Call for papers

Dear colleagues,

As many of you know, the triannual NoPSA Congress was supposed to be held at the University of Iceland in August 2020 but was postponed until August 2021. Many of the workshop leaders and paper authors decided to continue their participation for 2021. In addition to that we did open a call for additional workshops in the autumn and now call for for additional papers to be included in the proposed workshops.

If your paper has already been accepted for the NoPSA Congress 2020 you will not have to resubmit your proposal, but you workshop leader will ask you to confirm your participation.

For now, we continue the planning of NoPSA 2021 to be held in Reykjavik in August 2021. However, we might be forced to move the NoPSA Congress online if there will still be uncertainties about restrictions (e.g. travel restrictions) due to the corona outbreak and the outlook for August. This decision will be made no later than at the end of March 2021. While we sincerely hope that the NoPSA Congress can be held in Reykjavik in August we have to be open for the possibility to move the Congress online. In accordance with the uncertainties of how 2021 will look the early bird fee registration has been set to the late date of 31 May 2021.

The deadline to send in abstracts for additional papers is 1 February 2021 
We kindly ask you to send your abstract and title to the chairs of the workshop. Information about the email addresses for each workshop leaders are here below together with descriptions for each workshop.

You can apply by sending an email to the chairs of the workshops by 1 February 2021 containing:

  1. a) the paper title,
    b) Abstract (150-200 words) and,
    c) the name(s) of the author(s), institutional affiliation and email address.

Conference fee*:
An early bird fee until 30 May 2021:                        58,000 ISK
A late fee until 1 July 2021:                                       70,000 ISK
Fee for doctoral students until 1 July 2021:               58,000 ISK

*Those who have already paid the conference fee for the NoPSA 2020 congress, keep their spot and their feel unchanged.


Participation and languages
Participants are urged to attend every session of their workshop. Only exceptionally, and with the permission of the workshop leaders, may participants split time between different groups.

Preliminary congress program:

Tuesday 10 August

09.00 –                         Registration Open
14.00 – 15.30               Workshops
16.00 – 17.00               A keynote speech by Cas Mudde. To be confirmed.
17.30                           Reception

Wednesday 11 August
08.00 – 12.00               Workshops
12.00 – 13.30               Lunch Break
13.00 – 16.00               Workshops
16.00-17.30                Inaugural SPS plenary by Richard Katz. To be confirmed
18.00                           Option for excursions and etc.

Thursday 12 August

08.00 – 12.00               Workshops
12.00 – 13.00               Lunch Break
13.00 – 16.00               Workshops
18:00                           Congress dinner

Friday 13 August

08.00 – 12.00               Workshops

List of workshops:

Workshop 1 – Party system change in Scandinavia: From centrist to polarized?. 6

Workshop 2 – Improving on perfection? Democratic innovations in Nordic democracies. 6

Workshop 3 – Changes in democratic spaces – Institutional shifts in Nordic Higher Education in the 2000s  7

Workshop 4 – Political Backlash. 8

Workshop 5 – Taxation and state-society relations in a comparative perspective. 9

Workshop 6 – Administrative burdens in citizen-state interactions. 10

Workshop 8 – Trust within Governance. 11

Workshop 9 – Teaching for citizenship and democracy. 12

Workshop 10 – Parliaments and Governments. 12

Workshop 11 – Politics as a battlefield – understanding intraparty competition. 13

Workshop 12 – Political communication in a new media environment 14

Workshop 13 – New avenues for corruption research. 14

Workshop 14 – How Democratic is Local Democracy?. 15

Workshop 15 – The Politics of Law and Courts. 16

Workshop 16 – The populist radical right and its consequences for liberal democracy. 17

Workshop 17 – Foreign Policy and International Relations in the Northern Europe in Historical Perspective  17

Workshop 18 – The Agents of Public Sector Innovation. 18

Workshop 20 – Party system change – are political parties still carriers of ideological alternatives?. 19

Workshop 22 – Managing the health sector: recent trends in policy-making and governance. 19

Workshop 23 – The West Nordic – International, Arctic and National Contexts. 20

Workshop 24 – Political regimes in comparative and historical perspectives / Politiska regimer i komparativt och historiskt perspektiv  20

Workshop 25 – Practice Theory in International Relations and Political Science: what next?. 21

Workshop 26 – Municipal amalgamations and amalgamation reforms: Objectives – strategies – conflicts – impact 22

Workshop 27 – Do women have a voice in local governance?: Researching leadership in local government administration  23

Workshop 28 – Current hegemonic struggles, transformed structures, and vocabularies. 24

Workshop 29 – Multiple Spaces of Indigenous Sovereignty. 24

Workshop 30 – Conceptions of citizenship and participation in contemporary democracies. 25

Workshop 31 – Contentious Politics in an Age of Austerity: Anti-EU Mobilization in Europe after the Financial Crisis  26

Workshop 32 – International Relation and Cultural Heritage: Conflict and Cooperation. 27

Workshop 34 – Political efficacy, participation and inequality. 27

Workshop 35 – Gender & politics research in times of backlash. 28

Workshop 36 – The minority status in the Nordic Region. 28

List of workshops:


Workshop 1 – Party system change in Scandinavia: From centrist to polarized?

 Workshop chairs:        Dr. Christoph Arndt, lecturer in Comparative Politics, University of Reading. Email:

Dr. Niklas Bolin, Associate professor in political science, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mid Sweden University. Email:

Scholars used to view Nordic party systems as centrist but like in other parts of Europe, new parties have emerged near the poles. This development has put traditional centrist parties (Agrarians, Christian Democrats, and Liberals) under pressure that used to form important parts of the Scandinavian party systems. Their pivotal position affected government formation for decades. Despite the variation in their historical origin and ideology, the Scandinavian centrist parties have long relied on small core constituencies defined by social characteristics or religious beliefs, but they have come under pressure as the party systems have become more polarized.

Some parties disappeared from parliament (Finnish Liberals, Danish Centre Democrats). In Norway and Sweden, centrist parties barely passed the electoral threshold. But we also observe remarkable variation: The Centre Parties in Norway and Sweden saw unforeseeable comebacks at the ballots although they chose different strategies to survive.

We lack topical research about the centre of the Scandinavian party system, including the fate of parties that used to occupy it. The overall goal of the workshop is therefore to study party system change in Scandinavia with a focus on the role of the centrist parties. This may include focus on increased electoral volatility, decline of core constituencies, polarization around new issues such as globalization, immigration, the EU, environment, party organization, and party interaction – including government participation.

We welcome historical, qualitative, case study-based as well as quantitative statistical approaches, and would particularly welcome comparative studies. The workshop targets established and upcoming scholars of party politics, party organization, public opinion and electoral behaviour in the Nordic countries.

We would also welcome a limited number of papers that look on the fate of similar parties outside Scandinavia or compare them with their Scandinavian counterparts.

