RC34 - Quality of Democracy

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Call for Papers: "China's Belt and Road Initiative: curse or blessing for democracy in Eurasia?"

IPSA RC34 "Quality of Democracy" is planning the next international workshop on “China's Belt and Road Initiative: curse or blessing for democracy in Eurasia?”, The workshop intends to explore the impact of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative on democratization and autocratization in Eurasia and elsewhere. Organized by Brigitte Weiffen and Anja Mihr, the workshop is currently planned for 12-14 March 2021 at the OSCE Academy Bishkek. 

The Call for Proposals is now open: 


China's New Silk Road Initiative (Belt and Road initiative, BRI) has been spinning its logistical and infrastructural web around the world since 2013. Massive infrastructural investments in tracks and roads as well as in the agricultural and energy sector and logistical centers were made in over 50 countries in Eurasia, a continent made of Europe and Asia that ranges from the Philippines to Portugal, from Norway to Uzbekistan, and Turkey to Russia. BRI is a central component of Chinese investment policies that have affected core public policy areas in over 100 countries in the world.

By this, BRI has penetrated the political regimes, affecting autocracies and strong, weak, and failed democracies alike. BRI has triggered not only state authorities’ responses, but also significant reactions from business, civil society and other non-state actors. BRI has thus become both a curse and blessing for societies and political regimes along the ‘New Silk Road’. It has led to an increase in organized crime, with local warlords benefitting from illicit activities, and has infringed labor standards and human rights; on the other hand, new transnational cooperation, start-ups and economic regulations also emerged thanks to those massive investments. On the political level, citizen participation has increased, protest movements have been formed, and local authorities have voiced their concerns. BRI has triggered resistance among civil society and governments and contributed to regime transformation in the region. Autocratic China has hence become an unwilling reformer for those societies.

Almost a decade after the official launch of BRI, this workshop will assess its political implications. Contributors are asked to discuss the impact that BRI has had, willingly or not, on democratization or autocratization processes in the countries and societies that it invested in, ranging from Europe to the Middle East, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia. While the main focus of the workshop will be on the impact of BRI on political regimes in Eurasia, proposals analyzing China`s role in autocratization and democratization in other world regions as well as from a theoretical-conceptual perspective are also welcome.

Researchers wishing to contribute to the 2021 RC34 international workshop are invited to submit a paper proposal. Abstracts (max. 500 words) should be sent to both Brigitte Weiffen (brigitte.weiffen@uni-konstanz.de) and Anja Mihr (a.mihr@osce-academy.net) until 30 September 2020.


The workshop will be held at the OSCE Academy Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (http://www.osce-academy.net). This workshop will provide the opportunity to participate remotely/via teleconferencing in case of travel restrictions or lack of funding.

Please note that accepted participants are expected to commit to full, active attendance of all panel sessions and discussions throughout the three days of the workshop, in addition to their own paper presentation.

Participants in the 2021 RC34 International Workshop are expected to cover all personal travel expenses. Limited travel grants might be available to help covering air fare and accommodation costs of some participants (particularly, scholars from Central Asia).


International Workshop "Rising Democracies, Interrupted"

From 1-3 June 2020, RC34 organized the Interrnational Workshop "Rising Democracies, Interrupted".

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International Conference - “Political Science in the Digital Age: Mapping Opportunities, Perils and Uncertainties”

The International Political Science Association (IPSA) is organizing an international conference that will be held on 4-6 December 2017 in Hannover, Germany. Chaired by Marianne Kneuer and Helen Milner, the conference will take place in Hannover’s Palace of Herrenhausen.

More information about the Conference at https://hannover2017.ipsa.org/

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RC 34 Perfomed a Seminar in Chile: “Quality of Democracy: NEW RESEARCH AGENDA”

Seminar “Quality of Democracy: NEW RESEARCH AGENDA”

Santiago de Chile, September 14th and 15th, 2016


The development of democratic quality in Latin America displays a mixed record. Latin Americans today live in freer and more democratic countries than ever before, nearly all Latin American countries have resumed a growth path and most governments are governing more effective than their predecessors did. At the same time, scholars state a persistently low quality of democracy across a large number of countries.


Organizers with Chilean President, Ms Michelle Bachelet


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Call for Papers: Seminar Quality of Democracy: New Research Agenda

The planed Seminar on “Quality of democracy in Latin America” aims at bringing together scholars in order to discuss theoretical as well as empirical challenges in the study of Latin American democratic quality. Contributions should relate to the exposed questions in single case or comparative studies or should address theoretical or methodological challenges regarding the study of quality of democracy in Latin America. The proposals should register in three items:

a) Democratic theory,
b) Methodology about quality of democracy,
c) Empirical research of democracies.

Please find the Call for Papers here: Workshop_Chile.pdf



Conference “Communication, Democracy and Digital Technology”, Rovinj (Croatia) | 2-3 October 2015

RC 34 together with RC 10 (Electronic Democracy), RC 22 (Political Communication) and the University of Zaghreb will organize a conference on "Communication, Democracy and Digital Technology" in Rovinj (Croatia) from 2 to 3 October 2015.

Call for Papers

Please find the Call for Papers here. The deadline for abstract submission has been extended to 31 January 2015!

The reviews will be completed and notifications sent by the end of February 2015. The registration will open on 1 March 2015. The registration will then also open for participants who will not be delivering a paper.

More information about the conference

We proudly announce that the conference will host Professor Guy Lachapelle, IPSA Secretary General who will deliver a keyote lecture. For excellent accommodation rates and early birds discount for conference participants check the conference website.

>>Please keep checking the conference website for all other information about registration, travel, news and program!<<


IPSA 2014

We thank all members of Research Committee 34 for joining our panels on the IPSA World Congress 2014 in Montreal. It was a pleasure to discuss a variety of theoretical and empirical perspectives on “Quality of Democracy” and to see that we could successfully continue the cooperative and productive work we started in this Committee in Madrid 2012.

All in all RC 34 hosted 15 interesting panels: http://www.ipsa.org/events/congress...

Moreover, RC 34 hosted a panel on social media and quality of democracy together with RC 22 “Political Communication”. http://www.ipsa.org/my-ipsa/events/...

We are also happy to have attracted some new members in our research group. We hereby welcome them once again in our “RC34 network” . Looking forward to the upcoming projects!


IPSA World Congress of Political Science

Submitted Panels by RC 34
(July 19 - July 24 2014, Montréal)

After 20 Years: The Quality of South African Democracy.
Discussants: Prof. Louwrens Pretorius

Challenges of the Research on Executive-Legislative Balance of Power
Chair: Prof. José Álvaro Moisés
Co-Chair: Prof. Marianne Kneuer
Discussants: Prof. Daniela Piana

Social Media and their Influence on the Quality of Democracy
(Joint Panel RC 34 and RC 22)
Chair: Prof. Marianne Kneuer
Co-Chair: Prof. Oscar Luengo
Discussant: Dr. Javier G. Marín
Call for papers

Constitutional Democracy: One or Many

Deliberative democracy and social inequalities: from ideal to practice
Chair: Dr. Didier Caluwaerts
Discussants: Dr. Silvia Erzeel

Democracy, Constitution-making and Uncertainty
Chair: Dr. Cristine de Clercy
Co-Chair: Dr. Peter Ferguson
Discussants: Dr. Louis Imbeau

Measuring Quality of Democracy in Comparative Politics
Convenors: Anja Mihr, Claudia Wiesner
Chair: Prof. Anja Mihr, Utrecht University
Co-Chair: Dr. Claudia Wiesner, Marburg University
Discussant: NN

Perspectives on the quality of democracy in Latin America
Chair: Dr. Irma Mendez de Hoyos
Co-Chair: Dr. Felipe Carlos Betancour
Discussants: Dr. Jesus Tovar

Quality of democracy and the contribution of ‘New Parties'
Convenors: Hans-Joachim Lauth, Silvana Krause
Chair: Prof. Hans-Joachim Lauth
Co-Chair: Prof. Dr. Silvana Krause
Discussant: N.N.

Quality of Democracy in Eastern Europe and Latin America in Comparative Perspective
Chair: Dr. Anna M. Sroka
Discussants: Prof. Leonardo Morlino
Call for Papers

The Arquitecture of Diversity: Institutional Innovation and Conflict Management in Latin America
Chair: Dr. Jorge Gordin
Co-Chair: Mr. Fernando Rosenblatt

Who governs? Is there a crisis of mature democracies?
Chair: Prof. Aurel Croissant
Co-Chair: Prof .Wolfgang Merkel
Discussants: Prof. Wolfgang Merkel

Who is the postnational citizen in times of crisis?
Chair: Dr. Isabel Carvalhais
Co-Chair: Prof. Isabel Camisão
Call for Papers

Deadline to submit abstract/paper proposals:
October 7, 2013

Please find the IPSA Rules of Participation here:http://www.ipsa.org/events/congress...


