The ECPR has accepted the workshop proposal by Julio Rios-Figueroa and Christoph Hönnige for the ECPR Joint Sessions 2013 in Mainz. The workshop (No 29) has the title
The Judiciary and the Quality of Democracy in Comparative Perspective
The call for papers is now open and more information about the application process can be found here. We cordially invite potential paper givers. Please note that the deadline for applications is November, 1st 2012. This is one month earlier than usually!
The abstract of the workshop is as follows:
Judicial independence, and the judicial power in general, is no longer seen as an end in itself but rather as means to promote better societies and better governments. In particular, scholars have converged on the idea that independent and powerful judges are critical to the promotion and maintenance of many aspects of the quality of democracy, like human rights, economic growth, corruption control, and social and political stability. Therefore NGOs, states, and international organizations have promoted vigorously the introduction of strong courts, the construction of judicial independence, and more broadly, the rule of law around the globe. However, persistent gaps in our knowledge put in risk worldwide efforts to empower courts as a means to promote better democracies. We still face challenges on the very definition and measurement of the central concepts of judicial independence and judicial power. We don´t know yet what exactly about judicial independence or power matters and how it is linked to the various desired outcomes. And, as a result, existing empirical analyses remain inconclusive or limited. The workshop seeks to address these gaps and to contribute to our knowledge of the role of judicial institutions and behaviour on the quality of democracy. In particular, the aims of the workshop are: (1) To focus on the theoretical and empirical links between judicial independence, judicial power, and various aspects of democratic quality. (2) To systematically explore the relationship between these variables in a comparative and empirically innovative manner, bridging research on courts from different parts and regions of the world.