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Call for papers "Crises as opportunities?" (ECPR Joint Sessions)

When: Thursday, December 16, 2021 - Wednesday, February 2, 2022, 12:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Call for papers for the next Joint Sessions of the ECPR (Univ. of Edinburgh, 19-22 April 2022): "Crises as opportunities? Reconceptualising EU member states relationships in the age of permanent emergency". 

Stella Ladi (NEXTEUK/CER, Queen Mary Univ. of London) and Laura Polverari (University of Padova) are now inviting paper submissions on the topic of "Crises as opportunities? Reconceptualising EU member states relationships in the age of permanent emergency". 

Since 2008, the European Union has been engulfed in several crises: the Sovereign debt and Eurozone crises, the migration crisis, Brexit, Covid-19 and climate crisis. While distinct, these crises are feeding into each other and are testing the capacity and resilience of domestic and EU institutions, bringing forward common policy questions. Many observers have underlined the permanent character of this state of crisis. These crises are affecting the way the EU deals with policy design and implementation, as the Union learns to deal with crises as part of its normal mode of policymaking (Ladi and Wolff, 2021). This raises questions about the degree to which emergency politics and crisis policymaking might become part of the EU’s routine modus operandi, and raises issues in terms of policy efficiency versus democratic legitimacy (e.g. Kreuder-Sonnen and White, 2021; Schmidt, 2021). Jones, Kelemen and Meunier (2021, 2016) explain that European integration is happening by ‘failing forward’.

All the above crises - and especially the on-going pandemic – have also demonstrated the importance of the State as a key reform and implementation agent (Stiglitz 2021; Mazzucato and Quaggiotto 2020). Further, they have highlighted a renewed centrality of supranational and international organizations for the coordination of policy solutions, given the transboundary nature and global scale of the challenges at hand. Within the context of the EU, this is altering the relationship between member states and EU institutions (Toshkov et al 2021; Wolff & Ladi 2020). It can be argued that this permanent state of crisis is revealing new aspects of the interdependence between member states and EU institutions and creating an increased demand for policy learning. The Union has expanded its influence over policy areas which until recently had remained a prerogative of member states (e.g. van Schaik et al 2020).

All of this suggests that the relationship between EU institutions and member states needs to be re-thought.

  • Did the multiple crises of the last decade and the subsequent state of emergency politics change the modes and mechanisms of Europeanization?
  • Are new, more coordinative modes of Europeanization supplanting coercive forms of Europeanization and containing de-Europeanization trends?
  • Is EU policymaking becoming more consensual and less inter-governmental because of the crises?
  • Can we observe inter-crisis policy learning and, if so, under what conditions and following what mechanisms is this taking place?
  • Have the crises led to an expansion of the role of EU institutions in policy fields which have thus far been left to the member states? What are the effects of this in terms of substantive policy outputs and in terms of legitimacy and trust in the EU?
  • To what extent have the emergency responses to the crises been institutionalized? How is this happening and to which effect?
  • All in all, has the EU become more resilient and better fit for future crises or have the crises, and the EU’s responses to them, exacerbated existing weaknesses and cleavages within the Union?
  • What has changed in the relationship between the EU and its Southern member-states?

To submit your paper, please click on the following link: 

Guidelines for submission are availalble on the following link:




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