The Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies has been actively involved in a number of larger-scale international research networks as well as direct cooperations with colleagues from other institutions. The following list is a selection of the recent activities our faculty members have been and are involved in:
Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES)
CSES is a collaborative programme of research among election study teams from around the world. Participating countries include a common module of survey questions in their post-election studies. The resulting data are then merged into a single, free, public dataset for use in comparative study and cross-level analysis. The CSES survey module was implemented in Estonia for the first time in 2011. Piret Ehin and Vello Pettai were heading the research team in Estonia to carry out a post-electoral large-N survey in 2011 that met the rigorous guidelines and standards of the CSES.
European Elections Studies (EES)
EES focuses on electoral participation and voting behaviour in European Parliament elections. Commanced in 1979, the EES now covers all 28 member states. Research on the 2009 European Parliament elections was carried out in the framework of the PIREDEU project supported from the EU’s 7th framework program. Piret Ehin was the principal researcher in this network, making sure that Estonia participated in both the 2004 and the 2009 rounds of the EES.
Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem)
The V-Dem project is a worldwide network of scholars collecting and analyzing data on levels of democracy in over 200 countries and territories around the globe. Launched by Michael Coppedge (Notre Dame University), John Gerring (Boston University) and Staffan Lindberg (Göteborg University), the project has developed an unprecedented framework of over 300 indicators for measuring and tracking levels of democracy in the world since 1900. Thanks to this breadth and rigor, the database aims to be more robust, valid and transparent than the conventional indices currently available from, say, Freedom House or the Polity consortium. In February 2013 Prof. Vello Pettai was appointed regional manager for the Baltic states leading a team of country experts in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, who will code about 100 of the indicators based on institutional and other factual data.
Political Economy of Energy in Europe and Russia (PEEER)
PEEER (Political Economy of Energy in Europe and Russia) was established in April 2009. It is an ESRC funded energy network which brings together an inter-disciplinary group of academics from across Europe and Russia to research energy with an emphasis on energy governance, relations and issues associated with energy transition within Europe and Russia, and beyond. The network aims to produce research which is both policy relevant and theoretically informed. Dr Andrei Belyi, who worked at the Institute between 2012-2015, is a co-founder of the project and a member of the steering committee.
COST Action IS1203: "In search of transcultural memory in Europe (ISTME)" (2012-2016)
The COST Action: "In search of transcultural memory in Europe (ISTME)" is a network of research teams from 27 European countries that investigates the transcultural dynamics of memory in Europe. The aim is to advance European memory studies both theoretically and methodologically by focusing on transculturality, agency and reception - and to contribute to finding ways of accommodating memory conflicts. Dr. Heiko Pääbo and Dr. Eva-Clarita Pettai served as members of the Management Committee.
HERA project "Memory at War" (2010-2013)
The Memory at War (MAW) project explored the dynamics of cultural forms of memory and the interactions of these forms inside and across Poland, Ukraine, and Russia. It sought to offer a new metric for measuring the profound changes that these countries have undergone since the collapse of the Soviet bloc and attempts to come to grips with the hidden obstacles populating the cultural field that can obstruct further and deeper changes. Funded by HERA, its administrative and intellectual centre was at Cambridge University. The network has produced a number of joint publications, e.g "Remembering Katyn" (Polity Press, 2012) which was co-authored by Dr. Maria Mälksoo, who represented the Estonian research partner in the network.
COST Action IS0806 "The True European Voter" (2009-2014)
Cost Action “True European Voter: A Strategy for Analysing the Prospects of European Electoral Democracy that Includes the West, the South and the East of the Continent” aim was to advance the knowledge of the imperfections of electoral democracy in Europe, and to come up with sound conclusions and policy recommendations. In the framework of the project, conferences and methodology training schools were organised. The project included 26 European countries and was led by the University of Mannheim. Dr Piret Ehin was a member of the network's Management Committee.
EU-CONSENT: Wider Europe, deeper integration? "Constructing Europe" network (2005-2009)
EU-CONSENT as a network of excellence for joint research and teaching aimed to look at the construction of a new Europe especially from 2005-2008. The project included integrating activities (conferences, workshops, activities in plenum and teams), common research (EU-25 Watch, CONSENT-WEB), teaching activities and dissemination activities (public events and common publications). The project was funded by the European Commission under the 6th framework programme and directed by the University of Cologne. Senior Researcher Piret Ehin was the Estonian research team leader.