Managers: Gianfranco Baldini (email@example.com), Elisabetta De Giorgi (firstname.lastname@example.org)Read Section abstractLa sezione accoglie e sollecita proposte di panel incentrate sia sui temi tradizionali della comparazione (classificazione dei regimi politici; processi di democratizzazione; crisi e/o trasformazioni delle democrazie; istituzioni politiche comparate; formazione, composizione e attività di governi e parlamenti; partiti e sistemi di partito; gruppi d’interesse; culture politiche; élite politiche e leadership) sia su qualsiasi altro tema di scienza politica trattato con metodo comparato sincronico e/o diacronico.
Thursday 12th September 2019
Monastero - Aula Pianterreno 10.15-12.00
Sperimentale Tabacchi - Aula SP4 10.15-12.00, 13.15-15.00
Monastero - Aula Pianterreno 13.15-15.00
Sperimentale Tabacchi - Aula SP1 13.15-15.00
Friday 13th September 2019
Sperimentale Tabacchi - Aula SP2 09.00-10.45
Donato Valli - Aula 1-2 09.00-10.45
Sperimentale Tabacchi - Aula SP1 09.00-10.45
Donato Valli - Aula 9 09.00-10.45
Studium 6 - Aula 7-A1 09.00-10.45
Monastero - Sala gradonata 09.00-10.45
Sperimentale Tabacchi - Aula SP1 11.15-13.00
Sperimentale Tabacchi - Aula SP2 11.15-13.00
Studium 6 - Aula 7-A1 11.15-13.00
Donato Valli - Aula 1-2 11.15-13.00
Studium 6 - Aula 7-A1 14.00-15.45
Studium 6 - Aula 5-C3 14.00-15.45
Saturday 14th September 2019
Studium 6 - Aula 3-B2/B3 09.00-10.45
Studium 6 - Aula 1-C1 09.00-10.45, 11.15-13.00
Studium 6 - Aula 3-B2/B3 11.15-13.00
Chairs: Andrea Cassani
Discussants: Gianni Del Panta
Turkish Political and Economic System after the Revision of Governance Mechanism: A Comparative Analysis
AbstractAs has been known Turkey has recently changed her structure of governance mechanism from the traditional primary ministry based governance system to presidential one. The argument was that the two headed system has got lots of drawbacks in the efficiency, speed and elasticity of both political and economic decision makings. For this reason Turkey has changed her system from primary ministry based system to single presidential system through a general election as well as a constitutional amendment. This paper aims to analyze the discussions and the process about the transformation of the administration of the state system in Turkey in order to compare and contrast the primary minister based system and the presidential one. The basic argument was that the presidential system has got significant advantage of effective and efficient decision making compared to the primary minister based system. On the other hand, it has been argued that the primary minister based system is more democratic and more efficient in terms of power sharing and control by other institutions. The paper is organized as follows: The first section presents temporary comparative governance systems in a historical base in the world. The next section surveys the Turkish state systems and the recent transformation. The third section compares and contrasts the primary minister based system and the presidential one in both theory and experiences which Turkey has been through. The last section summarizes the concluding remarks.
The development performances of sub-Saharan leaders
Alessandro Pellegata, Giovanni Carbone
AbstractThe political systems of post-colonial Africa were long known for two distinct syndromes, namely the overstay in power of many of their rulers and a chronic political instability, largely due to the frequency of coups d’état. While the two phenomena seem to contradict each other, they stem from a common cause, the lack of regularized procedures for replacing political leaders, or, more broadly, for political change and adjustment. As the overwhelming prevalence of military and one-party regimes on the continent gave way to the advent of multiparty elections, in the early 1990s, it seemed that sub-Saharan countries had eventually found a way for a more orderly and regular succession of their leaders. This paper investigates whether and how this wave of multiparty reforms modified the modes and the timing of leadership changes and what have been the broader implications of the new political arrangements for the development of sub-Saharan countries. We hypothesise that contested multiparty elections and turnovers between different leaders and political forces in government – even when democratic standards are not met – positively impact political and economic development. We test these hypotheses through a cross-sectional and time-series research design, making use of our new, comprehensive ‘Africa Leadership Change’ (ALC) dataset. Empirical results confirm that leaders elected through multiparty elections and countries that experience political alternations in government are associated with higher levels of development
Varieties of autocracy and human development: what a difference elections can make
AbstractResearch on the relationship between a country’s political regime and its human development performance has been at the centre of a lively debate in the past decades, but it has mainly focused on the comparison between democratic and non-democratic regimes. In this regard, electoral competition and political participation are often said (and found) to stimulate governments’ attention to citizen living conditions in democratic polities. However, autocracies differ from each other as much as they differ from democracy. A first distinction can be made between closed and electoral autocracies, based on the presence of multipartyism and periodic elections. The former can be further classified in military, one-party and hereditary regimes, depending on the base of executive power. Among the latter, in turn, hegemonic party systems could be separated from more competitive ones. The institutional variations that characterise the non-democratic universe may generate different incentives for rulers, shape their attention to social services and thus have consequences for human development. Using time-series cross-sectional analysis and an original regime classification based on V-Dem data, this paper presents a comparative analysis of the human development performance of different varieties of autocratic rule. The analysis focuses on indicators of health and education outcomes, in particular, and covers the 1961-2015 period.
Explaining Income Inequality in Authoritarian Regimes: A Comparative Institutional Perspective
Angelo Vito Panaro, Andrea Vaccaro
AbstractThe relationship between regime type and economic inequality has been extensively studied in both comparative politics and political economy literature. Classic studies posit that democracy is associated with lower levels of income inequality and that transition from autocracy to democracy leads to more redistributive policies. Yet, scholars do not agree on the determinants and mechanisms of such relationship and empirical findings do not unequivocally support classic theoretical assumptions. Furthermore, the majority of studies have been primarily focused on processes of democratization and thus, have erroneously treated autocracies as a homogenous group of countries. However, recent academic contributions have shed light on the authoritarian heterogeneity and on their extensive variation in institutional settings. Built on the evidence that autocracies differ among themselves as much as they differ from democracy, we examine whether democratic institutions or quality of government account for variation in redistributive policies in authoritarian contexts. Using a comparative quantitative approach to test our hypotheses, we conduct a longitudinal analysis on over 80 autocracies around the world, with a focus on the post-Cold War era. Recent improvements in country and year coverage of data on income inequality allow us to reduce limitations related to the lack of available data, which has affected most of the existing studies on the topic. Preliminary results show that democratic institutions and quality of government play a pivotal role in influencing redistributive policies and determining the level of income inequality in autocratic regimes.
Chairs: Gianni Del Panta
Discussants: Luca Tomini
Autocratization by Term Limits Manipulation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Successful Vs Failed Transitions to Personal Rule
AbstractThe African wave of democratic reforms of the 1990s has seen the introduction in several constitutions of norms aimed to limit the number of terms that a President can serve. While they restrict voter freedom of choice in some way, executive term limits may have important returns, especially for countries with a legacy of personal rule. As a pre-commitment to consider alternative candidates, they are meant to level the playing field, favour executive turnover, promote a party-based rather than personality-based vision of politics, weaken patronage networks, and to reduce the stakes of politics preventing electoral competition to turn into a zero-sum game. During the past three decades, however, African leaders have maintained quite different attitudes towards these constitutional provisions. Some leaders step down; others try to prolong their tenure by resorting to a plurality of strategies. Not every aspiring “president for life” succeeds, though. Some of them are able to consolidate their grip on power; others fail. Term limits attract increasing attention in regime change studies. Research has mainly focused on the determinants of an incumbent leader’s decision to either abide by these rules or try to remain in office, thus far. With a focus on sub-Saharan Africa, this paper deals with what happens following a leader’s attempt to manipulate term limits, instead. The first part of the paper discusses the importance of presidential term limits as focal points in a country’s political development and as drivers of either democratic progress or democratic backsliding. Second, the paper maps how African leaders behave when they reach a term limit, taking into consideration both country-specific social, economic, political and historical factors, and leader-specific traits. Finally, the paper analyses Rwanda and Burkina Faso, that is, a case of successful and a case of failed manipulation of term limits, respectively.
External democracy promotion and democratic backsliding. The theory of Linkage and Leverage revisited
AbstractSince the end of the Cold War, the literature on External Democracy Promotion (EDP) has expanded exponentially. Despite widely supported conclusions on whether and to what extent international actors/factors/processes have been effective in promoting democracy and prevent it from backsliding are still lacking, these strands of literature have produced some very interesting contributions that bring us a long way in explaining EDP (in)effectiveness. Levitsky and Way’s (2010) linkage and leverage theory represents one of the most influential attempts in this direction. According to Tolstrup (2013), however, their attempt is relevant but incomplete, since L&W appear to end up underestimating the role domestic agency may play in EDP processes. Hence, Tolstrup proposes to integrate L&W model through the elaboration of the ‘Gatekeeping Elite’ concept, which shows how local elites are able to alter the level of linkage with external actors and have a significant impact on EDP (in)effectiveness. While I share most of Tolstrup’ findings, I believe that he fails to develop his intuition to the fullest extent. My goal in this paper is to keep bringing agency back into the L&W model. I claim that domestic actors may exert a crucial influence also on the leverage dimension, thanks to a set of ‘diversionary strategies’ that local elites may use to change external actors’ interests and behaviors, persuading them to limit their democratizing pressures and thus reducing their own vulnerability to EDP processes. To assess the plausibility of this claim, I perform a congruence analysis on the recent and crucial case of democratic backsliding and autocratization in Serbia.
From Hegemonic Authoritarianism to Something Else: Social Foundations of Democracy and Military Dictatorship in Tunisia and Egypt
Gianni Del Panta
AbstractIn the 2000s, both Tunisia and Egypt were hegemonic authoritarian regimes. Almost ten years after the astonishing revolutionary uprisings that forced out of power Ben Ali and Mubarak, the two countries do not resemble anymore one another. Tunisia has become a democracy, whilst Egypt has fallen into a military dictatorship. The present paper tries to explain the different, and substantially antithetical, trajectories followed by the two countries, pointing out three crucial factors. First, the various phases of economic development in the republican history of the two countries – state capitalism, economic liberalization, and neoliberal policies – transformed their class structures in two (partially) different ways, making possible the outbreak of apparently similar revolutions but also rendering likely two different outcomes. Second, even if in the last stages of the two successful revolutionary uprisings almost all social classes and political tendencies were mobilized in the streets, revolutionary networks were not identical in Tunisia and Egypt. On the contrary, the strength and role played by the various social classes and political forces were dissimilar, laying the foundation of two different transitions. Third, the class structure and the political context constantly affected the choices of social and political actors during the transitions, explaining in turn the emergence of democracy in Tunisia and military dictatorship in Egypt.
Chairs: Gianni Del Panta
Discussants: Luca Tomini
Pretorianesimo, patrimonialismo e democrazia. Istituzionalizzazione e persistenza dei regimi politici
AbstractThe aim of the paper is to asses in a conceptual and theoretical way the role of the military and of the patrimonial power in the non-democratic regimes in comparison with the democratic regimes. The central thesis of the paper is that the military power and the patrimonial power are pervasive of politics, because politics is inevitably linked to the exercise of violence or to the threat of its use and to the resort to power to satisfy private aims. Violence is the main resource attached to the exercise of power conceived as the ability to make someone do something or as the capacity to get something from someone. However, the inclination of political power towards coercion and perhaps repression and towards its private use can be very limited if the political institutions prevent its direct and personal control, as it is in the case of the democratic regimes. Through the process of institutionalization the exercise of political power becomes impersonal and embedded in formalized roles and functions. On the opposite, where the level of political institutionalization is low, as in the cases of the non-democratic regimes, the opportunity for the military power to invade the political sphere is concrete if the conditions are favourable. Similarly, the "private" exercise of power is easier and more probable in low institutionalized regimes, because its exercise is not connected to well-defined and controllable roles and procedures. Praetorianism and patrimonialism are two syndromes of the non-democracies which are characterized by low political institutionalization. In these cases, some "factors of the regime" (a party, a closed bureaucracy, the military body and the apparatus of violence ), in various combinations in concrete cases, fill the power vacuum and can succeed in stabilizing the political regime. But this stabilization is precarious and it is short-sighted to exchange the "strength" or "robustness" of the "factors of the regime" as indicators of consolidation of the non-democracies, because in the medium-long term the use or threat of violence and the exploitation of privileged links between the power elites and some "clients" creates disaffection and anger in the excluded, placing the condition even of rebellion.
STABILITÀ, REGIMI E IL FATTORE MILITARE IN NORDAFRICA: IL CASO ALGERINO ED EGIZIANO IN PROSPETTIVA COMPARATA
AbstractAbstract FEDERICO BATTERA DISPES- UNITS STABILITÀ, REGIMI E IL FATTORE MILITARE IN NORDAFRICA: IL CASO ALGERINO ED EGIZIANO IN PROSPETTIVA COMPARATA Il 2011 verrà ricordato come l’anno di svolta per il mondo arabo. A lungo immerso in un immobilismo caratterizzato dall’autoritarismo e dal prolungato arroccamento al potere di presidenti irremovibili, il mondo arabo, dalla caduta del regime di Ben Ali in Tunisia (gennaio 2011), conosce una successione di messe in discussione dei regimi, caratterizzate da estese proteste, cambi anche violenti di governo, crolli dello Stato e conseguenti guerre civili. A distanza di otto anni, tuttavia, il bilancio è deludente, fatta eccezione per la transizione tunisina, la “Primavera araba”, come è stata sommariamente conosciuta, ha in realtà generalmente prodotto un riadattamento dei regimi al potere (Heydemann 2013; Stacher 2015; Hinnebusch 2016 e 2018), caratterizzati da una variazione tra riforme gestite dall’alto – Marocco – a successive chiusure anche violente dei regimi in carica, passando, in un caso almeno, attraverso un colpo di Stato (Egitto, luglio 2013). Partendo dalla constatazione che fattore comune ai regimi arabi precedentemente la Primavera araba fosse l’esistenza di ampi strumenti di coercizione (Bellin 2004, Barany 2011) e una generale debolezza della società civile (Ottaway 2004), lo scopo di questo paper è quello di descrivere e in qualche modo misurare il ruolo degli apparati di sicurezza/militari all’interno di due regimi nordafricani – quello egiziano e quello algerino – comparabili, per le molte analogie. In questo saggio vengono identificati proprio negli apparati di sicurezza/militari un fattore di stabilità del regime (in senso autoritario) e l’ostacolo dunque più importante a una possibile transizione di tipo democratico. La letteratura di riferimento è abbondante (Cook 2007; Lutterbeck; 2011). A fianco di molte analogie vi sono tuttavia alcune differenze nelle modalità di regolazione interne al potere, nelle relazioni del potere militare con il potere civile e quello economico, nel grado di “fusione” del potere militare con gli altri, nel grado di personalizzazione o al contrario di salvaguardia di un principio di collegialità degli apparati militari. Variazioni che comportano importanti conseguenze nella direzione di questi regimi alla vigilia di crisi di successione, come quella recentissima del caso algerino.
