Summer School 2014

24th ECPR PhD Summer School on “Political Parties in New Democracies”

September 7-13, 2014 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 aninternational team of academicsto teach a group of 10-15 PhD researchers working in the field of political parties and democracy.

Theme and Aims


The overall theme of this year's Summer School will focus on Political Parties in New Democracies. This enables us to analyse the role and the function of political parties in several regions of this world.


The main aims of the Summer School include:

  • to provide PhD researchers with access to a wider range of core analytical perspectives in comparative politics  than would normally be available at a single institution,
  • to develop a multinational forum for PhD researchers and senior specialists to critically discuss their research projects,
  • to help PhD researchers develop their dissertation projects / theses,
  • to encourage PhD researchers to produce high-level research with strong potential for future publication,
  • to stimulate closer academic co-operation between PhD researchers in Political Scienceacross Europe and the world.

The Summer School is open for PhD researchers in comparative politics, political parties or democracy. The maximum number of participants is 15. 


Teaching Format

The Summer School comprises an intensive programme of lectures, seminars and presentations of PhD researchers’ dissertation projects. The teaching language will be English. It is expected that there will be five teaching days, each of which will be organized around a topical research question related to the overall theme of the Summer School. Each day will consist of two main teaching elements, each of which is scheduled to last three hours. The overall number of class contact hours will thus be 30 hours.

The first teaching element will commence with a presentation by a staff member of his/her current research project, or forthcoming publication. This will be followed by a question-and-answer session designed to enable the PhD researchers to gain better understanding of how theoretical, methodological and empirical aspects are being utilized at the cutting edge of the discipline. Staff will be asked to elaborate on these aspects and, if possible, relate them to the topics that are studied by the PhD researchers.

In the second teaching element, two or more PhD researchers will each present a paper of approx. 30 minutes duration on the design or empirical findings of their research proposal. The presentationswill be followed by a period of intensive discussion between all participants.


Contribution of Participants, Assessment and Accreditation


Contribution of the Participants

A Summer School is only as good as its participants. To ensure the active involvement of all researchers, participants will be expected to fulfill certain requirements:

  • Each participant is required to prepare a paper related to the topic of their research and to lead the discussion on the paper. Researchers’ papers must be produced in typescript in advance of the Summer School and should comprise no less than 7,000 – 8,000 words. 

  • It is the responsibility of the participants to ensure that a copy of their final paper and of their abstract in pdf is send to the director of the Summer School, to arrive no later than August 28, 2014 (

Papers will be available for all participants in the electronic paper room of the Summer School (dropbox). A complete list of participants’ email addresses will be circulated to all successful applicants.

Assessment and Accreditation

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

On special request, staff members of the Summer School may assess and accredit the paper of the PhD researchers. The credits awarded for successful participation and assessment will be an equivalent of 5 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits. This corresponds to three 600 level credits for the American university system. PhD researchers wishing to have their work accredited are advised to consult the director of the Summer School at an early stage.


Accomodation and Fees


All participants of the Summer School will be accomodated in the hotel "Seminaris"
( near the university.


The fee for the Summer School is 450 € and covers:

  • tuition,
  • accommodation in a hotel (6 nights)
  • receptions,
  • lunch vouchers for each working day in Lüneburg,
  • access to library and computing facilities (printing and copying not included),

The program fees have to be paid by June 17 (date of confirmation for participating in the Summer School)



Application Procedures


Applications must be submitted by May 22, 2014 and should contain a 500 word abstract of the applicant’s proposed paper. Application forms can be downloaded and should sent to


Notification of Acceptance:

The Summer School directors will decide on the applications by May 26 and applicants will be informed immediately thereafter. Those offered places will be asked to confirm their intention to participate by June 20,2014, after which those places will be offered to other applicants.

Application Form

Location and Directors

The Summer School will be hosted by the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) at Leuphana University Lüneburg (Germany) 

The Center is located on the University Campus which is app. 30 minutes by rail south of the City of Hamburg and 60 minutes to Hamburg International Airport.

The Summer School is directed by Professor Dr. Ferdinand Müller-Rommel (Chair in Comparative Politics and Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy, at Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany)<link en ferdinand-mueller-rommel.html external-link-new-window> and co-directed byProfessor Dr. Sebastian Elischer (Center for the Study of Democracy, Lüneburg and GIGA, Hamburg).