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Welcome to the Research Centre for the Study of Parties and Democracy

Next events:

26 October (15:30-17:00 UK time): Seminar
Baltic Exceptionalism: Russian Minorities as a Blessing, Rather than Curse

Tõnis Saarts (Tallinn University) explores how ethnic diversity in the Baltic states may be the key to its sustained democracy.

Ethnic diversity is often seen as a serious impediment to successful democratisation and maintaining healthy democratic regimes (e.g. Rustow, 1970). However, regarding Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), one can see that democratic backsliding has rather affected monoethnic societies like Hungary and Poland, but not the Baltic States, with a sizable Russian minority. Why so? The seminar attempts to provide an answer to that “why” question. The main argument is that the Russian-speaking minority, the geopolitical threat posed by Russia and the excessive party system fragmentation or under-institutionalisation have saved the Baltic democracies from backsliding.

Speaker: Tõnis Saarts (Tallinn University)

Discussant: Licia Cianetti (University of Birmingham)

Chair and Convener: Fernando Casal Bertoa (University of Nottingham)

Place: This seminar will be held as a hybrid. The in-person event in Monica Partridge room D11 University of Nottingham (University Park Campus), and Online. Please indicate in your registration whether you wish to take part via our online platform or in person.
Please register at: https://balticblessinguon.eventbrite.co.uk

10 November (10:00 – 16:00 UK time): Workshop
REPRESENT Mini-Workshop of Works in Progress

This workshop invites academic and postgraduate researchers connected with the Centre to share and receive their ongoing work in concentrated session. The substantive and methodological focus of proposed works is open. However, works will relate to at least one of REPRESENT’s three key areas of interest, broadly defined: populism, participation, and democracy support. The workshop will feature contributions on a range of topics from incumbency advantage to political finance, government accountability, gender and representation, populism, and democratic backsliding. Geographic foci include works on Latin America, Australia, Turkey, Belarus, and the UK. The workshop features work from Gulshan Khan, Max-Valentin Robert, Carole Spary, Ruta Skriptaite, Manuel Hernandez-Gonzalez, Kevin Fahey, and William Horncastle. Workshop registration is free and lunch will be provided. Participation is open to additional participants from network members, as well as PGT students, postgraduate researchers, and staff from the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham. However, please note that there is an expectation that all participants attend the full workshop and read all papers that are being presented. To register, please email represent@nottingham.ac.uk

Place: Monica Partridge Building room D13, University of Nottingham (University Park Campus)


is a joint initiative of the University of Nottingham and University of Birmingham. Founded with the support of the Strategic Collaboration Fund, it is currently supported by funding from the School of Politics and IR at the University of Nottingham and continues to serve as hub for academic collaboration in the Midlands and beyond. We are an inclusive group and encourage all academics and doctoral researchers interested in parties, democracy and representation to join us and help develop REPRESENT.

About Us

REPRESENT focuses on three key research themes: populism, participation and democracy support.


REPRESENT hosts a series of seminars and a workshop Evolving Party Systems, Ideological Configurations and Values.


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Fernando Casal Bertoa

Fernando Casal Bértoa

Co-Director (Nottingham)

  • Associate Professor in Comparative Politics
  • School of Politics and International Relations – University of Nottingham
  • Research interests: political party (funding) regulation, party (system) institutionalization, democracy promotion, qualitative methods
William Daniel

William T. Daniel


  • Assistant Professor in Comparative Politics
  • School of Politics and International Relations – University of Nottingham
  • Research interests: political parties, legislatures, European Union
Tim Haughton

Tim Haughton

Co-Director (Birmingham)

  • Reader (Senior Associate Professor) in European Politics
  • Department of Political Science and International Studies – University of Birmingham
  • Research interests: campaigning, party politics in Central and Eastern Europe, politics of Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic
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