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.

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


In conjunction with the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St Andrews (CSTPV) and funded by the European Commission (RAD), the Department of Sociology at University College Cork, Ireland would like to invite interested parties to submit abstracts for consideration for an upcoming conference on terrorism and political violence.
The conference will be held at University College Cork, Ireland on 30th March 2015.

The following themes will be central to the conference panels:
• Victims’ roles in deradicalisation/prevention/CVE
• Former combatants’ roles in deradicalisation/prevention/CVE
• Narratives of victimhood and vicarious victimisation – local/global
• The victim-perpetrator cycle: Victimisation and radicalisation
• Desistance and the terrorist group – individual and group processes
• Suspect communities and victims of counter terrorism
• Regional case studies

Abstract (500 words) plus bio (200 words) to Dr Orla Lynch ol@st-andrews.ac.uk by 7 January 2015.

For more detailed information please see here


Call for Applications / Summer School 2015

Political Violence

Perspectives from Law, History and Political Theory

University of Edinburgh / 24 to 26 June 2015

In June 2015 the University of Edinburgh will offer an interdisciplinary Summer School on Political Violence. This three-day event will give participants the opportunity to benefit from the knowledge of an unrivalled panel of international experts in the field of war and political violence and to receive critical feedback on their own projects. The programme combines people and perspectives from History, Law and Political Science and will involve intensive scholarly discussions and social activities that allow participants to network with each other in a friendly environment in the scenic, culturally vibrant setting of the city of Edinburgh. Participants will include a diverse mix of academics, MA and PhD students from the Social Sciences and Humanities, and practitioners working in NGOs and legal institutions.

List of Speakers

Professor Christine Bell, Law, University of Edinburgh.
Professor Donald Bloxham, History, University of Edinburgh.
Professor Elizabeth Frazer, Politics and International Relations, Oxford University.
Professor John Horne, History, Trinity College Dublin.
Professor Kimberly Hutchings, Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary, University of London.
Professor Manfred Nowak, Law, University of Vienna.

The programme will feature morning lectures by expert speakers and presentations from participants in the afternoon. Our speakers will attend and comment on the afternoon presentations. The detailed programme will be published in early 2015. In order to facilitate productive discussions, the maximum number of participants will be capped at 25. All participants are expected to share their papers a week before the Summer School starts.
The tuition fee for the Summer School is £150. This covers participation in the course as well as coffee and lunch breaks over three days. Fees must be paid before the start of the Summer School. Participants will need to organize and finance their own travel arrangements and accommodation, though there will be a limited number of places available in University accommodation organised on a first come, first served basis (single-room @ £40 per night). For a select number of participants there will be a possibility of a fee-waiver and financial assistance for accommodation, which will take into account both academic merit and economic circumstances.
The Summer School is supported by a number of institutions at the University of Edinburgh, including the Global Justice Academy, the Graduate School of Social and Political Sciences, and the Research and Knowledge Exchange Office, College of Humanities and Social Science.
A PDF version of this Call can be downloaded here.

How to Submit your Application

To apply please send a message to Eirini Souri (eirini.souri@ed.ac.uk), containing the following information:
Name and institutional affiliation.
Curriculum Vitae, including research interests and relevant publications (not more than one page).
Title and short abstract of your current research project (not more than 500 words).
Letter of motivation, indicating why you would like to participate in the Summer School (not more than 500 words).
The deadline for submitting your application is 16 January 2015. Incomplete applications cannot be considered.

Organization and Contact

The Summer School is jointly organized by Dr Mathias Thaler (Politics and International Relations) and Dr Niall Whelehan (History). Eirini Souri (School of Social and Political Sciences) offers administrative support. Please contact Eirini (eirini.souri@ed.ac.uk) for all matters relating to the Summer School. The Summer School is partly funded through a Marie Curie Career Integration Grant (JUDGEPOL), led by Dr Mathias Thaler.



Important Dates

Applications deadline: 16 January 2015.
Notification of acceptance: 7 February 2015.
Deadline for papers: 17 June 2015.
Summer School dates: 24 to 26 June 2015.

Visa Information

Unfortunately, we cannot assist participants in arranging visas to travel to the UK, but we will send you an official invitation letter provided your application has been accepted.

Everyday Encounters with Violence: Critical feminist perspectives

09–11 September 2015

School of Geography, University of Leeds

This three-day conference aims to create an inclusive and supportive space for scholars at all career levels to come together in a supportive environment to engage in critical feminist perspectives on violence. The organizers draw upon a wide definition of violence from sources in the arts, humanities and social sciences, seeing this both as an everyday social force inflicting harm, suffering, grief and trauma and as a transformative force that produces gendered agency, social action and resistance. We will examine violence as embedded in the very fabric of everyday life via gendered encounters with for example – modernity, neoliberalism, sovereign power, rule of law, globalization, technology, as well as institutional, popular and everyday cultures. Papers that discuss these issues through in-depth focus on empirical contexts across the world are particularly welcome.

Abstract submission deadline: 1 December 2014.

For more information please see here.


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