Call for Papers ECPR General Conference “Elites and the Quality of Democracy in Times of Crisis: a Multi-level Inquiry”

Publicado el 26 de enero de 2011 a las 00h. y 00m. por Charo Llera en IPSA

(W. Genieys, U. Montepllier I y X. Coller, U. Pablo de Olavide)

The current economic crisis recently re-activated a classical dilemma: one the one hand, political elites are often perceived as a burden (or even a menace) for democracy; on the other hand, contemporary political institutions need experimented (not to say charismatic) leaders in order to improve their efficiency and to generate legitimacy and stability.

As Section 29’s abstract states, quality of democracy is generally assessed through the analysis of the inputs of the democratic system (political parties, civil society, participation, responsiveness) and the outputs (institutions, public policies), but not so much directly through its own managers.

Assuming that leadership is fundamental in times of crisis (understood as a dramatic economic, political and social reversal), we propose to assess the quality of democracy through the study of political elites at different tiers of governance.

The workshop will build on recent ECPR initiatives in re-publishing seminal works by Gerraint Parry (Political Elites) and Lewis Anthony Dexter (Elite and Specialized Interviewing) and on the geographic reach of IPSA’s Research Committee on Political Elites. The workshop will invite scholars to propose case studies, comparative analyses and more theoretical papers as follows:

• Composition of crisis elites: Where do they come from? Are they representative of the whole population? Are they changing during the crisis?• Trajectories, networks and action of democratic elites in harsh times: How do democratic elites evolve? How do they maintain and increase their influence on the political system? How are they organised?

• Beliefs, knowledge and discourse of democratic elites in periods of crisis: Do their beliefs fit with the beliefs of the rest of the population? Are they a mirror of their electors or an avant-garde?

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