RC05 - Comparative Studies on Local Government and Politics

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04Oct 2022

IPSA seminar on Smart Cities and Open Government (23/09/2022)

Below, you'll find the program of our most recent event. Thanks to those who participated!


IPSA Seminar – RC05, RC10, RC22 & AECPA

Smart Cities and Open Government: Local responses to participation, public information, and democracy

September 23rd. 2022

Faculty of Political Science and Sociology,  Complutense University of Madrid (UCM- Spain)


Panel 01. Smart Cities September 23rd. 10:00 - 11:50 hrs. (Madrid) Super Aula (NT 115).
Chair: Prof. Norbert Kersting University Muenster. (Germany)

Panel 02. Open Government

Date; September 23rd. 12:00 - 13:50 hrs. (Madrid) Super Aula (NT 115). Chair: Prof. José A. Hernández-Bonivento Organization: Universidad Austral de Chile. (Chile)



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14Jun 2021

Updated RC05 List of Panels for IPSA 2021

RC 5 Business  Meeting is on Tuesday 13.7. at 15:30  (UTC) (17:30 German summer time)
Use the zoom link:
The RC5 business meeting is open for all interested colleagues (no IPSA conference registration required!)

Please find here the updated list of all Panles held by the RC05 at the IPSA 2021. You can also access more details by clicking on the Panel name. We are looking forward to interesting and entertaining discussions with all of you.

Title Convenor Chair Co-Chair Discussants
Cities and Migration. Conflicts and Solutions Prof. Norbert Kersting Prof. Angel Iglesias   Dr. Pekka Kettunen
Decentralization and Sub-Municipal Units Prof. Norbert Kersting Dr. Filipe Teles   Prof. Eran Razin
Local administration and Fiscal policies in a comparative perspective Dr. Andrew Matsiko Dr. Andrew Matsiko   Dr. Parestico Pastory
Local Administration and Reform Prof. Norbert Kersting Prof. Eduardo Grin   Dr. Filipe Teles
Local Elections Prof. Norbert Kersting Prof. Eran Razin   Prof. Mirko Klarić
Local Elections. Candidates and Political Parties Prof. Norbert Kersting Prof. Euiyoung Kim   Prof. Snežana Djordjevic
Local Governance and Political Participation Dr. José Hernández-Bonivento Dr. José Hernández-Bonivento   Prof. Fiona Anciano
Local Governance in Contemporary Japan: Pressing Challenges and Innovative Approaches Dr. Hanno Jentzsch Dr. Hanno Jentzsch Prof. Gabriele Vogt Prof. Jill Tao
Local Government, State Capacities and Public Policies in Federal States of the Global South: Cities and the Environment from a Policy-Politics Perspective Dr. Klaus Frey Dr. Klaus Frey   Dr. Lúcio Bittencourt
Local Government, State Capacities and Public Policies in Federal States of the Global South: Federative Coordination and Multilevel Governance Dr. Klaus Frey Dr. Renata Bichir   Dr. Klaus Frey
Local Participatory Democracy Dr. José Hernández-Bonivento Prof. Fiona Anciano   Dr. José Hernández-Bonivento
Metropoles and Shrinking Cities Prof. Norbert Kersting Prof. Snežana Djordjevic   Prof. Euiyoung Kim
Smart Cities, Reforms and Local Democracy Dr. Pekka Kettunen Dr. Pekka Kettunen   Prof. Norbert Kersting


17Oct 2019

Call for Papers Lisbon 2020

IPSA's 26th World Congress of Political Science in Lisbon (Portugal) July 24-28 2020 is coming closer.

The deadline for panel and papers is extended to October 24. 2019!!

Up till now we have 10 open panels, which cover most relevant topics. If you have not yet registered, use the chance to join one of these panels. In case we receive too many papers givers in a panel (max is 6) we will split the group and open another panel:

Preliminary list of open panels:

And closed panels:

  • Interplay of decentralization and recentralization under new circumstances  Chair: Ivan Kopric

17Oct 2019

RC5 Conference on: “Public administration in a democratic society. Thirty years of democratic transition in Europe” in Dubrovnik, October 3.-5. 2019

RC5 organized together with RC 32 the International Conference  “Public administration in a democratic society. Thirty years of democratic transition in Europe”, which took place in Dubrovnik on October 3.-5. 2019.

