political sociology

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

(Con-)testing and (Re-)Drawing the Political Boundaries: Acceptable and Unacceptable Political Performatives of Radical Right Populism(s) in the Nordic Context (DL: 15/01/14)

Workshop at XLVI FPSA Conference (soumeksi, tässä; på svenska, här) (6-7 March 2014, Tampere/Tammerfors)

There seems to an all too often blurred boundary line between what is acceptable and unacceptable in the political performatives (understood here to encompass all manners of communicative interaction pertaining to politics). A major line of disagreement is articulated around the commitment of political forces in the Nordic counties to address the multiple inequalities arising at the intersection of class, gender, ethnicity and/or race, sexuality, and religion in connection to contemporary socio-political transformations across Europe.

On this matter, radical right populist parties across the Nordic region appear to be most active in (con-)testing and (re-)drawing these political boundaries: from politicians writing offensive remarks about other religions on their personal blog with the admitted aim to test the limits of law, and high profile politicians that threaten people with an iron bar and shout racist and sexist slurs, to politicians that take pictures of far right acquaintances making the Nazi salute in the plenary of national parliament, and disillusioned party members that resort to violence against their political opponents. Some of the political performatives described above are eventually deemed unacceptable and lead to the ostracizing of the politician in question and condemnation of described political performative. However, some other political performatives lead to a dramatic redrawing of the boundary for what is deemed acceptable in the polity under scrutiny.

With this in mind, the workshop is envisaged to reunite papers that explore the radical right populist parties in the Nordic region with a particular attention being paid to those instances of (con-)testing and (re-)drawing  of the political boundaries, such as but not limited to: normalization of anti-immigration rhetoric and welfare chauvinist reasoning, support of the backlash against feminism, contestation of the participatory democratic structures, and utilizing violence as a means of solving political confrontations.

Keywords: inclusion/exclusion, state feminism/antifeminist backlash, radical right populism, democratic participation/political violence.

Workshop language: English

Paper abstracts shall be sent to BOTH workshop chair Cristian Norocel (cristian.norocel(at)helsinki.fi) and to FPSA Conference Secretary Maija Mattila (Maija.Mattila(at)uta.fi) before 15 January 2014.

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Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 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

ESA RN 32 Political Sociology Mid-term Conference: Citizenship and Democracy: Membership, forms of participation, within and across European territories (4-5.11.2010 University of Lille 2, France); DL: 22.06.2010

ESA RN 32 Political Sociology conference
Citizenship and Democracy: Membership, forms of participation, within and across European territories.

CALL FOR PAPERS
Research Network 32 – Political Sociology
NEW ABSTRACT SUBMISSION DEADLINE : 22 June 2010
Please submit abstracts to: rn32mtc2010(at)gmail.com

The European Sociological Association’s Research Network on Political Sociology announces its first mid-term conference, to be held at the University of Lille 2 in France, 4-5 November 2010.

The Research Network is intended as a site for enduring debate and exchange to measure the scale and scope of the ongoing transformation of political order and authority in Europe and beyond. The dynamics of  political ordering and re-ordering are a classical research field for comparative sociology. Over the last decades, Europe has increasingly turned into an experimental field for the re-structuring of political order. In particular European integration and the consolidation of supranational authority have made it necessary to re-address these classical themes of sociology. The establishment of a political sociology section is therefore meant as an integrating effort for evaluating the challenges to the Westphalian order of nation-states but also for testing out the opportunities for the consolidation of a new type of political order and its legitimacy. This entails an explicit focus on the advancement of institutional and organizational theory as well as on democratic theory that are detached from their implicit or explicit nation-state functions. Members include scholars working inter alia on citizenship and governance structures, political institutions, states and communities, political attitudes and forms of political participation and political communication.

The aim of this mid-term conference will be to establish the evolutions of the links between members of political communities, the territories of authority, the evolving forms of democracy, and the ways in which the political is embedded in social, economic, and cultural contexts.

In particular, we encourage submission of abstracts on the following themes:

1) Territories and practiced citizenship from the local level to the transnational Euro-context: local democracy, urban segregation and citizenship; citizenship and the nation-state; supranational and transnational forms of citizenship, etc.

2) New forms of participative democracy and transformations of representative democracy: associations, interest groups, political networks, participation in the digital public sphere; political parties and the transformation of political cleavages in a European/global context, protest parties, electoral volatility and voting behavior, etc.

3) Migrants and citizenship in Europe: urban segregation and different spheres of citizenship for migrants; representation of migrants in national party systems; (dissociation of) citizenship and nationality, citizenship and the crisis of national integration models; transnational mobilization and citizenship.

4) Populism in Europe: populism, nationalism, euroscepticism, radical right parties in the new cleavage structure of national party systems, the electorate of radical right parties, etc.

Abstracts of up to 250 words should be submitted to the organizers by 22 June 2010. Please include information on the theoretical and methodological approach as well as the key argument and/or findings of the proposed paper. Abstracts with more than one author should indicate one contact for communication.

Presenters will be sent an email informing them whether their abstract has been accepted by 15 July 2010. Presenters whose papers have been accepted must confirm their attendance at the conference by 1 September 2010.

Conference venue and organization: The conference will be hosted by the CERAPS, Lille Center for Politics. The research center is located within the Faculty of Law of the University of Lille 2, a convenient ten minute subway ride from the main train station. Lille is easily accessible by train (Eurostar and TGV). There is an airport but also direct high speed trains from the Paris Charles de Gaulle airport that only take 45 minutes. Participants are asked to make their own travel arrangements and book accommodation. We will suggest a range of hotels (prices range from €50 to €110 a night). Information on how to get to the Law School building of the University of Lille 2 by rail, bus, air and road can be found at:  http://ceraps.univ-lille2.fr/fr/plan-d-acces.html. There will be a conference diner on Thursday evening and lunch provided on Friday on the premises.

To encourage participation by a broad range of early career researchers and experienced academics, there is no registration fee.  To register, please write to: rn32mtc2010(at)gmail.com with the following information: name, position, affiliation with postal address, country, email address and dietary preferences.

Abstract Submission: Please submit abstracts of 250 words to: rn32mtc2010(at)gmail.com

Further information: Contact Virginie Guiraudon and Dietmar Loch at:  rn32mtc2010(at)gmail.com

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Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 Research 1 Comment