SISP2021
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SISP Conference 2021

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Section 6 - Participation and Social Movements (Participation and Social Movements)

Managers: Manuela Caiani (manuela.caiani@sns.it), Alberta Giorgi (alberta.giorgi@unibg.it)

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The section promotes panels for the study of the transformations of political participation and social movements (new actors, organizations and strategies) in a phase characterized by the financial and economic crisis, sharpened by the pandemic, and the profound changes in the political and social context in Europe and beyond (the ongoing process of European integration and globalization, digitalization, etc.). The economic crisis accelerates the processes of de-democratization at the national level and the detachment of people from traditional party politics, eroding the popular sovereignty and the socio-political foundations for conventional participation and decision-making processes in the mass liberal democracies.

If reflections on post-democracy are partly confirmed by empirical evidence, the predictions of an inevitable decline of civic engagement are refuted. In fact, political participation has found new forms of expression and channeling that have revitalized and transformed both the more traditional forms of participation and the more unconventional forms emerged in the sixties-seventies, especially those used by young people and women. Nevertheless, also new forms of non-progressive movements have (re) emerged (as the many right wing populist movements and extremist groups in several European countries as well as at the EU level, or the movements protesting against Covid-related restrictions), which raise the controversial question for scholars about the side effects of ‘bad social capital’ and how to study them. Waves of mobilizations have developed in recent years, both in Western countries (e.g. anti austerity movements) and in other contexts (e.g. the Arab Spring, Black Lives Matter), showing many elements that were already present in the processes of transnational mobilization of the past (e.g. the global justice movement). A new paradigm of collective action seems to gradually emerge with new forms of communication, multiple identities, different forms of coordination and resource mobilization, alternative practices and experimental democracy inside social movements.

In this context, an electoral democracy limited to a ritual of request for electoral consent to delegate the “professional politicians” and/or the so-called “technical” people to manage resources and problems of the state is largely inadequate. The issue of a participatory democracy emerges strongly, especially in times of economic crisis, with the growing importance of the movements that claims to be the true ‘representative’ of citizens’ demands. Also, science and experts are issues at stake in popular uprisings, directly addressing the issues of 'technicality' and 'expertise'. Indeed, in a period of socio-economic and political crisis, left-wing political-institutional actors are absent or too weak and fragmented, and a growing space is left to the mobilizations and protests promoted by populist movements and parties. On the other hand, new urban and territorial movements have emerged, generating alternative discourses, performing new practices, and rethinking new types of relationship with the local state in seeking to answer social demands that neither the market nor the state have responded. In particular, these new mobilizations, claiming the “right to the city” and the right to the “commons”, oppose the continuous commodification of both urban and rural areas, the devastation of the territories and the dismantling of the welfare state system. To investigate not only the nature of the new forms of “resilience” and “resistance” practices, but also how they reflect the social, cultural and political transformations (e.g. their impact on the overall political, and often party systems) becomes therefore essential. Moreover, mobilizations against or in solidarity with migrants and on migration policies occur also together with the protests and struggles of resident migrants for their labor and life conditions.

The section hosts panels addressing these issues, starting from empirical research that reflect the adequacy of the theoretical and methodological tools until now used to analyze, understand and explain these processes. Panels with a comparative approach and giving a special attention to methodology will be welcome. At the same time, this section aims to host panels with the goal of discussing the relationship between social movements and traditional political actors (i.e. political parties, unions, associations), left wing and right wing social movements, the role of violence in political mobilizations, as well as the role of digital technologies in local, national and transnational mobilizations and the outputs of social movements.

Thursday 9th September 2021
  Room C 09:00-10:45
  Room R 09:00-10:45
  Room C 10:45-12:30
  Room R 10:45-12:30
  Room N 13:30-15:15
  Room P 13:30-15:15
  Room A 15:15-17:00
  Room L 15:15-17:00
  Room N 15:15-17:00
Friday 10th September 2021
  Room P 13:30-15:15
Saturday 11th September 2021
  Room B 09:00-10:45, 10:45-12:30

 

Panel 6.1 Populism (anti-populism) and collective identities (I)


Populism is booming, on the left, the right, and at the centre of the political spectrum, still posing a serious challenge to the political status quo in Europe and beyond. This panel locates within non-mainstream approaches to populism, in particular focusing on the populist politics of identification. Populism as a collective action frame, populism and identity, populism and mobilization, populist (and anti-populist) social movements.
These will be the broader themes addressed in this panel, which are still rarely investigated in current empirical research in the field. Support for populism has been often assumed to be driven by political disaffection and disengagement. However, while it is true that mainstream parties' potential to engage supporters and motivate political participation is seemingly declining, recent studies found that this understanding of populism is misleading. The politicization of collective identities is indeed revitalising the political participation of populist supporters, through a structure-with-agency process called political identification. Investigating how populist parties and movements promote the political participation of their supporters and provide them with motivations for political engagement deserves further exploration.
Thus, this panel will make a contribution paying particular attention to the framing of populist as well as anti-populist (e.g., the anti-Brexit movement, the Sardines) movements, the role of affect and emotions and the drivers of political mobilization in populist politics. According to some scholars, populist narratives activate distinctive political attitudes to mobilize their supporters on specific issues, such as economic redistribution or immigration. Populist actors also create collective identities that foster the affective and emotional ties established with their supporters. In general, they are able to bring about dynamics of mobilization typical of social movements in the party arena to identify their supporters and maintain a heightened level of political engagement. Moreover, the varieties of populism currently populating the European political scene adopt different types of strategies, with left-wing and right-wing populist and anti-populist actors constructing different frames and mobilizing different emotions and passions.
Comparative studies, across countries and on different types of groups, are welcome, as well as mixed methods of data collection.

Chairs: Manuela Caiani, Gaetano Inglese

Discussants: Manuela Caiani

"Sonrían al 15M, sonrían a las plazas*": Podemos' politics of identification and the emotional legacy of the Indignados.
Vincent Dain
Abstract
The paper will provide a case study examining how a left-wing populist party, Podemos (Spain), politicises the emotional legacy of a social movement, the 15M, in order to generate collective identification and an affective connection with its core supporters. Podemos is often portrayed as the “party of the Indignados”, because of its aim to translate the demands of the 15M into the electoral competition. However, the place of the movement in the discourse, strategy and identity of the party is still rarely investigated in depth. In a first time, we will describe how Podemos leaders frame the legacy of the 15M movement. To do so, we will rely on a corpus-based analysis combining the theoretical and academic production of the founders of Podemos, as well as a set of public speeches, especially during crucial campaign rallies. We will show that Podemos leaders explicitly theorised the 15M as an opportunity to frame a new counter-hegemonic collective identity beyond the traditional left/right axis. More generally and in practice, Podemos portrays the 15M as the main indicator of a Spanish “regime crisis” and as the starting point of a “new transition”, thus establishing an analogy with the social movements for Spanish democratisation in the 1970’s. In a second step, we will study how Podemos core supporters identify emotionally with this narrative on 15M. We will use the results of a six-month ethnographic survey among Podemos rank-and-file activists in Seville, combining direct observation and in depth-biographical interviews. The exploitation of this qualitative data shows that Podemos’ politicisation of the 15M legacy deeply resonates with the biographical experiences of most activists and thus constitutes a key element in partisan identification and group cohesiveness. More precisely, we distinguish several generations of militants and show that two generational profiles are especially receptive to Podemos’ politics of identification : the young activists from the “15M generation” for whom the 15M was a significant moment of political socialisation, but also the older militants from the “generation of the transition to democracy”, who perceive their engagement in the 15M and in Podemos as the natural extension of their long fight for the democratisation of Spain. * "Smile to the 15M, smile to the squares". The expression is used by Podemos' leader Pablo Iglesias in his conclusion to the televised debate for the December 2015 general elections. In this one-minute speech, he called on voters not to forget the corruption cases and the effects of budget cuts, and to smile to the 15M, the neighbours fighting against rental evictions, etc.
The rise of counter-populist social movements? The Indivisible Movement and the Sardine Movement in comparison
Nicolò Pennucci
Abstract
Shortly after the election of Mr. Donald Trump as the President of the United States, Leah Greenberg and Ezra Levin circulated a google doc proposing a blueprint for American Democracy. The Indivisible Movement was born. Similarly, in November 2019 - month of the Regional election campaign in Emilia Romagna and Calabria in Italy - four young Italian people founded the Sardine Movement as an attempt to impede the League to gain power in historically left-wing Italian regions. The Indivisible Movement and the Sardine are social movements opposing right-wing parties and leaders in power. Yet, at a closer look, they are more than anti-populist movements, as they are performing a broader process of political identification, which aims at re-conceptualizing “the people” in a progressive and left wing way. Hence, this paper aims at providing an innovative theoretical framework to understand the rise of social movements opposing right-wing populist parties in government. By critically assessing and then going beyond the category of anti-populism, it aims at developing a new concept, which it refers to as counter-populism. This term applies to innovative political actors trying to oppose right wing populist parties by performing a process of political identification, which is able to re-signify the meaning of the people in a progressive way, while at the same time proposing a new understanding of democracy that goes beyond its traditional liberal understanding. Theoretically speaking, this paper addresses several challenges: first, it aims at merging literature on populism as a way of political identification (Panizza, 2017) with a recently constituted niche trying to understand social movements as populist actors (Grattan, 2016; Aslanidis, 2017). Second, it aims at unpacking the peculiar role of social media in developing and spreading such a counter-populist collective identity. Empirically speaking, it looks at the social media activities of these social movements, by focusing on how they develop their counter-populist narrative through their official Facebook page posts. The ultimate goal is to critically assess the relationship between collective identity formation and populism, by closely looking at the social media activities of actors trying to re-conceptualize the people against the right-wing meaning of the term and by discovering at the same time an inedited progressive and pro-democratic version of it. Indeed, the empirical research relies on a content analysis (Bauer, 2011) of Facebook posts published in the first three months of life of these social movements. This analysis aims to understand how the counter-populist rhetoric and overall strategy of these movements is shaped through social media by concentrating on Facebook posts in two pivotal moments, namely the election of Mr. Donald Trump in the US and the electoral campaign for Regional elections in Italy. The goal is to assess which themes are employed in the movements’ discourse and to what extend these actors are trying to create a counter-populist collective identity. By comparing two actors in countries with a strong right-wing populist tradition, this paper aims at comparing and contrasting the overall strategy against right-wing actors and how an opposing progressive and populist collective identity can be created by social movements through social media.
From the Streets to the Voting Booth: the Electoral Effect of Grassroots Mobilization Against the Far-Right
Francesco Colombo, Fabrizio Bernardi, Elias Dinas, Alessandro Ferrara, Foteini-Maria Vassou
Abstract
Far-right scholars have focused extensively on the causes and consequences of far-right success, while not much attention has been directed towards what citizens and the civil society can do to tackle this phenomenon. Focusing on the surge of an anti-far-right social movement - the Sardine - during the 2020 Italian Regional Elections, we test whether grassroots mobilization is an effective tool to curb far-right parties’ electoral performance. Employing municipality-level data on electoral results, Sardine mobilization and far-right political events, we exploit a difference-in-differences design to identify the effect of local exposure to Sardine mobilization on the municipal electoral performance of far-right parties. The results suggest that local exposure to a Sardine event has a strong negative effect on far-right electoral results.
Neglected times: Laclau, affect, and temporality
Mirko Palestrino
Abstract
That populism is ubiquitous in both politics and political debate is an established argument. Its ever-increasing popularity as an object of academic research is no secret either. And yet, what makes populist politics so popular? How is ‘take back control’ such a contested slogan and yet so powerful and resonant? Building on recent work in International Relations (IR) Theory, this article offers a critical reading of Ernesto Laclau’s theorization of populism that foregrounds affect and temporality – two aspects he falls short of properly unpacking. As a result, the article accounts for the emotional resonance (and political success) of populist subjects and clarifies the process of antagonization separating ‘the People’ from its political rivals. After briefly sketching the contours of Laclau’s theory and explain the role affect plays in it, the article advances a theorization of affect as economic that complements Laclau’s account of the ‘form’ of affect, with one of its ‘force’. Second, the article turns to ‘timing theory’ to shed light on ‘the People’s’ complicity in the social construction of time, thereby explaining both its emotional appeal and its antagonism. These theoretical propositions are illustrated through the example of Berlusconi’s first government.
 

