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SEDEPE Panels at ECPR 2014 (Glasgow)

Dear SEDEPE friends.

Please find below a list of panels that SEDEPE has organized and will host at the upcoming 2014 European Consortium for Political Research General Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

We invite you to submit paper proposals directly via the ECPR website. In order to facilitate selection and paper allocation we ask that you include the name of the panel for which your paper should be considered.  We also politely ask that you send a short email to the panel chair to let him/her/them know that you have submitted your proposal for consideration. This will greatly facilitate the decision-making process and ensure a faster response.


The SEDEPE Executive


The panels are the following:

1. The composition of policy-making groups and their impact on policy outputs
Chair: Eoin O’Malley, Dublin City University.

In a now famous biography of Abraham Lincoln it was suggested that his administration benefited from bringing together a ‘team of rivals’ whose diverse skills and backgrounds led to clashes that benefited policy-making and implementation in the US at that time. In the UK a former Cabinet Secretary suggested that it was the uniformity of opinion within the Treasury that led to the financial crisis, or at least that it was not anticipated. Is there broader support for the idea that diversity of opinions, skills or backgrounds among the policy-making elites has an impact on the quality of policy outputs? We welcome theoretical, methodological and empirical papers that seek to answer that question. Given the difficulty in measuring some of these concepts we welcome country or single policy case studies. We interpret elites broadly (ministers, senior civil servants, special advisers, etc.).

2. The role of individual ministers in policy-making/reform-making
Chairs: Hanna Bäck, University of Lund, Sweden; Patrick Dumont, University of Luxembourg

Rational partisan theory considers political parties as the central actors in the policy-making process and therefore associates changes in government partisan complexion with changes in public policy outputs. The link between parties’ preferences and policy outputs however ought to be different according to whether cabinet policy-making is subject to ministerial discretion or if line ministers are constrained by their prime minister, a coalition agreement or any of the cabinet parties who could veto a proposal. A focus on individual ministers and the institutional constraints (cabinet decision-making structures) they evolve in is warranted to answer the following crucial questions: how does portfolio allocation across parties and individuals affect public policy? Are partisan effects only expected for policies that are salient to the portfolio holder? Does individual minister background (expertise and experience) matter? What should we expect from non-partisan expert ministers? What the impact of reshuffles on policy-making and policy outputs?

3. The Consequences of Ministerial Turnover
Chairs: Matthew Kerby, University of Ottawa, Canada and Klaus Stolz, Chemnitz University of Technology

Existing research on ministerial elites typically addresses the impact of biographical, institutional or political determinants on ministerial recruitment and ministerial exit. Building on research which relates ministerial turnover to government survival, cabinet management, and government popularity, this panel welcomes papers which address the impact of cabinet exit/cabinet turnover on individual political actors (post cabinet careers), parties and governments (performance and integrity), and legislature evolution and health ( i.e. what is the relationship between ministerial turnover and institutionalization?).

4. Political elites and multilevel settings amid times of crisis
Chair: Juan Rodríguez Teruel, University of Valencia

Multilevel politics have shaped the way political elites are recruited, move up and down and leave their posts in European countries. However, while in most American countries there are stable patterns of elite recruitment and circulation built through years, in many other Western countries there have been recent processes of decentralization from unitarian states to more or less federal structures. Moreover, economic crisis in some countries may have even fostered conflicts and trade-offs between national and subnational elites. To account for this evolving landscape, we welcomes paper addressing  executive, legislative or judicial elites and their political recruitment (what factors explain appointments) and their circulation across territorial layers as well as their role in managing multilevel politics.

5. Revisiting the Beliefs of Politicians
Chair: Jens Borchert, University of Frankfurt

In 1973 Robert Putnam published ‘The Beliefs of Politicians’, a study of British and Italian politicians’ conception of politics and democracy. Since then the topic has not received too much attention.  The focus has always been on studying mass attitudes. This panel will include papers that use various methodological approaches to look at elite conceptions of democracy as they can be studied in surveys,  public discourse, publications, or everyday practice. A comparative perspective is strongly encouraged.


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