Conf/CfP - Democracy in Development: Comparative Perspectives on the Governance of the Public Good , 26-28 May 2017, University of Bucharest, Romania

Publish Date: Dec 21, 2016

Deadline: Feb 15, 2017

Event Dates: from May 26, 2017 05:20 to May 28, 2017 05:20

Call for Applications

The general theme of the 4th International Interdisciplinary Conference of Political Research – SCOPE: Science of Politics, i.e. DEMOCRACY IN DEVELOPMENT: COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES ON THE GOVERNANCE OF THE PUBLIC GOOD, incorporates two distinct but complementary interpretations of democracy/democratization, public good, and of the relation between them.

The first one focuses on changes in the ways we define, conceptualize, and understand democracy, not only as researchers, but also as citizens.

  • The literature on democracy / democratization has developed significantly over the last years and the availability of new instruments for measuring democracy can only help in advancing further the research agenda on these topics. At the same time, the citizens themselves are increasingly critical with respect to the practical implementation of democratic principles and they try to identify alternative solutions to the dysfunctional situations they identify. Furthermore, the advancement of and access to digital technologies, especially social media, have also transformed the public space and the traditional relations between the State and the individual. 

The second interpretation focuses on the rise and falls of democracy both at supra-national and sub-national levels, transcending the traditional national sphere of politics and policy-making.

In recent years we have witnessed a democratic decline as well as increased authoritarian/populist tendencies across Europe, Latin America and Asia, often discursively related to trans-national contexts, such as the migratory/refugee fluxes and the mismanagement of public funds through international arrangements. We have also witnessed a decreasing level of public trust in both educated expertise and traditional democratic politics, as well as a decreasing level of civility in political debates, most surprisingly in more consolidated democracies, with the Brexit referendum and the 2016 US presidential elections, for instance, making global headlines for months for such reasons. Similarly, the enthusiasm generated by the “Arab Spring” has quickly transformed in disappointment following the failure of these protest movements.

By contrast, states in Sub-Saharan Africa have registered significant progress on their democratization path. At the same time, an ambitious global agenda – The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by the UN member states after arguably one of the most complex exercises in public consultation at global level, includes specific targets on achieving, preserving and advancing democracy and rule of law, which requires governmental and inter-governmental commitments for the next fifteen years. Not least, at sub-national level, the increasing pressures the citizens have brought on the political system are also leading to significant changes in conducting national and international politics and policy-making, depending on the system’s ability to listen and implement them.

Aiming to explore such scholarly and policy puzzles from various conceptual, empirical and methodological perspectives, while addressing timely case-studies, we invite scholars across different disciplines to submit papers, panels or round table proposals, especially (but not exclusively) around the following core topics:

  • Democracy and democratization as subject for contemporary political theory;
  • Populism, social movements and electoral behaviour in the age of social media;
  • The role of local politics in shaping national and trans-national democratic institutions;
  • The role of digital technology and social media in contemporary international politics;
  • Democratic accountability and the new global agenda of sustainable development (SDGs);
  • Democracy and the European Union today;
  • Conflict, security and democracy;
  • Transitional justice;
  • Comparative perspectives on civic education;
  • Methodological opportunities and challenges in approaching issues related to democracy and democratization.

The official languages of the event are English and French. The primary working language is English and we expect most abstracts, papers, presentations and discussions to be in this language. Pre-organized panels or round tables in French may be also accepted.

The best papers may be considered for publication within special journal issues or collective volumes with partner publishers.


Applications are welcome from senior and junior (i.e doctoral) researchers of political research from any discipline. The call is open between the 15th of October 2016 and the 15th of February 2017.
  • You can propose a paper (See in the "Further official information" below this announcement)
  • You can propose a panel (See in the "Further official information" below this announcement)
  • You can propose a round table (See in the "Further official information" below this announcement)


Registration opens on the1st of March. After your proposal was selected, you should register and have a valid proof of payment before the15th of May 2017. After this date, you may register only as audient and you will no longer be included in the conference program. 


This covers the conference materials, all refreshments during the coffee break and a welcome dinner.
Early bird registration (until 20 April 2017)
Standard: 20 Euro 
Solidarity (i.e. non-OECD countries): 15 Euro 
Junior (i.e. doctoral students, irrespective of country of citizenship): 10 Euro
Regular rates (21 April 2017 - 15 May 2017)
Standard: 40 Euro 
Solidarity (i.e. non-OECD countries): 30 Euro
Junior (i.e. doctoral students): 20 Euro 
Fees are not refundable.

Members of organizing partners IPSA RC13 and IPSA RC33 are exempted from paying the conference fee. 

For more information click "Further official information" below.

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