Transformation and Ordering of Political Institutions



Overall research focus is the transformation and ordering of political institutions

Transformation is understood as institutional adaptation. Ordering is understood as governance of societal institutions. Political refers to the authoritative and administrative allocation of values. Institutions are understood broadly as formal & informal legality, norms, mental models, logics, and political ideas.

The scope of the group is

  • institutional forms of governance in the ordering of power, politics and publics
  • institutional forms of practices in the ordering of power, politics and publics
  • institutional forms of roles and identities in the ordering of power, politics and publics

The debates and research of the group will continuously aim to explore the definitions, nature and construction as well as the limits of political institutions, in the light of well-known institutional theories, such as formal-legal institutionalism, rational choice institutionalism, historical institutionalism and sociological institutionalism, and later contributions such as discursive institutionalism, institutional logics and hybrid institutional formations. The group will also explore socio-legal theories and analyses. The research and debates of the group will also continuously consider institution-actor relations, such the roles and influence of professional political actors or state-citizenship relations. The research and debates of the group will also continuously include the important questions of democracy, legitimacy, accountability and transparency in the public control of political institutions. Furthermore, and not least, the group will continuously debate different forms of power and authority, both direct/indirect, formal/informal, resource/structural/discursive that can be attributed to the transformation and ordering of political institutions.

Ambitions of the group: The aim of the group is to the support and create research activities at the highest international level in the research field of political institutions.

Empirical field of research: All levels of government and governance relations into all spheres of society (public, private, and civil society), including transnational & international spaces. Political institutions can be found at all levels and in all spheres of society, also in the international society. Municipalities, international organizations, public administration, national government, parliaments, courts, issue interest networks, normative governance regimes in market places or in transnational spaces - are all materializations of political institutions.

Research approaches: Pragmatic and critical approaches.

Projects: The group members encompass partnerships in and contributions to – among others - the following current, recent, and coming research projects: 

  • Civil servant norms in a state of flux. Financed by the Danish Research Council, grant 1.8 mill. DKK.
  • Policy professionals – upcoming special issue in Politica
  • Digital Citizenship
  • European project on coalitions organized in Umeå and Lund by led Torbjörn Bergman, Johan Hellström, and Hanna Bäck.
  • European project on opposition parties that published a book in 2018, and will have a special issue in parliamentary affairs, led by Elisabetta Di Giorgi and Gabriella Illonszki
  • International project on parliamentary committees – organized in lieu of the IPSA research group on legislatures, led by Sven Siefken and Hilmar Rommetvedt
  • Recently finished projects on radical right populist parties but may join yet another with regard to policy behavior
  • Handbook of Business Legitimacy: Responsibility, Ethics and Society lead by Dahl Rendtorff, J. Springer Verlag - contribution
  • Big Data: Promise, Application and Pitfalls lead by Storm Pedersen & Wilkinson - contribution
  • Digital leadership in hybrid organizations – upcoming contribution to special issue
  • Mistra Biotech, 2019-2020 WP coordinator, grant 950000 DKK
  • Circles, pilot project 2019- 2020, grant 42000 DKK

Form of activities:

The group is headed by a rotating leadership (currently Birgitte Poulsen), that will include the role as coordinator of meetings and link to department. The core of the group will be Work-In-Progress seminars once every month (first Monday at 13-15pm). The agenda will include:

  • Orientation of (new, old) activities (all members)
  • Common research events, new ideas and upcoming, shared activities (all members)
  • Paper presentation with discussant

The group activities will also include lunch up-date once every month (medio) Monday. The agenda will include

  • Orientation (all members)
  • News from department

All further activities will origin from all members. This can include writing retreats, research group seminars, joint applications for funding, and joint publications in peer-reviewed journals and publishing houses.

FN's verdensmål

I 2015 blev FN-landene enige om 17 verdensmål til at standse fattigdom, beskytte planeten og sikre velstand for alle. Vores arbejde bidrager til følgende verdensmål:

  • Verdensmål 5 - Ligestilling mellem kønnene
  • Verdensmål 10 - Mindre ulighed
  • Verdensmål 12 - Ansvarligt forbrug og produktion
  • Verdensmål 16 - Fred, retfærdighed og stærke institutioner
  • Verdensmål 17 - Partnerskaber for handling


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