Graduate Conference

The main purpose of the annual graduate conference is to provide interested students from the area of party science a forum to present and discuss research projects and at the same time give them the opportunity to make contacts for their future scientific career.

Seventh Düsseldorf Graduate Conference on Party Research (GraPa 2016)

On the 12th and 13th of February, the Düsseldorf Party Research Institute hosted the Düsseldorf Graduate Conference for the seventh time. The interdisciplinary conference provides PhD candidates in the field of party research with an opportunity to present and discuss their work and ideas. This year, our institute welcomed 15 presenters, among them members of the Heinrich-Heine-University as well as participants of five foreign universities. The seven different panels represented the diversity of party research in terms of topics and disciplines. The conference showed how research projects can benefit from a dialogue among young academics. The event was supported by the Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf and the friend’s association of the Social Sciences Institute of the HHU (verso).

Graduate Conference on Party Research – Fifth Anniversary

Between the 7th and 8th of February 2014 the Party Research Institute of Düsseldorf (PRuF) hosted the Fifth Graduate Conference on Party Research (GraPa). Although the weather was not too welcoming, there were about 50 participants that accepted the invitation to the interdisciplinary conference that has more and more developed an international orientation – four of the speakers came from abroad (the Netherlands, Belgium and Israel). The conference has been financially supported by Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf and Verso.
The chair of the Party Research Institute, Prof. Dr. Thomas Poguntke, opened the conference looking forward to an interesting agenda comprising eleven presentations. Here, the lively discussions after every presentation can be considered as the GraPa’s trademark. They are meant to serve as feedback for the speakers concerning their current dissertation projects.
The first panel was about candidate selection, election campaigns and elections and consisted of three presentations of which two dealt with the 2013 German federal election and thus a highly topical subject. The second panel’s issue, government formation and participation, was followed by the topic party programs and organization as well as reforms. Concluding the conference’s first day was a presentation about liquid democracy from a juridical as well as a democratic-theoretical perspective. Afterwards everyone was free to join a friendly get-together in Düsseldorf’s old town.
The conference’s second day was conducted completely in English. It started with the fourth panel about intraparty and direct democracy where for example an index to measure intraparty democracy was presented. The fifth and final panel prospectively drew attention to the European level and dealt with candidate selection for the 2014 European elections.
In his concluding remarks Prof. Dr. Martin Morlok, the PRuF’s assistant director, stressed that besides the empirical, that very well has its necessity, it is particularly the gaining of new insights that every research project should focus on.
So, what are we left with after this year’s GraPa? Just as in previous years: a good memory of a successful event with a lively exchange of ideas as well as interesting debates, conversations and encounters which may be followed by one or the other.

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