More than 50 colleagues presented papers at parallel sessions. Others took part at the Round table discussions. The conference was perfectly organized by Prof Ivan Kopric and his team. This important theme, which showed an evaluation of the transitional process, 30 years after the winds of Change in 1989, focused furthermore on research questions such as: What are the key public administration concepts that promote and preserve democratic values in public governance in transition countries?  How did different types of relations between public administration and politics determine transition outcomes?  How did people, political actors, and scientists assess and evaluate the results of public governance transition? What were the goals of the transition and did or can transition end?

In the Award Ceremony Professor Emeritus Hellmut Wollmann (Humboldt University) received a – RC5 Recognition of Merit – for his important role in RC5 and his numerous academic contributions.


19Dec 2018

RC05 Business Meeting in Brisbane 2018


11Jul 2018

IPSA World Congress (WC), Brisbane RC 05: List of panels (updated)

During the IPSA World Congress in Brisbane, the RC05 has organised the following panels:

IPSA 2018 Brisbane RC 5: List of panels, papers and authors

Panel: Local Elections



Panel: Local Government Structures



Panel: Local Participatory Democracy



Panel: Local Policies and Administration



Panel: Mass Migrations, Integration and Local Governments: Issues and Prospects



Panel: Metropoles



Panel: Political Culture and Alternation in the Subnational Democracies in Mexico: an Evaluation of Democratic Quality



Panel: Urban Poverty Alleviation


23Jun 2018

Sub-Municipal Governance in Europe Decentralization Beyond the Municipal Tier

New Book by Editors: Hlepas, N.-K., Kersting, N., Kuhlmann, S., Swianiewicz, P., Teles, F. (Eds.)

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17Sep 2017

IPSA World Congress (WC), Brisbane (Australia), 21-25 July 2018

The submission process for the IPSA World Congress on Political Science has started. Here are the key informations and dates:

Submission of Proposals

All paper and panel proposals must be submitted online via the Congress website. No emails, PDFs or Word documents will be accepted as submissions.

Paper proposals may be submitted in up to three (3) sessions of interest.
Paper submissions for panels must be submitted using the specific link provided in the invitation from a panel convenor.

Submit a Paper

Panel proposals may be submitted in up to three (3) sessions of interest.

Please note that the Program Chairs have established new submission procedures for panels for this Congress and only complete panels (closed) may be submitted during the Call for Proposals.

Submit a Panel

View All Sessions Open to Submissions

Key Dates

10 OCT 2017

Deadline to submit paper and panel proposals

25 OCT 2017

Review period of proposals starts

10 DEC 2017

Deadline to review paper and panel proposals

19 JAN 2018

Paper and panel proposers are notified of final results

15 MAR 2018

Early-bird registration deadline

10 APR 2018

Registration deadline to appear in the printed program 
Deadline to edit paper title and abstract

09 MAY 2018

Final registration deadline for all panelists
Participants not registered are withdrawn from the Congress Program

01 JUL 2018

Deadline to upload full papers

15Sep 2017

RC5 Listserver

The IPSA RC5 Local Government Email Listserver is online. To subscribe to the existing RC5 email list go to https://listserv.uni-muenster.de/mailman/listinfo/ipsa-rc5-local-government

This Listserver is supposed to keep you up to date on current projects and research topics. Every member can share and provide information by sending an email to ipsa-rc5-local-government[at]listserv.uni-muenster.de .

15May 2017

NEW RC05 Email Server


The IPSA RC05 Comparative Studies on Local Government and Politics and Research Email Listserver is online. To subscribe to the existing RC05 email list go to https://listserv.uni-muenster.de/mailman/listinfo/ipsa-rc5-local-government.

This Listserver is supposed to keep you up to date on current projects and research topics. Every member can share and provide information by sending an email to IPSA-RC5_Mail.JPG.


