Panel proposals for the 2018 ECPR General Conference

Dear colleagues,

With this message, we would like to invite you to propose a panel in a section titled: "Political Elites and Voters in Electoral Democracies" that we plan to propose for the 2018 ECPR General Conference, Hamburg, 22-25 August 2018.

This section focuses on the role of political elites in electoral democracies and the linkage between political elites and voters. Our primary goal is to collect papers which will exploit the first release of the Comparative Candidate Survey Module II (scheduled for the end of November 2017) to give answers on a series of questions about parliamentary candidates and MPs: What is the candidates’ political background and what kind of groups, organizations or associations have endorsed them? What are the most influential factors in deciding candidacy nomination? What is the role of new technology tools and social media in the individual candidate campaigns, do they aim to attract attention to their parties or to themselves and what is the impact of the electoral systems and the seat allocation algorithms on their campaign strategies? Do party elites consider themselves as delegates, trustees or partisans? What are their policy preferences, what are their attitudes towards EU and what is their opinion about the recent financial crisis of many European countries? Finally, what is their opinion about the way that democracy functions and the quality of political representation in their country?

In addition to studies focusing on the aforementioned questions about political elites, we are extremely interested to develop a deep understanding of the linkage between voters and political elites. Political representation is not possible without some sort of connection between the preferences and interests, the identities and desires of the represented and what the representatives articulate and promote. The nature, mechanics and functionality of this connection is usually debated in terms of policy and/or ideological congruence. In fact, ideological congruence is one of the most commonly used measurements of the quality of a democracy. In the past, congruence was typically studied by comparing the attitudes of voters with what panels of experts considered to be the attitudes of politicians or the positions of parties, but recently a growing number of published studies, instead of evaluations by experts, use surveys of elected MPs or candidates in order to study the voter-representative congruence as a many-to-many relationship. Arguably, such a methodological orientation offers a more direct representation of political elite preferences and desires. In addition, this approach provides an additional advantage: an estimate of the within party variance for both the supply (candidates) and the demand side (voters) of a party. This is an important information because for many political parties the intra-party cohesiveness should not be taken for granted.

Although the motivation of this section proposal is the forthcoming availability of the CCS II dataset and we extremely welcome papers that will use CCS data or combine them with voter data to demonstrate the linkage between political elites and voters, we strongly encourage the submission of papers which focus on theoretical or methodological aspects related to political elites and of course we welcome papers which use other datasets related to political elites.

If you would like to propose a panel in this section, please send Ioannis Andreadis ( a title and short abstract for your proposed panel before 7 November 2017.

Here is a list of panel titles which could be included in the proposed section:

  • Backgrounds and Previous Experience of Political Elites
  • Political Recruitment and the Decisions for Candidacy Nomination
  • Individual Candidate Campaigns and the Role of New Media
  • Delegates, Trustees or Partisans?
  • Candidates’ attitudes towards EU
  • Using Candidate Surveys to Estimate the Position of their Parties
  • Satisfaction with Democracy among Political Elites
  • Ideological Congruence between Voters and Political Elites
  • Comparison of Measures of Political Congruence

Please feel free to use one of them and modify it according to your preferences or you come up with a totally new idea and panel title.

Kind regards,
Ioannis Andreadis
Associate Professor
School of Political Sciences
Aristotle University Thessaloniki
46 Egnatia St.,Thessaloniki
54625 Hellas (Greece)
Tel: +302310991992, +302310991950
Fax: +302310991983
European Populist Parties in Government: How Well are Voters Represented? Evidence from Greece
available at: or