CfP IPSA World Congress of Political Science, Brisbane 2018

Panel title: “Institutional mimesis or instrumental rationalism? Rights-based supranational citizenship in regional integration organizations”

Panel chairs: Prof Carlos Closa (IPP, Spanish National Research Council) and Dr Daniela Vintila (CEDEM, University of Liege)

Panel description: Despite its apparent singularity, the EU citizenship is not the only case of supranational construction of rights within a regional organization. Other organizations such as MERCOSUR, CAN, UNASUR or ECOWAS have created a set of rights (free movement, social, political or economic entitlements) that compose a similar configuration of supranational citizenship. There are several reasons for which regional organizations could decide to grant citizens’ rights at the supranational level. First, rational choice theory argues that actors choose instrumentally those policies that are more suitable for their political objectives. Drawing on this rationale, the institutionalization of supranational citizenship could respond to the functional needs of certain organizations of deepening into regional cooperation beyond a purely economic rationale; and it could further strengthen their democratic component by boosting their legitimacy towards the people they represent (vertical legitimacy) and other organizations sharing similar integration objectives (horizontal legitimacy). Secondly, diffusion theory suggests that organizations often tend to adopt or replicate certain policies in the attempt to mimic their peers. Yet, diffusion does not mean a literal translation of the diffused policies as the later often decouple themselves from the original model when entering the environment of the receiving organization. This panel examines the reasons behind these institutional configurations of rights-based citizenship in regional organizations, also paying attention to the patterns of domestic implementation of specific sets of rights. Comparative papers that question the singularity/commonality among these forms of citizenship, especially when compared to the EU case, are particularly welcome.

The paper proposals should be sent via email to Carlos Closa ( and Daniela Vintila ( by 1st of October 2017 (midnight GMT). The paper proposals should include the title of the paper (no more than 25 words) and the abstract (no more than 350 words). For more information about the congress, please visit: