Europe

CfP: Populism and radical right politics in Central and Eastern Europe: rethinking the role of media, public discourse and their publics (25-28/08/15, 12th ESA – Prague, CZ); DL: 28/01/15.

Part of the 12th Conference of the European Sociological Association (25-28 August 2015, Prague, CZ), the RN32 Political Sociology organizes Session 4: The Populist Radical Right as Political Actor in Europe. The proposed panel on populism and radical right politics in Central and Eastern Europe is organized by Gabriella Szabó (CSS, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, HU) szabo.gabriella[at]tk.mta.hu and Ov Cristian Norocel (CEREN, University of Helsinki, FI) cristian.norocel[at]helsinki.fi, and is envisaged to fit within this framework.

Already a decade ago it was aptly noted that the study of populist radical right in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) resembles the efforts of aiming at a target in motion. Since then, several researchers have explored the populist radical right political landscape in the region. Still, we believe that studies of populism and radical right are facing the dilemma of whether categories of Western-oriented research properly describe the populist and radical right politics in CEE countries. A case in point, anti-immigration and Islamophobia seem to be non-issues in the CEE contexts, whilst ethno-nationalism (such as in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania), fundamentalist Catholicism (like in Croatia, Poland) and the frustration over the loss of past glories of the country (Hungary) are often hard to synchronize with Western developments. All the more important, the study of populist radical right parties needs to take into account the increasing inequality and growing intolerance to difference (be it ethnic, religious, etc.) in the societies across the CEE. The much needed comparative analyses on European trends of populism and radical right radicalism should be supported by deeper theoretical, conceptual and empirical knowledge on the regional specificities in CEE countries. It is especially true for the ‘soft’ factors of radicalization such as the role of media and public discourse in the dynamics of populism and radical right. Therefore, we seek comprehensive assessments of mainstream media response to the populism and radical right radicalism.

The panel aims to examine the extent to which public discourses are penetrated by populism and the level of visibility of the populist and radical right actors are in the public debates. We also address the question of the rather under-researched populist and radical right publics. The social media are believed to be intensively used by populist and radical actors to connect with each other and mobilize electoral support. If it is the case, we are interested in studying the impact and the patterns of this interactive way of populist and radical right communication in CEE countries. The international literature lacks reliable information on the rapidly growing media universe of populism and radical right radicalism with a powerful mix of social media, traditional formats of written press and radio and TV broadcast to balance the hostile mainstream media environment. In other words, we are interested to examine both in a comparative perspective and in case studies whether populist and radical media products have entered into the mainstream or they remain on the fringes of media sphere. We encourage contributions that investigate complex social manifestations, such as the examination of the subcultural environment in the CEE, the intersections of popular culture (skinhead music, rock festivals, and football hooliganism), mass gathering (marches, rallies, festivals) and identity construction (with particular attention to intersections of gender, ethnicity, and sexuality).

Please, send your abstract (no more than 250 words) to both organizers at szabo.gabriella[at]tk.mta.hu and cristian.norocel[at]helsinki.fi by January 28 2015. The potential participants will be informed in due time whether their papers have been accepted and be directed to submit the abstracts through the conference official submission platform before February 1 2015.

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Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 Research No Comments

(Late) CfP: Public opinion and (media) representations of “the other”, for 12th Annual IMISCOE Conference (25-27/06/15 Geneva, Switzerland); DL: 14/01/15

Part of the 12th Annual IMISCOE Conference Rights, Democracy and Migration (25-27 June 2015, Geneva, Switzerland), the workshop titled Public opinion and (media) representations of “the other” is organized by Anders Hellström (MIM, Malmö University); anders.hellstrom[at]mah.se and Ov Cristian Norocel (CEREN, University of Helsinki); cristian.norocel[at]helsinki.fi. We are very glad to announce that Gregg Bucken-Knapp will act as discussant again.

There are terrorist attacks against e.g. cartoonists in Paris, mass demonstrations against Islam in several German cities and almost a re-election in Sweden due to the behavior of the anti-immigration party, the Sweden Democrats (SD), something which was abandoned in the last minute. “The other” is in our face. And the population is divided.

While ethnic and demographic diversification are welcomed by some, there is a growing concern about the effects of immigration on the economy and on welfare, beside a preoccupation that relates to what is seen as the cultural impact of migration on national identity. These positions often translate into a demand for political response and action targeting asylum-seeker and refugees and in general the number of migrants entering the country.

Within this context, popular xenophobic sentiments show different and more dangerous faces. In this workshop we will further develop on the crucial dynamic of representations of “the other” in relation to the natives – in the media, the public sphere and/or the field of party politics – and public attitudes of “the other” in a similar set of spheres.

Different kind of outbursts against people of non-native background (or members of minority groups) are part of the everyday experiences of many minorities in Europe today, e.g. Jews, Muslims and Roma; these groups are subject to various forms of discrimination, exclusionary practices, deprivation and unfair treatment as a result. It is by appealing to anti-immigrant attitudes and to general concerns about immigration among the population that anti-immigration parties across Europe endeavor to mobilize those voters who are more ‘receptive’ to these issues.

