Welcome from the new convenors

In the meeting of our standing group (for the minutes you can go to http://povb-ecpr.org/sites/default/files/Minutes-Montreal-28-8-2015.pdf) on August 28, during the ECPR General Conference held in Montreal, our nominations as the new convenors of the POVB standing group were approved. Consequently, in the coming three years we will try our best to maintain and enhance the position of the standing group as the forum for researchers in public opinion and voting behavior in the ECPR.

Aim

The main tasks of the standing group have thus far been twofold. First, the standing group produces a website and newsletters in order to keep our members up to date regarding activities, conferences, publications, datasets, etcetera. This task has in the previous years been fulfilled with flair by Ioannis Andreadis (Aristotle University Thessaloniki), and we are extremely happy that Ioannis has expressed his willingness to continue this work in the time to come. This is a good opportunity to say a warm ‘thank you’ to Ioannis for his invaluable work for the standing group!

The second main task of the standing group has been to stimulate and, when useful, coordinate the programming of sections and panels during the ECPR General Conferences, and workshops during the Joint Sessions of Workshops. We will continue this task, especially with regard to the General Conference. Thanks to the work of the standing group, the recent Montreal General Conference saw a large number of excellent panels in our subfields.

It is our main aim to contribute to the integration of scholars working in public opinion and voting behavior, broadly understood. We will do this by providing virtual (website, newsletters) and physical (conferences) meeting sites. Besides these basic tasks, we look for any added value that we can provide as a standing group.

Conferences

Regarding the upcoming conferences, we would like to draw your attention particularly to the 2016 General Conference in Prague, the 2016 Graduate Student Conference in Tartu, and to the 2017 Joint Sessions of Workshops in Nottingham. The call for sections in the 2016 General Conference is open from September 15 until November 17. As a standing group, we aim for at least one but probably more than one Section (each consisting of 3-8 panels around a general research question). Please contact us in time if you would like to propose a panel backed by the standing group. If we receive more than two section proposals, we will decide which we will back.

The call for section proposals in the 2016 Graduate Student Conference is open until September 30. We already received a proposal for a section on, indeed, Public Opinion and Voting Behavior from Daniel Weber (University of Mainz) and Constantin Schaefer (University of Mannheim). As a standing group, we will fully support this proposal. By the end of October the full list of confirmed sections for the Graduate Student Conference will be announced, and individual panels and papers can then be proposed until January 20.

The call for workshops proposals in the 2017 Joint Sessions of Workshops is open from October 1 until February 1. If you are planning to propose a workshop with support from our standing group, please let us know in time.

Register yourself at ecpr.eu

In order to maintain and strengthen our position in the discipline, it is very important that our potential members register themselves and keep their information up to date. Several years ago, most of you have done so by subscribing to the standing group’s website at http://povb-ecpr.org. This is however not enough; you should also indicate your membership of the standing group through your MyECPR page (http://ecpr.eu). On that page, once logged on, you should click on My ECPR -> My account -> My groups, which is where you can indicate the standing groups you want to join. For ECPR, this registration is the one that counts.

Finally

Among ourselves, we have agreed on a rough division of tasks (as the ECPR requires from us). Marina will act as Treasurer, Hanna will be our Secretary, and Kees will take up whatever tasks are then still left to do as a Convenor.

In the time to come, we will keep you informed about new plans and initiatives. Here we would like to express our gratitude, on behalf of the ECPR research community in public opinion and voting research, to the outgoing convenors: Sylvia Kritzinger, Elisabeth Gidengil, Gabor Toka, and last but most importantly: Oddbjørn Knutsen who with his characteristic determination has done more than anyone else to get our group together and working. Thanks!

Kees Aarts, University of Twente
Marina Costa Lobo, University of Lisbon
Hanna Wass, University of Helsinki

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