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Workshops




Departmental Colloquium in Comparative Politics, Convenor (2020-2022),
Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford.

Hilary Term 2021
(with M. Borges, M. Dilling, C. Mueller-Crepon)

Trinity Term 2021 (with
M. Borges, M. Dilling, C. Mueller-Crepon)

Michaelmas Term 2021 (with M. Dilling, M. Laebens)



The Historical Turn in the Study of Democracy (with N. Bermeo), speaker series at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford, 2010-2011. Calendar

The historical turn approach analyzes the long-term dynamics of political regimes through a focus on key moments of institutional change. Although income inequality and class struggle are important factors in the emergence of democracy, conflicts over institutional reform generally occur across multiple lines of social and political cleavage, in which ethnic, religious and ideological divisions often play a crucial role. This line of research tests comparative theories of regime change  “on the ground” by reconstructing which factors (socio-economic, identity-based, ideological) determined the outcome of crucial struggles on democratic reform at important junctures. By emphasizing the importance of "reading history forward", the historical turn approach systematically considers the impact of often-neglected factors such as the influence that previous fights on institutional reform have on the interests, worldviews and strategies of key poliical actors, or the international diffusion of political models. The approach allows reconstructing the long-run dynamics of political regimes through the sequential analysis of connected episodes of institutional change, each studied in its own right, and avoids excessive reliance on the overly stylized “regime trajectories” evoked by classical theories of regime change.


The Challenges and Dilemmas of Democratization (with D. Ziblatt), two-day conference at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University, 3-4 October 2008. 

This workshop, funded by the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies and the Stiftung Deutsch-Amerikanische Wisseschaftsbeziehungen, brought together several scholars from Europe, Canada and the US to formulate a new approach to the study of democratization centered on the historical development of democratic institutions. The proceedings were published in August 2010 as a special issue of Comparative Political Studies entitled "The Historical Turn in Democratization Studies". The volume was the object of a roundtable at the Department of Politics and IR, University of Oxford, on November 11, 2010. 

Tel: +44 (0)1865 276752;  Fax: +44 (0)1865 276767;   giovanni.capoccia@politics.ox.ac.uk