Welcome to the blog of the European Consortium for Political Research Standing Group on Political Violence. In this blog you will find timely articles and commentary, research news, job opportunities and other information relevant to scholars with an interest in understanding political violence.

Dear all,

The ECPR is changing few things regarding standing groups. We’ve been asked from them to ask you to join our Standing Group via your MyECPR account. Please do so as soon as possible. It is important for our Standing Group on POLITICAL VIOLENCE and for you to receive more information in the future from us. More information below. Best

Lorenzo and Niall

Important changes to Standing Groups membership lists

The ECPR has recently made some improvements to the way its Standing Groups are presented on the website. These are designed primarily to provide more information in more user-friendly format to people who might be interested in joining a Standing Group or Research Network. These developments also enable people to join a Group or Network at the click of a button, again via the ECPR website. This is an important development as it means the ECPR will now hold all membership lists for its Standing Groups and Research Networks in its central database. We, as Standing Group Convenors, will then be able to access the lists as and when we need them in order to keep in touch with our membership.

Data Protections laws mean that it is not possible for us to pass our membership lists on to the ECPR; instead we are asking all members to join the Standing Group directly. In order to join you will need a MyECPR account, which we assume many of you will already have. If you do not have one, you can create an account in only a few minutes (and you need not be from an ECPR member institution to do so).

If you are from an ECPR member institution your membership to the SG is automatic. If you are from a non-member institution we will need to accept your application to join, so you membership status (which you can see via your MyECPR account, and on the SG pages when you are logged in to MyECPR) will be ‘pending’ until we accept you.

A second key change, is that membership to all Standing Groups is now annual, running calendar year. You will therefore be asked to renew your membership in January each year. This is the same process as joining, and only takes one click of a button.

Should you have any queries at all about this please do not hesitate to contact me or the ECPR at standinggroups@ecpr.eu.

Mixing and matching, blurring and emulating? Theories and methodologies to explore radical right politics beyond the electoral arena

ECPR general conference in Montreal from the 26th to the 29th of August for the section “Populist and Radical Politics : between Polarisation and Blurring”

Panel organizer: Caterina Froio, University of Paris 2- Assas caterina.froio@eui.eu

Discussant: Pietro Castelli Gattinara, University of Leicester, pcgdz1@le.ac.uk


Despite increasing scholarly attention to right-wing parties and their electoral fortunes, we still know little about extra-parliamentary groups of the radical right. Contemporary democracies are characterized by a great range of extreme-right organizations, differing not only in terms of their degree of institutionalization and internal structure, but also in terms of ideological framework, public discourse and strategies of action. As a matter of fact, extra-parliamentary radical right groups may be inspired by classic neonazi or neofascist ideologies, they often act in interplay with football and hooligan associations, and they sometimes are characterized by ‘blurred’ symbolic repertoires, mixing traditional references (Mussolini) with unusual ones (Che Guevara). Similarly, different types of extreme right organizations mobilize in multiple ways, ranging from traditional electoral campaigning to contentious and violent forms of protest, often taking inspiration from the experience set out by radical left social movements. Although many of these actors of the ‘groupuscular’ right are rarely successful in electoral terms, they often obtain visibility thanks to showcase protest events, a media-oriented public discourse, and the strategic use of violent repertoires.

The panel explores the discourse and practices of different radical right organizations. What are the issues that nonpartisan radical right organizations bring forward? To what extent do radical right organizations outside the electoral arena differ from their more institutionalized counterparts? What are the patterns of interaction between the two? To what extent have groupuscular right wing organizations been ‘contaminated’ by the symbolic and action repertoires of left-wing social movements and other political organizations?

We shall also explore the different forms of radical right mobilization. The radical right is much less of a united family than traditionally assumed in electoral studies and not all actors consider elections their primary arena for contention. How do nonpartisan radical right organizations mobilize? Do they follow conventional and non-conventional strategies? What explains the preference for specific repertories of action within and beyond institutional arenas? Do electoral opportunity structures matter for shaping mobilization strategies?

Finally, what strategies of action by the extreme right are (or have been) most successful? Previous research has investigated extensively the ‘contagion’ effect of extreme right and populist parties over their mainstream counterparts, most notably in terms of electoral agenda setting. What about their agenda setting impact beyond elections? What is the effect of different action repertoires by extreme right groups on media coverage and on the construction of public problems?

We will consider proposals dealing with radical right parties and social movements built on quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods approaches. Comparative contributions (across types of actors and/or countries) and case studies are welcome.

