Call for papers: EVS 1/2008

Perspectives on multi-level elections and their interactions


Contemporary democracies employ elections to staff a range of institutions at various levels. The bulk of analyses and studies dedicated to the relationships between electoral and party systems focus on elections into the national Parliaments, or their lower chambers. This decision is a logical one, since this institution has the decisive position in the constitutional system and enjoys the greatest attention both of the electorate and of the political parties. Sophisticated research should not, however, ignore the role of other elected institutions and the electoral competitions by means of which they are staffed. The existence of these institutions allows political actors to aim at various goals and choose different strategies depending on which election is currently on. The party competition at the election of those other institutions is often far from a mere repetition of the national election under different conditions. Relevant actors at the sub- or supra-national level go through processes somewhat different from those at the national level; the electoral behaviour and motives of the electorate likewise differ. The processes of integration and decentralization in Europe can increase the importance of the institutions located above or below the national level, which means that it is not sufficient to describe elections at the national level.  A multi-layered perspective ought to be applied.

The first 2008 issue of the journal European Electoral Studies will be a collection of texts reflecting the need to enlarge electoral studies beyond the first-order national elections. We invite contributions in areas such as the following: studies focusing on the methods of electoral studies at multiple levels; comparative and case studies concentrating on the competition on different levels from the national one (i.e. local, sub-regional, regional or European); or those which examine the relationships between the national electoral arena and elections held at other levels.

The deadline for proposed contributions is 31 October 2007. Formal requirements, including length and submission procedures, are described on the web pages of the journal (