Panel 6.1 Populism (anti-populism) and collective identities (II)


Populism is booming, on the left, the right, and at the centre of the political spectrum, still posing a serious challenge to the political status quo in Europe and beyond. This panel locates within non-mainstream approaches to populism, in particular focusing on the populist politics of identification. Populism as a collective action frame, populism and identity, populism and mobilization, populist (and anti-populist) social movements.
These will be the broader themes addressed in this panel, which are still rarely investigated in current empirical research in the field. Support for populism has been often assumed to be driven by political disaffection and disengagement. However, while it is true that mainstream parties' potential to engage supporters and motivate political participation is seemingly declining, recent studies found that this understanding of populism is misleading. The politicization of collective identities is indeed revitalising the political participation of populist supporters, through a structure-with-agency process called political identification. Investigating how populist parties and movements promote the political participation of their supporters and provide them with motivations for political engagement deserves further exploration.
Thus, this panel will make a contribution paying particular attention to the framing of populist as well as anti-populist (e.g., the anti-Brexit movement, the Sardines) movements, the role of affect and emotions and the drivers of political mobilization in populist politics. According to some scholars, populist narratives activate distinctive political attitudes to mobilize their supporters on specific issues, such as economic redistribution or immigration. Populist actors also create collective identities that foster the affective and emotional ties established with their supporters. In general, they are able to bring about dynamics of mobilization typical of social movements in the party arena to identify their supporters and maintain a heightened level of political engagement. Moreover, the varieties of populism currently populating the European political scene adopt different types of strategies, with left-wing and right-wing populist and anti-populist actors constructing different frames and mobilizing different emotions and passions.
Comparative studies, across countries and on different types of groups, are welcome, as well as mixed methods of data collection.

Chairs: Manuela Caiani, Gaetano Inglese

Discussants: Carlo Ruzza

“Angry White Woman”: The Rise of Female Populist Radical Right Leaders
Federico Stefanutto Rosa
Abstract
Radical right populist parties (RRPP) have been traditionally defined according to a framework of Männerparteien (Mudde and Kaltwasser 2015), meaning parties which are mainly led and represented by men. Moreover, there is a widespread belief that the electoral success of these parties is closely related to masculinist identity politics (Sauer, 2020) that aim to restore the traditional, dichotomous division of labor between male breadwinner and female caregiver. However, studying right-wing populism as a strictly male phenomenon is overly simplistic—particularly in recent years when the number of RRPP’s female leaders is perpetually on the rise throughout the EU and they are adopting increasingly dynamic roles. Therefore, this contribution will first investigate the continued validity of the Männerparteien paradigm as it applies to party leadership. This investigation will then lead into an examination of the factors that have favored the multiple emergences of women across right-wing populist groups. In particular, this paper will explore the role that female leaders play in the strategic framing activity (Aslanidis, 2018) instrumentalized by RRPP to delineate and solidify adversarial boundaries between “us” and “them” (Gamson 1995). The analysis consists of case studies of female leaders across four European countries whose speeches and social media posts will be evaluated by means of a qualitative discourse analysis. These cases include Marine Le Pen who has successfully established a new model of leadership in France, Denmark where right-wing populism is decidedly characterized by female leaders Pia Kjærsgaard and Pernille Vermund, Germany in which the figures of Frauke Petry and Alice Weidel have strategically leveraged their respective female identities, and finally Giorgia Meloni who is an increasingly undisputed protagonist in Italy’s political landscape. In all, the qualitative discourse analysis of these respective cases reveals the multiple means by which women in RRPP politicize their gender identity as a means to mobilize supporters. Such strategies include everything from the symbolic contrast of Western democratic liberties with non-Western forms of gendered “oppression” as well as the instrumentalization of women’s prior political marginalization as a means to reinforce populism’s anti-establishment image.
Same same but different? Comparing gender politics and (trans-) national value contestation in Europe on Twitter
Giuliana Sorci, Hans-Jörg Trenz, Monika Eigmueller, Aleksandra Anna Sojka, Kavyanjali Kaushik, Monika Verbalyte
Abstract
Feminist mobilizations and anti-discrimination policies promoted by the European Union (EU) have become the target of backlash driven by the radical right across numerous EU member states. Thus, women’s rights and gender equality issues have become salient in the increasingly polarized political debates across the continent. This increasing polarization around gender issues takes place to a large extent in the digital and social media spheres, illustrating the new mediatized logic of value contestation. Therefore, we ask whether and to what extent citizens’ engagement in Twitter debates around the European core value of gender equality is country and region-specific or, depicts a transnational pattern of conflict in European politics? We examine this by collecting Twitter data around International Women’s Day 2021 (IWD 2021) in Germany, Spain, Poland, Lithuania, and Italy. Online mobilization and debates have become more relevant than ever, as large demonstrations and marches usually characteristic of IWD can hardly take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We use both quantitative and qualitative methods to explore the data and compare the social media debates in terms of salience, issue variation and actor presence across countries and analyze the extent of a transnational framing or issue spillover effects. Our study contributes to the analysis of citizens’ engagement with European politics by looking at one of the key value conflicts in European societies. It aims to highlight the varying involvement of citizens in online debates and reflect upon the strength and weaknesses of a cross-country comparison in social media research.
The ecumenism of hate: Christianity and identity in the Italian Radical Right
Goffredo Adinolfi, Andrea Molle
Abstract
Religion is by far one of the primary sources of legitimation of the Radical Right Populist parties (RRP). Today, the European “Conservatives” and “Reformists” claim that Europe must be "based on a shared Judeo-Christian heritage and enlightenment" and constructed "as a community of nations." Christian values are hence used to define the European identity and used to depict the new community's borders. There are at least two layers in this ideology: official and unofficial. The former is one of the political parties where religion is used as a tool to frame the fight against post-modern values and Islamism. The latter is constituted by many different groups and movements, more or less based on conspiracy theories, such as those of QAnon. By connecting these two layers, this paper has two goals. The first is to examine an entirely new way to consider Christianity, namely one purely based on feelings of belonging rather than on faith and defined by division and rivalry with “the other” rather than on ecumenism and unity. The second goal is to offer ways to understand the impact of the concept of Christian roots on proposed or avoided new legislation.
The Construction of Collective Identity in Romania: analyzing the AUR speech at the legislative elections of December 2020
Andrei Gheorghe
Abstract
The paper aims to expose and analyze the mechanisms by which the Party Alliance for the Union of Romanians (AUR), a newly established populist right-wing party, managed to build up a collective identity and gather 10% of the votes cast in the December 2020 legislative elections in Romania. For the purpose of this paper the concept of collective identity will be understood as “an interactive and shared definition produced by several interacting individuals who are concerned with the orientation of their action as well as the field of opportunities and constraints in which their action takes place” (A. Melucci, Nomads of the present: Social movements and individual needs in contemporary society, Hutchinson Radius, London, 1989, p. 34) or as Tajfel and Forgas stated “we are what we are because they are not what we are” (H. Tajfel and J. Forgas, “Social categorization: Cognitions, values, and groups”, in J. Forgas (ed.), Social cognition: Perspectives on everyday understanding, Academic Press, New York, 1981, p. 124.). The study of the electoral rise of the AUR can be framed in a broader theme aimed at studying the populist phenomenon during the coronavirus pandemic context. However, for the purpose of this paper, the pandemic will be used to explain the achievement of a populist moment ( the concept comes from the book the book of L. Goodwyn, Democratic Promise. The Populist Moment in America, Oxford University Press, New York, 1976), a situation that contributed to the mobilization of the party's electorate. Apart from the global interest in studying the populist phenomenon during the pandemic, the rise of AUR is a hot topic for researchers in the field of political and social sciences in Romania, given the surprise produced at the time of announcing the first exit polls: a completely new populist nationalist party suddenly appeared and won 10% of the votes cast. In September 2020, three months before the December legislative elections, AUR managed to gather only 1% of the votes cast at the time. Subsequently, during