The geopolitics of authoritarian survival and breakdown: evidence from MENA countries
Loretta Dell'Aguzzo, Emidio Diodato
AbstractIn this paper we account for the different responses of authoritarian governments to mass political unrest. We identify four strategies of authoritarian survival and argue that – from the incumbents perspective – repression and democratic opening are riskier than informal and formal co-optation. Thus, we ask why some nondemocratic rulers – when domestic conditions are kept constant – select riskier rather than safer strategies. Literature on authoritarianism has put much emphasis on domestic factors, showing how regime institutions and resources can account for nondemocratic survival (Gandhi and Przeworsky 2007; Brownlee 2007; Magaloni 2008; Geddes et.al. 2014), whereas the potential influence of international actors in the selection of survival strategies has never been systematically analyzed. Based on the assumption that domestic struggles do not unfold in a geopolitical vacuum, we focus on the international relations of the autocratic regime in crisis and explain how they influence dictators’ reactions to protests. We identify three main types of geopolitical contexts in which an authoritarian country may be embedded. First, a non-democracy can be situated within the sphere of influence of a democratic power; second, it can have an authoritarian patron; third, it can be within overlapping spheres of influence. We hypothesize that dictators with democratic patrons will be induced to adopt riskier strategies of survival, e.g. democratic opening, whereas incumbents with authoritarian patrons will act in an unconstrained fashion and select safer strategies, because they are less vulnerable to democratic pressures and are aware that their patrons will support them. Similar reactions to civil unrest will be displayed in case of geopolitical competition, since the incumbents will take advantage of rivalries between external powers and forge closer relations with the patron that ensures more degrees of freedom, to wit the autocratic ally. We test our hypotheses on non-oil rich MENA countries.
Chairs: Eugenio Pizzimenti, Enrico Calossi
Discussants: Enrico Calossi
A Liberal Democrat Case from 1990’s Turkey: On Party Analysis and Beyond Parliamentary Politics
Halime Safiye Atalay
AbstractA Liberal Democrat Case from 1990’s Turkey: On Party Analysis and Beyond Parliamentary Politics Dr. Halime S. Atalay In this study, I want to present the key findings from my doctoral dissertation. The dissertation is named as “The Case of Political Liberalism in Turkey through the 1990s: The New Democracy Movement (NDM)” (in Turkish). The points I will mention settle properly in the 1990s’ atmosphere at the global and national level, which is pretty significant to show political liberal aspect in politics of Turkey in a limited period. This dissertation contains various precious points in its field: The most organized study through the literature of the NDM, creating a genealogy for political liberal values in Turkish studies by ranking up some names for the mentioned concepts, an institutionalist method implementation for finding the most appropriate one for a short-lived party-analysis (beyond the traditional methodologies of Duverger and Sartori) and presenting findings of primary research of archival documents of the NDM party for the first time. And in this presentation, I want to discuss where the implementation of the method is able to carry party analysis beyond parliamentary politics. Beyond the specific empirical contributions on details of this literature, this PhD study points to some other major topics: The methodology I tested and elaborated may offer a helpful alternative to the existing major methods in terms of studying precarious democratic precedents. For developing an understanding for the borders of parliamentary politics in a better way, for photographing bigger societal linkages and representation relations, for considering the political liberal values through a fairly-leaking democratic pathway in a Mediterranean country (for the mentioned period), my study provides an interesting and pretty hopeful case, which shows Turkey’s social capital capacity in a new light. By developing a bigger picture, I suggest that this kind of studies help to deepen our understanding of democratic stability in the Mediterranean area. In the light of the above information, here, I want to summarise the major points of this research. In the first step, I present the frame and conception of my study. Second, I outline the chosen method I implemented and adapted. Third, I continue with a brief presentation of my case, which includes my testing of the hypothesis. Finally, I put the findings of my study into the bigger picture, in terms of its capability to implementation into established research programmes and possible promises for future research. Key Words: Political liberalism, 1990s’ politics, liberal democracy, 1990s’ Turkey, the Hauriou/Tunaya method, the New Democracy Movement
Left out or Right on time - An analysis of response of the Western European radical left party family to globalization
AbstractGlobalization has had a fundamental impact on politics. The global financial crisis in 2008 contributed to this considerably, by helping to support a sudden rise in right-wing politics in Europe. Why did the radical left – the more intuitive beneficiary of the crisis of globalization due to its established issue ownership over anti-capitalism - not thrive in the same way the radical right has? There are notable exceptions to this (especially in Southern Europe) – how come radical left parties did not overall succeed throughout Europe? This paper focuses on the radical left party family and aims to find the cause of the differences in electoral success in radical left parties throughout different elections and countries. The main cause of the fluctuations in electoral performance comes from different party strategies adopted on international issues. The research analyses Western European radical left parties from the 1990s to 2017 and uses data from Chapel Hill Expert Survey, Comparative Manifesto Project, ParlGov and the Eurobarometer. This panel data is used to show how radical left parties differ on the international dimension but more importantly, how party strategy on international issues is essential to their success in a party system. The research finds a novel approach to understanding party strategy on a three-scale system (positioning, blurring, consistency) in a multidimensional scale. This is important because not only does it help us to understand this overlooked party family and why they ‘missed out’ but also how party strategy in general, and specifically multidimensionally, can impact the success of parties.
Movement Parties of the Far Right: Organisation, Processes, and Mobilisation
Andrea L. P. Pirro, Pietro Castelli Gattinara
AbstractTraditional political parties are on the wane. Newer populist and far-right actors are, on the other hand, exerting ever-growing influence on the public sphere and political participation. The fortunes of the latter have been often attributed to the introduction of unconventional methods into politics. While the unorthodoxy of their formula is mostly assessed through their performance in the electoral arena, very little attention has been paid to the ‘production structure’ of these actors. Instead, we contend that the decisions pertaining to the internal arrangements and the extra-parliamentary mobilisations of the far right are absolutely crucial for their success and failure, in and out of the polls. With this project, we focus on the organisation and strategies of a specific subset of populist and far-right actors, i.e. ‘movement parties’. We tackle movement parties as political organisations that run for public office but uphold the seemingly looser structures, procedures, and practices of social movements. The aim of our study is to unveil those arrangements and choices underlying their idiosyncratic modus operandi in the protest and electoral arenas, and understand how they address the dilemma of transition from movement to party combining comparative evidence from Eastern and Western as well as Northern and Southern Europe.
PARTIES ORGANIZATION COMPARED: THE SPANISH AND GERMAN “NEWCOMERS”
Giorgia Bulli, Raffaella Fittipaldi
AbstractThe paper aims at outlining four cases of party organization in two European countries. For southern Europe, the paper will focus on the Spanish cases of Podemos and Vox, while for northern Europe the selected cases are the German Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), and the party Die Linke, with particular attention to the movement Aufstehen founded in 2018 by prominent members of the left party. Following the organizational perspective (Panebianco 1982; Raniolo 2013; Morlino, Tarchi 2006) the paper aims at contributing to the scientific investigation of new political parties (Ignazi 1996; Della Porta 2017; Gunther, Diamond 2003, van Biezen 2003), with a particular emphasis given to the interaction between party organization and political culture. The innovation-tradition dyad will be adopted to analyse the party models in the selected cases, where “innovation” represents a horizontal type of organization, open to social and political change, while “tradition” stands for a thicker and more conservative internal structure. Following a first line of enquiry, a balance of innovation and tradition seems to shape a type of organization (in its main and sub- dimension - Scarrow and Webb, 2017) able to respond to internal and external constraints (Bardi et al. 2014; Chironi, Fittipaldi 2017; Gerbaudo 2018). A descriptive and analytical analysis of the main organizational features of the selected political actors will make it possible to compare their organizations (March 2017) and to verify whether this hypothesis can be verified. The main reason for the selection of the cases lies in their nature of “newcomers”: On the one hand, Podemos, Vox, AfD and Aufstehen are significant political actors who only recently started to achieve electoral representation /attention amongst the public opinion. On the other hand, the character of “political novelty” can be attributed to the political culture they express. The paper is interested in verifying whether a combination of the political culture of the selected cases and their internal organization can facilitate/hamper their success and potential institutionalization (Arter, Kestilä-Kekkonen 2014). With regards to the political culture, a particular attention will be devoted to the attribution of “right” or “left” populism to the political cultures of the selected cases. From this point of view, the paper aims to deepen a scientific investigation on the linkage between right (or left) populism and organization structures. Indeed, Podemos and Aufstehen present hybrid organizational model on the (populist) left (Fittipaldi 2017; Augustin, Briziarelli 2018), while Vox and AfD display a less hybrid and more hierarchical organizational model on the right.
The impact of the eurocrisis on party change: evidence from the Portuguese case
Marco Lisi, Isabella Razzuoli
AbstractExternal shocks, such as the eurocrisis that has affected Southern European countries, are expected to foster party organizational change, especially when long-term trends have challenged the role and functions performed by political parties. Drawing on the Portuguese case, this study addresses this problem and presents new evidence on the impact of the crisis on the transformation of party organizations. We consider three specific arenas of party change, namely the party on the ground, the extra-parliamentary party and the party in public office. The findings suggest that party change has been rather limited during the crisis and it has mainly concerned the institutional component of party organization. From this standpoint, the Portuguese case challenges conventional wisdom on the political impact of the eurocrisis for two main reasons. First, parties have been resilient and quite immune to economic and political turmoil, while electoral pressures and the passage to opposition seem to be more powerful factors that account for party change. Second, this organizational inertia has not led to party system instability or regeneration, which suggests that voters have used more the ‘exit’ option rather than voicing their dissatisfaction towards parties.
Chairs: Eugenio Pizzimenti, Enrico Calossi
Discussants: Eugenio Pizzimenti
Party placement across Europe: An introduction to the euandi2019 dataset
Diego Garzia, Lorenzo Cicchi, Elie Michel, Alexander Trechsel
AbstractAssessing the positions of political parties has long been a challenge for political scientist. The European election bring additional difficulties since they are the democratic elections in which the greater number of political parties are running at the same time, but in different national systems - and different languages. Transnational Voting Advice Applications (VAAs) provide a unique tool to gather comparable data on party positions in all EU Member States. This paper introduces the dataset collected through the euandi 2019 VAA. It uses relies on an iterative methods which goes beyond existing techniques of party positioning. It combines party-self placement and expert judgment, which has been conducted by a team of more than 120 political scientists. Not only does this data provide comparable measure of party positions across European party systems, but it also allow for longitudinal research on party competition as it shares 17 issue positions with the EU Profiler 2009 and euandi 2014 datasets. In this paper, we present the euandi method of party positioning – and how it improves current techniques. We then present the first findings on party placement in Europe in 2019. Finally, we present patterns of evolution of party systems between 2009 and 2019 in EU Member States.
Women's representation in parliamentary parties: A comparative analysis
Pamela Pansardi, Luca Pinto
AbstractThe aggregate number of female MPs worldwide is increasing. This number, however, is not equally distributed among parties. Why do some parties send more women to the parliament than others? Despite a huge body of research focusing on the factors that are significant in explaining national patterns in women’s descriptive representation in parliamentary institutions, studies on the effect of party-level characteristics on gendered political representation are still limited both theoretically and empirically. This paper aims to fill in this gap in the literature on women's representation in a comparative perspective. By relying on an original dataset collecting data for parliamentary parties in 26 countries and 30 elections, this study examines how party-related variables, such as the candidate selection process, intra-party democracy, ideology and voluntary quotas, affect women's representation. Our dataset combines data from national parliaments and IDEAS datasets with data collected by the Comparative Candidate Survey project. This allows to incorporate party-level variables and country-specific characteristics, such as the electoral system and the existence of legislative gender quotas, in a multi-level fashion.
\Formal horizontality of the digital platform as a management tool within the France insoumise (FI) movement \
AbstractFrance insoumise (FI) is an organization whose members explicitly reject the label and the usual way of structuring parties1. Jean-Luc Mélenchon presents it as a "political and social movement"2, which should allow both a broad "self-organization" of the "masses" in their social struggles, as well as their electoral rally to a charismatic leader and strategist. The FI is structured primarily to respond to the imperatives of the action of activists, whose cohesion and delimitation are based only on their adherence to a minimum programmatic base (L'Avenir en commun, 2016). The digital platform of France insoumise is not a tool designed to create a real space for deliberation. which would be perceived by Mélenchon as a threat of reappearance of the traditional divisions of the « old left » between socialism, communism and the extreme left. The major choices of strategic and tactical orientation tend to be monopolized by the leadeer and his close team. Activists are consulted only vertically to position themselves on pre-established questions from the movement's leadership3. Some of these consultations, even on major issues, are simply informative ; they aim more to know the opinions of the adherents than to grant them decision-making power4. The transparency and impartiality of the results of these votes are frequently called into question by suspicions of cheating, which could lead to a lack of confidence in the tool of the platform5. The definition of France insoumise as movement and not as party leads to build a digital platform that organise the primacy of action on deliberation. The movement seeks allowing the inclusion of a wide variety of sectors and individuals who are expected to find a tool for their particular work. A great deal of autonomy is indeed granted to activists. The digital platform of the movement allows each member to program his own action and make it visible without any prior consultation of the members. Activists are even encouraged to multiply actions, a real injunction to take initiatives : "Do not wait for instructions", "the instructions are that there is no instructions" are formulas repeated and valued by many campaigners, especially by neo-activists who want to show their difference with the representations that they make of the traditional forms of political militancy that they reject. Formal horizontality of digital platform and free initiative also explicitly refer to a desire to prevent the emergence of middle managers and "local chiefdoms" between the national leadership and the "mass" of FI members6. In this sense, the "degagism" theorized by Jean-Luc Mélenchon is not limited to the ambition to replace the leaders of the "old left". He has a counterpart at the base of the movement: the neutralization of the "bad habits" of the middle managers of this same "old left". This management allows the militant decommissioning of these traditional middle managers. However, local management does not disappear, it is transformed. Activists can individually plan actions on the digital platform and then seek to rally as many participants as possible among their peers. The platform thus favors a personified militancy where the militants are in a situation of free competition and multiply the initiatives, measuring their influence by comparing the number of participants notified on the platform, and thus seek to become legitimate local "barons". Beyond the apparent anarchy of individual initiatives, this functioning is a form of "free management" that allows to give a coherent direction to the movement. Activists hoping to secure an eligible position on the electoral lists for the 2020 municipal election seek to comply with the expectations of the movement's informal leadership. The informations of the platform are means of political information an control. The free initiative at the base of the movement paradoxically favors compliance with the political line of Jean-Luc Mélenchon. The use of the platform leads to a process of relative devaluation of intellectual capital in an organization that depreciates political deliberation. Different ways of dealing with this phenomenon exist among the middle and higher cultural classes activists (exit, alteration of the role and militant subjectivity, contestation, etc.). Symmetrically, we can observe a process by which the valorization of "field" action contributes to transforming the distribution of symbolic capital and militant legitimacy. This phenomenon leads to the valorization of less intellectual activists and professionals from social work. Conclusion. Jean-Luc Mélenchon and his closest collaborators tend to monopolize the political orientation of France insoumise. Consultations of members on the platform are more of a collective storytelling than a real process of collective deliberation. Nevertheless, the strategy is put into practice through a militant management that leaves a considerable individual freedom of action at the base of the organization. The platform supports a broad inclusion of diverse militant initiatives in competition for local leadership. This digital horizontality makes it possible to downgrade the frames of "traditional" parties to prevent the formation of "local chiefdoms". This management produces a devaluation of the intellectual capital and a valorization of the militant action "of ground". The foundation of the leading role of intellectual leaders is moving from a professorial authority towards the affirmation of entrepreneurial skills and in the animation of collective work "on the ground". 1. Sawicki (F.), « Les partis politiques sont-ils voués à disparaître ? » in Daniel Gaxie, Willy Pelletier (dir.), Que faire des partis politiques, Vulaines-sur-Seine, Editions du Croquant, 2018. 2. Mélenchon Jean-Luc, « La France insoumise comme mouvement politico-social », 16 mars 2018. https://melenchon.fr/2018/03/16/la-france-insoumise-comme-mouvement-politico-social/ 3. Thus, in November 2017, seventy thousand people voted for the three priority campaigns of 2018: poverty, nuclear power and tax evasion. https://www.parismatch.com/Actu/Politique/Les-trois-campagnes-nationales-LFI-pour-2018-pauvrete-nucleaire-et-evasion-fiscale-1402517 4. For example, before the second round of the 2017 presidential election, 243,128 members of the platform indicated their preference between the vote for Emmanuel Macron (34.8%), abstention (29; 1%) and blank vote (36.1%). However, this consultation did not give rise to any voting instructions. https://lafranceinsoumise.fr/2017/05/02/resultats-de-consultation-second-tour-de-lelection-presidentielle/ 5. https://www.lejdd.fr/Politique/france-insoumise-accuse-dharcelement-sexuel-thomas-guenole-se-defend-en-attaquant-melenchon-3893664 Jean-Luc Mélenchon, « À propos du mouvement «La France insoumise» » », 28 mai 2017. https://melenchon.fr/2017/05/28/a-propos-du-mouvement-la-france-insoumise/
Behind their rhetoric: how participatory and internally democratic are new (pseudo) participative parties?
AbstractFrom Barcelona en Comú to Emmanuel Macron, from Donald Trump to the Five Star Movement, new leaders and political organizations are replacing traditional parties and centres of power. They may be the realization, probably in an unexpected magnitude and political variety, of the anti-establishment reaction to the cartelization of politics foreshadowed by Katz and Mair (1995; 2009). While, on the one hand, some of these new parties and leaders propose (at least in their rhetoric) to represent the people against the corrupted and inefficient ruling elites, others go further and propose to replace the elites with the people through political organisations that champion (direct) intra-party democracy and offer empowering channels of bottom-up participation. The most relevant examples of this new party type – which I name new participative parties – are: the Five-Star Movement, Podemos, the Pirate Parties, France Insoumise, Barcelona en Comú and the Danish Alternative. Should their promises about intra-party democracy (IPD) be real, they would represent a paramount organisational and democratic evolution in the history of political parties which, from the early works of Michels (1911), Duverger (1956), and many others, have always been described as overt or covert hierarchical and vertical organisations, where power stays firmly in the hands of a small oligarchised elite (with few exceptions, like for instance the case of 1970s European Green parties - see Poguntke 1994, in particular p. 4). This paper analyses and compares the empirical case studies of the Five-Star Movement (FSM) and Barcelona en Comú (BeC) and answers to the question whether both parties fill their promises about intra-party democracy and bottom-up participation. To answer the research question, the researcher developed on an ethnographic analysis of the democratic qualities – in terms of participation, decentralisation, and competitiveness – of FSM’s and BeC’s latest platform creation processes (towards, respectively, 2018 Italian general elections and 2015 Barcelona City Council elections). In the paper, participation and decentralisation are assessed through an innovative framework of analysis – the so called “IPD Navigator” – that examines participation and decentralisation through both quantitative and qualitative criteria. The former – which is inspired by Hazan and Rahat’s (2010) five main categories of selectorate – examines the ‘who’ dimension of participation and analyses the breath and composition of the body/bodies that participate in the process (citizens, members, activists, delegates, elites, leader, policy groups, local assemblies). The latter (the qualitative criterion) examines the ‘how’ dimension of participation and analyses the quality and the magnitude of participants’ participation (non-binding vote, non-binding deliberation, binding vote and binding deliberation). The criteria of competitiveness is adopted to analyse policy contests that both parties developed within their platform creation processes. Again, both quantitative and qualitative aspects of those contests are analysed: regarding quantitative aspects, the number of options available to voters and the distribution of votes between options are analysed in order to distinguish between competitive contests, uncompetitive contests (when the winning option reaches a vote share that is largely higher than the rest of options) and ratifications (or coronations, namely when only one option is available) (Kenig 2009, p. 244, 245 and 246). Regarding qualitative aspects, this paper also looks behind crude numbers and analyse if (and how) apparently competitive contests can be steered by parties’ formal and informal elites. Interviews and the analysis of party internal documents will shed light on covert behaviours that are capable of shrinking the competitiveness of formally competitive contests. The research is developed through the lens of interpretive, comparative and ethnographic research. Dozens of party members, activists, cadres, MPs and leaders were interviewed, several policy gatherings were attended, and dozens of internal and public documents were analysed. The author retraces the entire platform creation processes of both parties, and analyses the actual role of all subjects who participated: citizens, members, Local and Thematic Groups’ activists, Content Creation Commission, and Ada Colau’s ‘pinyol’ (clique) in the case of BeC; citizens, members, MPs, Leadership (Grillo/Di Maio…), and the Communication Team in the case of the FSM. The study reaches conclusions as such: firstly, both parties heavily focus their rhetoric on themes like direct democracy and bottom-up participation and openly state that their electoral platforms were created by “the citizens”. BeC describes its platform creation effort as an example of collective intelligence, based on “an exceptional participatory process that has made possible that thousands of people have taken part in the creation of the proposals, their discussion and prioritization”. Similarly, the FSM declares that its electoral platform is the result of “participation and online direct democracy”. Moreover, Grillo openly declared that “[i]t is the members who dictate the policy line of the MoVimento, the spokespersons [FSM’s elected representatives] must simply implement it”. Secondly, the paper demonstrates that both BeC and FSM fully contradict their promises: FSM’s and BeC’s members had de-facto no actual power during those platform creation processes. Both parties developed non-binding participatory exercises – BeC’s ‘#Let’s make the platform together’ project, and FSM’s ‘101 questions’ project – which, from the one hand, did include large masses of participants but, on the other hand, were simultaneously non-competitive, non-binding and – therefore – fully unempowering. Thirdly, after demonstrating that both parties’ exercises of members’ participation were de-facto mere empty mise-en-scènes, the paper also investigates who actually created those electoral platforms and how. The paper discovers that, in the case of BeC, the realisation of the platform was carried on by the activists and the PCO, in a process that several activists (who actively participated in the process) described as actually empowering and participative: BeC’s activists gathered together in Local and Thematic Groups, and worked under the non-censurative and harmonising supervision of the party PCO (Content Creation Committee and Platform Coordination Team): both (a) activists and (b) BeC’s elite (Content Creation Commission and Platform Coordination Team) had reciprocal deliberative binding power and wrote together BeC’s electoral platform. In the case of the FSM, on the other hand, the first drafting of the platform was developed by the party’s MPs, who gathered together in thematic working groups and worked under the supervision of both the Political Leader and the Communication Teams, who both – as analysed in the paper – completely reworked MP’s thematic proposals and had the last word on the final content of FSM’s electoral platform. References Duverger, M. (1959). Political parties: Their organization and activity in the modern state. Methuen. Hazan, R. Y., & Rahat, G. (2010). Democracy within parties: Candidate selection methods and their political consequences. Oxford University Press. Katz, R. S., & Mair, P. (1995). Changing models of party organization and party democracy: the emergence of the cartel party. Party Politics, 1(1), 5-28. Katz, R. S., & Mair, P. (2009). The cartel party thesis: A restatement. Perspectives on Politics, 7(4), 753-766. Kenig, O. (2009). Democratization of party leadership selection: Do wider selectorates produce more competitive contests?. Electoral Studies, 28(2), 240-247. Michels, Robert (1911). Zur Soziologie des Parteiwesens in der Moderne Demokratie, English translation by Eden and Cedar Paul (1915). Political parties: A sociological study of the oligarchical tendencies of modern democracy, reprinted 1962, New York: The Free Press. Poguntke, T. (1994). Basisdemokratie and political realities: the German Green party. In K. Lawson (Ed.), How political parties work: Perspectives from within. Westport: Praeger, 3-22.
Chairs: Pamela Pansardi, Licia Claudia Papavero
Discussants: Isabelle Engeli
(Anti-)Feminism and Populism: the Case of Law and Justice in Poland
AbstractThis paper explores the relationship between right-wing populism and feminism by examining the case of Poland. The 2015 parliamentary election saw a victory of the right-wing populist Law and Justice party (PiS) which formed a single-party majority government. PiS is critical of feminist policies and is hostile to what it calls ‘gender-ideology.’ Its anti-feminism resonates with the section of the conservative and traditional electorate closely linked to the Catholic Church. However, this study also identifies elements of conservative feminism within PiS. Consequently, this case study raises important questions. First, it explores feminist politics further by engaging with concepts such as anti-feminism and conservative feminism. Second, it analyses right-wing populism and its relation to feminism. Finally, this paper reflects on political representation and the quality of democracy in the context of the illiberal and conservative turn in East European politics.
Electoral laws, vote and gender representation in 2019 European elections in Italy
Marta Regalia, Guido Legnante
AbstractFor the first time in the European elections of May 2019, the provisions of the law n.65 of 22 April 2014 to strengthen gender representation will be applied. In particular, the law foresees that: a) lists of candidates cannot be composed by more than half candidates of the same gender; b) he first two candidates in the lists must be of different gender; c) the triple gender preference. Through the analysis of the Italian case, we will try to assess the effect of electoral system on gender representation in the European Parliament: are women penalized more in the vote or in the selection of candidates?
Gender Quotas and the Path to Power: Evidence from Italy
AbstractGender quotas have been adopted in over 130 countries in an effort to expand the political representation of women. Though a large amount of research has focused on the design, implementation, and descriptive outcomes of quotas, too little is known about whether they also increase the number of women in political leadership positions, and if so, via which mechanisms and under which conditions. I exploit a quasi-natural experiment on the regional level in Italy, where 12 of the 20 Italian regions adopted electoral gender quotas following the 2003 constitutional reform. These 12 regions implemented gender quotas at different times and with disparate placement rules and enforcement mechanisms. Utilizing a new and unique data set, I employ a difference-in-differences design to investigate whether gender quotas increase women’s political leadership, or whether they perhaps instigate a backlash that keeps women out of key leadership positions. This paper has important implications for the study of gender quotas, in particular their broader ramifications beyond descriptive representation in legislatures and the question of whether they can help bring women into positions of political power.
The effect of legislative gender quotas in Italy: a regression discontinuity design
Andrea Pedrazzani, Pamela Pansardi
AbstractFor the first time, the Italian general elections of March 2018 were held under electoral rules featuring gender quotas. Aiming to improve women representation in the Italian parliament, the mixed electoral system known as Rosato law introduced quotas that regulate the gender composition of candidate lists. In particular, in the PR tier party lists had to be filled in such a way as to guarantee the alternation of men and women (zipping rule), and neither male candidates nor female candidates from the same party could be at the top of the list more than 60 percent of times. Moreover, in the plurality tier neither gender had to be present in the single member districts more than 60 percent of times for any party. Although these requirements led to a quite balanced presence of male candidates (56 percent) and female candidates (44 percent) in the 2018 elections, the percentage of women in the elected parliament is sensibly lower, as slightly more than one-third of legislators are women in both the Chamber of deputies and the Senate. Using a Regression Discontinuity Design, this paper investigates how the introduction of gender quotas in 2018 has affected women representation in the Italian parliament, enhancing women’s chance of receiving “winning positions” in the party lists. In doing so, we evaluate the role of parties as gate-keepers and assess the degree at which Italian parties tried to “manipulate” gender quotas by means of multiple candidacies.