If you are interested please let Caterina Froio know as soon as possible. And if you are, please send your title, abstract (150 words max) and 3 to 8 Keywords to her by February 5th so that she can pull the complete panel proposal together by the due date of February 16th.

Complete details about panel and paper submissions can be found at: http://ecpr.eu/Events/EventDetails.aspx?EventID=94 .

The following recent publications may be of interest to the Group’s members:


Violent Capitalism and Hybrid Identity in the Eastern Congo: Power to the Margins.

By Timothy Raeymaekers, Cambridge University Press, December 2014


Contemporary Protest and the Legacy of Dissent.

Edited by Stuart Price and Ruth Sanz Sabido, Rowman and Littlefield, December 2014


Policing the Inner City in France, Britain and the US.

By Sophie Body-Gendrot and Catherine Wihtol de Wenden, Palgrave, December 2014

Civil Wars in South Asia: State, Sovereignty, Development.

Edited by Aparna Sundar and Nandini Sundar, Sage Publications, November 2014

Psychological Perspectives on Peacebuilding.

Edited by Brandon Hamber and Elizabeth Gallagher, Springer, November 2014

Denial of Violence: Ottoman Past, Turkish Present and Collective Violence against the Armenians.

By Fatma Muge Gocek, Oxford University Press, USA, November 2014

Call for Papers

ECPR General Conference, Standing Group on Political Violence

Université de Montréal, 26-29 August 2015

Political Violence: Identity and Ideology

The ECPR Standing Group on Political Violence is organizing a section entitled Political Violence: Identity and Ideology for the European Consortium for Political Research General Conference to be held at the Université de Montréal, 26-29 August 2015. Papers are now invited for submission via myECPR, the deadline is 16 February 2015.

Our principal aim is to bring together a multi-disciplinary group of scholars concerned with questions of political violence and its relationship to identity and ideology from both contemporary and historical perspectives. The section, comprised of four panels, will provide a forum for scholars to engage with a range of questions, including:

  • How do ideological claims and identity commitments inform how violence is practised?
  • Why do ideas that support violence become salient at particular moments in time and space, and how does this inform our understanding of cycles of contention?
  • When do radical ideas facilitate mobilization, and how do they diffuse across contexts?
  • How is the interaction between ideology and identity influenced by ideological leaders and to what effects?
  • What impact do movement allies and adversaries play in shaping the ideological commitments and identity constructs implicated in political violence?
  • In what ways do the identities and ideologies of violent opponents impact state responses?
  • And how do ideological commitments constrain the scope of political violence?

We welcome papers that promise new insights from across the disciplines concerned with questions of political violence. Submissions can address conceptual and theoretical issues pertaining to ideology, identity, and violent politics; methodological approaches to understanding the complex interactions between these phenomena, including qualitative and quantitative perspectives; historical studies, and empirical and comparative analyses exploring the impact of ideological and identity commitments on how and why political violence emerges and declines. Papers may look at different forms of political violence, and the range of actors and contexts in which they are used, including social and protest movements, insurgencies, civil wars, terrorist campaigns, repressive regimes, and the behavior of armies, police forces and militias.

By providing a multi-disciplinary forum to explore these issues, we seek to further debates over the role of ideology and identity in violent politics and to facilitate the dissemination of research presented at the conference through publication of selected papers from the section.


Panel 1:                When Civil Resistance Fails: Ideology, Identity and Repressive Regimes

Chair:                      Dr. William Thomson, School of International Relations, University of St Andrews


Panel 2:                Ideology without Borders? Violent Discourses in the Age of the Internet

Chair:                      Dr. Aurélie Campana, Department of Political Science, Université Laval


Panel 3:                Apocalyptic Worldviews, Terrorism and Political Violence

Chair:                      Dr. Frances Flannery, Director, Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Terrorism and Peace, James Madison University


Panel 4:                The Role of Ideology in Violent Politics: Mobilisation, Strategy and Targeting

Chair:                      Dr. Sarah Marsden, Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, University of St Andrews


More information about the panels can be found at: CSTPV news

Please contact the section conveners with any queries:

Section Chair:                      Dr. Sarah Marsden: sm992@st-andrews.ac.uk

Section Co-Chair:              Dr. William Thomson: wwt @st-andrews.ac.uk


ReSHAPE 3rd Annual Workshop 2015

11-12 June 2015

Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Catania

Call for papers and funding


CONCEPT The ReSHAPE Annual Workshop is a discussion and study event for researchers and professionals concerned with the advancement of scientific and policy-oriented knowledge about the EU’s response capabilities and policies towards emergencies like natural disasters, humanitarian crises and systemic risks, in and outside Europe.

