Issue and general question

A democracy without representation

How do lay people redefine the political and its processes? How are modes of governance adopted by elected officials criticised, whether outdated or not? The theoretical, empirical and methodological contributions of the LOR stream are structured around this broad questioning.

Political representation and its institutions are being reconfigured in many ways. This is reflected in changes to the rules of the political game (e.g. parity, plurality of mandates, introduction of participation mechanisms), changes in interest groups and social movements, and the emergence of new modes of governance (e.g. European networks and institutions, mergers of regions, metropolisation). These transformations contribute to reconfiguring the relationship between politics and policies, transforming public action or redefining the links between the centre and the periphery.

The LOR stream is primarily concerned with theoretical issues and seeks to create a dialogue between several approaches, including the political sociology of public policy, neo-institutionalism and rational choice. By mobilising tools drawn from both public policy and political sociology, it contributes to developing a sociology of actors, whether citizens, political decision-makers or interest groups.

This stream is also characterised by its methodological approach, which aims to combine various methods, including observation, interviews (individual and group, sociological intervention), lexical analyses, statistical analyses and geometric analysis of data. Its members use qualitative as well as quantitative or mixed methods. Comparison, whether infra or international, is an analytical tool favoured by the contributors to this stream.

Organisation of the LOR stream

The LOR stream operates in a flexible manner, responding primarily to the requests of its members, whether this involves presenting a publication or work in progress, mobilising guest researchers or organising a study day or an inter-stream seminar.

It organises one or two half days of study per year, focusing on organising themes that address theoretical or methodological issues (previous examples include Gender and Political and Administrative Careers in October 2017, Centre-Periphery Relations in a Decumulation Situation in March 2019 and Quali-Quanti in Practice in June 2019).

The other meetings (approximately 8 per year) are given over to presentations by tenured researchers, doctoral students or visiting researchers, in collaboration with other research streams whenever possible. Since the start of the 2018 academic year, the LOR stream has, for example, welcomed presentations from Alice Mazeaud on her book on the market for participatory democracy, from Martin Haselmeyer on electoral campaigns and from Marc-André Bodet on the question of leadership.

You can view the programme for the current year here.

More information

Updated on 09/06/2020