Language: English

Workshop 2 – Improving on perfection? Democratic innovations in Nordic democracies

Workshop chairs:        Henrik Serup Christensen, Åbo Akademi University, Finland. Email:

Jenny de Fine Licht, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Email:

Staffan Himmelroos, University of Helsinki, Finland. Email:

Democracy today faces extraordinary challenges that call into question the endurance of several established democracies. At the same time, the Nordic democracies are frequently touted as global leaders when it comes to economic performance, corruption, trust, and freedom of the press. It may thus seem like democratic reforms in these seemingly near-perfect democracies are at best unnecessary and at worst detrimental when disrupting existing institutional structures can cause more harm than good.

In this workshop, we therefore explore the potential for improving on perfection by increasing possibilities for citizen participation in political decision-making. Democracies around the world, including the Nordic countries, have experimented with deliberative and participatory mechanisms that aim to improve democracy. The impact of different deliberative and participatory innovations is, however, likely to be context-dependent and therefore sensitive to the circumstances under which they are introduced and the stated aims they are meant to help achieve.

We aim to contribute to this research agenda by focusing on the impact of deliberative and participatory innovations in the context of the Nordic democracies at both national and local levels of decision-making. It is particularly relevant to examine what types of innovations may help improve democracy and under what circumstances they can do so. While we welcome any contribution on these topics, we are particularly interested in efforts that aim to examine the mechanisms underpinning the success and failure of deliberative and participatory mechanisms.

The research on deliberative democracy and democratic innovations is characterized by a fruitful dialogue between more empirically and more theoretically oriented approaches and this is something we hope to continue in this workshop.

Language: Papers for the workshop may be written in any Scandinavian language and English. We will decide on the working language of the workshop after deadline to ensure that all potential participants can be included.

Workshop 3 – Changes in democratic spaces – Institutional shifts in Nordic Higher Education in the 2000s

Workshop chairs:        Mikko Poutanen, PhD & post-doc researcher at Tampere University, Faculty of Management and Business, Finland. Email:

Rómulo Pinheiro, Professor at University of Adger (UiA), Norway. Email:

Tuomas Tervasmäki, PhD researcher at Tampere University, Faculty of Education and Culture, Finland. Email:

In the 2000s, Nordic states have profiled themselves at the forefront of knowledge economies, utilizing their public sector universities to train a workforce savvy in global competition. However, in doing so, higher education policy has been reconceptualized as a vehicle of economic policy. This reconceptualization has also had ramifications when it comes to the internal operational logics of institutions of higher education – universities. Knowledge economy is directly linked to knowledge capitalism, and further to academic capitalism.

As such, increased competitiveness, managerialist operational practices, organizational mergers and project-based employment have rapidly brought Nordic universities closer to their Anglo-American counterparts in terms of operational philosophy both promoted as public policy in higher education and autonomously adopted by institutions. For example, looking to profile themselves both nationally and internationally, three Finnish higher education mergers, one specifically requiring legislative changes for the purposes of creating a university that is “world-class” flagship entrepreneurial university, have all taken place in the 2000s.

But does this serve public policy goals more than the staff or students of the institutions? Is the value of education being reduced to its instrumental capacity? Is the democratic space within universities threatened by a new brand of administrative autonomy that narrows stakeholder participation if favor of “strategic leadership”? And if so, what kind of viable ideas of academia and alternative forms of organization could be formulated?

The workshop discusses new operational logics of Nordic higher education institutions, and how public policy influences these developments. Workshop participants are invited to present papers offering insights relating to a single or many Nordic nations, evaluating the broader consequences of institutional shifts in higher education.

Language: English

Workshop 4 – Political Backlash

Workshop chairs:        Silja Bára Ómarsdóttir, PhD, Faculty of Political Science, University of Iceland. Email:

Élise Féron, PhD, Tampere Peace Research Institute, Tampere University, Finland. Email:

Backlash is more than just the idea of a simple reaction to changes. It is central to conservative politics and acts as a driving force in the campaign against extended rights. The return to “traditional values” and an aggressive backlash against the fight for equality by women, ethnic, racial and sexual orientation and gender identity minorities is a prominent feature of the international political landscape at the moment. This manifests in the development of “anti-gender” or masculinist movements, or in a backlash against what are seen as “western values”, for example through a resistance against gender mainstreaming and gender equality programming in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

This workshop explores the radical methods and measures employed by those fighting against the ideas that extend rights and liberties to other groups and thus threaten their preferred way of life. The papers in this workshop will explore political backlash in modern politics, in particular how this backlash is directed against gender equality and intersectional factors such as race, sexual orientation etc. Examples explored could include masculinist movements, the increase in interpersonal violence directed against women, governmental actions such as the banning of gender studies and critical social sciences and more. Perspectives linking decolonial/postcolonial debates to gender equality are particularly welcome, as are those placing these debates in the framework of international peace and security.

Target Groups: Junior and senior scholars, e.g. feminist scholars and peace and security researchers, exploring the manifestations of political backlash in diverse domestic and international frameworks.

Language: English

Workshop 5 – Taxation and state-society relations in a comparative perspective

Workshop chairs:        Johanna Söderström, Department of Government, Uppsala University. Email:

Anne Mette Kjær, Department of Political Science, University of Aarhus. Email:

Anna Persson, Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg. Email:

Lise Rakner, Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen. Email:

The aim of the workshop is to further debates on taxation practices and its political consequences, particularly in the Global South. Raising revenues is central to state capacity, plays into state building processes, and shapes the state’s relationship with its citizens. Yet, current research has only recently begun to pay attention to taxation practices, their origins and consequences. Practices include tax policies and strategies adopted by the public authorities to collect tax, including negotiations, exemptions, as well as how citizens, interest groups, companies respond, resist and engage with the tax authorities. While taxation has received a lot of attention in the Global North, it is becoming increasingly relevant to study this topic with a focus on the Global South, as foreign aid is declining and pressure to deliver on state services is increasing. The 2019 Skytte prize winner Margaret Levi has in her work helped us understand why citizens accept state coercion, highlighting the importance of studying legitimacy and consent, and with this workshop we wish to stress the importance of studying taxation and how state-society relations are shaped by this. We are interested in papers which study both the motivations of individual citizens, interest groups, tax paying practices and the consequences of taxation for citizens, as well as how these processes are dealt with from the perspective of the state.

Papers are invited which deal with these issues theoretically as well as papers which are empirically grounded. We are particularly interested in papers which take on a comparative perspective. We welcome a diversity of methodological approaches, and we encourage submission from both early career scholars to established scholars. The language of the workshop is English, to in particular welcome international scholars working in the Nordic countries.

Keywords: taxation, Global South, citizens, state building, democratization

Language: English

Workshop 6 – Administrative burdens in citizen-state interactions

Workshop chairs:        Martin Bækgaard Professor, Department of Political science, Aarhus University. Email:

Helena Olofsdotter Stensöta, Senior Lecturer, Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg. Email:

Lene Holm Pedersen, Professor, Department of Political Science, Copenhagen University. Email:

All across the world, people experience burdens in their daily interactions with government and citizen servants. People applying for welfare benefits often have to fill in complicated forms to prove eligibility, have to show up at public offices to apply and re-apply to prove continued eligibility, face long waiting times and uncertainty about the decisions made by public authorities.