Chairs: Licia Claudia Papavero, Pamela Pansardi
Discussants: Mieke Verloo
Women’s Representation in Polish Political Sphere
Agnieszka Bejma, Malgorzata Kaczorowska
AbstractRegardless of the nature and level of elected officials, each election raises the question on the character of factors influencing women’s arise. Power relations and the electoral process were, historically and virtually everywhere, dominated by men (in particular "institutional sexism" of political parties) (J. Lovenduski 2005). Although it has been observed for a while that a growing number of women is being elected as heads of states, they also become members of parliaments or are appointed as heads of governments, ministers and chairwomen of political groups; nevertheless, many scholars suggest that women are less politically active than men (R. Inglehart, P. Norris 2009). Therefore, there is a need to consider gender mainstreaming as the central dimension necessary for understanding of the operation and its impact on political institutions. This approach includes both formal and informal rules of selection, procedures, standards, 'rituals' and practices that benefit certain groups better than others (M. Kenny 2013; M. L. Krook, F. Mackay 2010; Mackay et al. 2010; S. Larserud, R. Taphorn 2013; M. Fuszara 2013; M. L. Krook, P. Norris 2014). The authors’ aim to answer the following research questions: what is the level of political activity of women in Polish politics in the twenty-first century? Can it be said that the political activity of women in Polish politics in recent years is on the rise? Which mechanisms and systemic actions, including inter alia those undertaken at the state level, and at the political parties’ level, contribute to women's political mobilization? Are these practices contributing to the actual growth of women’s presence in the Polish politics?
The careers of women and men in the European Commission: explaining the differences in seniority and political influence.
Sara Connolly, Hussein Kassim, Andrew Thompson, Josefine Lynggaard
AbstractFrom a low base as recently as the 1990s the European Commission has significantly improved the gender imbalance among staff and increased the proportion of its female managers. However, detailed analysis of the career paths of three large n studies of policy officers (1,901 in 2008, 2209 in 2014, and 3,264 in 2018) underlines that numbers do not tell the whole story. While confirming that the Commission has indeed made important progress over the past two decades, this paper shows, first, that women are still less likely to be in management positions. Second, it finds that there are important limits to the Commission’s success in bringing about gender equality. Using a multinomial logit, the paper shows that men, not women, were the main beneficiaries of the enlargement recruitment, contrary to accepted wisdom, and that women are still disadvantaged in career-building. Third, that the first female Commission President will need to tackle workplace culture if she is to deliver on her promises of gender parity.
Women’s Representation in the Context of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda: a comparison between Sweden and Denmark
AbstractDespite the introduction of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda in 2000, thanks to the UNSCR 1325 and subsequent resolutions, and the clear commitment of the UN towards an increased participation of women in peace and security processes, women’s leadership in this context remains very low. Considering that the Nordic countries have a strong involvement in international peacekeeping and crises management and, simultaneously, in gender equality efforts; the aim of this paper is to investigate to what extent the WPS Agenda is implemented in the Swedish and Danish armed forces by looking at the way gender is represented in the official policy documents. Sweden introduced in 2016 the Handbok Gender, which addresses explicitly the gender perspective of this sui-generis Scandinavian military institution. Indeed, the SAF (Swedish Armed Forces) have assumed a clear commitment to represent their institution as gender aware and gender equal while Sweden is characterized by the relevance of its singular feminist policies (the statement in 2014 from Wallström, previous and current Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister, that Sweden is pursuing a feminist foreign policy is a clear example). The Danish Defence was awarded ‘Mia Prisen’ in 2011, an award given to organizations working to achieve greater equality and diversity in the workplace, particularly because of its engagement with The Danish Charter for Diversity as well as the Danish Charter for More Women in Leadership- Charter for flere kvinder i ledelse. On the other hand, Denmark is below the NATO member state average of women deployed in international missions. Taking as explicit focus of this research the broad category of women, the theoretical perspective utilised as reference point is feminism and specifically a feminist constructivist approach with an institutional focus.
Kurdish Political Movements’ Effects on Turkish Politics: A gendered perspective
AbstractWomen’s political under-representation is a common problem for many countries in the world. In some countries, the problem is more serious. Turkey is one of these more problematic countries even though the woman suffrage law entered into force on December 5, 1934, many years before some European countries such as Italy and France, it is known that the legislative change does not necessarily have a direct and immediate effect on the social change. The state-imposed-feminist project of the newly founded Turkish nation-state tried to give some “basic rights” right after the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in order to avoid and keep under control “undesired” feminist movements. The state-imposed-white-feminism in Turkey was aligned with the mainstream values of secular Turkish nation-state, all the other women who did not fit in this category are marginalized until the rise of Kurdish political movement which after the ‘90s started contributing to a new feminist movement and as a consequence a major representation of women. Mainstream Turkish feminism has been influenced and has evolved with "the rise of Kurdish nationalism and Islamic revivalism” (Diner and Toktas, 2010). This presentation will analyze the effects of Kurdish feminism and Kurdish political movements’ on Turkish feminism and Turkish political party life (Al-Ali and Tas, 2018) and on the representation of women in Turkish parliament using both qualitative and quantitative data collecting methods (statistics, declarations on newspapers and media outlets, interviews realized with different members of Kurdish political movements).
Chairs: Martina Avanza
Mapping gender in the Italian academia
Lorenza Perini, Claudia Padovani
AbstractOur intervention aims to trace and relaunch the commitment made in recent years at SISP to promote a conversation on the integration of a gender perspective in research and in teaching, and within the life of university departments. From the 2015 session organized in Calabria, to the 2016 Padua seminar in which, supported by an effective IPS issue on the topic, meaningful steps have been made for the diffusion and organization of gender studies at academic level. These steps (together with many others) can be interpreted as a series of necessary passages towards the establishment of the Gender and Politics Standing Group this year at SISP. Starting from our voices and our experiences, and always looking at what has been happening for years in other contexts, we can engage in a forward looking discussion, not only on the state of research and the theoretical elaboration of gender issues, but also on teaching, thanks to the mapping activity that within the standing group we have started in 2018 and other mapping efforts that over time have become necessary (on the activities of research centers and groups, on the contents of the post-graduate courses, on the relationship with the territory in terms of courses, participation in projects, etc ...).
Working on Gender and Sexuality from the Perspective of the Political Science: the Italian Context
AbstractWorking on Gender and Sexuality from the Perspective of Political Science: the Italian Context. The paper will focus on the particular situation of gender and sexuality studies and researches (but also researchers who work on these topics) in Italy from the perspective of political science.
Establishing Gender and Politics in the Italian Landscape: Insights from European Leadership
Isabelle Engeli, Mieke Verloo
Le minacce agli studi di genere oggi in Europa
AbstractLe minacce agli studi di genere oggi in Europa
Chairs: Lorenzo Mosca, Filippo Tronconi
Discussants: Davide Vittori
Towards platform parties? A comparison of La République en Marche (LREM) and La France Insoumise (LFI)
AbstractThe 2017 French presidential elections were marked by the emergence of two new parties or movements (since they designate themselves as such). La République en Marche (LREM) and La France Insoumise (LFI) are very different ideologically but very close in organizational terms. They are strongly structured around digital platforms that were launched during the presidential campaign. In France, political parties have integrated the Internet into their organizational functioning, but never before have movements given such an important place to the Internet. What are the functions of these online platforms ? Membership is done (by a simple email without subscription) on the Internet. Political Communication is mainly produced via the Internet. The commitment offer and its coordination are managed on this tool. The Internet is also the support of internal democracy (which is weak in the two cases…). These movements are flexible and reject bureaucracy. But they are very centralized by the platform. The objectives seem to prevent territorial rooting. The first objective of this communication is first to compare the two parties. The second objective is to show that their real functioning is partially emancipated from the platform by their progressive territorial anchoring. The survey is based on observation of the platform, interviews with their facilitators and activists.
Beyond Political Manifestos: Comparing Constituency Communication in Podemos and Five Star Movement
Rosanna De Rosa, Luigi Iannone
AbstractBeyond Political Manifestos: Comparing Constituency Communication in Podemos and Five Star Movement Rosanna De Rosa and Luigi Iannone, University of Naples Federico II (email@example.com) For Spain, Podemos has been a real political earthquake, an electoral and cultural phenomenon as few others. To define the movement, expressions such as intellectual vanguard and neo-Leninist party (Torreblanca, 2015), party-movement (Della Porta 2017), party-television (Dominguez, Gimenèz, 2014), Techno-populist movement (Bickerton, Invernizzi 2018) were used. Its rhetoric, mainly focused on the opposition between pure people and corrupt élite, and declined in the dichotomies of common people versus privileged, producers versus parasites, social majority versus élite, virtue versus corruption, democracy versus oligarchy (Caruso, 2017), reserves to Podemos also a place of honor among the movements inspired by left-wing populism (Tarrow 2011, Taguieff). However, none of the types identified seems to fit perfectly with the case of Podemos, which, rather, presents characteristics typical of reform and protest movements, nuances of community movements and behaviors inspired by fundamentalist movements (Tarrow 1996). In short, a hybrid model of movement, with a light and fluid organization that uses associative and relational networks as a vehicle for a collective conflictual action, but within a more open system of political opportunities. On the Italian side, and without prejudice to the necessary differences, the M5S seemed in many ways to dub Podemos, both in terms of the represented issues and that of the repertoires of political action, as well as nurturing a keen interest in all forms of direct democracy. In this paper, we want to try a comparison between the two movements not on the base of their political manifestos or electoral campaign but on the practice of constituency communication and representation. We will try to understand how communication between representatives (MPs) and represented is organised, how MPs performs, and what is the actual role played by platforms: social media as well as proprietary platforms (Partecipa, Rousseau) in the post-representative democracy.
Utilizzo ed impatto delle piattaforme digitali sulla democrazia intrapartitica: analisi comparata dei casi di Podemos (Spagna) e Labour Party (Regno Unito).
Marco Meloni, Fabio García Lupato
AbstractThe analysis of electoral trends in Western democracies highlights party disaffection, membership decline, electoral volatility and abstention (Scarrow et al., 2017), until reaching real anti-party sentiment (Ignazi, 2014). A common and unequivocal trend emerges across the countries and goes beyond the individual data (Mair, 2013). Although it could suggest grounded reasons to overcome parties, at the moment they maintain legislative and governmental control still representing the link between citizens and government. The current representative model guarantees the parties survival, but their crisis remains the main issue. In this context, political parties are looking for new strategies, tools and processes to face the party democracy crisis, aiming both at appearing different from traditional parties to the electorate and at engaging partisans’ and supporters’ participation. Among them, some parties, such as Podemos in Spain and Labour Party in UK, have chosen to implement intra-party democracy processes through digital platforms. This type of application offers an interesting field of analysis for scholars that are analysing the potential of digital participation, framing it as an opportunity for democratic deepening or, rather, as a threat to freedom of speech and public deliberation. Probably, as other previous innovations, the political possibilities and potentialities of digital platforms mostly depend on their use. It is interesting, in this sense, Larry Diamond’s (2019: 20) changing perception: “[r]arely in history have views about the social impact of a new technology swung so quickly from optimism (if not euphoria) to pessimism (if not despair) as has been the case with respect to social media”. Digital media was seen as a “great force of human empowerment and liberation” while now is perceived as “a major threat to democratic stability and human freedom”. If we apply it to political parties, are digital platforms a tool for deepening intra-party democracy or, rather, is another tool for party’s leadership control? Does it provide with new and innovative possibilities for membership (and citizens) participation or is merely a faster or cheaper way for organizing a political party? The aim of this paper is to analyse the impact of digital platforms on intra-party democracy. Considering the difficulties to measure and evaluate the democracy, whether at the party level or as political system, in this paper we propose to adapt, as far as it is possible, some of the indexes that are commonly used for analysing democracies, in terms of dimensions and variables. In particular, the V-Dem project distinguishes and measures 5 main dimensions (Coppedge et al. 2018): liberal, electoral, egalitarian, deliberative and participatory. Is it useful to apply these dimensions for understanding the digital platforms’ use and if it may (or may not) reinforce intra-party democracy? In which sense, or dimension, can we observe the impact of digital platforms’ use? In order to answers these questions, the paper starts with a theoretical discussion on the possibilities and limits of applying this type of dimensions and indicator for studying intra-party democracy and the digital impact. Then, the analysis will focus on two brief and empirical one-dimensional case studies, cherry-picked in consideration of their visibility and widely considered in the literature as best practices in digital participation within political parties: the Spanish party Podemos and the British Labour Party. References: Coppedge, M. et al. (2018). ‘V-Dem Methodology v8’. Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Project. Crouch, C. (2004). Post-Democracy. Oxford: Polity Press. Diamond, L. (2019). The role to digital unfreedom: The Threat of Postmodern Totalitarianism. Journal of Democracy, vol. 30(1), pp. 20-24. https://doi.org/10.1353/jod.2019.0001 Ignazi, P. (2014). Power and the (il)legitimacy of political parties: An unavoidable paradox of contemporary democracy?. Party Politics, Sage Publications, vol. 20(2), pp. 160–169. Mair, P. (2013). Ruling the Void: The Hollowing of Western Democracy. Verso - Kindle Edition. Scarrow, S.; Webb, P.; Poguntke, T. (eds.) (2017). Organizing Political Parties Representation, Participation, and Power. Oxford: Oxford University Press, ECPR.
