The research interests of the members of the Department of Political and Social Sciences (SPS) span across comparative politics, international relations, sociology, and social and political theory. 
We focus on contemporary phenomena, at the national, sub-national and transnational level, mainly but not exclusively in Europe.

We support an eclectic approach to research projects and doctoral theses, often cutting across traditional academic boundaries. A variety of method courses and workshops on data gathering and analysis are available in the first two years—survey, experimental and ethnographic; quantitative and qualitative—while field-work and data collection normally take place in the second and third year.

 

Thesis of the month


Kandyla_picAnna Kandyla on The Emperor’s New Clothes? Assessing the Democratic Value of the European Citizens’ Initiative

The European Union has long been accused of suffering from a democratic deficit. One of the reforms introduced with a view to helping tackle this deficit is the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI).  Ever since the ECI was introduced in the Treaty of Lisbon, it has been accompanied by buoyant democratic rhetoric. But, does the ECI indeed help enhance democracy in the EU?  In this carefully argued thesis, Anna Kandyla provides a comprehensive answer to this question by bringing together normative democratic theory with an analysis of the ECI in practice. She develops three criteria against which the democratic quality of the ECI is empirically assessed: (1) equal and inclusive participation, (2) openness and group access to the agenda, and (3) impact on the EU legislative agenda ... View more 

 
Latest News
Prospectus Workshop for SPS 1st year researchers

Prospectus Workshop for SPS 1st year researchers

Description
Organised by Ellen M. Immergut with Caitlin Procter on 27 November 2020. Register with Adele Battistini
Early conditions, epigenitics and the life course: explaining the obesity epidemic

Early conditions, epigenitics and the life course: explaining the obesity epidemic

Description
A presentation by Alberto Palloni (University of Wisconsin-Madison) within the Inequality Working Group - Distant CLIC on 26 November 2020
Computational Text Analysis Workshop

Computational Text Analysis Workshop

Description
A five-day online workshop organised by Ellen M. Immergut with Theresa Gessler (University of Zurich) on 18 November and 8, 11, 15, 22 December 2020

Page last updated on 24 November 2020