Workshop 2 and Specialized Course Final Report

Research Project: Electoral Control in Eastern Europe

Final Report on Workshop 2 and Specialized Course, “Parliamentarians, Candidates and Elections in Eastern Europe: From Theory to Empirics”

prepared by Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow, Associate Professor at IFiS-PAN and Principal Investigator of the Research Project

March 25, 2014

Introduction

This one day workshop and specialized course was held in Warsaw, at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, in Room 200. A sequel to Workshop 1, this international workshop and specialized course brought together scholars who are interested in using the Eastern European Parliamentarian and Candidate Database (EAST-PaC data) on parliamentarians, candidates and elections in Poland, Hungary, Ukraine. These data are designed to address critical questions on political and party systems of the region, as well as issues in representation, accountability and political inequality. Workshop 2 and specialized course featured (a) training in the EAST-PaC data collection effort in Poland, Hungary, Ukraine and Romania and (b) discussions of moving from research ideas to manageable research projects and publications involving the analyses of these data.

Participants presented to their Workshop and specialized course colleagues a preliminary plan for a research article featuring the analyses of EAST-PaC data. In this presentation, participants outlined the research questions they would like to address, the country or countries in the EAST-PaC data they would like to analyze, and the methodological issues involved in addressing their research questions. This was a great opportunity for PhD students to witness, first hand, the inner workings of a research project and its administration. Thus, the Workshop functioned as a Specialized Course for PhD students in how social scientists generate ideas and manage cross-national research projects.

Funding and Organizational Support

This event was funded by a grant from Poland’s National Science Centre (”Who Wins and Who Loses in the Parliamentary Elections? From Formal Theory to Empirical Analysis,” Sonata Bis decision number 2012/05/E/HS6/03556) and with additional support from the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology (IFiS) and the Graduate School for Social Research (GSSR) at PAN, and organizational support from Cross-National Studies: Interdisciplinary Research and Training Program (CONSIRT) at The Ohio State University and PAN. We thank Prof. Andrzej Rychard, Director of IFiS PAN, who delivered welcoming remarks. We are also grateful to GSSR for providing help with personnel and allowing us to use their facilities to accommodate the participants.

Participants

There were 15 participants for the event. We hosted six international participants, including two from the U.S., two from Hungary one each from Romania and the Ukraine. Continuing with our intention to use video conferencing technology to enhance and expand participation in the events from this project, one attendee participated via Skype from the Netherlands (a PhD student from GSSR). Six attendees of this Workshop and Specialized Course are graduate students, five of whom are PhD students from the Graduate School for Social Research.

Structure of the Workshop: Information, Discussion, Networking

After an overview of the goals of the project and a review of Workshop 1, Dr. Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow discussed the status of the data collection effort and other administrative issues. This gave event participants the opportunity to discuss various issues on project administration, a topic that was discussed again in the concluding section of the event. The text of that report and the following discussions is available on the project website. Highlights of that discussion included the Romanian candidate data collection effort by Mihail Chiru and Marina Popescu, and the possibilities of collecting candidate data from Nepal by Sanjay Chaudhary, as well as planning for Workshop 3 and publications. Zsofia Papp and Gabor Molnar presented details of the data collection effort in Hungary (download the presentation: Candidate data collection in Hungary). The rest of the event included presentations of event participants, including Dr. Papp, Natalia Pohorila, Sheri Kunovich, Mikolaj Czesnik, Justyna Nyckowiak, Claudiu Tufis and Peter Tunkis. Formal and informal discussions allowed event participants to build a scholarly network. We will also begin to build alternate ways for project participants to directly share ideas for the project via the internet.

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