Parties, elections, and representation

The "Parties, Elections, and Representation" axis focuses mainly on institutions, the democratic rules of the game, and the principal actors of representative democracies.

Institutions are among the research topics of this axis. Particular attention is devoted to political regimes (presidential and parliamentary regimes), to the structures of the State (federalism, decentralisation, etc.), and to parliaments and governments as the institutions at the heart of representative democracy. This has given the Cevipol a strong reputation in parliamentary and legislative studies (the functioning of the parliament), and in the analysis of government formation, functioning, and dissolution.  Our expertise also covers issues such as the challenges of representative democracy and the development of alternative mechanisms of public decision-making, specifically by way of direct democracy and citizen participation.

The second element of this axis is the analysis of the rules of the democratic game and of their consequences. This includes more particularly the rules surrounding the electoral process, the norms and practices governing electoral campaigns, the process of political and ideological competition, or the mechanism by which political issues are put on the agenda.  The analysis of the rules of the game also refers to the regulation of the actors at the heart of representative democracy, i.e. political parties (requirements for establishment, financing, etc.) and their internal rules of operation (statutes).

Lastly, this thematic axis deals with political actors within representative democracies. On the one hand, the aim is to understand and analyse the behaviours of collective actors (government partners, parliamentary groups, political parties). On the other hand, the emphasis is put on the attitudes, roles, and behaviours of individual actors: voters, party affiliates (supporters, members, militants, leaders), candidates, elected representatives, members of executives.

These research orientations are translated into various research projects as well as into numerous databases linked to each of these projects.  They are also translated in the organisation of seminars with national and international speakers.

Beyond a strong expertise on Belgium, this axis also has a comparative perspective with specialisations on the following geographic areas: North and Latin America (Brazil and Mexico in particular), Europe, and Russia-Caucasus.

Researchers involved : ANDRÉ Audrey, BEDOCK Camille, BEHM Anne-Sophie, BOIREAU Michaël, BRACK Nathalie, CLOSE Caroline, DE WAELE Jean-Michel, DELWIT Pascal, FLACCO Fernanda, GRIGNARD Guillaume, KELBEL Camille, LOUAULT Frédéric, NIKOLIC Louise, PAULIS Émilien, PILET Jean-Benoit, SANDRI Giulia, SIERENS Vivien, TOMINI Luca, VAN HAUTE ÉmilieWAVREILLE Marie-CatherineWILLOCQ Simon