the three months between the local and legislative elections, the voting intention for AUR measured in opinion polls was always below 1%, except for the last 6 days of the campaign when AUR began to appear in polls with percentages that allowed him access to Parliament. From this perspective, the point of interest of the paper is the way in which AUR managed to build a collective identity in a short time to act electorally in a populist moment at a high intensity. The high level of electoral mobilization in a short time suggests the attaining of a populist moment, which is a „specific constellation of condition” (R. Cuperus, “The Populist Deficiency of European Social Democracy” in Internationale Politik und Gesellschaf 3, 2003, p. 84), in which the electorate is pushed to react being directly affected by the situation invoked in populist communication. But in order to attend that populist moment the populists must construct a collective identity which can be mobilized for elections through the social movements. In order to understand the rise of the AUR, the political context in Romania must be evoked. First of all, the political participation in the last 5 organized elections, starting with the legislative elections of 2008, always ranked around 40% with a minimum of 32% in the 2020 elections. This low rate of electoral participation has always favored small parties, without a stable and loyal electorate and with a weak institutional branch across the country. Another characteristic of the Romanian political space and in general of the former communist countries in Eastern Europe that favors small parties is the high degree of electoral volatility (S. Gherghina, Party organization and Electoral volatility in Central and Eastern Europe. Enhancing voter loyalty, Routledge, New York, 2015, p. 62-64). Secondly, it is about the nationalist political discourse and the electorate it targets. During the 1990s and mid-2000s, the nationalist discourse, even xenophobic, was assumed and disseminated by the Greater Romania Party, a right-wing populist party founded and led by former propagandists of the Ceausescu nationalist-communist regime (R. Adam, Dou? veacuri de populism românesc/ Two centuries of Romanian populism, Humanitas, Bucure?ti, 2018, p. 232). After joining the European Union in 2007, the influence of the nationalist discourse disseminated by the Greater Romania Party began to lose its appeal to the electorate, which led to the non-fulfillment of the 5% electoral threshold in the 2008 legislative elections (Ibid., p. 260-264). After a period without political representation between 2008 and 2012 and after the economic crisis that was strongly felt by the population, the nationalist electorate found its representation in the People's Party Dan Diaconescu, a populist formation of nationalist orientation founded in 2011 by a TV presenter Dan Diaconescu (Ibid., p. 269-272). The party was disbanded shortly after the migration of elected representatives to other parties so that finally in 2015 what was left of the party to merge with another political party. In the 2016 legislative elections, the populist nationalist discourse was internalized and disseminated by the Social Democratic Party of Romania, a framework party founded immediately after the fall of the communist regime on the structure of the former Romanian Communist Party. However, due to the change of leadership and the political approach, the nationalist discourse was abandoned for the 2020 legislative elections. The space of the nationalist discourse remaining unclaimed by any of the framework parties, the AUR relied on this area. The common feature that crosses the three right-wing nationalist populist parties that have won parliamentary representation over the 30 years since the fall of the communist regime, the Greater Romania Party, the Dan Diaconescu People's Party and the AUR, is the media communication. The Greater Romania Party was supported by the magazine of the same name, Greater Romania. The People's Party Dan Diaconescu was supported by OTV news and tabloid television. While the AUR lacked such media channels, all the communication prior to and during the election campaign was taken to the next level through social networks, given the context of the pandemic. Through social networks, rallies and social actions broadcast online, the AUR managed to build a collective identity to which various social groups joined, because as A. Duszak stated, collective identities are a sort of continuum in which individual take different positions and become relatively ingroup and outgroup (A. Duszak, Us and others: social identities across languages, discourses and cultures, John Benjamin Publishing Company, Amsterdam/ Philadelphia, p. 1-28). The AUR managed to rally in a collective identity the largest groups of supporters of the national football team such as Honor et Patria or United under the National Flag, alternative medicine groups that challenge the medical system or religious groups . To achieve this goal, the AUR brought together the demands and dissatisfaction of all these groups under the slogan "Stop the political-medical dictatorship in Romania" , thus creating an empty signifier (E. Laclau, On populist reason, Verso, London, 2005, p. 73). In the same way the medical mask is used as a physical symbol of identification to the collective identity. Refusal to wear masks or burning them during protests is a symbol of group membership. Also, slogans such as plandemia, a word representing a hidden global pandemic plan or covidiot, a word representing idiots who believe in coronavirus, are also symbols of the constructed collective identity. To argue the legitimacy and veracity of the ideas around which the collective identity was built (C. Taylor, Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity, Harvard University Press, 1989), the leaders of the AUR call for populist and often false communications supported by world-renowned political figures such as Donald Trump. The authority of the President of the United States is invoked. The analysis of the way in which the collective identity was constructed will be based on the qualitative and selective analysis of speeches shared online on social networks on the official accounts of AUR and its leader, George Simion. More precisely, the discourses from the three months between the local and legislative elections will be qualitatively analyzed, identifying the common elements and the way in which some variables worked as elements of identification to the collective identity. It will identify online social groups that have shared discourses and how they have identified with the elements that transcend group identity to a broader collective identity. It will also analyze the way in which some individuals, members of several social groups reunited under the same collective identity, played the role of bubbles to spread the speeches. Bibliography: Adam R., Dou? veacuri de populism românesc, Humanitas, Bucure?ti, 2018 Cuperus R., “The Populist Deficiency of European Social Democracy” in Internationale Politik und Gesellschaf 3, 2003 Duszak A., Us and others: social identities across languages, discourses and cultures, John Benjamin Publishing Company, Philadelphia Forgas J. (ed.), Social cognition: Perspectives on everyday understanding, Academic Press, New York, 1981 Gherghina S., Party organization and Electoral volatility in Central and Eastern Europe. Enhancing voter loyalty, Routledge, New York, 2015 Goodwyn L., Democratic Promise. The Populist Moment in America, Oxford University Press, New York, 1976 Laclau E., On populist reason, Verso, London, 2005 Melucci A., Nomads of the present: Social movements and individual needs in contemporary society, Hutchinson Radius, London, 1989 Taylor C., Sources of the Self:: The Making of the Modern Identity, Harvard Unive
 

