CFP: United in Uniqueness? Lessons From Canadian Politics for European Union Studies (Special issue of Politics and Governance)

Deadlines: Submission of Abstracts: September 1, 2022
Submission of Full Papers: January 15, 2023
Publication of the Issue: July-September 2023


Johannes Müller Gómez (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich/Université de Montréal), Lori Thorlakson (University of Alberta) and Alexander Hoppe (Utrecht University)


Since the 1990s, the study of the European Union has been increasingly informed by tools and approaches borrowed from comparative political science. This “comparative turn“ in EU studies has taken place at conceptual, theoretical, and empirical levels. Both the analysis of the current state of the political system and institutional structures in the EU, as well as debates on historical polity-building processes and possible ways ahead, gain from comparative analyses of the institutional and constitutional setup of the Union and its functioning. Against the background of the current political and policy challenges the EU faces, it is high time to utilize the merit of analytical comparison—and the political system of Canada offers a splendid opportunity to do so.

The aim of this issue is twofold: First, it assembles comparative studies focusing on (parts of) the political systems of the EU and Canada to provide new insights into how the Union works. Second, the contributions of this issue will discuss how comparative analyses can improve our understanding of the EU and what the lessons, merits and limits of the comparative method are in EU studies.

We invite innovative empirical comparative analyses of the EU’s political system. Empirically, these studies can cover a broad array of foci as long as they explicitly compare the EU to Canada. The issue will focus on two general topics:

  1. Constitution and institutions: This section discusses questions related to the constitutional development of the EU and Canada, their polity and institutional architecture and the functioning of democracy in a multi-level system.
  2. Policy fields and decision-making processes: This section analyses how decisions are taken and implemented in different policy areas in the EU and Canada, including policy responses to crises, and how the involved actors and institutions interact.

Covering this broad range of aspects allows us to explore the potential of a comparative turn in EU politics on a conceptual and methodological level while at the same time giving insights into the current state of the art in using comparative approaches to study the EU.

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