ECPR Summer School

ECPR Summer School

ECPR Summer School: Challenges to Democratic Representation in Latin America

Motivation and Goals

The Summer School on the Challenges to Democratic Representation in Latin America seeks to offer doctoral students an opportunity to deepen their knowledge of theoretical and methodological debates on why democratic regimes are increasingly under stress in Latin America today. The Summer School originated with and is partly funded by the ECPR Standing Group on Latin American Politics. Our School targets doctoral students who are currently working on related dissertation topics and could benefit from direct interaction with leading faculty and other postgraduate researchers exploring challenges to democratic representation and the way they relate to other important factors, including contentious politics, party politics, political economy, institutions and the constitution. The Summer School builds on a successful tradition of supplemental workshops, which started in 2011 at the University of Salamanca and continued at the Institute of Social Science of the University of Lisbon in 2012, the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA) in Hamburg in 2013, and the Latin American Centre of the University of Oxford together with the International Development Institute at King's College London in 2015.

Studying Challenges to Democratic Representation in Latin America

This year, the Summer School will be hosted by the School of Political Science of Diego Portales University in Santiago, Chile. This means that the Summer School will be hosted for the first time outside of Europe and we hope that this will help to give more visibility to the ECPR in Latin America. The main aim of the school consists in helping participants to develop substantive knowledge about current debates on the challenges to democratic representation that Latin American countries are facing. As can be seen in the proposed schedule at the end of this proposal, the Summer School will cover five key topics. The first session will focus on how the contentious politics approach helps to analyse the positive and negative effects of social protest and social movements on democratic representation. The second session will be centred on the role that political parties are playing to generate democratic (in)stability. The session on political economy will examine the relationship between socioeconomic factors and democratic representation. The fourth session will analyse how institutional design in Latin American countries affects responses to different challenges to democratic representation. Finally, the fifth session will discuss the extent to which the constitution is a potential way out to deal with (some of) the problems that Latin American democracies are facing today. Each day will start with a keynote lecture given by an invited scholar which will be followed by an open discussion with the participants. After this, three students will present their own research projects and benefit from group discussion. To assure that students will receive valuable feedback, the proposed schedule assigns 90 minutes for the discussion of each PhD project and at least two scholars will read and prepare comments for each PhD project. As in previous years, the Summer School will feature five days of intensive seminars. Participants will arrive on Sunday, July 2 and will attend a morning and afternoon session until July 7.

Application and Registration

This will be a heavily subsidised Summer School. As such, there will be no registration fee. Discounted accommodation and a travel grants fund designed to help with some travel expenses will be available from the organizers. The organizers will also provide daily coffee and lunches as well as dinner for all participants on the first day and the last day of the Summer School. To apply, students are encouraged to send a) a brief abstract of their PhD research (no more than 500 words), b) a short letter explaining whether partial or total funds for accommodation and/or travelling are requested, c) an up-to-date CV and d) an endorsement letter from their academic supervisor explaining in which stage of the research process the student is at the moment of application to before April 15th, 2017. Accepted students will have to submit a detailed research proposal of their dissertation projects (between 5,000 and 10,000 words) before May 31th, 2017.