Panel 6.2 DIGITAL SPACES, POLITICAL PARTICIPATION AND RELIGION


Recent research on digital religion points out how digital platforms may provide “safe spaces” to marginalized and minority-within-majority religious communities. Forums, social media and online communities, as well as communities developing around websites, youtube channels, or podcasts, are places in which non-conforming subjectivities can meet, network, and discuss, while at the same time negotiating their positions both within the broader religious communities and society itself. In digital spaces, religious norms and authorities are unpacked and discussed, contested or reaffirmed, included into political and religious narrative that are constantly rearticulated. To use an old but useful concept, we could say that this process engages with the partition of the sensible (partage du sensible) and sets up the conditions of existence for religious actors’ internal diversity – as it is the case for religious feminisms, for example. At the same time, digital spaces are also the place of action for traditionalist religious actors, which sometimes find in digital platforms unexpected alliances and voice. Hence, in digital spaces religious political subjectivities can be constructed, negotiated and reassembled, and alliances with social movements can be made.
In this panel we seek to explore how religious-political actors engage with digital platforms to (a) analyse the processes of political subjectivation of online religious communities, (b) explore alliances and conflicts, (c) investigate to which debates religious-political actors contribute to and engage with, what concerns they raise, in which contexts.
Empirical as well as theoretical papers are welcome.