The focus of the 3rd Workshop is on insecurity complexes as the concern of the EU’s and member states’ policies to respond to the threats and risks generated by networks of different types of actors, like terrorist groups and organized crime, and the combination of a variety of events like civil conflict, natural disasters, and epidemics. Papers about the concept and the empirical analysis of insecurity complexes, and about the response of the European Union, the states and international organisations are invited.

COORDINATOR Fulvio Attinà, Jean Monnet Chair Ad Personam

PARTICIPANTS Researchers and professionals

DATE 11-12 June 2015

VENUE Department of Political and Social Sciences, Catania

FUNDING The Workshop is co-financed by the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commission and the University of Catania. A limited number of grants is available for paper-givers. The grant consists in free accommodation (single room, 2 nights), and the reimbursement of the travel costs up to 500,00 Euro.

APPLICATION Please, send a 150-200 word abstract of your paper to the Coordinator at glopem@unict.it by 20 March 2015. Include the following information: name, mailing address, telephone numbers and e-mail address, academic affiliation, paper title, and the grant request where conditional. Accepted paper proponents will be notified by 10 April. The no-grant participants will be assisted to make out hotel accommodation.


20 March 2015 Paper proposal submission deadline

10 April 2015 Notification of paper approval/rejection

10 May 2015 Final programme online

20 May 2015 No-grant participant registration

25 May 2015 Paper submission & circulation




Two members of the ECPR Standing Group on Political Violence are organising a section  at the 9th Pan-European Conference on International Relations. The conference theme is “The Worlds of Violence” and it takes place in Sicily, 23-26 September 2015. Details below.

Section Chairs

Leena Malkki,
University of Helsinki

Florian Edelmann,
Aberystwyth University

The nexus between politics and organised violence runs like a common thread through approaches to the political. However, tensions between these concepts become particularly manifest when non-state political violence challenges established orders in times of socio-political crisis and change. While domesticating the use of force for political ends has been essential to the project of modernity, the very promise and related legitimacy claims have been frustrated time and again. This has provoked (violent) counter-reactions and fostered socio-political conflict on different levels. While violent conflict is hence still a central feature of global politics, its forms, rationalities and scope apparently have changed fundamentally as the virtually concomitant debates on ‘new wars’ and ‘new terrorism’ suggest. Limited but unrestricted conflict seems the new normal. Consequently, this section aims at exploring and evaluating continuities and discontinuities in the dynamics of sub-state political violence. To unpack this key puzzle, it addresses different aspects of political violence, broadly defining the term, while focusing on civil conflict, rebellion, insurgency, guerrilla warfare and terrorism. Among others, the following questions are raised: In which ways and to which degree are contemporary conflicts characterised by different forms of political violence? How should we approach socio-political conflicts methodologically? Which role do legitimization strategies play in the emergence and development of episodes of political violence? How do spatio-temporal dimensions influence the dynamics of violent conflict? We invite contributions informed by different perspectives, including, but not limited to, conceptual, theoretical, empirical, comparative, historical, quantitative and qualitative approaches.

Further details online at http://www.paneuropeanconference.org/2015/section.php?s=5

Thursday 18 & Friday 19 June 2015, 9.30am – 5.00pm
The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH

This conference will explore how terrorist groups have learned from each other and/or from history by mimicking tactics or actively pursuing inter-organisational co-operation. By bringing together leading scholars in the field of international relations, security studies and history, as well as counter-terrorism practitioners, this conference will analyse the notion of ‘learning’ in a non-state capacity and address a number of the most substantial case studies that showcase the under-analysed process of learning and tactical transferral between and within terrorist groups.

Speakers include:
Dr Akil Awan, Royal Holloway, University of London
Prof. Mia Bloom, University of Massachusetts
Lord Carlile, House of Lords
Prof. Martha Crenshaw, Stanford University
Dr Paul Gill, University College London
Prof. Adrian Guelke, Queen’s University Belfast
Prof. John Horgan, University of Massachusetts
Ms Louise Kettle, University of Nottingham
Dr John Morrison, University of East London
Dr Andrew Mumford, University of Nottingham
Dr Jeffrey Murer, University of St Andrews
Dr Maria Rasmussen, US Naval Postgraduate School
Dr William Sheehan, Open University
Dr Rashmi Singh, University of St Andrews

To register for the conference please click here



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