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17Feb 2017

Looking Beyond the Crises: Impact of Mass Migrations on the Local, Regional, National and EU Governance" to be held in Dubrovnik, Croatia, 11-14 May 2017

Panel 1: The nexus between the EU and the Member states in immigration and
integration policies
Panel 2: Local integration policies – tradition, experiences and
good practices
Panel 3: Impact of migration on public services
Panel 4: Coordination of integration policies
Panel 5: Administrative capacities for immigration and integration policies
Panel 6: Representative bureaucracy on local level
Panel 7: Management of cultural diversity on national and local level
Panel 8: The role of cities in integration policies


Ivan Kopric
University of Zagreb Croatia

17Feb 2017

Berlin Summer School in Social Sciences

Linking Theory and Empirical Research

Berlin, July 16 – 27, 2017

We are delighted to announce the 7th Berlin Summer School in Social Sciences. The summer school aims at supporting young researchers by strengthening their ability in linking theory and empirical research. The two-week program creates an excellent basis for the development of their current research designs.

In the first week, we address the key methodological challenges of concept-building, causation/explanation, and micro-macro linkage that occur in almost all research efforts. We strive for a clarification of the epistemological foundations underlying methodological paradigms. In the second week, these methodological considerations are applied to central empirical fields of research in political science, sociology, and other related disciplines. In this second part of the program, participants are assigned to four thematic groups according to their own research topics. The thematic areas covered are: “External Governance, Interregionalism, and Domestic Change”, “Citizenship, Migration, and Identities", “Social Struggle and Globalization”, and “Democracy at the Crossroads”.

The international summer school is open to 50 PhD candidates, advanced master students, and young postdocs. The call for applications is currently open. Applications can be submitted online via the application form on the summer school webpage until March 31, 2017.

The decisions of the selection committee will be announced to the applicants in April. For more information, please visit our webpage at www.berlinsummerschool.de.
If you have any further questions, please contact the organizing team at summerschool.bgss@hu-berlin.de


17Aug 2015

24th World Congress of Political Science July 23-28, 2016 | Istanbul, Turkey

Dear colleagues! Its now time to send proposals to present papers in the upcoming IPSA congress in 2016. The dead-line is the 7th of October, 2015.


Look at: https://istanbul2016.ipsa.org/events/istanbul2016/session/rc05-comparative-studies-local-government-and-politics

06Jan 2015

The international public policy conference, Milan July 2015

The next conference will take place in Milan from Wednesday, July 1 to Saturday, July 4, 2015

The local organizers are Alberto Brugnoli and Allessandro Colombo (Eupolis).

The Schedule of the conference • CALL FOR PANELS : 1st September 2014 - 15 October 2014 • CALL FOR PAPERS : 1st November 2014 - 15th January 2015 • OPEN REGISTRATION : 1st January 2015 • CONFERENCE : 1st July 2015 - 4th July 2015

For more information, go to: http://www.icpublicpolicy.org/

18Dec 2014

IPA 2015

Dear colleagues,

10th International Conference in Interpretive Policy Analysis will be organized by the CERAPS (Lille 2 University/CNRS/Science Po Lille) in Lille from July 8 to 10, 2015 at the Faculty of Law and Political and Social Sciences and at Sciences Po Lille.

We kindly invite scholars from all disciplines to submit a paper to our panel: LOCAL DEMOCRACY: CITIZENS INVOLVEMENT IN CONTESTED POLITICAL DECISION MAKING

Local governments in small communities all over Europe face challenges associated with demography. Birth deficits, and a selective net outward migration present local communities with a situation where the population is shrinking, ageing, and also losing in social capital. This situation is particularly apparent in rural areas, characterized by a remoteness from key markets.(?) Could any of the participatory methods used in spatial planning and development be used in wider discussions on the future of a shrinking society? How is the public given voice in times of cost reduction and resource alignment?

About the conference: http://ipa2015.sciencesconf.org/ To submit a paper: http://ipa2015.sciencesconf.org/resource/page/id/9 About the panel: http://ipa2015.sciencesconf.org/conference/ipa2015/pages/Local_democracy.pdf For questions regarding the panel; josefina.syssner@liu.se For general questions regarding IPA 2015; ipa2015@sciencesconf.org

Best regards, Josefina Syssner, Director Centre for municipality studies,

Linkoping university, Sweden

09Dec 2014


Invitation to the International Public Administration and Public Policy Scientific Conference

DECENTRALIZATION POLICIES: RESHUFFLING THE SCENE May 7-10, 2015 University of Zagreb Centre for Advanced Academic Studies (CAAS), Dubrovnik, Croatia http://www.caas.unizg.hr