Chairs: Alberta Giorgi, Rita Marchetti

Discussants: Rita Marchetti

Dalla “strega rossa” a “lady Jihad”. Le donne terroriste nella stampa italiana
Giuseppina Bonerba, Sofia Verza
Abstract
Gli stereotipi di genere prevedono che la donna sia portatrice di valori e comportamenti non violenti, e sia incline all’empatia, alla conciliazione e alle preoccupazioni domestiche piuttosto che all’esercizio della lotta e della competizione nell’arena pubblica. Parallelamente gli uomini sono considerati più aggressivi, più focalizzati su sé stessi e maggiormente versati per le attività pubbliche. A maggior ragione, quando l’attività politica diventa violenza come nel caso del terrorismo, viene associata con la sfera della mascolinità, per cui il terrorista idealtipico è decisamente un uomo (Sylvester e Parashar, 2009). In questo quadro le donne terroriste – come più in generale le donne che agiscono violenza – mettono in crisi la costruzione stereotipica della donna (Elshtain 1987; Sjoberg and Gentry 2011; Nacos, 2016) e dunque i media elaborano processi di labelling e narrazioni (Becker, 1963; Giomi, Magaraggia 2017) volte a dimostrare come le donne violente non siano “vere donne”, ma presentino mancanze o abnormità, in modo da riconfermare il modello stereotipico della femminilità. In particolare, nel caso delle donne terroriste, la letteratura ha evidenziato come l’informazione diffonda il frame secondo cui le donne intraprenderebbero l’attività politica in quanto compagne di uomini che già la praticano (Staccioli, 2015; Bini, 2017; Martini, 2018) piuttosto che per autonoma scelta. A partire da queste premesse il paper intende discutere se, nonostante la radicalizzazione sia un fenomeno complesso e dovuto a molteplici fattori, i media tendano a semplificare eccessivamente le decisioni politiche delle donne terroriste. In altri termini, invece di riconoscere le donne come soggetti politici complessi che compiono scelte complesse (Sjoberg and Gentry 2016), la loro decisione di entrare a far parte di gruppi armati viene interpretata attraverso pregiudizi di genere e restituisce una rappresentazione delle donne terroriste come soggetti non politici e privi di consapevolezza e volontà propria. Il paper che si propone si focalizza sull’Italia come caso studio e analizza la rappresentazione della stampa di quattro donne terroriste: Margherita Cagol e Barbara Balzerani, protagoniste degli anni di piombo, e Maria Giulia Sergio e Alice Brignoli, aderenti all’Isis e per questo condannate tra il 2015 e oggi. Il corpus è costituito da articoli pubblicati da Il Corriere della Sera, l’Unità e Il Giornale per gli anni ’70 e da Il Corriere, La Repubblica e Il Giornale per i due casi di terrorismo contemporaneo. Il metodo usato è l’analisi critica del discorso (Fairclough, 1992; Lindekilde, 2014). La comparazione tra i due periodi permetterà di evidenziare quali siano le narrazioni usate per costruire le figure delle terroriste, le differenze tra dette narrazioni in testate diverse e il loro eventuale cambiamento nel tempo. Bibliography Becker H.S. (1963), Outsiders, Free Press: New York. Bini D. (2017), Donne e lotta armata in Italia (1970- 1985), Roma: DeriveApprodi. Cohen S. (1972), Folk Devils and Moral Panics, MacGibbon and Kee Ltd. Eco U. (2011), Costruire il nemico e altri scritti occasionali, Milano: Bompiani. Elshtain, J. B. (1987), Women and War, New York: Basic Books. Estrada F., Nilsson A., Pettersson T. (2019), The female offender. A century of registered crime and daily press reporting on women’s crime, Nordic Journal of Criminology, 20 (2): 138-156. Fairclough N. (1992), Discourse and Social Change, Cambridge: Polity Press. Giomi E., Magaraggia S. (2017), Relazioni brutali. Genere e violenza nella cultura mediale, Bologna: Il Mulino. Lindekilde L. (2014), Discourse and Frame Analysis: In depth Analysis of Qualitative Data in Social Movement Research, in D. della Porta (ed.) Methodological Practices in Social Movement Research, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 195-227. Luckmann, T. (1966) The Social Construction of Reality. A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge, New York: Doubleday. Martini A. (2018), Making women terrorists into “JIhadi brides”: an analysis of media narratives on women joining ISIS, Critical Studies on Terrorism, DOI: 10.1080/17539153.2018.1448204 Nacos B. L. (2016), Mass-mediated terrorism. Mainstream and digital media in terrorism and counterterrorism, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Norris, P. (1997), Women, Media, and Politics, New York: Oxford University Press. Riley, L. R., Mohanty C. T., Pratt M. B. (2008), Feminism and War. Confronting US Imperialism, New York: Zed Books. Sjoberg, L., Gentry C. E. (2011), Women, Gender, and Terrorism, Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press. Sjoberg, L., Gentry C. E. (2016), It’s Complicated. Looking Closely at Women in Violent Extremism, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs 7 (2): 23–30. Staccioli P. (2015), Sebben che siamo donne. Storie di rivoluzionarie, Roma: DeriveApprodi. Sylvester, C., Parashar S. (2009), “The Contemporary “Mahabharata” and the Many “Draupadis”. Bringing Gender to Critical Terrorism Studies”, in Critical Terrorism Studies: A New Research Agenda, edited by R. Jackson, M. B. Smyth, and J. Gunning, 178–193 London: Routledge.
Religious masculinities: performing in/visibility on Instagram
Alberta Giorgi
Abstract
Digital media studies on gender and religion have steadily grown in the last decade, showing that digital platforms: (1) contribute to the visibility and voice of marginalized actors, including religious women or LGBT+ persons, and offer a place for the expression of the complex nuances of gender performances of religious individuals; (2) are spaces of development of “alternative” forms of religious authority, that challenge, negotiate or complement traditional ones; (3) constitute a safe space for marginalized or minority voices to cope with exclusionary processes they may have suffered within their communities, and to activate forms of re-plausibilization of religion, to make it possible to re-embed oneself in the religious community; (4) open up spaces to unpack, discuss and criticize religious norms and conventions (for a recent overview, Lövheim and Lundmark 2019). The contribution explores Catholic masculinities by means of digital ethnography, focusing on the Instagram posts that adopt two hashtags, #thosecatholicmen and #dignityusa: the first perform and renovate traditional Catholicism, praising fatherhood and brotherhood, while the second celebrate LGBTQI Catholics. Both hashtags are related to specific groups: however, focusing on hashtags rather than groups’ accounts allows exploring whether and how the hashtag is appropriated and experienced, broadening its scope beyond its initial launch. Differently to what occurs on Twitter, in fact, Instagram hashtags are used to specify the image content and to connect to ad hoc communities (Caliandro and Graham 2020). Three main elements emerge from the analysis, contributing to the research on gender, digital media, and religion. First, the research shows the differences in the visual representations and expressions of masculinity emerging around the two hashtags – muscular and militant in one case, familiar and non-threatening on the other. Second, it illustrates the differences in the use of Instagram, which in one case is the place to construct and affirm role-models, while in the other it offers the chance of claiming the legitimacy of being both homosexual and Catholic. Third, it clarifies the complex mechanisms of visibility and invisibility that are into play in the case of LGBTQI Catholics.
