco, USA 3-6 September 2015
    CPS Related Group Panel 84.4 - 'How Party Organizations Shape Democratic Outcomes'
    Panel chair: Robin Kolodny
    Panel Discussants: Russell J. Dalton and Miki Kittilson
3. Publications 
The CPS is one of the supporting committees of the next Conference on Research Methods in Political Science organized by the IPSA Committee on Research and Training. The conferece will take place at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences of the University of Antwerp (Belgium) on September 17-18, 2015.

More details can be found here. For any further query, please contact Prof. Christ'l De Landtsheer (, IPSA Liaison Representative of the Research Committees for IPSA EC.

Panel on
How Party Organizations Shape Democratic Outcomes
The CPS participated in the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association in San Francisco, held on 3-6 September, with a panel on 'How Party Organizations Shape Democratic Outcomes'.
This year's CPS panel at the Annual Meeting of the APSA was an opportunity to introduce scholars to novel data on political party organizations in modern democracies collected by a large international research group (the Political Party Database Project: The project is led by Susan Scarrow (University of Houston), Paul Webb (University of Sussex), and Thomas Poguntke (University of Düsseldorf). The authors presented comparative analyses on questions relating to the way political parties organize in contemporary democracies. The database related to the project will be released around summer 2016, and should be a great material for scholars interested in the sociology of party organizations.
Newsletter editors: Laurence Morel & Michelangelo Vercesi

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