The concept administrative burden refers to a mix of learning costs, compliance, and psychological costs that individuals experience in these interactions (Moynihan, Herd, and Harvey 2015; Heinrich 2016; Herd and Moynihan 2018). Citizens’ experiences of burdens in their encounters with the state are likely to have important societal and human consequences. Stress, stigmatization, and reduced take-up of welfare benefits are among the likely detrimental effects of administrative burden. In light of the immense importance of administrative burdens to millions of people’s lives on a daily basis, it is surprising how little we know about under what circumstances public authorities impose burdens on its citizens and about the conditions that give rise to experiences of burden. A fine-grained understanding of the causes and consequences of administrative burden, therefore, should be central to the study of public administration and policy.

We invite theoretical and/or empirical contributions that shed light on administrative burdens in citizen-state interactions as well as positive gains from such interactions. Examples of relevant questions include (but are not limited to):

  • Why – and under what circumstances – do public authorities impose burdens on citizens and clients?
  • Do burdensome rules and procedures disadvantage some groups of people more than others?
  • What are the consequences of administrative burdens for the health, take-up of benefits, and civic participation of citizens and clients?
  • How – and under what circumstances – do citizen-state interactions foster trust in government and civic participation?
  • Does the balance between citizens’ experiences of costs and benefits from citizen-state interactions vary across the administrative model (co-production, NPM, bureaucracy etc.) used?
  • Does the execution of EU rules and rights create administrative burdens and how does this vary across member states?

Target group: With administrative burden being an interdisciplinary topic, the workshop will be relevant to a broad field of scholars in public policy, public administration, and sociology including researchers interested in implementation of public policies, street level bureaucracy, administrative burdens, policy feedback, and welfare take-up.

Language: English

Workshop 8 – Trust within Governance

Workshop chairs:        Tina Øllgaard Bentzen, Post Doc at Roskilde University, Denmark. Email:

Christian Lo, Senior Researcher at the Nordland Research institute (NRI), Norway. Email:

Recently, the role of trust in the public institutions of the Nordic welfare states has been politicised and entered the public debate in a previously unprecedented form. At both national and local levels, and across different governmental sectors, political reforms that explicitly emphasize trust as an alternative approach to public management have emerged as a trend in the Scandinavian countries (see e.g. Aspøy 2016, Bentzen 2018).

While the main focus on trust within the public management literature has traditionally been on the importance of citizens’ trust towards the public sector (Christensen and Lægreid 2005, Van de Walle 2017), trust within the public sector and among civil servants working together in their efforts to handle complex challenges is receiving growing attention in the wake of NPM reforms (e.g. Bouckaert, 2012). The growing number of ‘wicked’ and complex problems require the public sector to heighten collaboration both internally and with actors outside formal organizations in order to develop new, innovative, solutions (Osborne 2006, Torfing et al. 2012). This aspiration, it is argued, requires trust in public employees, who must be delegated a greater degree of autonomy in order to flexibly handle these new complex tasks (Edelenbos and Eshuis 2012).

The debate on the development of public management in a post-NPM perspective has also drawn renewed interest to the social mechanisms that relate vertical trust within organizations to horizontal trust between welfare professionals who are, arguably, becoming increasingly dependent on negotiation in interorganizational networks to solve societal challenges (Torfing et al. 2012).

In this workshop we invite scholars to present research papers which explore aspects of trust within Governance. This could cover studies of institutional reforms aimed at enhancing trust, aspects of trust between peers within the public sector, trust between leaders and employees or relations between trust and control in management systems. However, papers addressing other aspects of trust within public administration are also welcomed.

Language: English. If all papers are written and presented by Scandinavian speaking scholars, we will use the Scandinavian languages.

Workshop 9 – Teaching for citizenship and democracy

Workshop chairs:        Maria Jansson, Associate professor of political science, Stockholm University. Email:

Nora E. H. Mathé, PhD, lecturer in social studies education, University of

Oslo. Email:

In the Scandinavian countries and other democracies, schools are a key institution responsible for preparing young people for living a life based on democratic values and practices. This goal is included in national educational policy in most countries. Educational institutions are, on the one hand, to socialize young people into accepting democratic values and ways of action and, on the other, to help them develop an independent assessment of how democratic governance works in practice. Schools are, therefore, to “sell” the idea that democracy is the best form of governance while also encouraging young people to have a critical or sceptical perspective on the practical application of this best form of governance. Research shows that these two goals are not always compatible, and, for various reasons, increasingly difficult to achieve in classroom settings. In schools as well as in higher education, the proliferation of ideas that challenge core democratic ideals such as equality gives rise to different teaching dilemmas when voiced in the classroom. While higher education has no obligation to “sell” democracy, nor to foster students’ democratic skills, academia rests firmly on ideals of equality and non-discrimination. Societal polarization, lower levels of societal trust, growing societal diversity, segregation, and other developments (e.g. limited resources) thus create challenges for teaching related to democracy at all levels.

This workshop explores the challenges and tensions historically and currently involved in teaching democracy at all levels. It welcomes theoretically- and empirically-driven papers on the role of policy-making, societal trends, teacher education, citizenship education theory, schools, teachers, and students on all levels of education (from pre-school to higher education) in teaching democracy and practicing it in educational systems. Other relevant topics are also welcome.

Keywords: Democracy, Citizenship, Teaching, Education, Policy.

Language: Papers written in any of the Nordic languages and in English will be considered. As a general rule the presentations will be in English.

Workshop 10 – Parliaments and Governments

Workshop chairs:        Martin Ejnar Hansen, Department of Social and Political Sciences, Brunel University London. Email:

Thomas Persson, Statsvetenskapliga institutionen, Uppsala University. Email:

The workshop has a broad focus on parliaments and governments. The Scandinavian countries are often central for comparative analyses of parliaments and governments. However, it is still not entirely clear whether the research developed on these countries travel well outside of the Scandinavian context.

The increased fragmentation and polarisation of European party systems creates new challenges for parliaments and governments. How do new parties work in parliaments? How is the relationship between government and opposition parties affected by this development? Are there changes in stability in relation to committees and other parliamentary institutions? Are minority governments using new tools to navigate these challenges? What is the impact on government formation and duration?

All topics which fall within parliaments and governments are welcome. We have a pluralistic approach to methodology and theory and the overall goal is to create a space for researchers interested in parliaments and governments to meet and discuss their research. The workshop is open for everyone with an interest in parliaments and governments, both for those focusing on the Scandinavian countries and for those scholars with a different geographical focus.

Language: English

Workshop 11 – Politics as a battlefield – understanding intraparty competition

Workshop chairs:        Peter Söderlund, Åbo Akademi University. Email:

Audrey Vandeleene, Lund University/Ghent University. Email:

The intraparty dimension of political competition refers to how individual candidates compete against fellow partisans. Intraparty competition can be as fierce as interparty competition. Although scholars have over the past decade begun to pay more attention to intraparty competition, there is still much unexplored territory – particularly in proportional representation systems where candidates compete against each other under open or flexible lists, but also among non-PR systems. Competition at the intraparty dimension can take different forms: copartisans compete for nominations to elected office, for positions on the electoral list, and for personal votes at the general election stage. Parties and voters hold decision-making power that stimulates competition among (aspirant) candidates.

This workshop invites papers that address different aspects of intraparty competition and that enhance our understanding of the mechanisms that shape competition within parties. What are the patterns of intraparty competition across and within countries and how can we explain these differences? Contributions may focus on any of the three central actors of the representative chain: parties, candidates and voters. First, parties differ in terms of how they go about to nominate candidates – both in terms of selection procedure and selection criteria – and coordinate the vote. Second, candidates may use different strategies to secure nomination and win personal votes. Third, voters use different decision cues when they evaluate individual candidates and cast preference votes. Both theoretical and empirical submissions are welcome to the workshop. Equal priority will be given to comparative studies and case studies. Papers and discussions will be carried out in English.

Language: English

Workshop 12 – Political communication in a new media environment

Workshop chairs:        Kim Andersen, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark / University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Email:

Erik Knudsen, University of Bergen, Norway. Email:

Mediated communication plays a vital role in politics. Politicians reach out for potential voters through the media, and citizens obtain information about politics through the media, guiding their political opinions and behaviour. However, the media environment in which these central democratic processes take place is undergoing fundamental changes.

Over the past decades, new technologies, like the Internet and social media, have enabled political communication in new forms and on new platforms. The use of traditional news media, like newspapers and TV, is declining, and anti-establishment voices, such as partisan alternative news sites, are growing in popularity. These changes have paved the way for a fragmented and individualized media environment characterized by selective exposure, algorithmic filtering, targeted advertising, and misinformation. This situation has led to concerns of the well-being of our democracies.

In light of this development, this workshop aims at bringing together new insights on political communication from political science and communication research in the Nordic countries. We welcome scholars with an interest in political communication, political rhetoric and communication strategies, interpersonal political communication, political content in the media, and related topics to participate in the workshop.

The Nordic countries have a strong tradition of interdisciplinary political communication research anchored in political science and communication research. This workshop will continue the successful political communication workshops at previous NoPSA meetings, with the aim of bringing political science and communication research closer together. Although the workshop takes a starting point in the Nordic countries, it is explicitly open for international scholars. The working language of the workshop will therefore be English.

Target group: Political science and communication researchers working with political communication in the Nordic countries.

Language: English

Workshop 13 – New avenues for corruption research

Workshop chairs:        Gissur Ólafur Erlingsson, Associate professor in political science, Linköping University, Sweden. Email:

Gunnar Helgi Kristinsson, Professor in political science, University of Iceland, Iceland. Email:

Corruption is increasingly the subject of empirical research in political science and the number of published articles in academic journal has increased exponentially in recent decades (Rothstein & Varraich 2017; Heywood 2018a). However, conceptual and methodological problems remain considerable (Heywood 2018a). Despite efforts by international organizations, we lack undisputed measures to deal with different types and syndromes of corruption (Andvig 2005; Arnd & Oman 2006; Heywood 2018b; Andersson & Heywood 2009). To date, the main research strategies have tended to be case studies (sometimes including content analysis of recorded/written material), perception-based strategies, experience-based strategies, gauging strength of anti-corruption institutions/rule of law, and studies of the structure of corruption (including e.g. experimental studies). Given the clandestine nature of corruption, triangulation of methods has also become an increasingly important approach in studies of corruption.

Although corruption is, perhaps, less of a problem in the Nordic setting than in many other parts of the world, there is reason to believe that some of its subtler forms are not easily detected in conventional bribes-based approaches, and has perhaps hence been overlooked by both academics and policy-makers. It has also become increasingly recognised that studying corruption at other levels of the political system than the state-level – e.g. transnational, regional, local, individual – has a potential to contribute to our knowledge about corruption. There is reason to believe that studying corruption in a context where it is less endemic than in highly corrupt regions is equally important for a well-rounded view.

Against this backdrop, this workshop is open to conceptual, methodological and theoretical contributions as well as papers based on empirical research. We particularly welcome a special focus is on corruption in ‘least corrupt’ settings, which may not be as easily detected by conventional methods. Hence, we particularly welcome papers based on more innovative research strategies such as experiments/field experiments; and papers with its research focus elsewhere than on the state-level (e.g. local or regional level, individual level, as well as studying transnational corruption). Papers dealing with the causes and consequences of corruption e.g. on trust and legitimacy, are most welcome too.

Language: English

Workshop 14 – How Democratic is Local Democracy?

Workshop chairs:        Jo Saglie, Forsker I, Institutt for Samfunnsforskning, Norway. Email:

Ulrik Kjær, Professor, Syddansk Universitet, Denmark. Email:

One of the proposed merits of local governments has traditionally been its closeness to citizens. In theory, this should facilitate the participation of the citizens in political processes as well as the local political/administrative system’s responsiveness to the local inhabitants. Although the Nordic countries are unitary states, they are very decentralized. However, most of them have experienced local government reforms – especially municipal amalgamations – recently. How is local democracy presently doing in the Nordic countries? And what is the impact of recent reforms on local democracy? This workshop invites scholars doing empirical work on Nordic local governments to discuss the well-functioning of local democracy, including both the municipal and regional level. Studies of electoral and non-electoral democracy are equally welcomed. Studies of state-local relations, as well as studies of relations between local governments and citizens and community organizations, will fit into the workshop. Other topics of interest are local electoral systems and local party branches. The papers can be single-country studies where local governments within the same national setting are compared or studies where the Nordic countries are included in comparative analyses with other (Nordic or non-Nordic) countries. The workshop is open for studies applying qualitative as well as quantitative research methods.

Language: Scandinavian

Workshop 15 – The Politics of Law and Courts

Workshop chairs:        Gunnar Grendstad, Professor, Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen. Email:

Anna Wallerman, Senior Lecturer, Department of Law, University of Gothenburg. Email:

Judicialization – the process of more national and international laws and the greater prominence of judges and courts in the policy-making processes – is still outpacing Nordic political science and interdisciplinary scholarship. While judicial politics is establishing itself as a sub-discipline on the European continent, there is a dire need to connect, expand and build similar efforts in the Nordic countries. The workshop will bring together an emerging and expanding group of interdisciplinary scholars who do research on law, courts and politics within and beyond the Nordic region. Its goal is to strengthen this Nordic-based international network and to foster cutting-edge research.

Nordic research on the politics of law and courts is gaining momentum. Recent research has explored decision making on Nordic apex courts, how Nordic courts engage with the ECJ preliminary reference procedure, and how Nordic supreme courts cite international law and other sources. Other vigorous research efforts have contributed to our understanding of the working of international courts. Ongoing studies are broadening the field, looking inter alia into the political and law-making role of courts.

Seeking to consolidate and expand upon these efforts, the workshop invites theoretical, methodological, empirical as well as comparative and inter-disciplinary papers on a range of topics, including but not limited to analyses of legal actors, courts, institutional procedures, institutional change, decision making, legal mobilization, and implementation. We especially seek contributions that address the role of courts in the Nordic context, but also welcome proposals on judicial politics in in other regions and context.

As the court system of Iceland underwent major restructuring in January 2018, a visit to the Supreme Court of Iceland is planned as a part of the program of the workshop.

Language: English

Workshop 16 – The populist radical right and its consequences for liberal democracy

Workshop chairs:        Jonas Linde, University of Bergen. Email:

Atle Hennum Haugsgjerd, Institute for Social Research, Oslo. Email:

Andrej Kokkonen, University of Gothenburg. Email:

During the last decades, populist radical right parties have persistently gained strength and achieved electoral successes in most European countries. This process has culminated with populists winning (USA) or closely competing for the presidential office (Austria and France), and populist radical right and nationalist parties joining governments (e.g. Italy, Hungary, Finland, and Norway) or acting as supporters of government (e.g. Denmark). These developments have generated widespread concerns that the core institutions of representative democracy are subject to a gradual erosion of public trust, and motivated commentators within and outside of academia to argue that liberal democracy faces a severe legitimacy crisis. At the same time, the electoral growth of the populist radical right has provided many dissatisfied voters not only with improved representation and strengthened public voice, but also with increased influence over public policy.

The aim of this workshop is to address these issues from an empirical perspective. Does the growth of the populist radical right pose a threat to the legitimacy of liberal democracy? Or, could it be the case that the populist success forces liberal democracy and mainstream political parties to become more responsive to the concerns of large shares of ordinary citizens, which in the end will increase democratic trust and legitimacy? We welcome empirical research investigating questions such as: Will the increased electoral strength of this party family temper or fuel their supporters’ distrust in the political system? What are the consequences of this shift for the legitimacy beliefs of non-populist voters? Will they lose confidence in, and disengage from, politics, or will they ‘fight’ back with increasing affective polarization as a result? Furthermore, what is the role of party elites? What messages are voters exposed to by populist leaders in power, and how susceptible are voters’ legitimacy beliefs to such elite cues?

Language: English

Workshop 17 – Foreign Policy and International Relations in the Northern Europe in Historical Perspective

Workshop chairs:        Tuomas Forsberg, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. Email:

Aryo Makko, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study. Email:

This workshop invites papers dealing with foreign policy, diplomacy and international relations in the Northern Europe from a historical perspective. We would be particularly interested in papers that focus on the end of the Cold War and the beginnings of the post-Cold War era in the 1990s as researchers can now increasingly rely on primary sources and thereby critically review earlier interpretations. However, papers related to both earlier and later periods are equally welcome. Moreover, the workshop aims at combining historical and theoretical perspectives. Foreign policy analysis and studies of international institutions would greatly benefit from systematic study of history on the basis of which theoretical claims can be tested.  For example, the end of the Cold War and the political transformation in Europe after that has been much discussed in terms of structural dynamics of power and shared normative beliefs, but we should complement the picture by looking at the logic of the choices that the decision-makers actually made in terms of their perceptions, knowledge, emotions, objectives and practices.

Language: English

Workshop 18 – The Agents of Public Sector Innovation

Workshop chairs:        Dalia Mukhtar-Landgren, Lund University, Department. of Political Science, Sweden. Email:

Beata Segercrantz, Helsinki University, Swedish School of Social Science, Finland. Email:

Mats Fred, Global political studies, Malmö University, Sweden. Email:

We are currently witnessing an increasing interest in and application of different kinds of change initiatives in the public sector. Some of these initiatives can be related to overarching reform packages such as New Public Management, New Public Governance or the Danish and Swedish trust reforms. Others are related to processes of (social) innovations ranging from policy labs, urban testbeds and different forms of experimental governance, often manifested in projects or pilots. These processes are often related to trends aiming to maximize public sector performance, including the search for evidence-based solutions, best practices or the mediation of knowledge between sectors. Taken together, they exemplify a paradigm in which ‘innovation’ is not only seen as the key driver of organizational success but is also considered vital for organizational survival.

This session draws attention to the agents facilitating and promoting this development. In the context of public sector organizations we find a myriad of examples of these agents, including consultants, project managers and “strategists”, policy entrepreneurs or insider activists. Some embrace this role, while others may experience tensions. These agents come from the public as well as the private sector and/or the civil society. What they have in common is their promotion of ideas, change, solutions and innovations in public sector organizing.

We welcome empirical papers focusing on the (individual as well as organizational) agents active in the broadly defined field of public sector innovation, as well as theoretical discussions of changing roles, mandates and processes of change, continuity and resistance within the field. We also welcome contributions that takes a broader or structural perspective on the organizational, institutional, discursive and/or social context in which these actors operate.

Language: English. If all papers are written and presented by Scandinavian speaking scholars, we will use the Scandinavian languages.

Workshop 20 – Party system change – are political parties still carriers of ideological alternatives?

Workshop chairs:        Jonas Hinnfors, PhD, Professor of Political Science, University of Gothenburg. Email:

Jonathan Polk, PhD, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Copenhagen. Email:

According to research in comparative politics, party systems in Western Europe have been changing during the last 40 years. A common claim is that the ideologies of parties have become increasingly similar, while at the same time party systems have become more fragmented. This is one of the crucial paradoxes, which party system research has not yet resolved.

We welcome both theoretical and empirical accounts with either single party system cases or comparative approaches. In this group, we are interested in several research perspectives, e.g. whether party system change can be explained by the decoupling of party rhetoric and enacted policies, strategic choices of party leaders, vote maximization, parliamentary conflict/cooperation or internal party tensions? Further, approaches looking at various party system actors, such as dominant parties, old parties, new parties and other types of parties are welcome.

Target groups: We invite scholars working on party system change, political parties and parliamentary party groups. Scholars with a more general comparative politics approach on political parties are also welcome. Primarily, we expect the empirical focus to be on European cases.

Language: English

Workshop 22 – Managing the health sector: recent trends in policy-making and governance

Workshop chairs:        Frode Veggeland, PhD in Political Science, Professor, Department of health management and health economics, University of Oslo. Email:

Mio Fredriksson, Associate professor (PhD, Master of Social Sciences), Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Sweden. Email:

This workshop aims at shedding light on recent developments in the health sector with a particular focus on the Nordic countries. The scope of the workshop is divided into five categories:

  1. Emerging technologies (such as electronic patient records and e-health);
  2. Implementing new organizational models (such as public-private partnerships and care pathways);
  3. Alternative governance modes (such as “One Health”, cross-border care and user influence/patients’ rights);
  4. Emerging health policy styles (such as market orientation and alternative public health interventions);
  5. Systemic health threats (such as aging population, pandemics, climate change and other emerging crisis).

The working group welcomes papers addressing one or more of the topics mentioned above – preferably with a focus on Nordic countries (cross-country studies are warmly welcomed), but papers focusing on other geographical areas may also be accepted.

Target groups: Researchers (including PhD students) from political science, the social sciences and other relevant fields who are studying health policy and health management with a particular focus on recent developments in Europe and the Nordics.

The workshop is a follow-up of two previous workshops: “Nordisk helsepolitikk” (Nordic health policy), held in August 2014 at the XVII Nordic Political Science Congress, University of Gothenburg, and “Current challenges in health sector governance in Europe”, held in August 2017 at the XVIII Nordic Political Science Congress, University of Southern Denmark, Odense. One important rationale behind this workshop is the adding of continuity and strengthening of the Nordic health policy network within social science in general and political science in particular.

Language: English

Workshop 23 – The West Nordic – International, Arctic and National Contexts.

Workshop chairs:        Gestur Hovgaard, Head of institute, associate professor, Institute of Social Science, Economics & Journalism, University of Greenland, Nuuk. Email:

Jens Christian S Justinussen, Head of Program, Associate Professor, Faculty of History and Social Sciences. University of the Faroe Islands. Email:

The idea behind this workshop is to make a forum for scholars doing research on the West Nordic countries, Faroe Islands, Greenland and Iceland. We welcome research within a national and an international perspective, which may be comparative in scope as well. For the international context we welcome contributions on government, governance or political issues or societal developments. We would like to see focus on The West Nordic in the Arctic context, both in relation to the socio-economic developments in the Arctic, a juridical context as well as in relation to the West Nordic region’s status and position in the Arctic Council. We also welcome contributions who focus more on these three countries in a Nordic or small state context. In the national context we would like to see contributions who focus on themes such as the local level and its challenges for service provision and democracy. Coping with long distances and peripheral locations in that context is for many localities or municipalities a great challenge. We also like to see contributions on higher education policies and implementations, both nationally and in the West Nordic context.

Language: English

Workshop 24 – Political regimes in comparative and historical perspectives / Politiska regimer i komparativt och historiskt perspektiv

Workshop chairs:        Carsten Anckar, Åbo Akademi University. Email:

Thomas Denk, Örebro Universitet. Email:

In focus of the workshop are political regimes, their structures, developments, conditions, and effects. In several countries, gradual as well as extensive changes of political regimes are taking place. Democratic institutions are being strengthened in some countries, but democratic regimes are being challenged and weakened to an even greater extent. New forms of hybrid regimes are increasingly emerging as a result of this development. An important research topic is to describe and explain this development, but also to analyse the effects of the development. Other priority questions concerns how the relationship between political systems and citizens changes, and how the development affects the state-democracy axis. A third topic is to examine and explain how political changes and stability tend to spread between countries. Research dealing with questions about diffusion is therefore relevant for the workshop, as well as studies about the significance of context to understand the development.

The workshop welcomes papers that empirically or theoretically deal with questions about political regimes in comparative or historical perspectives. In particular, papers that apply or test new theoretical perspectives are welcome. Papers that address methodological issues or introduce new methods for studying the development are also particularly welcome. The languages of the workshop are Scandinavian and English.

Temat för arbetsgruppen är politiska regimer, deras uppbyggnad, utveckling, förutsättningar och effekter. I flera länder pågår såväl gradvisa som omfattande förändringar av politiska regimer. Förvisso stärks de demokratiska institutionerna i en del länder, men demokratiska regimer utmanas och försvagas i än större utsträckning. Nya former av hybridregimer framträder alltmer som en följd av utvecklingen. En viktig forskningsuppgift är att beskriva och förklara denna utveckling, men också att analysera effekterna av utvecklingen. En annan prioriterad uppgift är att analysera hur förhållandet mellan politiska system och medborgarna förändras, samt hur utvecklingen påverkar relationen mellan stat och demokrati. En tredje uppgift är att studera och förklara hur politiska förändringar och stabilitet tenderar att spridas mellan länder. Frågor om diffusion är därför viktiga inom arbetsgruppens tema, likaså frågor om betydelsen av kontext för att förstå utvecklingen.

Arbetsgruppen välkomnar uppsatser som empiriskt eller teoretiskt behandlar frågor om politiska regimer i komparativt eller historiskt perspektiv. Särskilt välkomnas uppsatser som tillämpar eller prövar nya teoretiska perspektiv på utveckling. Även uppsatser som behandlar metodologiska frågor relaterade till utvecklingen eller introducerar nya metoder för att studera aspekter av utvecklingen är särskilt välkomna. Gruppens arbetsspråk är skandinaviska och engelska.

Language: Scandinavian and English

Workshop 25 – Practice Theory in International Relations and Political Science: what next?

Workshop chairs:        Niklas Bremberg, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Stockholm University. Email:

Nina Græger, Senior Research Fellow, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. Email:

In recent years, a growing interest in practice theory in social science has generated an emerging research agenda in International Relations (IR) focusing on socially meaningful patterns of action as a way to study a wide-range of international and global phenomena such as e.g. summit diplomacy, deterrence, crisis management operations and humanitarian aid. Practice theory in IR has received a strong response in the Scandinavian academic community and many scholars in Denmark, Norway and Sweden have made significant contributions to the research agenda in recent years.

At this point, therefore, it seems particularly useful to organize a workshop at NOPSA 2020 in order to provide an opportunity to strengthen collaboration among scholars in Political Science and IR based in the Nordic countries (and beyond) interested in practice theory and related theoretical as well as methodological approaches. This workshop invites senior and junior scholars in these fields of study with a particular interest in explaining and understanding how everyday ways-of-doings are consequential for political action broadly understood.

The workshop sets out to explore a number of themes related to the emerging research agenda on practice theory. These themes and questions include: is there a particular role for theory, explanations and inference in practice theory as applied to Political Science and IR? What new methods and procedures for data collection should be advanced in order to study social practices in Political Science and IR (besides e.g. ethnographic accounts, participant observation, semi-structured interviews, discourse analysis)? What insights from other subfields such as Comparative Politics, Public Administration and Political Theory are particularly relevant to the research agenda, and conversely, what can insights from research based on practice theory contribute to these subfields?

Language: English

Workshop 26 – Municipal amalgamations and amalgamation reforms: Objectives – strategies – conflicts – impact

Workshop chairs:        Grétar Thór Eythórsson, Professor in Government and Methodology, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Akureyri, Iceland. Email:

Jan Erling Klausen, Associate professor, Department of Political Science, University of Oslo, Norway. Email:

Amalgamation reforms have been implemented in various European countries since World War II and are still or again on the agenda of national and subnational governments. Politicians consider them as a solution to improve public service delivery as well as the financial situation of local and superordinate tiers of government. Some of the Nordic countries have implemented comprehensive amalgamation reforms, others not as comprehensive and in some cases even less has happened. One could ask why. Other measures such as inter-municipal cooperation, have been used to improve services and increase capacity to deliver them.

In this workshop, we welcome paper presentations that focus on municipal amalgamations, amalgamation reforms as well as other measures to reach the goals intended by merging units on the local level. Contributions focusing on the drivers or objectives behind amalgamations or amalgamation reforms, strategies used in the context and even conflicts that come up in such re-shuffling.

We would even like to see contributions focusing on the impact of municipal amalgamations. Here we like to see presentations on the impact on municipal services, especially looking at service quality, service capacity, service efficiency and equality in services between the centre and the periphery in the municipality. Further, impact on democracy is relevant in the context.

We welcome country comparative contributions, country specific contributions both in a Nordic context as well as a European.

Language: Nordic but English is allowed

Workshop 27 – Do women have a voice in local governance?: Researching leadership in local government administration

Workshop chairs:        Eva Marín Hlynsdóttir, University of Iceland, Iceland. Email:

Dag Olaf Torjesen, University in Agder, Norway. Email:

The focus of this panel is on the top civil servants in local government and their interactions with the local politicians. We invite many types of paper submissions that include such a focus, be they single country descriptive papers or multiple country large N comparative papers intending to explain variations. Papers may for instance focus on the institutional antecedents for interactions between politics and administration in local government, on explaining variations in administrative leadership styles, or on the top civil servant’s role in the creation of novel ways of organizing. Papers may present empirical findings from small N qualitative case-studies or large N research from surveys and register data and/or they may present theoretical frameworks designed to understand, explain or normatively evaluate issues related to local government top civil servants. We recommend that papers clarify the institutional context of the local government system(s) in focus. The institutional context may refer to formal rules as well as informal culture and we encourage papers examining variations in civil service systems and their associated public service ethos. We encourage that papers include notions of history, path dependence and emerging patterns of change – be they deliberate top down reforms or bottom up processes of slow incremental evolution. We are expecially interested in papers that explore gender issues in relation to top civil service.

Target group: Researchers interested in local government top civil servants, gender in local government leadership, political leaders and local government administration

Language: Nordic but English is allowed

Workshop 28 – Current hegemonic struggles, transformed structures, and vocabularies

Workshop chairs:        Allan Dreyer Hansen, Roskilde University. Email:

Charlotte Fridolfsson, Linköpings universitet. Email:

Emilia Palonen, University of Helsinki. Email:

Thirty five years after the publication of Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democracy by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe in 1985, this workshops invites analyses of contemporary challenges, struggles in politics and societies related to the theory of hegemony. We are witnessing profound changes in the political landscapes since the mid-eighties. At that time the pressing question regarded the new social movements and their unification in order to challenge oppressive regimes or contest individual-centred neoliberalism, with its consensus on a particular economic model. After 1989 this consensus only deepened in what has been called a global neo-liberal hegemony. However the situation has changed.

While Laclau and Mouffe addressed the proliferation of subject positions, now we witness several forms of challenges to the status quo, including neo-liberalism. The ‘explosion’ of populism, mostly right-wing but also left-oriented, but also by new forms of democracy, including an increased attention to participation. With these changes in mind we want to raise the question: which hegemonies for the 2020ies? Our aim is to unveil new hegemonic frameworks and formations, contemporary moments of dislocation, and not least, explore populist meaning making. What is the transformed Zeitgeist? How more precisely, have the structures of meaning making transformed? In this workshop we seek to generate new vocabularies for the current era of hybrid media and participative turn. We particularly focus on the perspective of poststructuralist, postfoundational and rhetoric performative analysis. We invite analyses from all branches of the poststructuralist landscape but we place the theoretical perspective of Hegemony and Socialist Strategy as a ‘nodal point’, inviting alternative approaches to relate to this seminal work.

Cases from the Nordic countries are of course especially welcome, but we encourage papers from international scholars as well as on cases from around the globe. The language of the workshop is English, but we also welcome papers discussing hegemony and discourse theory in the 2020s in the Nordic countries. Scandinavian and Finnish language terminology related to hegemony and discourse theory are also welcome – e.g. the notion of ‘folkelighed’ or new vocabularies that emerge in the contemporary era. Global semi-peripheries such as the Nordic countries can help us capture essential dimensions of contemporary theorising and praxis. Interaction between different vernacular conceptualisations will help us to develop new theoretical vocabularies, and address political meaning making, beyond the geographical points of departure.

The workshop is a continuation of 3 former NOPSA-workshops, but is of course open to anyone interested in its topics.

Language: English

Workshop 29 – Multiple Spaces of Indigenous Sovereignty

Workshop chairs:        Sanna Valkonen, Associate professor of Sámi research, University of Lapland. Email:

Ulf Mörkenstam, Associate professor of political science, University of Stockholm. Email:

In this workshop, we will discuss different forms, spaces and places of manifesting and constructing indigenous political agency, indigenous sovereignty and self-determination. Indigenous peoples are non-state political actors who have created their own cross-border political bodies and networks of cooperation. The United Nations have offered an important political forum for Indigenous peoples to struggle for their rights. Some Indigenous peoples, like the Sámi in the Nordic countries, have their own political institutions within the state systems. However, indigenous political agency is currently maybe more than ever visible and constructed in new, often non-traditional political spaces. Indigenous museums, art and artivism, different forms of civil activism, the social media etc. are central forms and spaces for manifesting indigenous sovereignty and self-determination in the contemporary era of neo-liberal power structures. There is also a growing discussion about resurrecting Indigenous peoples’ traditional forms of governance.

We welcome to this workshop papers that deal with indigenous political agency, especially when occurring in non-conventional political spaces. How indigenous sovereignty manifests in different traditional and non-traditional political spaces? How Indigenous peoples’ own political and cultural traditions and practices are related to contemporary forms of demonstrating indigenous rights and sovereignty? How they may be gendered or embodied? How indigenous political agency may challenge or problematize our conceptions on political agency, self-determination and citizenship?

Also papers addressing more generally the politics of indigeneity are welcome to the workshop.

Language: Papers written in any of the Nordic countries are welcome, but the main language of the discussions will be English.

Workshop 30 – Conceptions of citizenship and participation in contemporary democracies

Workshop chairs:        Carolin Zorell, Örebro University, Sweden. Email:

Oddveig Storstad, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway. Email:

The understanding of what democracy means and what a citizen’s role in democratic society constitutes has never been the same for all people and nations. However, current developments seem to differ from the conventional depiction of democracy as an “essentially contested concept” (Gallie1956) and suggest a fundamental shift in citizens’ views of democracy and of their roles as democratic citizens. On one side we witness a rise of preferences for a‐democratic and anti‐democratic political arrangements, while on another side we see a thriving interest in direct democratic and ubiquitous political engagements by citizens. Likewise, political apathy and alienation of some is facing a continuous expansion of political participation to everyday activities by others. These seemingly opposite positions are accompanied by deep socio‐political tensions and essentially changing political landscapes, thus underlining the need to discuss their origins, connections and potential consequences. The workshop shall bring together researchers from different political science sub‐disciplines (political sociology, political psychology, environmental politics, etc.) to discuss to what extent these developments might actually be related (as for example the look at environmental/climate change politics suggests), and to what extent they involve new – or changing – norms of citizenship and patterns of political participation. Some potential questions to address include how these changes are affecting citizens’ (1) conceptions of what constitutes ‘politics’, (2) what ‘politics’ should and can deliver, (3) their perceptions of the role of the citizen, and (3) the ways in which people partake in politics.

Topic/keywords: Conceptions of democracy, norms of citizenship, political participation, environmental politics.

