Contributors to the project will work with a global range of collaborators in a series of research workshops and collaborative visiting fellowships in order to develop a range of high level co- and single-authored outputs including an edited book and special issue in a top rated international journal. The project will progress in two stages. Firstly, contributors will meet at two workshops this year to develop existing working papers, network and foster academic synergies with fellow project researchers. Funding is available for attendance at a workshop at the Central European University, Budapest, in October, and then at the APDSG annual workshop in Warwick in December. This will culminate in an edited book with Rowman & Littlefield, with contributors submitted by August 2015. Phase two of the project will involve collaboration between project researchers on joint research in key case studies identified in phase one. Funding will provisionally include an international network grant (£50,000) from the UK Leverhulme Trust funding travel and accommodation at intensive research workshops, and a number of three-month open visiting fellowships at the University of Sheffield, Department of Politics during the academic year 2015-16, to allow project researchers to work closely and collectively on co-authored research articles. Additionally, researchers will be encouraged/ supported to submit their own bids, within the broader framework of the research initiative. This second phase will culminate with a second special issue, with articles completed by late-2016 (provisionally targeted at Governance). The full proposal for this research project will be developed by the co-convenors at the ECPR research sessions, and at this stage there is a large amount of flexibility regarding the range of participants and potential cases including policy areas and countries. To be involved in this cutting edge research project, and for further information, APDSG members should send submissions of interest to Submissions should include a short outline (max: 500 words) of proposed research paper including information about the area of policy or country the member would contribute expertise. In their section members may suggest potential conceptual and empirical questions that may be addressed, covering the broad field of depoliticisation and re-politicisation (see key questions identified thus far as possible lines of enquiry listed below). Additional sections should cover his or her practical capacity to carry out research in this area, and availability to attend the above research workshops and undertake visiting fellowships. Proposed Research Questions Process vs. Outcome/Variable There seem to be a variety of approaches in treating depoliticisation as a process which leads to specific political outcomes or as a political outcome in its own right. Other approaches highlight the contested nature of depoliticisation. What methods and techniques are the most appropriate for effectively measuring depoliticisation, either quantitatively or qualitatively? Mechanisms Depoliticisation is implemented through a variety of mechanisms, with differing degrees of success across varying contexts. Which mechanisms and under which contexts are depoliticisation processes more visible? This is an opportunity to introduce a comparative analysis to see in which contexts similar political inputs or actions have different depoliticising outcomes, and vice versa.

Issues vs. Institutions Where is depoliticisation located? Is it policy or issue specific or does it fundamentally impact on wider institutional structures? Some contributors have argued that working on specific policy areas can hinder the development of wider understanding on the processes and effects but what wider lessons (if any) can be learned from issue specific studies?

‘Top-down’ depoliticisation (Elites) vs. ‘Bottom-up’ repoliticisation (Publics)? Whereas early literature on depoliticisation tended to focus on political elites as sources of depoliticisation, specifically politicians and governments, this outlook has recently broadened. The impact of publics and non-elected officials remains a promising source of data and understanding. What can be learnt from an examination of elite actors in depoliticisation processes and publics in politicising processes? Should we not also consider how and when elite actors have been involved in politicising issues and publics in depoliticising them? How can readings from the literatures on elites and publics help us advance research on de/ politicisation, and our understanding of ‘the political’?

Depoliticisation and the State Depoliticisation processes are often closely linked to ideas of the state, particularly traditional spatial and territorial ideas of the state, but these ideas were not always clear or explicit. More recent work has sought to include ideas of local as well as supranational power into depoliticisation processes. How could the relationship between the state (at the national level), supranational and subnational forms of power and depoliticisation processes be analytically grasped? What potential is there for synergies between the depoliticisation literature and others such as multi-level governance or urban geography?

The theoretical nexus between anti-politics, depoliticisation and repoliticisation Can anti-politics and/ or depoliticisation provoke resistance, and ultimately lead to the politicisation of issues? To what extent are the dissatisfaction with traditional political processes, the delegation of state power and non-traditional forms of political engagement and mobilisation self-reinforcing? How can we theorize and develop the conceptual tools to account for this dynamic interplay?