But increasingly harsh immigration restrictions, regulations and exclusionary practices are not only advocated by extreme and populist radical right wing parties. Outside the party political sphere, there are a multitude of movements in civil society who mobilize (and counter mobilize) on these issues. On a top down level, European governments and elites have tried to limit both the access to the nation-states and to the welfare benefits by introducing or strengthening hierarchies of stratifications between groups deemed to be entitled/deserving in opposition to those not-entitled and undeserving.

The ongoing economic recession and the steadily growing levels of unemployment have triggered social mobilization of anti-immigration movements, as well as anti-austerity and Euroskeptical activities despite the governments’ attempt to control the situation.

The panel welcomes papers that deal with the consequences of ever-changing socio-economic circumstances and recent dramatic events in Europe in e.g. terms of changing patterns of party-political preferences and/or people´s attitudes towards immigration and the welfare state. We encourage comparative analyses of commonalities and differences between reactions and mobilizations in particular regions, but also in a wider European perspective. We welcome papers that deal with for instance representations of “the other” in terms of voting behavior, with analyses of anti-immigration policies and public discourses and representations and also large-N studies in terms of e.g. popular attitudes towards immigration and the welfare state.

Please, send your abstract (approximately 250 words) to the organizers at anders.hellstrom[at]mah.se and cristian.norocel[at]helsinki.fi by January 14 2015. The participants will get to know if their papers have been accepted soon after the IMISCOE board has made their decision.

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Thursday, January 8th, 2015 Research No Comments

CfP: From Welfare States to Welfare Chauvinism under the Sign of Economic Crisis: Nationalism and Exclusionary Politics vs. Communitarian and Cosmopolitan Positions in the Nordic Context @ ESA RN32 Interim Conference (University of Milan 30.11.12-01.12.12); DL: 15.04.12

We are pleased to announce a call for papers for the panel we organize for the Second Mid-Term Conference of the RN32 Political Sociology to be held at the University of Milan (Italy) (30.11.2012-01.12.2012).

From Welfare States to Welfare Chauvinism under the Sign of Economic Crisis:
Nationalism and Exclusionary Politics vs. Communitarian and Cosmopolitan Positions in the Nordic context

The ongoing economic crisis has had polarizing effects across the entire Europe. In the Nordic context, it was accompanied by the emergence of strong appeals for exclusionary politics, such as the bold emergence of radical right populist parties at the forefront of parliamentary politics across the region, and the sharpening of the debate about the future of the Nordic model of welfare state.

The Nordic welfare system, underpinned by comprehensive labor force participation, promotion of gender equality, egalitarian and far–reaching levels of redistribution and benefits, and comprehensive fiscal policy, has been confronted with the sweeping wave of neo–liberalism and economic globalization.

With this in mind, the panel encourages the submission of papers exploring the emerging political cleavage along the nationalist vs. cosmopolitan dimension. Particular emphasis is put on the intensification of dichotomies such as that between forms of particularist
nativism (i.e. narrow definitions of the modern Nordic societies as welfare chauvinistic projects) versus universalist cosmopolitanism (integrative and accommodating definition of the welfare state in the age of globalization).

Abstract (200 words maximum) must be sent within 15 April 2012 to both panel chairs (Susi Meret: meret[at]cgs.aau.dk and Ov Cristian Norocel: cristian.norocel[at]helsinki.fi ). The panel description with the accepted abstracts will be submitted by the panel chairs to the conference organizers (for details on the conference, see conference details bellow). The final answer will be communicated by 30 May 2012.

Keywords: exclusion/ inclusion, nativism/ cosmopolitanism, Nordic region, radical right populism, welfare state/ welfare chauvinism.

Panel chairs: Susi Meret (Aalborg University) & Ov Cristian Norocel (University of Helsinki/ Stockholm University)

ESA Research Network 32 – Political Sociology

The European Sociological Association’s Research Network on Political Sociology (RN32) is pleased to announce its second mid-term conference, to be held at the University of Milan (Italy), 30 November and 1 December, 2012:

Political Participation and Beyond
Multi-level dynamics of inclusion/exclusion in times of crisis

Political participation is a founding theme of political sociology. In broadest terms, it refers to all forms and activities through which individuals or collectives express opinions and also exert influence on decisions that are of common concern. While concerned with apathy, abstention and “exit”, political sociology has also described and categorized a broad and ever-changing repertoire of citizen (and non citizen) voice, i.e. activism and formal or informal involvement whether individual/ collective, manifest/ latent, institutionalized/ unconventional, direct/ mediated, online/ offline. In an age of globalization and multilevel (local, national, supranational, global) networking of collective decision-making processes, in which social and political boundaries are being reshaped and new dynamics of social and political inclusion and exclusion are emerging, this scope of political participation is potentially wider and rapidly changing. One may wonder if participation is heightened in times of crisis, which favour more exclusive forms of governance and tend to mobilise new forms of protest, or on the contrary generates anomie.