Language: English


Workshop 31 – Contentious Politics in an Age of Austerity: Anti-EU Mobilization in Europe after the Financial Crisis

Workshop chairs:        Helga K. Hallgrímsdóttir, University of Victoria. Email:

Maximilian Conrad, University of Iceland. Email:

Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly, University of Victoria. Email:

The European Union has been in more or less constant crisis mode since the beginning of the 2008 global financial crisis, as highlighted by the Eurozone debt crisis, the 2015-2016 refugee crisis, the resurgence of right-wing populism and nationalism in many member states and, most dramatically, the 2016 decision of the United Kingdom to leave the EU. Considerable scholarship already exists about the economic causes and impact of the financial crisis, but the political and social ramifications, especially for the EU, are still considerably less clear. Not only do the EU‘s recent crises appear to have a detrimental effect on the very notion of solidarity as a guiding principle underlying the European project. In addition, public opposition to free-trade projects such as TTIP and CETA underlines the increasing contentiousness of European integration more broadly, although there are also indications that the Brexit referendum has served as a wake-up call that has resulted in various forms of pro-European backlash across the EU. Taking these observations as a point of departure, the proposed workshop addresses the question of the effect of the EU‘s recent crises on (a) political discourse, in particular in terms of populist and normative framings of citizenship, national belonging, pan-Europeanism and Euro-skepticism; (b) the ways in which this discourse been taken up by political actors in anti-European claims-making at various levels; and (c) under what specific governance conditions such framings have led to politically important outcomes for Euroskeptic actors.

The workshop invites papers that address these questions from a theoretical and/or empirical angle. Empirical papers may be single-case or comparative case studies, and we explicitly welcome insights from a broad variety of EU member states.

Language: English

Workshop 32 – International Relation and Cultural Heritage: Conflict and Cooperation

Workshop chairs:        Annika Björkdahl, Lund University. Email:

Ted Svensson, Lund University. Email:

Tarja Väyrynen, Tampere Peace Research Institute (TAPRI). Email:

Please send your abstract to Ted Svensson at

The fairly recent but rapt attention to cultural heritage in International Relations builds upon the assumption that tangible and intangible cultural heritage can provide novel ways of understanding key aspects of international relations, such as dynamics of power, collaboration and contestation, colonialism and post-colonialism, identity construction, as well as peace and conflict dynamics. Contemporary violent conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Mali and elsewhere have prompted increased attention to the vulnerability of cultural heritage. Yet, attacks against cultural heritage in conflicts are not a new phenomenon, nor are attempts to prevent and protect it. Composed of historic buildings, monuments and artefacts of artistic, historic, religious and scientific importance, cultural heritage contributes to national identities, and as such these are emblematic sites to target in violent conflict. This workshop will explore where, how, when and why cultural heritage is important to politics at the international, national and subnational level; how contestation and cooperation revolve around heritage sites; and who the main agents of such contestation and cooperation are. Moreover, it also explores the relationship between the dynamics of war and peace and cultural heritage and investigates the role of cultural heritage in times of war and peace. The contributions to this panel adopt different perspectives while seeking to improve the understanding of the politics of cultural heritage in IR. The panel is based on the recognition that the politics of cultural heritage contains and implicates power struggle, conflict, contestation as well as cooperation, peace building, and identity and memory politics.

Language: English

Workshop 34 – Political efficacy, participation and inequality

Workshop chairs:        Johannes Bergh, Leader of the Norwegian National Election Studies Institute for Social Research, Oslo, Norway. Email:
Josefina Sipinen, Researcher, Tampere University. Email:

Previous studies have perceived a growing inequality gap between social groups and political participation in the Nordic countries as well as elsewhere in Europe. Political efficacy refers to an individual’s belief that a government acts in a responsive manner, taking into account citizens’ preferences and needs (external efficacy), and that an individual considers herself capable of influencing politics and controlling political decision-making (internal efficacy). Strong political efficacy, both external and internal, should lead to political engagement, which is based on critical evaluation of the political system (i.e. informed citizenship), correct and sufficient information on politics, and, consequently, to active participation in the society. Education, and particularly civic education, is considered to be one of the main explanations creating gaps in citizens’ efficacy-levels. Moreover, there exists several other potential factors (such as gender and migration background) affecting political efficacy depending on whether the interest is on internal or external political efficacy.

The panel welcomes both theoretical studies and empirical papers that take on different methodological techniques and analytical tools. Topics of interest include (but are not limited to): differences in the levels of political efficacy across social groups, potential factors explaining efficacy gaps, and education’s role in shaping citizens’ political efficacy. We especially welcome papers that investigate the link between political efficacy and political participation.

Language: The language of the working group will be English. We recommend that the papers should be written in English as well.

Workshop 35 – Gender & politics research in times of backlash

Workshop chairs:        Drude Dahlerup, professor, Roskilde University, e-mail

Lenita Freidenvall, associate professor, Stockholm University, e-mail

This workshop will discuss the future of Gender & Politics research in the Nordic countries, in Europe and globally in a period of double-edged tendencies – continued worldwide progress of this relative new research discipline, and at the same time an almost inconceivable new resistance to gender studies (e.g. the ban on gender studies in Hungary by law). No doubt, the intersectional perspective and the theoretical questioning of the dichotomy of ‘women’ and ‘men’ seems to have contributed to stirring this resistance. To what extent have we been blind to the alienation that these new perspective have encouraged, not only among some political elites, but, more importantly, also among non-feminists women and women’s organizations.

The workshop invites papers from a broad range of sub disciplines within political science. Especially welcome are papers, which in their presentation of their present research projects will incorporate reflections on the position and impact of their work in a troubled time in history. We invite single studies as well comparative studies. We invite experienced as well as younger scholars in order to encourage a cross-generational discussion about approaches and methodologies.

Language: Papers can be presented in any Scandinavian language and in English.

Workshop 36 – The minority status in the Nordic Region

Workshop chairs:        Marion Godman, Assistant Professor, Aarhus University, email:

Annamari Vitikainen, Associate Professor, The Arctic University of Norway, email:

Many groups whose lives and livelihoods have spread across borders in the Nordic region have faced challenges. Some groups are particularly hard hit. A stark example is the forceable relocation and assimilation of many indigenous Sami. Another is the history of discrimination facing the Roma. These historical injustices have arguably led to a widespread acceptance of giving special status to such minority groups (though the implementation and legislation of such rights has often lagged). More recently, a different set of groups have been added to the discussion of minority rights in the Nordic context. Do newly arrived immigrants or, e.g., members of the LGBTQ community share some moral standing with traditional minorities? Indeed, what constitutes a morally relevant minority deserving of special protection to begin with?

We invite political scientists and philosophers, as well as researchers in neighboring fields to think about both the tensions and commonalities facing different indigenous and minority groups, and their fights for recognition and rights. The questions to be explored in this workshop include, but are not restricted to:

  • Is there something distinctively ‘Nordic’ in terms of policy of minorities and how do the responses of Nordic states differ from one another?
  • What makes indigenous groups a special case; what can (or cannot) other groups learn from the indigenous struggles for rights and recognition?
  • Are there tensions between different (minority/indigenous) groups and if so how can they be resolved?
  • What are the legitimate limitations to minority protection in the Nordic context?

The workshop papers are expected to be organized under thematic clusters, e.g. in terms of addressing certain foundational issues (what grounds minority rights); certain national contexts (incl. regional and comparative approaches); and particular types of groups (e.g. indigenous, linguistic, immigrant etc.).

Target: Political philosophers & theorists, legal scholars and social scientists working on indigenous and/or minority issues

Language: The papers circulated in advance will be in English, but presentations and discussions will be in Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and English (depending on participants’ language competences).