Digital Parties or Digital Party Movements? A Critical Analysis of Paolo Gerbaudo’s The Digital Party
AbstractIn his recent book The Digital Party, Paolo Gerbaudo argues that party organizations such as Five Star Movement, Podemos, France Insoumise, Momentum and others epitomize the rise of a new type of party organization, which would progressively replace previous models such as the mass party, the catch-all party, and the cartel party. According to Gerbaudo, participation platforms such as Rousseau, Participa, NationBuilder and MyMomentum bring about three major transformations in political parties. First, they allow these parties to delocalize political decisions, which are no longer attached to local party branches or national party headquarters; second, they support the rise of a charismatic “hyper-leadership,” which is connected to the distrust in bureaucratic organization. Third, they support the rise of a party “superbase,” which is frequently consulted on strategic decisions. Fourthly, digital platforms are characterized by a decline or disappearance of the party middle-elite, which becomes an unnecessary intermediary between the base and the elite. In this critical discussion paper, I will first highlight some organizational continuities between the digital party and previous party models. Second I will claim that what Gerbaudo calls the digital party model is perhaps more apt to describe a digital party movement, that is to say, an organization that makes use of participation platforms to reduce the heterogeneity of grassroots activism and increase control over political messaging. As noted, the four features highlighted by Gerbaudo are not entirely new. First, the delocalization of political participation and the deployment of a light party infrastructure is already present in the what Gerbaudo calls the “television party” and what Bernard Manin had previously termed audience democracy (Manin 1997). Dematerialization and delocalization are therefore not distinctive properties of digital parties. Second, mediatized charismatic leadership in political parties long preexists the rise of digital parties and is also by no means exclusive to them. Thirdly, intra-party consultations are a common feature of both the audience democracy (or the television party) and the digital party. Indeed, scholars have highlighted how the party elites of several European parties begun holding internal consultations (via postal ballots) already in the 1980s, with the goal of empowering the “docile” ordinary members at the expense of the organized party on the ground (Katz and Mair, 1994). In this respect, by multiplying the internal consultations participation platforms continue to weaken the power of the POG. Fourthly, the decline of the POG and the party middle elite was already factored in the thesis of the cartel party (Katz and Mair, 1995), which relies on state subsidies rather than on (declining) membership fees. From this angle, in making a more efficient use of party resources, the digital party provides a technological solution to the longstanding question of party financing. After highlighting the continuities between the digital party and previous party models the paper examines the impact of participation platforms on the internal organization of digital parties. Drawing from the preliminary observation that participation platforms are efficient organizing tools for emerging movement parties (Kitschelt, 2006; Della Porta et al., 2018) the paper goes on to argue that their key function is allowing for the passage from the movement dimension to the party dimension of these political organizations. Whereas post-1970s movement parties such as the German Greens tried to introduce horizontal organizational principles into party meetings (Poguntke, 1993), the movement parties of the post-2008 crisis practice horizontal organizing via a broad range of digital tools such as social messaging applications and social networking sites. While these tools lower the costs of organizing at a local level, they are not primarily designed to scale decision-making from the local to the national level. The participation platform fulfills precisely this role. However, participation platforms are not open to everyone and require a party membership for access and voting. Further, participation platforms allow for limited deliberation and agenda-setting from below, channeling participation within predefined boundaries. Thirdly, participation platforms are mostly designed and used for the aggregation of individual preferences concerning the selection of candidates and intra-party consultations. Fourthly, participation platforms are used for the centralization of coordination of political campaigning. This means that participation platforms fulfill three main functions: authorization; decision-making (as preference aggregation); and centralization of political messaging. From this angle, the participation platform allows for the reorganization of the digital movement party into a digital party movement, that is to say, into an organization that prioritizes the electoral competition over horizontal deliberation and decision-making. Overall, the introduction of digital participation platforms is an element that reinforces the party in central office, which remains in control of the platform’s basic functionalities, the timing and framing of internal consultations, and the coordination of political campaigns. In this respect, the digital party PCO’s thin management structure should not be misunderstood. The higher efficiency of the participation platform allows in fact for a reduced, precarious or unpaid staff—what Gerbaudo calls the “super-volunteers”—to coordinate remotely a high number of activities. By contrast, the registered member is reduced to a “lurking supporter,” whose low-level involvement in party consultations is the other face of his atomized participation. The paper concludes noting that declining rates of participation in online consultations should invite a reflection on the meteoric character of the digital party rather than its capacity to foreshadow longstanding and structural transformations in party organizations. References Della Porta, D., Fernández, J., Kouki H. & Mosca, L. (2017). Movement Parties Against Austerity. London: Polity. Kitschelt, H. (2006). Movement Parties. In Katz, R. & Crotty, W. (eds). Handbook of Party Politics (pp. 280-290). London: Sage. Gerbaudo, P. (2018) The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy. London: Pluto. Katz, R. S. & Mair, P. (eds.) (1994). How Parties Organize. Change and Adaptation in Party Organizations in Western Democracies. London: Sage. Katz, R., & Mair, P. (1995). Changing Models of Party Organization and Party Democracy. The Emergence of the Cartel Party. Party Politics 1, 5-28. Manin, B. (1997). The Principle of Representative Government. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Poguntke T. (1993). Alternative Politics: The German Green Party. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Chairs: Roberto De Rosa, Dario Quattromani
Discussants: Andres Santana
The institutional role of the leader in business firm parties: Case of ANO
AbstractThe paper deals with the formal and informal aspects in the leadership in the structure of business firm parties according to revised party model based on the description of Jonathan Hopkin and Caterina Paolucci (1999). The paper shows how originally informal position of the leader in the internal organisation of the business firm party could change to the formal and fully institutionalized control of the subject. The authors demonstrate it on the case study of Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and his movement ANO which started as an informal fluid movement and now it exercises a very tight control over the internal structure and high level of institutionalization which is in clear opposition of the original definition of the business firm party (having short political lifespan and very low level of institutionalization). The main hypothesis based on the theory of institutionalization (Harmel and Janda) explains this change that the ANO movement was forced to adopt higher level of institutionalization (including formalized role of the leader) due to the fast grow of the movement at local and regional level thus demanding more rigid and organized top down structure. Keywords: Andrej Babiš, ANO, business firm party, leadership, institutionalization
Varieties of Populism: Evidence from Europe
AbstractPopulism has been described as a thin ideology, meaning that it can adhere to many views of the desired political order. While scholars generally recognise that populism can be left, right, or even post-ideological, there are few systematic empirical studies that explore qualitative differences among populist political parties. In this paper, we use data from the Chapel Hill Expert Survey and machine learning to identify clusters of populist parties based on party positions and thematic emphases in Europe. We discuss the implications of the findings for understanding populism more generally.
The Serbia–Kosovo dialogue and the discursive strategy of Serbian parties: Pro–EU adaptation with anti–EU rhetoric
AbstractThe 2013 Brussels Agreement between Serbia and Kosovo promised to be a breakthrough in the relationship between the two sides. This Agreement was reached with EU brokerage and only after Serbia was conditioned to make further progress toward membership. However, the ruling parties in Serbia followed up this Agreement with strong anti-European and populist rhetoric. Ever since Milosevic was ousted in 2000, the former opposition parties in Serbia have generally been advancing the goal of EU integration. To this end, compliance on war crimes issue and on Kosovo policy proved to be greater obstacles than institutional adaptations. Mainstream parties adopted dual goals approach “both EU and Kosovo”. For the most of this period the EU had soft–line approach to Serbia's Kosovo policy: Belgrade got Stabilization and association agreement and candidacy without being conditioned to make formal agreements with Pristina. The 2013 Agreement was reached only after the EU switched to hard–line approach to Serbia's further advancement toward integration. The ruling parties were not able to keep balancing the two policy goals. Therefore, the Agreements was reached by which Serbia made significant concessions to Kosovo’s authorities on domestic and international level. This was a choice to stay on the track of integration. However, on domestic level, the ruling parties used harsh anti-European rhetoric in the aftermath of the Agreement, reminiscent of the nationalistic discourse from the Milosevic’s Serbia. This included characterizing the EU as an actor with “hostile” agenda toward Serbia, a „puppeteer“ who supported separatism on part of the country’s territory, and unlike Russia, with which there should be closer ties. The picture of party motivation is more complex than the literature on Europeanization has painted so far. The work of Levitsky and Way (2002) already implied that regimes which move away from authoritarianism do not necessarily strive to democracies, but could rather stay in hybrid state. Similarly, parties on national level are not pure “reformers”, “democrats” or “Europeanizers”, nor pure opponents of integration. The Serbian case suggests that they are rationally calculating actors who realize the benefits of integration, but decide to utilize anti-European and populist rhetoric to muster political support.
Chairs: Roberto De Rosa, Dario Quattromani
Discussants: Andres Santana
Radical Right-Wing Populism in Contemporary India: Assessing the Bharatiya Janata's Party Ideological Features
AbstractThis paper analyses the ideology of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with the aim of characterizing right-wing populism in contemporary India. In fact, while the great majority of the research on the topic has pointed its attention towards the US or European countries, very little work has been done on other regions, and most of it has focused on populist leaders, rather than populist parties. I conduct a qualitative content analysis of the BJP’s electoral manifestos, and integrate the main findings with interviews conducted with 13 party officials. Drawing upon Mudde’s (2007) definition of a populist radical right party (PRRP), I assess whether the party can be labelled as such by looking at whether it implements populism, nativism and authoritarianism in its understanding of the political realm, and more specifically of three categories: “the people”, “the elites”, and “the others”. Both party literature and interviews show that the BJP is a PRRP in all respects; moreover, through the interviews its nativist and authoritarian positions emerge more visibly, highlighting the radical nature of the party. “The people” are understood as a homogeneous entity defined on an ethno-nationalist basis; “the elites” are attacked not only for being corrupt and undermining Indian democracy, but also for being alien to the Indian people; and “the others” are represented not only by immigrants and ethnic minorities, Muslims in particular, but also by any force which threatens the integrity of the nation. I conclude that the scholarship should address more cases from the Global South, since radical right-wing populism is not anymore confined to the West. Addressing PRRPs in these regions could enhance our understanding of this political phenomenon, and provide new incentives for cross-regional comparative research. I suggest different paths through which this could be conducted.
Ideological proximity or pragmatism? Some considerations on the alliance between the Polish political movement Kukiz'15 and the Italian 5-star Movement
Malgorzata Maria Fijal
AbstractNowadays, the scenario that raises concerns in the capitals on the Old Continent is an alliance of eurosceptic, populist or so-called anti-system forces. The subject of my attention will be to show the main elements and rhetoric of the populist narrative expressed by the Polish political movement Kukiz'15 and the Italian political party the Five Star Movement (M5S) with particular reference to the eurosceptic alliance formed between the two antiestablishment groups before the elections to the European Parliament in 2019. Using the comparative-analytic method, I will try to analyze the similarities and differences between them. I argue that the creation of this kind of strategic alliance is the result of processes with much longer duration than the election campaign. This raises the question: what are the common factors and what are different one in the process of creating anti-systemic populism in countries from different parts of Europe. Are there separate populism models for each country? Are the postulates put forward by the allies, such as the strengthen direct democracy, the opposition to European elites or the strengthening of the independence of member states towards the European Union are enough to talk about the proximity of their political programs? Is the decision to create an alliance may is only a pragmatic move from the point of view of the core of politics, that is to gain support of the electorate and to win power?
Roma e Napoli alla sfida del populismo. Confronto tra le amministrazioni di Virginia Raggi e Luigi de Magistris.
AbstractI cambiamenti sociopolitici degli ultimi quarant'anni, dalle origini della globalizzazione alla crisi delle economie avanzate, hanno causato un incremento della domanda di protezione da parte del popolo occidentale ,il quale ,spaventato dalle conseguenze della crisi e dalle fragilità dello scenario globale, ha rivolto al populismo la sua richiesta di protezione. L’argomento del lavoro di ricerca è il confronto tra i due casi di “populismo municipale” delle città di Roma e di Napoli amministrate, attualmente, da figure politiche che possono essere definite populiste; l'obiettivo è quello di fornire una lettura locale del fenomeno populistico attraverso i due casi di studio. Il populismo presenta caratteristiche generiche che si declinano, nell’autoritarismo e nella matrice xenofoba per i populismi di destra e in una richiesta di restaurazione democratica per i populismi di sinistra; gli indirizzi politici che sono oggetto dello studio, ben si collocano, per essere indagati, proprio nell’alveo di questi ultimi poiché la volontà dichiarata è quella di voler accogliere le istanze popolari sulla base di una rinnovata spinta democratica. Il modo ritenuto più idoneo a verificare in che misura Virginia Raggi e Luigi de Magistris, abbiano risposto alla domanda civica di coinvolgimento democratico, è stato quello di incrociare la categoria del populismo con la categoria dei beni comuni, ossia con quel patrimonio collettivo che promette di ricucire lo strappo tra la classe dirigente e la vita politica dei cittadini. Le differenze e le analogie che sono emerse dal confronto tra i due amministratori sono molteplici, tra queste però la differenza maggiore è indubbiamente legata alle policies sui beni comuni. Per Napoli è infatti possibile parlare di “populismo benicomunista”: Luigi de Magistris dota la città partenopea di uno strumento giuridico basato sull’idea vincente di una forma di gestione per cui un bene pubblico possa essere amministrato direttamente dai cittadini, non con un’assegnazione, ma attraverso una dichiarazione d’uso collettivo ispirata agli usi civici, un antico istituto tutt’ora vigente quasi dimenticato dall’ordinamento post unitario. Nel caso romano emerge invece una tendenza in totale opposizione rispetto a quella napoletana: Virginia Raggi, guidata da un’esigenza di trasparenza, indirizza la propria azione amministrativa verso la logica del bando, dell’assegnazione e della burocrazia, la quale però ingessa il valore sociale e specifico di ogni esperienza partecipativa; difatti il sentimento delle realtà civiche romane risulta essere un sentimento diffuso di insoddisfazione e di contestazione. Per l’indirizzo amministrativo di Virginia Raggi è dunque possibile parlare di un “Populismo legalitario” il quale persegue con vigore la via della legalità e dell'onesta.
