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PPA 2018 : Political Parties Abroad. A New Arena for Citizenship?


When Apr 26, 2018 - Apr 27, 2018
Where Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)
Submission Deadline Dec 15, 2017
Categories    political science   migration   transnationalism   political party

Call For Papers

Much of the analysis on party politics is situated in the context of national states (Deschouwer, 2006; Haegel, 2007). However, due to developing processes of decentralisation and of continental integration, political parties have also been increasingly studied at infra-state (Detterbeck & Hepburn, 2010) and supra-state (Timuş & Lighfoot, 2014; Delwit et alii, 2004) levels. Accordingly, the multilevel study of political parties has slowly but surely developed in the last few years (Detterbeck, 2012).
However, one “territorial” dimension of the study of political parties has been mostly overlooked until now and is clearly under-theorized: that of political parties abroad. The history of political parties abroad is probably as old as that of political parties though, and they can take many forms. First, many of the anticolonialist political organisations originally emerged in the European metropolis (Anderson, 1992), and were active abroad until independence. Second, some political parties settle or develop abroad, in exile, at the end of a civil war or a conquest, such as Spanish or Polish political parties after 1939 (Alted & Domergue, 2003; Jaroszyńska-Kirchmann, 2004). Third, separatist movements sometimes continue their struggle from abroad, such as Kurds (Østergaard-Nielsen, 2003) or Tamils (Fuglerud, 1999). However, most of the literature on those cases is not explicitly focused on political parties, and usually integrate political parties in the broader landscape of politically motivated organisations. More systematic, explicit and theoretically-driven knowledge is therefore needed on political parties abroad.
More recently, a fourth form of political parties abroad has begun to develop, linked notably to the development of overseas voting: political parties supporting or participating peacefully in home politics. Overseas voting is a worldwide trend: between 1991 and 2011, the number of countries that have formally granted voting rights to non-resident citizens has quadrupled, from 31 to an estimated 130. In the last decade, several countries, including five member states of the European Union, have even granted emigrants representative institutions and direct representatives in their parliament (Lafleur, 2013; Laguerre, 2013; Collyer, 2013; Dufoix et alii, 2010). This extension of the democratic sphere of established nation-states has created a new arena for political parties.
Yet our knowledge of these dynamics is still very limited. The aim of the conference is to analyse the multidimensionality of political parties abroad and to elaborate common knowledge. More specifically, it aims at investigating the following dimensions or questions:
• What are the functions of political parties abroad (Katz, 2011)?
• What are their organisational specificities?
• Who are their members and activists? What are their motivations and what do they do?
• How do these parties abroad develop? How do they reach out to their constituents?
• Are they regulated in the same way as their mother party at home?
• Do they replicate the party system at home or do we observe asymmetrical developments?
• Do they have specific ideological and political cultures?
• What is the impact of electoral reforms (extension or restriction of the voting rights of expatriates, introduction of representative councils or direct representatives…) on their dynamism and organisation?

We welcome theoretical as well as empirical papers, comparative approaches and case studies, on any geographical area.
Proposals should be sent before the 15th of December 2017 to both organisers, Émilie Van Haute ( and Tudi Kernalegenn ( They will consist of an abstract of 3000 to 5000 characters maximum (including spaces). They should include the paper title and the name, e-mail address, position, discipline and institutional affiliation of all authors.

The conference is organised by Tudi Kernalegenn (CESPOL, ISPOLE, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium) and Émilie Van Haute (CEVIPOL, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium). It will take place at the Université Catholique de Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium) on the 26th and 27th of April 2018.

Scientific committee:
Michael Collyer, University of Sussex
Kris Deschouwer, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
David Farrell, University College Dublin
Julien Fretel, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
Anika Gauja, University of Sidney
Jean-Michel Lafleur, Université de Liège
Rémi Lefebvre, Université Lille 2
Jean-Benoît Pilet, Université Libre de Bruxelles
Benoît Rihoux, Université Catholique de Louvain
Émilie Van Haute, Université Libre de Bruxelles
Lieven de Winter, Université Catholique de Louvain

This call for papers is part of the project POLEMIG that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement n° 705872.

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