2020 Graduate Students Conference

Graduate Student Conference

Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship

April 23rd, 2020

Maison du développement durable, Montréal

Call for Papers

The Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship (CSDC) will host its annual graduate student conference on Thursday, April 23rd, in Montreal. The goal of this conference is to offer graduate students and postdoctoral fellows interested in the Centre’s research areas the opportunity to present and receive feedback on their research.

The Centre’s research areas include:

  1. Learning Democratic Citizenship in an Unequal World: This axis focuses on the acquisition of values, attitudes and behaviours that contribute to a vibrant democratic citizenry. Democracy rests fundamentally on the principle of political equality, but in practice, economic and social disadvantage translates into unequal access to political power and decision-making (Schlozman et al 2012). Growing inequality is chipping away at the foundations of democracy, leading to increased political polarization and disaffection with politics (Kwon 2015). Now more than ever, effective democracies require engaged, responsible, and knowledgeable citizens. Understanding the factors that impact the development of this type of active democratic citizenship is a key goal of axis 1.
  2. Practicing Citizenship in a Skeptical World: The practice of democratic citizenship is undergoing a multifaceted transition. Scepticism about representative democracy as a system of governance is growing and citizens across established democracies are withdrawing from politics. Their perception about the political world is impacted by transformations in the news media practices and by online content, including social media. Voting and party politics have been the basis of conventional interpretations of citizenship, but there is ample evidence that this conception is much too limited. New forms of communication are providing citizens with novel ways to gather information and to engage in politics.
  3. Representing and Governing Citizens in Critical Times: After learning and practicing democratic citizenship, the next critical steps are representation and governance. Democratic institutions are key elements. They shape the norms and incentives for active citizenship and they link citizens and their representatives in ways that foster accountability, legitimacy and representation. Research on this axis will focus on the role of electoral systems, parliaments, parliamentary debates, and political parties.

This conference is open to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from any university or discipline that shares an interest in one of the Centre’s research areas. There is no registration fee. Participants registered at a Quebec university or in the Ottawa region, and who are coming in from outside Montreal are eligible for a stipend from the CSDC to cover travel costs up to 102$. Accommodation costs will also be covered by the CSDC.

Those whose proposal have been accepted will be required to participate in the entire conference and to submit a written communication in the form of a research note or paper no later than 10 days prior to the beginning of the conference. Each presenter will give a presentation of approximately 15 minutes on their proposed topic and act as a discussant for a paper presented by another student. Furthermore, we strongly encourage participants to submit a written communication of approximatively 4000 words. This directive aims to encourage participants to focus on the oral presentation of their research. Obviously, we will still accept longer written communications in the form of a scientific article. French will be the primary language of the conference; however, participants are welcome to submit papers and present in English.

Graduate and postdoctoral students interested in presenting at the CSDC conference are invited to contact Maxime Coulombe (maxime.coulombe.1@umontreal.ca) with the following information: (1) their first and last name, (2) their institutional email address, (3) their current level of study (Masters, Ph.D. or Post-Doctorate), (4) the department and university with which they are affiliated, (5) their supervisor’s name and email address, (6) the title of their proposed paper, and (7) an abstract of around 250 words which presents the research questions, the theoretical approach, the methodology, and the planned status of the research at the time of the conference (project, or preliminary results and initial analysis, or completed results and analyses).

Deadline to submit proposals: December 15th, 2019

Notification of accepted proposals: Late-January, 2020

Deadline to submit papers: April 13th, 2020


The Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship (CSDC) was established in 2008, funded by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et Culture (FRQ-SC). The Centre brings together a group of scholars from six Quebec universities addressing a wide range of questions relating to the relationship between citizens and the political process in a multidisciplinary perspective. For more information on the CSDC, visit: http://csdc-cecd.ca.

For more information on the conference, please contact the organizers:

Maxime Coulombe (maxime.coulombe.1@umontreal.ca)

Frédérick Bastien (f.bastien@umontreal.ca)