Chairs: Gianluca Piccolino, Maria Giovanna Sessa
Discussants: Maria Giovanna Sessa, Gianluca Piccolino
A Populist contagion? The ‘far-right shift’ among European conservatives
Abstract2017 French presidential elections questioned the effectiveness of Front National/Rassemblement national as a party of government. Whereas populist right tempers euroscepticism, post-gaullist party Les Républicains adopts an identitarian stance with leader Laurent Wauquiez in perpetuating previous Nicolas Sarkozy’s shift towards extreme right (F.Haegel, N.Mayer). By analysing the rhetorical pattern of a “Silent majority”, a merge of economic liberalism and moral traditionalism culminated to a sort of “Heartland-building” process (P.Taggart) in opposition to relativism and multiculturalism, by means of a tightened control of material or immaterial borders. This contribution intends to explore a hypothetical confluence between “National populism” (P.A Taguieff) and conservatives in Western Europe. The aim is to figure out such a process by observing their political strategy in the light of « purer » populist initiative. The French case will be analysed in comparison with other right-wing experiences approaching reactionary positions, including Spanish Partido Popular - headed by Pablo Casado - or the Austrian People's Party lead by Sebastian Kurz, who took over several issues from populist agenda in order to set a government deal with FPO. Moreover, such a phenomenon is meant to reflect in European Popular Party’s strategies at the European Parliament, beyond 2019 elections. Public speeches, electoral programs and policies will be taken into account within the analytic frame. Niccolò Inches PhD student in Geopolitics at Niccolò Cusano University of Rome, master degree graduate in International Relations at LUISS University of Rome. Author of “France: is Heritage populism turning into ethno-nationalism?”, presented on the occasion of 2018 conference of the Italian Society of Political Science (Turin, 6-8 September).
Challenging liberal values. The counter-hegemonic project of PiS in Poland.
AbstractUsing the concept of populism as a political frontier between the underdog and the establishment (Laclau 2005), this paper looks at the success of nationalist-populist party PiS in Poland as a result of a neo-traditional counter-hegemonic project. The hegemonic perspective flips the typical understanding of the underdog; from a mere political outsider into an ideological outsider. In contrast with the neoliberal hegemony and, more specifically, with its ‘true European values’, right-wing populists in Poland claim to speak in the name of those people that refuse this external system of values and that experienced a ‘cultural displacement’. Rather than challenging the political establishment and the EU itself, PiS has questioned its mainstream ideology. The paper examines whether the consensual process of EU integration, characterized by a lack of political agonism, and the convergence toward the center, have created room for a populist moment. The resulting (right-wing) hegemonic gap has been filled by PiS and its reactionary populism. While the post-structuralist literature on populism has mostly focused on Western Europe and on socio-economic demands, the concept of neo-traditionalism will allow observing the confrontation of two different blocs also in Central and Eastern European and in cultural terms. Following an analysis of the integration process, the author will relate the nationalist-populist party PiS and its political discourse with the actual impact of the European Union in Poland. Opposing mainstream EU values, PiS appealed to the “true Poles” and adopted a traditional conservative narrative. This article will look at how “the displacement of the political” has been accompanied by another crucial phenomenon, named here as ‘cultural displacement’, that may explain reactionary populism in Europe and, even more so, in the case of Poland. Accordingly, this model could potentially be used for future research on other cases in Europe. Keywords: Neo-traditionalism, European Integration, Populism, Counter-hegemony
Disentangling Affinities and Divergences between Populism and Extremism in the Textual Analysis of Party Manifestos
AbstractThe ideological affinities and divergences between extremist and populist parties in Western Europe have long been investigated by the theoretical debate. A plethora of labels and classifications has been proposed, which has created an insolubility of concepts that still haunts the scholars of these phenomena. However, on the empirical level, the programmatic similarities and differences among these parties have been less investigated with the tools of textual analysis. Moreover, if scholars generally trace a line of demarcation between explicitly neo-fascist and populist parties and find the criterion for this division in their different underlying approach towards liberal democracy, the similarities and contrasts between these political families in the different policy areas have been less scrutinized. Finally, if several attempts have been made to produce codebooks able of classifying the degree of populist frames in political documents, works that have tried to identify specific frames belonging to the extremism have been rarer as well as studies comparing left-wing populist parties with those on the extreme left have been scarcer so far. With this technical paper, our main purpose is to elaborate a codebook for textual analysis that can fill these gaps in the literature. Starting from the ideal types traced by the theoretical literature, a detailed codebook containing both the frames generally ascribable to the populism and those associated with extremism will be proposed. This tool will thus be used on party manifestos to investigate the programmatic convergences of populist and extremist parties in three countries, namely France, Italy and the United Kingdom, providing evidence to the main theoretical discussion surrounding the concepts of populism and extremism/radicalism: whether and to what extent populist and openly extremist actors may be categorized in the same ideological patterns and the delegitimizing contestation of the former can be assimilated to the anti-democratic character of the latter.
Chairs: Gianluca Piccolino, Maria Giovanna Sessa
Discussants: Gianluca Piccolino, Maria Giovanna Sessa
Reverting trajectories? The UKIP’s transformation into a movement party
Andrea Pirro, Ofra Klein
AbstractThis study focuses on the recent transformation of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and uses social media analysis to explore how the far-right organisation opened up to grassroots politics and more radical ideas. In our study, we particularly look at how the Brexit referendum and leadership changes have influenced the composition of their network, their strategies, and their discursive practices online. We rely on data scraped from the Twitter page of UKIP, and analysed through a combination of computational methods and manual content analyses. The preliminary findings indeed suggest that the UKIP has adopted movement strategies and radicalised ideologically. Network analyses show how UKIP has built links with movement as well as non-party actors. It furthermore shows how the organisation has moved away from a single-issue Eurosceptic focus overtime, elaborating on a broader range of topics. Despite the far right’s strong reliance on new media, the scholarship is still primarily concerned with how far-right movements and parties organise offline. This study fills this gap by linking changes in UKIP’s online mobilisation with offline changes in leadership and the broader political context. Understanding how the far right uses social media to (re)gain support critically adds new insights into unorthodox politics and forms of mobilisation.
Changing party activists within the German populist right AfD
Julia Schulte-Cloos, Tobias Rüttenauer
AbstractThis paper studies the changing composition of activists of the German challenger party Alternative for Germany (AfD) during its formative period. Drawing on individual data of activists linked to socio-spatial variables of their place of origin and a pre-post design, we demonstrate that the challenger party’s member base has significantly transformed in the course of the party’s institutionalisation. Owing to a rapid influx of new members and the withdrawal of others after an internal split of the party, the share of activists in high-income areas decreased significantly, while it increased in socio-structurally disadvantaged areas within Germany. The findings suggests that the changing member base has fuelled the programmatic radicalisation of the party.
Chairs: Andrea Pareschi
Discussants: Matteo Giglioli
Brexit and the populist contagion. How parties in Europe did (not) respond to Brexit
AbstractWith Stjin van Kessel, Juan Roch Gonzalez This paper explores to what extent and how the Brexit referendum has affected the political systems of European countries. In particular, it examines the responses that political parties gave to that event, and how that interacted with their positions on Europe. Brexit was indeed a potential catalyst for parties of the populist radical right as well for mainstream parties and their respective strategies on Europe. While the latter are usually Euro-friendly or Euro-neutral (and often in government), the former are naturally Eurosceptic and distrust the drive towards supranationalism (and mostly in the opposition). Did Brexit lead party leaders in Europe to politicise issues related to European integration? Which parties? Under which conditions? Did radical right parties campaign for a withdrawal of their country from the European Union? Did mainstream parties campaign along more pro-European lines as polls showed an increase in European citizens’ support for the European Union? Was Europe a salient issue in post-Brexit national elections at all? The article answers these questions by analysing the party strategies in the run-up to general elections in four countries – the Netherlands, France, Germany and Italy (all taking place in either 2017 or 2018). It does so by relying on party manifestos, news on party websites, selected media coverage, including televised election debates.
The Concept of Democracy in the Discourse of the Populist Radical Right in Government and in Opposition: The Case of the EU Parliamentary Elections
AbstractThe populist radical right parties in Europe have been traditionally perceived as dangerous small fringe groups at the margins of mainstream politics, hostile to the very notion of democracy. However, the rise of the populist radical right across Europe, its active participation in coalitions with mainstream political parties, and cases of populist radical right parties leading majority governments in some European countries have highlighted flaws of this oversimplified approach and demonstrated the complexity of the relationship between the populist radical right and democracy: while it opposes the values, institutions, and rules of liberal democracy, it does not reject democracy as such. This work resides on the assumption that European populist radical right parties have assimilated the notion of democracy but conceptualised it differently, advancing illiberal alternatives of this concept. At the same time, the populist radical right has been influenced by the common axiological and institutional framework of the EU. This article strives to uncover strategies of the use of the concept of democracy proposed to the voter by the populist radical right in the run-up to the 2019 EU parliamentary elections. This would allow to clarify what they mean by democracy in the current EU context. This work looks into actual manifestations of political thinking in two very contrasting cases – the populist radical right in permanent opposition (i.e. Rassemblement National (formerly Front National) in France) and the populist radical right leading a majority government (i.e. Prawo i Sprawedliwość in Poland). It focuses on speeches given in the electoral campaign in the run-up to the 2019 elections to the European Parliament. Such discourse is a priori ideologically loaded and serves to construct interpretations of the concept of democracy that politicians from the parties under consideration strive to impose on the voter. The analysis is conducted using methods of the Discourse-Historical Approach to discourse analysis, yet, it does not follow Critical Discourse Analysis in its focus on demystifying the hegemony of political discourses. Instead, the research reconstructs the concepts of democracy from the standpoint of French and Polish political parties whose discourses can be identified as populist radical right and puts them into perspective with each other. Although these concepts diverge significantly due to dissimilar national, historical, cultural contexts, and diametrically opposed situations regarding the participation in government, the two visions of democracy in most contexts are synonymous with the concept of democratic system of government and share a common core boiling down to the ideology of populism. This article allows to better the understanding of the ongoing evolution of the European political landscape on the right of the political spectrum and highlights conceptual synergies behind contextually distinctive yet functionally similar processes of construction of populist radical right discourse across Europe.
How Populist is the Populist Radical Right? Examining Right-Wing Populist & Nationalist Discourses in the 2014 & 2019 European Parliament Elections
Leonardo Puleo, Patricia Rodi, Lazaros Karavasilis
AbstractThe recent developments on the study of populism have attempted to examine the intricate relation between populism and nationalism in Europe, but with minimal empirical application so far. Within the context of the European Parliamentary elections of 2014 and 2019, this paper examines and compares the discourse of the German Alternative for Germany, the Greek Independent Greeks, the Italian Lega Nord, the French Rassemblement National, the Sweden Democrats and the United Kingdom Independence Party, and assess if the European Union is articulated and perceived through a populist or nationalist frame. By applying a discourse theoretical framework to interviews and keynote speeches, we provide an empirical contribution into these parties’ discursive structure and assess if they are better categorised as populist (people vs elites) or nationalist (people as a national community vs. others). In doing so we identify how the populist and nationalist discourses co-exist and the potential prevalence of one over the other. Results from the 2014 EP election suggest that although most parties combine both discourses, there is a general disposition to construct the people, not primarily through staging an antagonism between a ‘people’ and an ‘elite’ (populism), but rather through articulating the people as an ethnic community in need of protection from the EU (nationalism). In view of this, we argue that it is crucial to consider the other discursive features of the radical right-wing parties and that the label of populism should be used more sparingly- as a conditional qualifier- and not as a defining feature of those parties.
The right-wing populism in the “rich” and “poor” Europe: Germany and Italy
AbstractThis work aims to make a comparative analysis of AfD (Alternative für Deutschland) in Germany and Lega in Italy, in order to understand the cleavages on which European right-wing populist parties are positioned. Germany and Italy are: firstly, two of the six protagonist nations of the European process after World War II, secondly, following the totalitarian regimes, the cradle of Christian democracy, which in both cases had a fundamental role from the second post-war period onwards (in Italy until the early ‘90s and in Germany even today with the CDU/CSU party), thirdly, although in a different way, the incarnation of a traditional geo-political division, North-South in Italy, East-West in Germany and lastly the laboratory of populist parties. On the other hand, they “apparently” represent two different and opposite area of European Union, even if they are experiencing the same phenomena. Germany, part of the so-called "Mitteleuropa", represents the crossroad of a dual centre-periphery tension, according to Stein Rokkan and Seymour Martin Lipset’s theory of cleavages (1967): an internal cleavage that sees the former West Germany as the centre and the new Länder of east as a periphery and an external cleavage concerning Germany in its national integrity, in some ways the European centre in opposition to the "poor" countries of Europe, considering the periphery. The second case, Italy, represents, instead, the south and “poor” Europe, it marks the southern part of the border of a united Europe. Directly facing the Mediterranean Sea, it separates Europe from the southern hemisphere: the African continent. Initially, I will analyse the crucial passage of 1989 in both country’s party systems. Afterwards, I will study their political programs presented at the last national election (respectively, 2017 in Germany and 2018 in Italy) and at European election of 2019, their internal organizations including the importance of leader, and in the case of Lega also the government’s policies. Moreover, starting from the chapter of nationalism and populism written by Benjamin De Cleen in the Oxford Handbook of populism (2017), I would like to clarify the relation between populism and nationalism in the case of AfD and Lega (for which now the main issue seems to be immigration, and for whom the regional cleavage has always been really important). At the end, after finding the cleavages on which AfD and Lega are positioned, my ambition is to answer the following question: is it possible a transnational populism of European right-wing populism?
Chairs: Andrea Pareschi
Discussants: Andrea Pareschi
Populism and Nationalism, Material or Symbolic: A Theoretical Exploration Informed by the Italian Case
Matteo Giglioli, Gianfranco Baldini
AbstractPopulism and nationalism are two phenomena of real-life concern in contemporary European politics. In particular, the ‘populist wave’ of challenger parties increasing their electoral performances over the past decade and, in certain cases, entering government has dovetailed with a fraying of the transnational consensus on projects such as European integration. From the perspective of political science, while the literature on nationalism is relatively consolidated, with regard to populism a broad-based debate over basic definitions is taking place. The majority view is that populism is best understood as a (thin) ideology (Mudde 2004). The present paper seeks to problematize the ideational approach by broadening the scope of analysis: beyond ideological debate, it points to the role of a long-term phenomenon, the rise of generalized anti-political sentiments within most European electorates. The restatement of the problem of populism in these terms suggests that focusing on the dynamics of transformation of populist parties as they transition to government, take over institutions, or vice versa peak and recede (or are outflanked by even more populist competitors), might be missing the point. The most consequent question regarding populism, rather, regards the interaction between the ‘material constitution’ of advanced industrial democracies (that is, how macroeconomic governance relates to democratic decision-making) and the feelings of societal alienation that are at the heart of anti-political sentiments. Drawing on research on dynamics of politicization and depoliticization (Wood & Flinders 2014), we suggest that the most plausible future alternatives have been sketched by two recent contributions (Blyth & Hopkin 2018, Blühdorn & Butzlaff 2018): either economic turbulence heralded by the crisis of the cartel party model and the neoliberal economic consensus, or a post-democratic ‘virtual politics’ of performed but ineffectual popular sovereignty. Whether the politics of populism is material and redistributive or virtual and symbolic, it is performed within a rhetorical space in which the identity of the antagonist may be placed both outside and above the People, whose spokesmen populists fashion themselves to be. Drawing on recent work by Rogers Brubaker, we locate the intersection between populism and nationalism in this productive ambiguity. We identify the case of the Italian populist coalition government as a key natural experiment, in that competing governmental partners may seek to redefine the populists’ foe in distinct ways. Our main interpretive prism in this endeavor is the relationship between Italian governmental activities and international commitments deriving from membership of the European Union, related to rule of law, financial stability, and freedom of movement. In particular, we test the proposition that the equilibrium point between the populist narratives of the two government partners is a new discourse of national assertiveness vis-à-vis the European institutions and partners (of which we identify forerunners in previous attempts at defiance by the Renzi and Berlusconi governments). Hence, the legitimacy of government action comes to rely on a redefinition of Italian national identity in a more assertive and less conciliatory posture. However, much like populism, this type of nationalism is also caught in a bind between a material/redistributive configuration and a virtual/symbolic one. In assessing the structural constraints on policy success, we speculate on what the outcome portends for the future of populist politics in Italy.
Sub-State Nationalism and Populism: Interactions Between 'The Nation' and 'The People'
AbstractFollowing Ernesto Laclau, the legitimacy of any democratic regime rests on the idea of ‘The People’. But this definition is always conflictual because ‘The People’ is not a homogeneous entity united by a single voice. It must be thought of as a simultaneous and unstable juxtaposition of the singular and heterogeneous voices that are heard in society. Populism occurs when the state fails to answer the demands of these heterogeneous voices which allows for empty signifiers, like ‘The People’, to be formed as an imagined community (Laclau 2005). But what if ‘The People’ cannot be formed because ‘The Nation’ has already taken hold of the collective identity? By focusing on the Republic of Ireland, this communication will argue that nationalism in a state seeking context could be able to prevent populism. Indeed, even if Ireland has been independent since 1921, old nationalist struggles are still the centre of its party system (Kavanagh 2015), and the unification with the north is still an objective (RTÉ, 2018). Moreover, the case of Ireland is particularly interesting as in the last decade, “Ireland has been transformed from a place where immigrants were few to one where one resident in six is born outside the country” (Denny and O’Grada 2013). In addition, Ireland was particularly affected by the austerity measures imposed by the financial agencies of the European Union (Allen and Boyle 2013). In short, the two main sources of populist emergence, have greatly affected Ireland without the formation of any populist parties. The argument of this communication will be two-fold. First, to demonstrate how neoliberal individualism needs to be taken into consideration to explain populist emergence. Second, by analysing the case of Ireland, demonstrate that the institutionalisation of nationalism in Ireland as allowed to fill this demand for collective identity and thus reducing the available space for populism. Even if this text focuses on Ireland, similar dynamics can be observed in Northern Ireland and Scotland, both having state seeking nationalist movements and both have rejected Brexit. Or in Spain where Podemos has shown a lot of difficulty in Catalonia when not in coalition with the independentist party. Similarly, in Quebec, where the new People’s Party of Canada seems to have much more support outside the province seeking self-determination.
“You’re a populist! No, you are a populist!” The rhetorical political analysis of a popular insult
Matteo Cesare Mario Casiraghi
AbstractHow do politicians define and employ the concept of populism during their discussions? This paper fills a gap in the literature on populism, moving the focus to politicians and parliamentary debates. I analyse and code more than 1.600 references to populism in the British Houses from 1970 to 2019, investigating how politicians rhetorically employ the concept to discuss political affairs and to attack each other. In this way, I follow the evolution of populism as a political category (ideology, political style etc.), showing how the concept becomes more negatively interpreted as times goes by. Moreover, populism more and more grows into a popular insult, instead of a valence references to politics in general. Finally, deductively and inductively, I investigate whether politicians employ the theoretical categories that scholars have provided to describe populism, and how members of the Houses use ‘politically’ these categories in their discourses. In this context, I pay particular attention, among the others, to the nationalist, racist, demagogic, and anti-scientific dimensions of populism. This pilot study on the United Kingdom sheds new light on an uncharted territory of the literature on populism, provides a new dataset that could be easily enlarged to other countries, and creates an original paradigm to study the rhetorical manifestations of powerful ideologies and concepts in parliamentary debates.
Chairs: Laura Chaqués-Bonafont, Enrico Borghetto
Discussants: Enrico Borghetto
Do parties respond to rival parties or to public opinion? Understanding between-election competition and responsiveness
Giorgio Malet, Cyrille Thiébaut
AbstractThe spatial theory of elections has emerged as the dominant paradigm for studies of party competition. Empirical studies have shown that parties adjust their policy programs both in response to shifts in public opinion and in response to policy shifts by their competitors. These studies, however, tend to focus only on election campaigns. This limitation is problematic insofar as researchers must assume that nothing occurs in the relationship between voters and parties between two consecutive elections. The contribution of this paper is to test whether the central predictions of spatial theory also hold between elections. Empirically, we focus on party competition on European integration in France, Italy, and the UK from 1990 to 2017. We can rely on original semi-annual time-series data that measure the public mood on European integration from the pooling of a large collection of surveys, and party positions (and their salience) from manual coding of around twenty thousand newswires. Results from vector autoregressive models confirm that spatial theory can explain patterns of competition and responsiveness also between elections. At the same time, they show that while mainstream parties respond both to the electorate and to rival parties’ policy shifts, challenger parties tend to drive both public opinion and mainstream parties’ positions. In showing the heterogeneity of party strategies and their different degrees of responsiveness to the public, these findings contribute to theories of party competition and issue evolution in multiparty democracies.
Do policy-makers pay attention to evidence-based information: Analysing causal mechanisms of agenda-setting through experiments
Leire Rincón García
AbstractVarious fields of research from agenda-setting, interest groups, to policy diffusion, show how empirical evidence is key in the policy-process. However, most of this work is based at the macro level, with scarce evidence of how political elites respond to different types of information at the individual level. The aim of this paper is to cover this gap by analyzing to what extent empirical information gathers policy-maker attention and response. The objective is not only to cover the gap in analyzing the individual level mechanisms, but also to establish causality about which information policy-makers pay attention to. In this sense, our study will also contribute to the study of institutions, as it is individuals who comprise institutions and filter the information that gets in. To analyze this, we use two experiments which are designed to examine the micro-level mechanisms of agenda-setting. On the one hand, we use a field experiment on Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) embedded in a real-life fundraising campaign. Secondly, we use an online experiment embedded in a survey designed to measure the impact of priors in processing evidence-based claims. Results suggest that policy-makers are significative less attentive and respond less to information that contains evidence cues rather than that presented as general ideas. Results also suggest that there are no important differences between political groups, and crucially, on being in favor or against a specific policy proposal.
Explainning Gender Differences in Issue Attention
AbstractThe goal of this paper is to explain under what conditions female MPs get into the political debate about issues traditionally led by male Mps. Gender differences in issue attention are a common feature in most advanced democracies. For decades, women have occupied a marginal position in the debate of a large set of issues, especially those that are more rewarding in political terms. Female Mps are not leading the debate about the issues that most citizens identify as the most important issues for the nation, or those issues that capture the attention of the frontpages of newspapers. This is problematic as it reduces female Mps capacity to represent a gender perspective in the political debate. Building from existing literature on agenda setting, descriptive representation and legislative careers, the paper explains how issue feminization varies across policy areas, time and political parties as a result of four different factors: the presence of women in parliaments, institutional factors –agenda capacity, gender quotas—, female leadership in the governmental and parliamentary arenas; and seniority. The empirical analysis relies on a comprehensive dataset of oral questions in Spain from 1982 to 2018 classified across policy areas using CAP methodology, and a dataset about the socioeconomic features of individual MPs developed by Qdem (www.q-dem.com).
How the Advocacy Coalition Framework can help make sense of non-compliance. Evidence from the phytosanitary policy area
AbstractNon-compliance with European policy is a widespread phenomenon that can impinge on the proper functioning of the European Union (EU). Scholarship on compliance with EU measures often only looks at the correct transposition of European legislation. A recent turn in the research agenda has shifted the attention onto the study of effective compliance through practical implementation of the policy. The paper builds on this new agenda by employing the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) to explain non-compliance with phytosanitary policy (plant health and biosecurity). The paper explores the practical implementation of EU measures in the Apulia region in Italy, following an epidemic of a quarantine bacterium that affected thousands of plants, Xylella fastidiosa. Following the ACF, the belief systems of the actors involved in the policy subsystem are the main causal drivers of non-compliance. Further comparative evidence from Spain and France is also presented to show how variation in actors’ beliefs can generate different causal mechanisms to non-compliance. The results show that many of the hypotheses proposed by the ACF can also be employed to explain non-compliance, although clear-cut conclusions cannot be reached on some of them, thus suggesting potential avenues for furthering the ACF research agenda. This study contributes to our understanding of issues of non-compliance, by providing an alternative to the typical rationalist and institutionalist accounts.
Chairs: Enrico Borghetto, Laura Chaqués-Bonafont
Discussants: Laura Chaqués-Bonafont
Post-austerity parliamentary scenarios in Portugal and Spain: is consensus back?
Elisabetta De Giorgi, Anna Palau, Luz Muñoz, João Cancela
AbstractConsensus in parliament dropped in most European countries in recent years, following the outbreak of the economic crisis. The goal of this paper is to verify whether this reported increasing conflict was mainly the consequence of the worsening of the economic conditions or rather other factors should be taken into account as further explanations. What is more, we aim to test whether a contingent variable such as the Great Recession affected not only the opposition parties’ behaviour in parliament, but also the impact of other constant variables that usually account for variation in that behaviour, as the parties’ ideological distance or the characteristics of the government in office, and whether this effect is reversible or not. In other words, has conflict decreased today (going back to the pre-crisis levels) or has something changed forever in the parliamentary dynamics of European democracies? We try to answer these questions by analysing the voting behaviour of parliamentary parties – and the possible reasons behind that – in Portugal and Spain from 2004 to 2018.
The impact of the crisis on issue competition in Italy, Portugal and Spain: evidence from an analysis of question time
Enrico Borghetto, Federico Russo, Marco Lisi
AbstractThis article analyses the evolution of parliamentary attention on economic issues in Italy, Portugal and Spain in the period between the early 2000s and early 2018 through the analysis of parliamentary questions, to understand whether the crisis persistently increased the salience of the economy in the political agenda and which were the actors fuelling the conflict. The analysis of parliamentary questions in Southern Europe allows us to make two important contributions. First, our longitudinal analysis deepens our knowledge on the impact of the crisis and explores the factors accounting for variations across countries and parties. We argue that we need to distinguish between temporary and persistent increases in the presence of an issue in the political agenda, because only the latter signals that an issue has been politicised. Second, the study emphasises the role played by party strategies in influencing the connection between economy and policy agenda and enables us to examine whether the crisis and the political process that it triggered have structurally changed the content of policy competition in Southern European countries.
Through thick and thin: government ideology and public budgeting before and after the economic crisis
AbstractThe budgetary policy mirrors domestic policy-making dynamics. Among other policy venues, it is surely the most constrained one because of mandatory spending programs and inherited policies. Many factors influence the ability of parties to transmit their electoral mandate to their policy agenda and spending decisions. At external level, the recent economic crisis and the European Union as watchdog of member states’ public accounts contributed to shape the national political agenda. Several domestic variables also determine the outcome of public budgeting, as the institutional fragmentation, the budgetary process centralisation and political ideology. Indeed, partisan politics still matters for the allocation of financial resources among spending functions and it turns out to be extremely interesting after the emergence of populist parties which don’t fit the usual classification between left- and right-wing. Using Eurostat data on public expenditure (1996-2017) and the Comparative Political dataset, this work focuses on Southern European countries, which share similar features about the impact of the economic crisis and the European “external constraint”, and the emergence of populist parties. The main aim is to shed a light on partisan control over national budgets to point out whether the allocation of expenditure reflects the governing parties’ ideology. Furthermore, because external factors may have bearing on the capabilities of parties to implement their policy agenda, we focus on the impact of changing economic conditions in affecting the government’s ability to control the budget.
Chairs: Leila Hadj Abdou, Andrea Pettrachin
Discussants: Leila Hadj Abdou, Andrea Pettrachin
Constructing indifference: the de-politicization through risk in the management of European borders.
AbstractThe purpose of this contribution is to analyse the role of Frontex in bordering Europe. It aims to demonstrate how, next to the tendency to the iper-politicization of the themes of migration and mobility by political actors, it is possible to highlight an opposite tendency to the de-politicization of political space, that is to present political choices in this context as neutral and technical decisions. In conversation with the wide literature on the process of bordering Europe - from securitization theory to neo-institutionalism – the paper adopts risk-based governance to study the process of de-politicization through risk. Using critical discourse analysis, we question the categories used by Frontex to classify movements at the border, showing their process of construction and the wide margin of autonomy enjoyed by the agency in their elaboration, selection and representation. The de-politicization through risk produces an oversimplification of border control, reducing the complexity of migration policy and facilitating decision making in that matter. People on the move are described as mere technical problems, thereby de-humanizing them in order to downgrade the moral weight of political choices and removing their singular and collective agency. The architecture of border control that is produced by Frontex seems to ignores the complex causes of migration, producing just a very-short-period view. As a result, the geography of European frontiers outlined by Frontex appears as a mobile, fluid and discontinuous line. It isn’t guided from any overall political view, but follows the negated individual will of people who move.
