Political Parties, Party Systems and Elections

To join this network, click here. Note: All Memberships in CES Research Networks are open for CES individual members in good standing.

This Research Network has a simple purpose, to improve our understanding of political parties, party systems and elections by engaging scholars in sustained conversations that cut across geographical and disciplinary boundaries.  We will use a combination of electronic networking tools and more traditional conference meetings to bring scholars together and assist them in working together to gather and disseminate better data and collaborate on joint projects.

What will we work on? On the basis of a survey completed by nearly 100 of our founding members, the research network will focus on four main areas of party-related research:

  • Understanding How Parties Work
  • Understanding How Party Systems Change
  • Understanding How Voters Choose
  • Understanding the Contexts in which Parties and Party Systems Operate 

How will we work together? Our goal with this proposal is to create a practical filter mechanism for scholars of parties and elections. Within the bounds of time and expertise, we seek to create a place where scholars turn first for what they need to know about scholarship on parties and elections and about the scholars who do the work. We seek to provide a consistent flow of information that scholars need without creating new demands on their attention to offer a convenient and useful mechanisms for users to generate content that will be of use to others.

  • Linking scholars. We began our efforts to link scholars with the “Why We Study Parties” Facebook Group, which combines up-to-date news from in-country observers and participants with commentary and humor. We will also be making information from this group available to members who prefer not to use Facebook. We are building a detailed membership directory to allow members to find just the right combination of expertise that might help to answer particular questions.
  • Linking scholarship. Developing personal networks is easiest when there are common projects around which to build, and we publicize joint projects, provide a space for communication among researchers engaged in the large-scale data gathering efforts, help find partners and advisors for grant proposals and scholars for expert surveys.
  • Linking existing groups and their members. Although scholars of political parties have formed a variety of groups at the national and regional level, these remain largely disconnected. The Research Network will create links between the party- and election-related efforts of regional and domestic political science associations by posting their updates, newsletters, and calls for papers. 


Network Announcements

The Political Parties, Party Systems and Elections network welcomes nominations for its “Peter Mair Prize.” The network is awarding the prize to the best paper on Political Parties, Party Systems and Elections presented at the CES Int’l Conference of Europeanists. The winner will be awarded a $500 prize to the author/s of the best paper presented at the CES Conference of Europeanists in Lisbon 2022.


One week after the Conference, the Panel Chairs of the RN indicate the best paper presented in their respective panels to the RN Chairs. This short list is evaluated by an external commission formed by the RN Chairs and three young and senior scholars with relevant experience on the topics covered by the RN. The commission selects the winning paper.

Active CES members are welcome to nominate ONE paper from the panels that are not chaired by RN members. The evaluation procedure follows the rules detailed above. The deadline for the nomination is one week after the end of the conference.

How to nominate

  1. Make sure the person you are nominating is an active CES member
  2. Email the selected paper to the RN chairs with the subject line “Nomination for Peter Mair Prize: Research Network Awards.”

Frequency and eligibility

The Peter Mair Prize is awarded each year after the CES Conference. Only members of the CES RN presenting a paper can be awarded.

The jury of the prize is composed of:

  • José Ramón Montero (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
  • Andrea Pirro (Scuola Normale Superiore)
  • Ingrid van Biezen (Leiden University)
  • Guillermo Cordero (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
  • Daniela Romee Piccio (University of Turin)
  • Sorina Soare (University of Florence)