IPSA 2012

Looking back on the IPSA 2012 conference in Madrid we thank all members of Research Committee 34 for their participation and their contribution, which resulted in fruitful discussions and an inspiring atmosphere.

One topic in our business meeting in Madrid was the technical implementation of a more attractive and functional website that serves the needs of a scientific network. Now, we are happy to present you an update of our RC34 website which from now on can be used as a tool of networking and collaborating.

After relaunching the website, it now consists of some more information concerning the RC34 network. You can find a list of those members that wish to publish fields of research as well as contact information in order to foster networking. Moreover, we aim to using the “RC34 network” for sharing information about projects, publications and conferences on the topic of “quality of democracy”. Please let us know, if you want to make any proposals. You can therefore contact Aileen Bolling (research assistant of Marianne Kneuer), who will technically integrate it on the RC34 website. (aileen.bolling@uni-hildesheim.de)

In order to strengthen the visibility of our activities here you can find the minutes of our business meeting. Inter alia, it informs about the new personnel composition within the RC34 committee. In our business meeting on IPSA 2012 José Alvares Moises was elected on the position of Chair, Marianne Kneuer on the position of the Vice-Chair (for more information see contact). Daniela Piana was elected on the position of Secretary. After the election the Executive Committee now consists of:

  • Dr. Anna M. Sroka: University of Warsaw Poland
  • Dr. Claudia Wiesner:Jyvaeskylae University (Finland) and Marburg University (Germany)
  • Dr. Rune Holmgaard: Institute of Government and Politics & Andersen University of Tartu (Estonia)
  • Dr. Christiane de Paula: Fundacão Getulio Vargas FGV Brazil
  • Prof. Dr Jean Michel de Waele: Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Dr. Ramona Coman: Université Libre de Bruxelles

Looking forward to further productive cooperation!


NEW! RC 34 Calls for Papers

Research Committee 34: Quality of Democracy IPSA-QoD


CALL FOR PAPERS The IPSA Research Committee 34 on the Quality of Democracy (IPSA-QoD) is organizing a Workshop on the Recent Research Developments on the Quality of Democracy which will be held in Madrid on July 2012, during the IPSA World Congress. The workshop aims at examining the recent comparative research and analysis of existing democracies as systems of qualities on the basis of a comprehensive multi-dimensional framework, and at spreading off empirical and methodological knowledge produced by this new cross-cultural approach. The workshop is planned to target both methodology and empirical research and will address both the systemic and the historical dimensions of new and old democracies. Analyses of the democratic regime have been part of the core agenda in comparative politics since long ago and have known a much larger and comprehensive development over the last four decades since the beginning of the so called third wave of democratization. Southern European democracies, Eastern and Central European democracies, and Latin American transitions offered the empirical field that allowed researchers to exam fundamental mechanisms and patterns of change which are featuring democratization processes “in context”. Democratic theory is a central component of contemporary theoretical development of political scholarship and supports the empirical field that comparative political scientists have been incline to consider. More recently historical and systemic analysis of democratic regimes found a common ground in the democratic quality assessment stream. This approach involves an innovative analytical and methodological proposal which keeps altogether both qualitative and quantitative analyses to the democratic assessment and it is epistemologically committed to cast a comparative perspective on all types of democracy. The workshop is therefore planned to exam the empirical analysis of democratic processes drawing lessons from the well known scholarly tradition of the democratic theory and endorsing the multi-dimensional view of democracy which has been progressively worked out by recent research assessing the quality and changes of existing democracies. Information about the workshop theme and the submission form for paper proposals, please contact: RC34 Vice-Chair: Daniela Piana, d.piana@unibo.it The deadline for submission of paper proposals is 1st July 2011.

IPSA WORLD CONGRESS 8TH-12TH JULY 2012 IPSA-QoD will also organize at least two general panels at the IPSA World Congress in Madrid from 8-12th July 2012. Proposals for papers for the general panels are welcome concerning the above mentioned themes. The business meeting held at this event will help to initiate activities, elect officers, and expand the membership of RC. The main theme of the Madrid IPSA World Congress is 'Reshaping power, shifting boundaries'. Details are available at www.IPSA.org.