The aim of this conference is to explore the extended scope of political participation in relation to transnational government arrangements and processes. Within this broad theme, all crucial concepts of political sociology are embraced. These include: challenged legitimisation of democratic representative institutions; changing power relationships between citizens and the state; the making of a new political order across the interaction of macro- and micro-level actors; the battle for cultural, social, and institutional change involving networked individuals and organized groups at local, national and global levels.

A number of key contemporary political and social phenomena can therefore be analysed from a political participation perspective:

  • Globalizing forms of protest and new forms of political mobilization
  • Changing interactions between public opinion, political elites, mainstream media, and social media
  • The plebiscitary nature of leader-followers relationships as regards populist parties
  • Party primary elections and campaigning
  • New patterns of electoral turnout and volatility
  • Citizens’ deliberations and experiments in participatory democracy
  • The emergence of a new political cleavage along the nationalism vs. cosmopolitanism value dimensions
  • The ongoing conflict over norms of citizenship
  • Processes of agenda-setting and the role of migrants’ organizations in key policy areas
  • Political dimensions of immigrant integration and the politics of voting rights
  • Urban governance and urban conflicts

Proposals can relate to all levels of – local to global – mobilization and participation in the polity. Studies employing a European comparative perspective or EU-wide framework, that address the multi-level dimension of participation, or discuss more recent challenges to citizens’ participation and legitimacy in times of financial and economic crisis are particularly welcome.

Abstract submission: Both panel proposals and individual paper proposals are encouraged. For panel proposals please submit a short description of the theme of the panel and at least three individual paper abstracts.

Deadline: The deadline for panel and paper proposals is Friday  30 April 2012. Please submit abstracts of max 200 words to: rn32mtc2012[at]socpol.unimi.it

The conference committee will notify applicants by 30 May 2012.

Conference venue and organization: The conference will be hosted by the Department of Social and Political Studies, University of Milan (Italy). The Department is located in the centre of Milan. Participants are asked to make their own travel arrangements and book accommodation. We will suggest a list of hotels. Information will be available at: http://www.socpol.unimi.it.

To encourage participation by a broad range of early career researchers and experienced academics, there is no registration fee. To register, please write to rn32mtc2012[at]socpol.unimi.it with the following information: name, position, affiliation with postal address, country, email address and dietary preferences.

Further information: Contact  Mauro BARISIONE at  rn32mtc2012[at]socpol.unimi.it

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Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 Research No Comments

CfP: 10th Conference of European Sociology Association – Stream Gender and Politics (07-10.09.2011 Geneva, Switzerland); DL: 25.02.2011

Joint Session RN32 ­Political Sociology/ RN 33 Women’s and Gender Studies
Gendered Exclusion in Uncertain Times – (Post)Multiculturalism, Denizenship and Radicalism in Europe

The first decade of the third millennium appears to epitomize a turbulent times: the September 11th suicide attacks, the global economic meltdown, the rise of radical right populist parties across Europe, and the ever louder critical voices against multiculturalism. These are just some examples among many other political developments that shape the debate around discursive exclusionary projects and the calls for forging a common national/ European project around issues of shared identity and cultural homogeneity in turbulent times.

Paramount to all these concepts are the preoccupation with maintaining an illusory unity and the ever growing demographic panic, coupled with the fear of cultural dilution, which are used to justify an ever closer policing of hierarchies, borders and bodies. These fleshes out problems raised by a type of “second class of citizenship” projected onto immediate “Others”, based on differences of gender and sexual orientation, of class, religion, ethnicity and “race”. Distinctions and borders are construed around these dimensions, and keeping the so constructed categories apart is a constant discursive disciplinary preoccupation. Gendered hierarchies are elaborated to enforce heteronormative patriarchies as sole domains of intelligibility. In this context, fears of masculine feebleness or sexual deviancy, thus failure to accomplish the task of national reproduction, are seconded by that of national dilution – of allowing native women to interact with male immigrant “Others”. Concomitantly, the feminine “Others” are projected in terms of oppressed subjects that need the European civilizatory help in order to break free from aged patriarchal oppression.

With this in mind, authors are encouraged to submit abstracts for papers/ presentations investigating the apparently dichotomous distinction that separates the gendered categories of “Us” as opposed to “Others” in present Europe.

Chair: Ov Cristian Norocel (University of Helsinki/ Stockholm University)
cristian.norocel[at]helsinki.fi

For more information on the respective RN 32 Political Sociology and RN 33 Women’s and Gender Studies check also the conference website bellow.

Abstracts should be submitted to http://www.esa10thconference.com/ . Important note: In order to submit your abstract, you need to register as a participant. When submitting you abstract, you need to choose RN 32 from the drop down menu referring to Topic, then the Gender and Politics Stream.

KEY DATES FOR ABSTRACT SUBMISSION
10th January 2011 Opening of Abstract Submission
25th February 2011 Closing of Abstract Submission
6th April 2011 Decisions on acceptance of abstracts by RN coordinators and RS conveners relayed to paper-givers and also relayed to the Conference Organizer in Geneva
20th April 2011 Programme of papers for each sessions sent by RN coordinators and RS conveners to the Local Committee.

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Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 Research No Comments