Conference Calls

Call for Papers
A conference of the ECPR Standing Group on Central and Eastern European Politics
Political Leaders in Central and Eastern Europe: Roles, Actions and Consequences

19-21 April 2018
Babes-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca (Romania)

The political leadership lies at the origin of most transformations in democracies today, e.g. policies, institutional gridlocks, radicalization. An extensive body of literature argues that political leaders are key players in politics in general and in their political parties in particular: the recruitment of political personnel, setting the policy agenda, the coordination of party activities and the public image of the party. So far, research on political leadership focused mainly on established democracies and well-known leaders. Much less attention was paid to political and party leadership in new democracies and transition countries. This is of particular importance in Central and Eastern Europe where the role of leadership is more prominent (as opposed to other structural conditions) due to the higher personalization of politics and political instability, newer democratic mechanisms, more problematic rule of law and electorally volatile political parties.

This international conference aims to address this gap in the literature and invites papers that analyze and explain the variation in leadership styles, leaders’ activities and consequences of their activities for their political parties and political systems in general. The event will bring together 25-30 researchers working on the topic, with a balance between established academics and early career scholars (PhD candidates may also apply) and between researchers affiliated to Western and Central and Eastern European institutions. Depending on the quality, and scope of works, the organizers have in mind either a special issue in an international peer-reviewed journal or an edited volume with a high-profile publisher.

Papers will be presented in the following format: 15 min. presentation + 15 min. discussion
Three types of papers are encouraged:
1. Theoretical papers that discuss the definition and conceptualization of political and / or party leadership. Such contributions should ideally bring a broad perspective of the concepts (e.g. leadership style) and relate them to existing analytical dimensions.
2. Methodological papers addressing the issue of measuring leaders’ roles, actions or impact. Contributions that bring innovative methods and data are particularly welcomed.
3. Empirical papers that seek to explain variation in leadership styles, actions and consequences at the macro- (society), meso- (party) and micro-levels (individuals). We encourage papers that focus specifically on variations between parties and leaders.
Both case studies of single leaders or parties and comparative (large and small N) are invited, although we have a preference for comparative studies. Longitudinal analyses are more than welcomed. We have no preference for qualitative or quantitative techniques of analysis. However, we expect papers presenting single case studies to aim at building, testing, or modifying theories instead of being centered on individual instances.

Application procedure and costs
Authors should fill in the application form (available below) and submit it to until 1 February 2018 (applications received after deadline will not be reviewed).
There is no conference fee, the organizers will provide accommodation and meals for the entire duration of the conference. A limited number of travel grants is available to help participants with the expense involved in travelling to conference. Applicants should indicate in the application form if they wish to be considered for a travel grant. Preference is given to early career participants (including PhD candidates) or to those applicants who can indicate how the absence of a travel grant will hinder their presence at the event.
In case of co-authored works, the organizers will cover the costs for one author.

Key Dates
1 February 2018: Deadline for the submissions of abstracts.
15 February 2018: Authors informed of outcomes of the selection process.
5 April 2018: Deadline for authors to send their papers
19 - 21 April 2018: the event.

Language of the conference: English

For any further enquiries, please contact the organizers at