Welcome to this seven-day intensive Schools organised by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), under the auspices of the ECPR Standing Group on Central East European Politics and the support of the ECPR Standing Group on Political Parties. These Schools, organized with the collaboration of the OSCE Academy in Bishkek, the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University (Warsaw) and the Research Centre for the Study of Parties and Democracy: REPRESENT (University of Nottingham) brings together an international team of 9 academics and 9 practitioners to train and instruct a group of 23 MA/PhD researchers and practitioners and civil society leaders in the field of political parties and democracy.

The main aims of the Schools include:

  • to provide instruction and discussion on a wider range of analytical perspectives in the study of political parties, party systems, elections and democracy;
  • to develop a multinational forum for both junior scholars and practitioners to critically discuss their research projects and the development of the subfield;
  • to assist PhD researchers to develop their dissertation projects at the cutting edge of the field, contributing to innovation in conceptualisation, measurement, analysis and theory;
  • to prepare PhD researchers for the requirements and criteria of international academic publishing, and to encourage them to submit their work to academic journals;
  • to help practitioners to understand the main academic findings regarding party politics and democracy promotion;
  • to build on the most recent developments of political party development and democracy promotion presented at most recent interdisciplinary International Conference in Birmingham (26-27 April 2018) and Brussels (18-20 June 2018);
  • to stimulate international collaboration in the field of parties, party systems, elections and democracy and to encourage PhD researchers and practitioners to take part in such collaboration.


Fernando Casal Bértoa is an Associate Professor in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham (United Kingdom). He is member of the OSCE/ODIHR “Core Group of Political Party Experts”. He is also co-director of REPRESENT: Research Centre for the Study of Parties and Democracy. His work has been published in Journal of Politics, European Journal of Political Research, Sociological Methods and Research, Electoral Studies, West European Politics, Party Politics, DemocratizationEuropean Political Science Review, among others. He was awarded the 2017 Gordon Smith and Vincent Wright Memorial Prize, the 2017 AECPA Prize for the Best Article and the 2018 Vice-Chancellor Medal of the University of Nottingham for “exceptional achievements”. His last book, titled Party System Closure: Party Alliances, Government Alternatives and Democracy in Europe, is forthcoming with Oxford University Press.

Katarzyna Grzybowska-Walecka is an Assistant Professor and the Head of MA studies on Politics in Cyberspace at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University (UKSW) in Warsaw. She holds a PhD in Social and Political Science from the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence. She was also a Chevening Scholar at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford. Co-founder and co- leader of the business academic project/partnership Political Radar, which monitored and analyzed activity of political parties and political movements in Poland before and after the 2015 elections. She is also co-editor of Polish academic journal “Politologia”. Prior to turning to academia, she was elected as one of the youngest city councillor in Warsaw (three times in row), worked for the Office for Promotion of Parliamentary Democracy at the European Parliament and for the United Nations’ Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New Y ork.

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