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The Observatory for Democracy and Political Representation (ODRP) is Online

Welcome to the ODRP website! Since our Observatory is new, you may not yet know us, so we have taken the initiative to write this brief welcome and introduction text.

Integrated in the Center for Research and Studies in Sociology (CIES-Iscte), the ODRP was created with the objective of strengthening and expanding an area of research (and teaching, graduate and post-graduate) with a long tradition in CIES-Iscte: the study of the various facets of the functioning of Portuguese democracy, in comparative perspective, and the analysis of political representation

Themes of attention of the ODRP are the various forms of democratic participation, individual and collective, such as through social movements; the involvement of citizens in the processes of political decision-making, as exemplified by participatory and deliberative democracy. In addition to these themes, our researchers focus on the study of the relations between elections, political representation and the production and implementation of public policies, as well as citizenship and social protection/social service.

The search for an interdisciplinary dialogue around the different aspects of democracy and political representation is a characteristic of the observatory’s work, involving several disciplinary areas in addition to political science, such as public policies, social service, sociology, and urban studies.

ODRP’s contribution to the debate on democracy
Although recent, the ODRP emerges from a legacy of publications and active projects that include the study of Portuguese political elites, and the relations with their constituents (political representation), the analysis of the emerging Portuguese New Right, the investigation of sustainable policies for energy transition, or the social struggles for the right to the city and housing, with the collaboration of its members and other observatories and diverse entities.

Among the activities developed by the ODRP, we can highlight the surveys of candidates to Legislative Elections, elected (deputies) and non-elected, in articulation and cooperation with the Portuguese Parliament and the National Elections Commission (editions of 2008, 2009-10, 2012-13, 2016-17, 2020-2021 and, soon, 2022-2023, respectively for the elections of 2005, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2019 and 2022), realized within the international research network Comparative Candidate Survey (CCS); the interdisciplinary conference “Da Austeridade à Pandemia. Portugal e a Europa entre as crises e as inovações”, on June 17 and 18, 2021, which will give rise to a book to be published soon; and the Monthly Seminars Social Movements and Political Action (check the calendar on our website).

Furthermore, within the scope of the ODRP and with the support of CIES-ISCTE, André Freire’s new book, “Left and Right. Meaning and Correlates in Long Consolidated and New Democracies”, Moldova, Eliva Press 2022, which will be launched and discussed at ISCTE-IUL on May 23, 2022 by Pedro Mexia, commentator in several media organs, and Margarida Davim, journalist specialized in political affairs at Sábado magazine. Additionally, having finished in 2021 the candidate survey for the 2019 elections (fieldwork between 2020-2021), we expect to present the main results to the members of the various parliamentary groups in the Assembly of the Republic; the database will be made available for free use by researchers, namely by CCS (comparative merged dataset module 2), at the end of 2022.

For the near future, in addition to the expected launch of the book “Da Austeridade à Pandemia. Portugal e Europa entre crises and inovações”, organized by André Freire, Guya Acornero, Viriato Queiroga, Maria Asensio, Helena Belchior and José Santana Pereira, the ODRP is starting to carry out the new edition of the surveys to candidates for the 2022 Legislative Elections, elected and not elected, and to produce reports on the State of Democracy in Portugal and in the World, besides expanding the collaborative work with the permanent international research network MEDem.

In the ODRP website
By accessing the ODRP website, you will find information about our investigations and the varied discussions and initiatives to come. On our part, besides preparing and making available reports, theses, books and academic articles about democracy and political representation, we will publish in our agenda seminars, conferences, and other cultural initiatives in which we are involved. Communicate with us and strengthen the discussion about our common democratic life. We look forward to your participation.

In addition to our website, you can follow the ODRP on online social networks: Facebook; Instagram and Twitter

With best regards,

André Freire
(ODRP Director, Professor of Political Science at Iscte – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa),
Guya Accornero
(Subdirector of the ODRP, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Iscte – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa)

Scientific Commitee
Helena Belchior Rocha
(Assistant Professor of Social Service at Iscte – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa)
Helge Jörgens
(Associate Professor of Public Policies at Iscte – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa)
José Santana-Pereira
(Assistant Professor of Political Science at Iscte – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa)

Research Fellows
Viriato Queiroga
Livino Neto

Research Interns

Beatriz Esteves Duarte
José Lourenço