Organisation of the Conference • Institute for Public Administration, Croatia In collaboration with and support from • RC 05 Comparative Studies on Local Government and Politics of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) • RC 32 Public Policy & Administration of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) • Croatian Political Science Association, Croatia • Faculty of Law, Study Centre for Public Administration and Public Finance, University of Zagreb, Croatia • Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb, Croatia Conference theme Decentralization Policies: Reshuffling the Scene General aim and topic of the Conference Decentralization policies have been on the agenda in a number of countries for a long time. They include widening local autonomy as well as the scope of local affairs and responsibilities, territorial rescaling, strive for local democracy and accountability, building local capacities and professionalism, new local financial arrangements, building partnerships with regional and central institutions, and the like. Decentralisation is deeply connected with the change of power structure in national contexts. The results can be of win-win, win-lose, but also of lose-lose type. Generally, the beginning of economic crisis in 2008 made decentralisation policies precarious. The power game between political actors has become more dynamic, in some cases even brutal. The conference would like to explore decentralization policies that have been recently undertaken, their realms, components, triggers, short- and long-term effects, and prerequisites of successful decentralisation. Specific themes that will be covered during the conference: • Decentralization policies and processes – values, components, challenges, expectations, effects • Territorial restructuring and reform of functions of local and regional authorities in multi-level governance settings • Decentralisation as democratisation – legitimacy and efficiency • Evaluation of current decentralisation reforms Date and Conference format The conference will last from Thursday, May 7 to Sunday, May 10, 2015 and will be held in the CAAS premises in Dubrovnik It will be organized in the form of plenary sessions and several topical panel sessions Tentative schedule of the Conference is the following: • Thursday – afternoon session – opening of the Conference and the PhD panels • Friday – morning and afternoon sessions • Saturday – morning and afternoon sessions • Sunday – morning session and closing of the Conference Detailed schedule will be sent later. Publication opportunities Selection of presented papers will be submitted for publication in the international scientific journal Croatian and Comparative Public Administration, which is published by the Institute for Public Administration. Important dates - 31 January 2015 – Submission of abstracts to the Organizing Committee - 15 February 2015 – Notification of abstract acceptance - 1 March 2015 – Circulation of Draft Conference Programme - 31 March 2015 – Submission of draft papers - 7-10 May 2015 – Conference in Dubrovnik Venue and accommodation The Conference will be organized at the Centre for Advanced Academic Studies (CAAS) in Dubrovnik, Croatia (address: Don Frana Bulića 4, 20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia). CAAS is located in the very heart of Dubrovnik, less then five-minute walk from the Old City. Accommodation for participants is reserved at CAAS residence for the period 7-10 of May 2015 and organizers will cover accommodation costs for the invited paper givers and participants. Web site of CAAS: http://www.caas.unizg.hr/accomodation.html All participants are kindly asked to take necessary steps for their travel arrangements soon after their participation is confirmed by the Organizing Committee. The Dubrovnik Airport has good connections (direct or indirect) with all main European airports. Organising committee - Professor Ivan Koprić, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, ivan.kopric@pravo.hr - Professor Zdravko Petak, Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb, petakzdravko@gmail.com - Professor Fred Lazin (IPSA RC 5, chair), Ben Gurion University, Israel lazin@bgu.ac.il - Professor Robert Hoppe (IPSA RC 32, chair), University of Twente, Netherlands, r.hoppe@utwente.nl - Assistant Professor Vedran Đulabić, assistant professor, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, vedran.dulabic@pravo.hr

Additional information For any additional information please contact: Assistant Professor Vedran Đulabić – vedran.dulabic@pravo.hr Dr Jasmina Džinić – jdzinic@pravo.hr

01Jun 2013



Joint PhD-Training School organized by The University of Oslo, the Norwegian Centre in Paris and the COST Action

September 30 to October 02, 2013


Local governments all over Europe are in a period of intense reform activity, not least of all because in some countries they have been the level of government most seriously affected by the still expanding global financial and economic crisis. They are simultaneously faced by a variety of – partly contradictory – reform pressures, often aimed at conflicting reform objectives (e.g. efficiency vs.participation). Against this background, the PhD-Training School is meant to discuss reforms, experiments and changes in local democracy and local public sector institutions. The course is intended to provide training in theories and methods to be applied in the study of local public sector reforms and democracy, especially in comparative perspectives. The training school will focus on democratic reforms and new instruments of citizen participation (e.g. referenda, direct election of mayors). In addition, it concentrates on New Public Management (NPM) reforms that were targeted towards marketization, privatization and ‘corporatization’ as well as the more recent ‘Post-NPM’ reforms, which were often aimed at correcting the shortcomings of earlier NPM measures. Finally it will include the more nationally driven territorial and functional reforms (municipal amalgamations, decentralization) that have been fuelled, in part, by recent austerity measures and the hopes of national policy makers that such reforms will facilitate economies of scale.


