AuPSA/CEPSA Joint Workshop

CEPSA & AuPSA in Cooperation with the University of Trnava
Workshop: Research questions and methods in local political science research November 10, 2023 | @ University of Trnava
Call for Contributions

Already in the 1980s the processes of economic globalization and European integration have gained new momentum and brought along a constantly decreasing significance of national politics. Simultaneously – or considered a reaction to it – subnational entities, particularly on the local level, strengthened their historically established identities and started pushing for opportunities of participation in the political process.

As a result, social sciences internationally have increased their output on questions of local/regional politics. In the discipline of political science however, the extent of research in this field is limited. Obviously, a backlog exists regarding empirical-analytic research in the field of subnational politics.

The following research fields might be identified:

The study of democracy on sub-national level

…aims at generating findings on democracy in municipalities (but also regions). Research fields can range from research on participation or elections to electoral behavior. Empirically, this research might be x- or y-centered and covered either by quantitative or qualitative methods.

Policy research in communities/regions

…deals with the contents of political life within these entities. Researchers are looking into what political actors are dealing with, why they are pursuing a specific agenda and what output can be expected.

Designing research at the local level

…can serve as a vantage point and core element in research designs, particularly in aggregate level research (i.e. testing hypotheses with regard to elections, parties, populism etc.). Municipalities have an inherent potential as cases or units of research. To name just a few: municipalities promise a high „n“, municipalities promise a high variation of political phenomena, municipalities promise high internal validity in the hypothesis test and municipalities are the “schools for democracy”.


Research on the local level mostly aims at generating data and aggregating datasets for enabling (inter-)nationally comparative research. However, as yet many studies on the local level are national/regional case studies. Aggregated data is lacking or has to be created by researchers. Thus, a pool of datasets coming from several states is desired and can help improve research in this field.

The workshop is organized as follows:

Part I:

morning session – presentations and discussions of accepted paper- and research projects

Part II:

afternoon session – world café debate aimed at intensively discussing contents and methods of studies of politics on the local/regional level.

Call for Contributions

We are encouraging submissions of paper or research projects that are focusing on politics at the local level. Regarding paper submissions, we expect an already existing empirical part as well as a sound elaboration of the theoretical part. Also, for research projects, we expect proposals to present preliminary findings against the background of a theoretical basis which serves as starting point for the following discussion.

The selection committee welcomes up to twenty papers and/or research projects and will provide for expert discussants who will share their expertise and critique with the contributors. Hence, participants can expect a sound benefit from participating in the workshop. In addition, the workshop provides a platform for professional networking.

Please send the outline of your planned contribution (abstract) under the subject “AuPSA/CEPSA Workshop” to office.oegpw[at] Deadline September 15, 2023. Submissions will be reviewed by the organization committee, which is also responsible for the selection of papers/projects.

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