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Politics and International Relations (PIR): News


PIR PhD wins prestigious award

Sissela Matzner collaborated with colleagues at Sciences Po and Milan

Congratulations to Sissela Matzner and colleagues, who recently won a collaborative bid for an EISA ECR award to hold a joint workshop next fall in Prague. The details:

Ideas, Institutions, Practices: How to Study Political Parties and Foreign Policy?

EISA Early Career Researchers Workshop

Prague, September 11


8:45-9:00: Welcoming words by Prof. Jef Huysmans, EISA

09:00-10:30: First Panel- Institutions, practices and processes: Parties in domestic foreign policy decision-making and international relations
Chair-discussant: Professor Juliet Kaarbo (University of Edinburgh)
● Louis-Simon Boileau (Sciences Po Paris)
Party as an “intermestic” actor: Tunisian political parties and foreign policy in the post-2011 democratic
transition context
● Berkay Gulen (University of Washington)
Who is in Charge of Making Foreign Policy Decisions? Diplomats Tell the Role of Ruling Party in Turkey
● Aghiad Ghanem (Sciences Po Paris)
The Party as a diplomatic bridge: Arab Alawites, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Turkish-
Syrian rupture since 2011

11:00-12:30: Second Panel- Ideas, attitudes and ideologies: Mapping partisan foreign policy difference and contestation
Chair-discussant: Professor Juliet Kaarbo (University of Edinburgh) and Professor Wolfgang Wagner (University of Amsterdam)
● Matteo Casiraghi (University of Milan) 'Political Attitudes toward Mercenaries and Security Contractors: Morality and Pragmatism in the Parliamentary Debates in Italy and Great Britain (1861-2017)'
● Shounak Set (King's College London) 'Political Parties, Foreign Policy and the Nuclear Question: Theory and Evidence from India'
● Tim Haesebrouck (University of Ghent), Yf Reykers (University of Leuven) and Daan Fonck
(University of Leuven) 'Party-Politics and Military Intervention: Insights from Parliamentary Debates in Belgium on the Libya Intervention and the Coalition against IS'

14:00 - 15:30: Third Panel- How to study parties and foreign policy: Methodologies and methods
Chair-discussant: Professor Wolfgang Wagner (University of Amsterdam)
● Josie-Marie Perkuhn (University of Heidelberg)
One Party Multiple Roles: Chinese Foreign Policy and Role Theory
● Anouschka van Immerseel (University of Ghent)
Using Wordfish to scale positions of political parties on military intervention decisions
● Valerio Vignoli (University of Milan)
Where Are the Doves? Explaining Party Support for Military Operations Abroad in Italy
● Sissela Matzner (University of Edinburgh)
Integrating Parties and Foreign Policy Research with Role Theory: France and Military Intervention in
Libya 2011

16:00-18:00: Conclusion- Final remarks and roundtable on future agenda
● Professor Juliet Kaarbo (University of Edinburgh)
● Professor Wolfgang Wagner (University of Amsterdam)


Political parties are understudied in Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) and International Relations (IR). Scholars consistently underestimate the relevance of parties in influencing state’s foreign policy). Yet, the study of parties' foreign policy adds to FPA's challenge of IR realist notions of the state as unitary actor, reassesses the dichotomy between domestic and international spheres and addresses the role of ideology. Recently, scholars have started to explore more systematically parties and foreign policy from various disciplines and with different theoretical assumptions and methods. This nascent focus on parties as foreign policy actors speaks to FPA's recognition that foreign policy contexts and decision-making are multi-factorial and multi-level.

This early career researcher workshop builds on this emerging and promising literature. It aims to contribute to the scientific understanding of foreign policy in IR, to map new research on parties and foreign policy, and to scope out future research avenues along three dimensions:

1. Institutions and processes: The role of parties in foreign policy decision-making

2. Relationships: Parties as links and feedback loops between society, state and international level

3. Ideologies: The impact of ideology on foreign policy

The one-day workshop provides an opportunity to discuss research in progress on parties and foreign policy in a small group, in the presence of and with input from senior experts. We invite PhD students and early career post-docs papers with a strong empirical component from different disciplines focused on and using different:

· Unit levels

· Party systems (one party to multi-party systems)

· Theoretical frameworks

· Methodologies

· Data sources

· Methods of analyses

Louis-Simon Boileau (Science Po, CERI), Sissela Matzner (University of Edinburgh) and Valerio Vignoli (University of Milan)

Edinburgh Students