The Turkish Politics Specialist Group is participating in an online roundtable entitled “Managing the Covid-19 Pandemic: Lessons Learned and Avenues for Political Science Research”. The roundtable will take place on Friday the 29th of May at 15:00 – 16:30 GMT.
This timely meeting will focus on the management of the crisis in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Nordic countries and Turkey. Experts of each country will discuss what political scientists can learn from the coronavirus crisis and what are some immediate avenues for research. PhD students, academics and everyone interested in the comparative study of the Covid-19 Pandemic is invited to attend.
Given the continued Covid-19 outbreak, regretfully, we have decided to cancel the State of Democracy in Southern Europe conference, which was going to be held in June at Aston University.
The PSA has announced today that all face to face events until the end of the academic year should be cancelled and that the feasibility of Autumn and Winter events should be reconsidered in the summer.
Under these circumstances and given the continued Covid-19 outbreak, regretfully, we have decided to cancel the State of Democracy in Southern Europe conference, which was going to be held in June at Aston University.
We will reconsider holding the conference sometime in the future when it is safe to do so, but we realise that this may be as late as the end of 2021.
We hope that this decision will not have a major impact on your academic plans.
Thank you very much once again for submitting your abstract and your interest in the conference.
PSA Greek, Italian, Spanish and Turkish Politics Specialist Groups, in conjunction with the ECPR Standing Group on Southern European Politics and the Aston Centre for Europe is organising a conference on “The State of Democracy in Southern Europe”
This conference aims to assess the current state of democracy and patterns of governance in five Southern European countries: Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey. It has been more than a decade since the Eurozone crisis began and 15 years since Freedom House first observed the retreat of democracy globally. Southern European countries have been at the centre of both events. The financial and political crises have gone hand in hand in Southern Europe and led to observable changes in party systems and regional politics. Taking account of the changes in these past years, the main goal of the conference is to comparatively evaluate relevant developments since the beginning of the 2000s, the reasons behind these, and the prospects of democracy and governance at the periphery of Europe.
The debate on the global decline of democracy has been conceptualized variously as democratic “decay”, “backsliding”, “deconsolidation” or “recession”.  Although there is no agreed-upon name, the main observation is the same. In many countries, democracy has undergone detrimental change, to the extent of passing the threshold of authoritarianism in some cases. This type of decline is often more difficult to observe than an abrupt transition from one regime to another.  This is perhaps why the debate on democratic decline in the literature has so far focused mainly on describing the change and what it means for the future of Western democracy.  Despite this conceptual richness, the literature on democratic decline has not yet been theoretically linked to the previous literature on transitions from democracy to authoritarianism; nor has it addressed the causes of the recent decline. 
Southern Europe holds the key to fill this gap in the literature. As the region where the Third Wave of democracy started, Southern Europe was the centre of attention for the transition paradigm, which dominated the literature in the 1980s and 1990s. In the past 15 years, Southern European countries were among the first to experience democratic decline and problems with effective governance, though some are perhaps also the first to show signs of recuperation.
The conference organisers are inviting papers that address these developments in Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal with the goal of explaining them in light of the earlier literature on regime change and the current analyses of global democratic decline. Comparative papers, as well as single case studies, are welcome.
Contributions should focus on one or more of the following dimensions:
Inter-party competition and party system change
Intra-party democracy (party organisations, role of leaders, role of members)
Institutions and effective governance, including relations between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government and relations between central, regional, local governments
Role of the media, civil society, interest groups and/or non-governmental organisations
Role of citizens’ perceptions and support for democracy, including public opinion
Political behaviour, ranging from conventional means of participation (such as elections, referenda, etc) to unconventional methods (such as protests, rallies, violent acts, etc)
Paper titles and abstracts of 150-200 words, along with author names, institutional affiliation and contact details, should be sent to SouthernEuropeConference@gmail.com by Monday 16 March 2020. Limited amount of travel funding may be available. Authors will be informed about funding opportunities and the application process for travel grants after their papers are accepted.
The conference theme of ‘Re-imagining Politics’ is well suited to studies of Turkish politics – covering crises, uncertainty and challenges to politics and how we can conceptually explain political developments today. We welcome both empirical and theoretical work on all aspects of Turkish politics, broadly defined.
Deadline for paper proposals: 11th of October 2019
If you would like to apply, please e-mail your paper proposal (paper title, 200-word max abstract, institutional affiliation and full contact details) to Matthew Whiting (M.Whiting.email@example.com) and Yaprak Gürsoy (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Middle East Expert and Author Diana Darke will give a lecture entitled “Turkey and Syria: deep past connections, deep present differences.” The lecture will take place at 6.30 pm on Friday, 22 November 2019 at the Tuke Common Room, Regent’s University, London. Diana Darke has written extensively on the Middle East and Syria. She is the author of My House in Damascus, The Merchant of Syria and co-author of The Last Sanctuary in Aleppo.
Some of her work can be seen on her personal website.
Further information about the event can be viewed on the BATAS Website.
The group holds workshops, seminars, panels and networking opportunities, both as PSA Annual Conference and through other events throughout the year. Although only recently established, the Turkish Politics Specialist Group builds on the already existing network of experts within the PSA and includes researchers at all stages of their career whose interests cover the historical and contemporary politics of Turkey, broadly defined. We are committed to engaging with cutting-edge empirical and theoretical research that enlightens our understanding of Turkey.
Key areas of interest include, but are not limited to, democratisation and autocratisation, electoral politics, institutional change, the media, civil society, security and conflict, and foreign policy. It is also one of the missions of the group to place Turkey in comparative perspective both within its neighbourhood and beyond. Through our events and up-to-date blog posts, we will facilitate and expand opportunities for network building and collaborative research.
You can find our group on the “Specialist Groups” section of the Political Studies Association website. You can also learn about the types of membership that are available, along with the other rights and subscriptions that comes with becoming a member.