Author Archives: conorlittle

The Political Party Database

Over at The Irish Politics Forum, Prof. David Farrell has summarised some of the results of the first round of our data collection project on Irish political parties, which forms part of the broader Political Party Database (PPDB) project.

For readers with access to the Party Politics journal, a more general crossnational report can be downloaded here.



Workshop: Climate politics in small European states

Here is the programme of a workshop on Climate Politics in small European states that I am organising in Dublin City University on 1 and 2 June with Diarmuid Torney (Dublin City University) and Neil Carter (University of York).

About a dozen colleagues will be coming to DCU to discuss climate policy and politics in a range of small European states over two days.

At 4pm on Wednesday 1 June, we will hold a policymakers’ roundtable discussion, which will include contributions from:

– H.E. Ambassador Carsten Søndergaard (Embassy of Denmark)
– Eamon Ryan T.D. (Leader of the Green Party)
– Julie O’Neill (Chair of the board of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland)
– John O’Neill (Principal Officer with responsibility for Climate Change, Department of Communications, Climate Change & Natural Resources – TBC)
– Dr. Lorna Gold (Head of Policy and Advocacy, Trócaire)
– Dr. Matthew Crowe (Director of the Office of Evidence & Assessment, Environmental Protection Agency)

If you would like to attend the roundtable or any of the research panels, you can register here on our Eventbrite page. Please indicate which panel(s) you wish to attend.

The workshop is supported financially by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES), the Irish Association for Contemporary European Studies (IACES) and Dublin City University (DCU).

Call for abstracts: Small European states and the politics of climate change

EDIT: the list of small European states is available here.


We invite abstracts for a workshop on the topic of “Small European states and the politics of climate change” in Dublin City University on 1 and 2 June 2016. Please see here for a Call for Abstracts that includes a further description of the topic. Short abstracts (max. 300 words) should be submitted by email to Neil Carter (neil.carter[at], Diarmuid Torney (diarmuid.torney[at] and Conor Little (cli[at] by Friday 18 December.

The two-day workshop will bring together scholars from several disciplines to present draft papers for a special issue on the politics of climate change in small European states. We will complement the academic workshop with a high-level practitioners’ panel comprising politicians, environmentalists, and climate policy experts. We plan to follow up on the workshop with one or two panels at the UACES Conference in London in 2016 in order to finalise draft papers and, ultimately, to publish these in a special issue of a high-impact international peer-reviewed journal.

We especially welcome studies of cross-national scope and case studies that make a clear contribution to the comparative literature. Papers may come from, inter alia, comparative politics, political theory, sociology, and international relations. You are welcome to circulate the attached call for papers among colleagues who may be interested.

When you are sending us your abstract, please indicate whether you would be available to present a revised version of your paper at the UACES Conference in London in September 2016. This is not a prerequisite for participating in the Dublin workshop, but we would appreciate having this information, as it will help us to plan the UACES panel(s) and the special issue proposal.

Do not hesitate to contact us – Neil Carter (neil.carter[at], Conor Little (cli[at] or Diarmuid Torney (diarmuid.torney[at]  – should you have any queries.


Diarmuid Torney, Dublin City University

Neil Carter, University of York

Conor Little, University of Copenhagen

Do more-important ministers survive for longer?

Since late last year, I’ve been working for the University of Copenhagen on a project on political survival and political comebacks. Denmark is an interesting place to be for those of us interested in political careers: the current government has become known for its numerous changes in personnel.

So, it’s apt that Jonathan Bright, Holger Döring and I have a new article about ministerial survival in West European Politics. We set out to investigate whether more-important ministers (like finance ministers and foreign ministers) were more likely to survive in government than less-important ministers (like arts or culture ministers, for example) and, analysing data from seven countries since the 1940s, we found that that more-important ministers have greater chances of survival. We suggest that this difference may be accounted for by increased screening of more-important ministers when they are being selected; by how dismissing these ministers reflects especially poorly on party leaders; by the potentially negative effects of these dismissals on governmental stability; and by the reduced relative attractiveness of non-ministerial career options for these individuals. We also find that there are two broad routes to ministerial exits from cabinet (exit with their parties and exit without them) and that a number of other factors (age, prior government experience and the size of the minister’s party) help to account for variation in ministerial survival.

Edit: Jon also has a post on this article over at his website.

The European Parliament election in Ireland

Here is a short election review that I wrote a few weeks ago for an e-book edited by Marco Valbruzzi and Rinaldo Vignati that will be published by the Cattaneo Institute later this month. It describes the European Parliament election in Ireland and summarizes some of its implications.

Update 14 July: here’s the published e-book, including my chapter (translated into Italian).