Venue: The Norwegian Centre in Paris:
Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme,
190, Avenue de France, 75013 Paris
tél. +33 (0)149542216, http://www.paris.uio.no/fr-web/.


  • For more information about the Training School (content/schedule): Professor Harald Baldersheim, the Democracy Programme at UiO: harald.baldersheim@stv.uio.no,
  • For more information about the COST Action `LocRef´: Professor Sabine Kuhlmann, University of Potsdam sabine.kuhlmann@uni-potsdam.de or at http://www.cost.eu/domains_actions/isch/Actions/IS1207?


Please submit an abstract that provides a brief outline of your current work (PhD topic/project outline, 300 words max., in English) accompanied by a short CV, electronically by July 31, 2013. To apply for the PhD-grant of the COST Action LocRef, please send your abstract and CV to Sabine Kuhlmann ( sabine.kuhlmann@uni-potsdam.de ) and Christian Schwab ( schwab@foev-speyer.de ) and refer to ‘Phd-Training School Grant’ in the subject line.

Acceptance of participants and grant holders will be notified in August.

16Jan 2013

New book

Sellers, Jefferey M.; Kübler, Daniel; Walter-Rogg, Melanie; and Walks, W. Alan (Eds.). (Forthcoming November 2012). The Political Ecology of the Metropolis: Metropolitan Sources of Electoral Behavior in Eleven Countries. Essex: ECPR Press.

A growing majority of humanity lives in sprawling, interconnected urban regions. Diversified metropolitan geographies have replaced the centuries-old divide between urban and rural areas, and transformed the territorial sources of electoral politics. Affluent and low density suburbs provide powerful bases of support for neoliberal and culturally conservative parties. Urban concentrations have joined poor suburbs as the remaining bastions of a Left under attack. New dimensions of partisan competition have emerged around the material interests and subcultures of distinct metropolitan places. Throughout the developed world and beyond, metropolitan patterns of electoral support and participation have shifted axes of partisan competition to the right, and driven the global spread of neoliberalism.

This volume undertakes the first systematic comparative analysis of these patterns. The analyses draw on data from 13,300 municipalities in 175 metropolitan regions and eleven countries, and multilevel statistical methods. The results support a compelling new thesis to explain many recent shifts in political behavior and public policy: the metropolitanization of politics.

16Jan 2013

Next two conferences

Our next two conferences will take place in the spring and summer of 2013 in the cities of Grenoble (France) and Dubrovnik (Croatia). The first one will be the 1st international conference on Public Policy (June 26-28, 2013) and the second will be about the Europeanization of public administration and policy: sharing values, norms and practices (April 4-7, 2013). Those interested in submitting paper proposals should take into account that the process needs to be done directly through the organizers of each conference (see information in the conference section of this website).

29Aug 2011

Call for papers


RC05 is ready to hold its new conference within the greater umbrella of IPSA's world congress. Our Research committee will have nine panels, all touching different aspects of local government and local politics.


  • Deadline to submit abstract/paper proposals: October 17, 2011
  • Abstract proposers are notified of final results: December 2, 2011
  • Deadline for paper presenters to upload papers: June 1, 2012


  • Inequality and Decentralized Governance
  • Local Government Amalgamation and its Alternatives: Effects on Democracy and Governance
  • Local leadership in the European Union countries – good and bad practices.
  • Reshaping territorial polities: role and functions of local government in a multilevel governance scenario.
  • The provision of public services; from public/municipal to private– and reverse (“re-municipalization“)?
  • Territorial choice, multilevel governance and local democratic accountability
  • The implications for local democratic participation, legitimacy and effectiveness of local government size
  • Mayors in Comparative Perspective
  • Understanding the governance of megacities

Please see more information in the call for papers section of this website.