REPRESENT to host conference: Political Parties in the Age of Populism

On April 26-27, REPRESENT will host a conference, Political Parties in the Age of Populism, at the University of Birmingham. The conference will examine the challenges populism poses to traditional political parties, the opportunities it might create for new forms of political participation, and the implications of both for efforts to promote democracy overseas.

A distinctive feature of this conference will be its emphasis on building bridges between academics conducting research on these themes, and policy-makers and practitioners confronting these problems in the field. Speakers will include representatives from organisations such as International IDEA, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems.

Full details of the conference, including the schedule, are available in this document.

Those interested in attending the conference should contact Susan Dodsworth by email ( to RSVP as soon as possible, as spaces are limited.

Photo credit: Democracy, by Thomas Hawk. Original image here. Used under creative commons (CC BY-NC 2.0).

New summer school on political parties and democracy

Organised under the auspices of the Standing Group on Central East European Politics and with the support of the Standing Group on Political Parties of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), the inaugural Summer School on Political Parties and Democracy will bring together an international team of academics and practitioners to train and instruct a group of 20 MA/PhD researchers, practitioners and civil society leaders.

The summer school will be sponsored by the European Consortium for Political Research, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw, together with REPRESENT.

Full details are available here.

Photo credit: Political posters in Ukraine, taken by the Congress of local and regional authorities mission to observe pre-term local elections on 25 May 2014. Original image here. Used under creative commons (CC BY-ND 2.0).

REPRESENT holds first research seminar

On 29 January 2018, Professor Cees van der Eijk and Dr. Annemarie Walter from the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham presented  at REPRESENT’s first seminar in Birmingham. Their latest research examines the effects of negative campaigning on party preference and election outcome in the 2015 UK election. Their findings suggest that negative campaigns tend to lose you votes and benefit your competitors, albeit in complex and unpredictable ways. This present a challenge to ‘accepted wisdom’ among professional campaigners and party strategists; most remain adamant that ‘going negative’ is a winning move.

Details of future seminars are available here.

REPRESENT to cooperate with International IDEA

REPRESENT has announced an agreement to cooperate with International IDEA on a new project, ‘Party Funding in Asia.’ This collaboration will centre on the Political Finance Database (PFDB) project, a leading global resource on political finance.

International IDEA, through its Political Participation and Representation Processes Programme,  plans to launch a new version of the PFDB in 2018. Together International IDEA and REPRESENT will ensure the quality of updated data, co-produce related analysis, and develop ‘spin-off’ products.

Photo credit: 2009 Elections in Indonesia, by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, used under CC BY 2.0. Original photo here.