Immigration & the Centre right in the anti-immigrant heartland Austria
Leila Hadj Abdou
AbstractWhilst it is widely assumed that the radical right is the key player of migration politics in the parliamentary arena, studies exploring the drivers of politicization of Europe have indicated that it is actually established parties and not (necessarily) challenger parties that have played a highly relevant role in politicizing immigration. A paradigmatic example is Austria. Immigration was the defining topic during the 2017 general elections; and the polls indicated that the issue concerned every second voter. It was the conservative party (ÖVP), which was most successful in mobilizing the electorate, and its campaign was widely seen as ripped off the anti-immigrant populist playbook. In light of these developments this paper analyzes the anti-immigrant rhetoric and policy positions of the ÖVP in the fields of immigration and immigrant integration. Using party election manifestos, press releases and campaign speeches, the paper identifies major themes and frames used by the party. It then traces whether the anti-immigrant rhetoric is primarily symbolic or has translated into substantive policy action.
Nothing attracts a crowd as quickly as a crisis? - How the refugee crisis and radical right parties shape party competition on immigration in Europe
Sophia Hunger, Gessler Theresa
AbstractThe 2015 refugee crisis had a major impact on European public debate, as well as election outcomes across Europe. However, we understand little about its impact on political competition, given the different starting points and trajectories of European countries during the crisis. We analyse the changing dynamics of the salience and positions regarding immigration before, during, and after the refugee crisis in countries with different exposure to the short- and long-term trends shaping competition on the issue. We use quantitative text analysis to study changes at a monthly level, providing crucial detail for disentangling the impact of the structure of the political space, the crisis itself and the contribution of right-wing parties. Our study is based on a corpus of 120,000 party press releases between 2013 and 2017 from three European countries with different histories of immigration politicization and varying exposure to the refugee crisis (Austria, Germany and Switzerland). First, we use a dictionary in order to classify whether an individual press release refers to immigration. Second, we estimate positions through Wordscores. Based on our estimates, we carry out descriptive and regression analyses to, first, show how attention to and politicization of immigration changed over this period and, second, how refugee numbers, public attention and pressure by radical-right parties have contributed to this development. We provide evidence that attention to immigration increased drastically for all parties during the crisis, although radical right parties remained issue owners and drove the attention of mainstream parties. However, the attention of mainstream parties to immigration decreased towards the end of the refugee crisis and we only find limited evidence of these parties accommodating the positions of the radical right.
Strategic Positioning: Explaining Center Right Party Electoral Success on Immigration during the 2015-2018 European Refugee Crisis
Matthew Loveless, James Downes, Andrew Lam
AbstractThis paper examines right-wing party competition in the context of the European refugee crisis. We argue that center right parties recognize the electoral opportunity that the refugee crisis provides for radical right parties and respond by adopting hardline positions on immigration to maintain - and even increase - their electoral success. Using data across all 28 EU member states during the 2015-2018 refugee crisis, we find evidence for this strategic positioning. Center right incumbents, in particular, benefit from this maneuver to stay in government. These empirical findings find further support from qualitative case studies which demonstrate that center right parties which did not adopt anti-immigrant positions tended to lose electorally to radical right parties. While strategic positioning offers a route to electoral success for center right parties, it moves the rhetoric surrounding immigration farther to the right, thus tugging at the handle of Pandora’s Box in future elections in Europe.
Chairs: Nicola Chelotti
Discussants: Nicola Chelotti
Brexit and the party system at Westminster
AbstractThis article analyses the consequences for the party system of the vote for Brexit. It argues that while the result of the 2017 general election held in the aftermath of the referendum suggested a return to two-party politics, with the Conservative and Labour parties capturing some 82 percent of the vote between them, the highest proportion since 1970, this superficial stability masks underlying fractures which make the party system increasingly vulnerable to sudden and potentially dramatic change. In particular, while the electoral system limits the capacity of new entrants to challenge the established parties at Westminster – illustrated most recently by the rise and fall of the UK Independence Party – Brexit has exposed and reinforced a cleavage in British politics in relation to the politics of national identity. This divide has increasingly come to replace the social class cleavage that traditionally animated UK elections, and is manifest in divisions within as well as between the major political parties. This is highlighted in this article through an examination of how ideologically, electorally and organisationally the Conservatives and Labour have sought to respond to the vote for Brexit.
No-one in control? Brexit and the challenge to the Westminster model
Edoardo Bressanelli, Gianfranco Baldini, Emanuele Massetti
AbstractThis paper provides an assessment of the impact of the Brexit process – from the June 2016 referendum to the end of March 2019 (when the Brexit day was originally scheduled) – on the British political system. Drawing on the classic work of Lijphart and the ensuing scholarship applying the Westminster model to Britain, it seeks to understand whether and to what extent Brexit has impacted on the majoritarian features of the system. Adapting Lijphart’s criteria, it places its focus on the electoral-party dimension, the executive-legislative relations and the territorial power-sharing arrangements. It argues that Brexit has brought to light several intertwined tensions that had been brewing inside British politics over the course of the previous years, and which are likely to continue unfolding for several years. Acknowledging the provisional nature of any assessment on such an on-going and rapidly changing process, it argues that the consolidation of the majoritarian elements in the British political systems – which characterized the first phase of the Brexit process from the referendum to the approval of the deal between the EU and the UK – has been severely tested. The process of realignment in the British party system and the further erosion of parliamentary support for the government in early 2019 produced a standstill whose endpoint is not yet in sight.
The eight votes that changed the system. Looking at Brexit from Westminster
AbstractThe title of the paper is admittedly a figure of speech. It hints at the eight indicative votes that took place in the House of Commons on March 27, trying to overcome the stalemate produced by Theresa May’s defeats on her government’s withdrawal agreement. However, Westminster took many more (indicative, substantial and procedural) votes on the issue; there was no majority in the House backing any of the proposed solutions on that day; and it is evident that parliamentary votes do not change consolidated models of democracy, and especially not in a single day. Yet those eight votes, and the chaos and uncertainty surrounding the 6-hour debate in which the House, for the first time, managed to control the agenda of the Brexit process, represent an interesting perspective from which to observe the systemic changes produced by, or that have brought to, the EU referendum. Brexit, as a political process more than as an outcome, is both a consequence and a cause of those transformations, representing an accelerating factor of deeper underlying dynamics. I am certainly not the first one arguing in this direction (e.g. Evans & Menon 2017), and yet Westminster’s perspective on the issue, meaning the point of view of front- and backbenchers, has been widely overlooked (an interesting exception is Umit & Auel 2019 analysis of legislative speeches in the aftermath of the referendum). In the paper (hopefully) I will present an analysis of all parliamentary votes on Brexit since the first meaningful vote on May’s deal taken in the House of Commons on January 15, 2019. For the moment, I have collected data on more than 40 different divisions, and I plan to identify the non-unidimensional space represented by those votes, linking MPs behaviour to the characteristics of their constituencies. As argued, this analysis should be related to, and represent a litmus test for, the systemic transformations of British Westminster model of democracy. At worst, it will only be an exploratory analysis of parliamentary dynamics in the turmoil associated with the Brexit process, within a wider reflection around the long-term changes of the political system of the United Kingdom.
“Brexit, local devolution and the continued centralisation of the local-central relationship in the UK”
Arianna Giovannini, Christopher Huggins
AbstractLocal government represents one of the most Europeanised parts of the British state. The EU is the source of around 70% of legislation councils must implement. It provides local authorities with funding and opportunities for policy influence. Concurrently, Brexit happens against a domestic backdrop of declining local budgets, reducing autonomy and capacity, increased demand for local public services and calls for greater investment in the UK’s regions. Yet in the broader context of Brexit, little attention has been paid to its impact on local government and its wider implications for the constitutional relationship between local and central government. This article addresses this gap. Drawing on interviews with senior local politicians and officials, it shows that while Brexit is seen as an opportunity for greater devolution, it has so far failed to live up to this expectation. This is particularly the case in England, where the process of devolution is still nascent and uneven. This means some areas have new devolved architectures in place, but lack adequate powers to respond to the challenges posed by Brexit, while others have been left out and struggle even further to deal with the uncertainties of Brexit. This patchwork devolution is exacerbated by government indifference towards local voices in the Brexit debate, despite calls from local leaders for more engagement. Consequently, there is increasing tension in the central-local relationship, which will likely to lead to the further emasculation of local government. This points to a wider trend of continued centralisation in the UK’s constitutional settlement.
Chairs: Marco Lisi
Discussants: Renata Lizzi
To what extent can new parties allow access to like-minded interest groups to the parliament? Evidence from Spain
Iván Medina, Oscar Barberà
AbstractThe literature on party-groups linkages mostly focuses on the organisational (membership, funding), ideological (ideas, manifestos), and electoral (candidates, electoral support) consequences of strong, permanent co-operation between these two alleged different types of actor. There is also literature on alliances among groups and parties when it comes to policy formation. At the institutional level, the current interest in the parliamentary impact of interest groups seems more focused on the implications of lobbying registers, than in the formation of political alliances between groups and political parties. In our case, this paper aims to examine the parliamentary consequences of the arrival of new political parties to national parliaments. We focus on the following question: Does the arrival of new political parties allow the arrival of new groups in the parliamentary arena? The article is a first approach to this topic, centered on the proposals of Ciudadanos and Podemos for like-minded groups to appear in parliamentary committees since they made it into the Parliament. We are concerned with the groups both parties invited, as well as those rejected by the committees.
LA PRESENZA FEMMINILE NELLE PROFESSIONI DEL LOBBYING. UN’ANALISI COMPARATA A PARTIRE DAI DATI DEI REGISTRI PUBBLICI DEI LOBBISTI IN FRANCIA, ITALIA, REGNO UNITO.
Maria Cristina Antonucci
AbstractLobbying activity has by now acquired its own professional status, with paths training, ethical and conduct codes (Antonucci, Scocchi, 2018), institutional accreditation systems, dissemination of trade associations. This is due to thanks to the presence of a specific professional offer (Harris, Bitonti, 2016) and regulatory processes now widespread at the global level (Crepaz, Hogan, Murphy, Chari, 2019) However, the socio-demographic composition of the lobbyist profession is little investigated within national political systems. Based on the data available by the national registers of stakeholders in Italy, UK, France, the paper investigates the presence of women within the lobbying profession, highlighting elements of specificity and differences related to specific political systems. Many pieces of research have been carried out so far on the under-representation of women in political careers, in this case, starting from data and institutional indications, we intend to highlight a similar phenomenon, within the professions of public affairs and investigate on the main reasons of this gender gap.
‘To Ally or Not to Ally, that is the Question!’ When and why interest groups build coalitions in Southern Europe
AbstractAlthough a certain amount of networking among groups is almost ubiquitous in day-by-day lobbying, the decision to build an advocacy coalition is anything but a ‘by default’ option for interest groups: sometimes, in fact, interest groups choose not to participate in coalitions. This happens for one reason: coalition building implies both benefits and costs. Therefore, when interest groups judge that the costs of participation outweigh the potential benefits they prefer to lobby individually, and vice versa. However, both costs and benefits are different for different groups. To date, the most relevant studies tend to link the likelihood of forming an interest group coalition with the group’s resources and characteristics, the policy context, and institutional settings. In this paper, I want to explore whether other factors might contribute to explain interest group coalition formation, namely the role of external pressures and strategic behaviour. Indeed, the decision to recur to coalition formation should be integrated within a broader strategical set of tactics and is subject to different environmental constraints. This theoretical framework is tested on a sample of around 1,000 interest groups in three Southern European countries: Italy, Spain and Portugal. Empirical findings are interesting and help fine-tuning and clearly defining how and why interest groups decide to build an advocacy coalition instead of lobbying individually.
Chairs: Marco Lisi
Discussants: Chiara Fiorelli
Assessing the New Politics of Interest Groups in Spain
Iván Medina, Luz Muñoz
AbstractPrevious literature offered a very pessimistic vision on the contribution of interest groups to democracy in Spain. Juan Linz identified some critical issues in the field of associative plurality, subordination, and transparency. Now that Spain has become a modern, stable democracy, these old topics are worth an update. This paper identifies some relevant changes in the field of interest groups (i.e. establishment of lobbying registers; increase of internal transparency; regionalization of neocorporatist structures), as well as confirms the permanence of few traditional trends.
Interest groups-Political Parties interaction in the parliamentary arena
Laura Chaqués-Bonafont, Luz Muñoz
AbstractPolitical parties do not give equal access to the policy-making process to all interest groups. According to the information logic approach, policy makers decide whether to invite interest organizations taking into account their capacity to provide high quality technical information about policy problems. In contrast, the exchange approach suggest MPs give access to interest organizations that may be more rewarding in electoral terms, either because they represent the interests of large constituencies, or because they can make large money contributions. This paper builds in an alternative theoretical framework –the persuasion approach—, according to which policy-makers are especially willing to invite their allies, avoiding their enemies as a means to reinforce their negotiation capacity in the parliamentarian debate. We argue access to interest groups to the parliamentarian arena is explained not only by their expertise, reputation and representativeness, but their capacity to reinforce MPs policy positions about policy issues. The analysis relies on a unique database, about interest groups appearances in the Parliament of Catalonia, which contains detailed information about which political party invites which interest groups to discuss a policy issue from the late 1990 to present.
Party-Group Relations in Southern Europe: Evidence from an Expert Survey
AbstractDespite the development of empirical research on the relations between parties and interest groups, the topic is still understudied and presents several shortcomings. On the one hand, this relationship has been studied mostly from the political parties’ point of view. On the other, the role of interest groups as actors of intermediation has been subordinated to the institutional role played by partisan actors. This paper aims to contribute to advancing our knowledge on the topic by examining the relationship between interest groups and political parties in Southern European countries (Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain). By relying on new data collected through an expert survey, we focus specifically at three different dimensions, namely the type of linkage established between parties and interest groups; the rationale (i.e. aims) of the linkage and the institutional impact of this relationship. From this viewpoint, it will be possible not only to identify different modalities of interest group access to the institutional arena across countries (and parties), but also to provide a fresh look of the intermediation role performed by both actors. Overall, this study contributes to investigating how contemporary democracies perform interest representation and to discussing the emergence of ‘advocacy’ democracy. In addition, the findings are of great relevance for a better understanding of the system of interest intermediation and the functioning of political systems in the twenty-first century.