Spazi digitali culture politiche e comunità religiose
Roberto Marchisio
Abstract
Aldilà della polisemia e del lungo dibattito che ha caratterizzato la storia del concetto, le “culture politiche” sono qui intese come repertori di elementi diversi (simboli, narrazioni, rappresentazioni, visioni del mondo, rituali) trasmessi e rielaborati di continuo, in grado di orientare individui e gruppi nel loro posizionamento all’interno del dibattito politico e nella costruzione di strategie d’azione. Possiamo immaginare che qualsiasi forma di comunità religiosa (dalle grandi chiese alle più piccole comunità spirituali alternative) attingendo a questi repertori in misura diversa, possa produrre culture politiche più o meno articolate e coerenti, in grado di ispirare orientamenti ad ampio raggio oppure posizionamenti che riguardano questioni più circoscritte e limitate. Il paper si muove attorno all’ipotesi che gli spazi digitali, le interazioni online all’interno di gruppi o comunità religiose incidano in maniera significativa sui processi di produzione delle culture politiche religiose. Come si costruiscono queste culture, attraverso quali modalità e forme? In particolare, è interessante prendere in considerazione il legame tra “autorità religiosa” e dimensione politica. La letteratura più recente rivela che il rapporto tra spazi digitali e “autorità religiosa” è caratterizzata da una certa ambivalenza. Le tecnologie digitali sarebbero in grado di indebolire le autorità religiose ma anche di diventare strumenti potenti di legittimazione delle verità tradizionali. Uno degli obiettivi che si propone il paper è sviluppare una riflessione sull’intreccio tra le diverse forme di autorità e la costruzione/negoziazione delle culture politiche religiose online.
The Anti-Gender Debate on Social Media. A Computational Communication Science Analysis of Networks, Activism, and Misinformation
Nicola Righetti
Abstract
INTRODUCTION In the last few years, a growing international body of literature has studied the anti-gender movement, a religious-conservative mobilization countering sexual minority rights with a traditionalist vision of gender identities, which represents an emblematic example of the renewed alliances between politics and religion (Kováts & Põim, 2015; Lavizzari & Prearo, 2019; Prearo, 2020; Harsin, 2018), and more generally, of the post-secular resurgence of religion in the public arena (Habermas, 2008; Hunter, 1991). Scholars have pointed out the importance of social media communication for the anti-gender mobilization (Paternotte & Kuhar, 2017; 2018), yet, observations on the role of digital communication for the movement and the broader debate on “gender theory” have mostly been anecdotical so far, and often restricted to a few case studies of organizations’ websites, particularly in Italy (Bellè & Poggio, 2018; Ottaviano, 2017; Righetti, 2016). Social media communication, overall, has not received the necessary attention, especially considering its relevance for right-wing populism, who allied with religious-based organizations to fuel anti-gender campaigns (Kováts & Põim, 2015; Prearo, 2020), and in terms of audience (the estimated Facebook’s Italian audience is 30/35M of users). DATA AND METHODS The proposed paper describes a research aimed at starting to fill this gap via a comprehensive large-scale computational analysis of over 20,000 posts on “gender theory” published on Facebook during a decade (2011-2020). Through an articulated research design in the strand of computational communication science which included network analysis, automated content analysis, and time series analysis, the research shed light on the structure and functions of social media in the debate on “gender”. FINDINGS Results showed that the attention to the topic on Facebook peaked during 2015, close to the Family Day (June 2015), but the highest peak came soon thereafter, in September 2015, when the school year began. This is due to the wave of moral panic spread among parents by widely circulated misleading information about “gender theory” course taught at school. Rumors about educational programs introduced by the law “Buona Scuola” promulgated by the left-wing government led by Matteo Renzi, talked about perverted and even pedophilic courses aimed at creating gender undifferentiation, sexualizing children, and even teaching masturbation. By using gender theory to launch a political attack to the left-wing government, the episode well exemplifies how social media communication reinforced the political function of gender theory as a “symbolic glue” (Kováts & Põim, 2015) capable of joint different actors together (Garbagnoli, 2016). A third peak of attention was found in October 2016, when Pope Francis talked against gender theory. Two other prominent events for right-wingers and religious organizations, namely the World Congress of Family held in Verona in 2019, and the Bibbiano’s scandal about a corrupted social care system involving abuses on children, didn’t significantly impact the discourse on the topic, also signaling a change in the discursive strategy online. The network analysis clearly revealed a polarized social network structure characterized by two main factions – one supporting LGBTQI+ people and the other supporting the anti-gender movement – relying on different sets of information resources. More specifically, political accounts were among the main actors involved in the debate, with an overwhelming number of posts from right-wing populist parties and politicians. Despite some left-wing politicians took a stance on the topic, the issue on social media, on the left-wing side, was apparently left to the activity of individual politicians, addressing the topic from their personal pages. The time series analysis, moreover, showed that left-wingers focused their attention on the issue just when the general public attention was high, while right-wingers and religious accounts kept publishing content on the topic at a regular rate over years. If the presence of right-wing politics was expected, it was more surprising to find that social media accounts with a marked religious identity (such as, to make a few examples, “IN FAVORE DEI FRANCESCANI DELL’IMMACOLATA”, “Risposta Cristiana”, “APOSTOLI MARIANI degli ULTIMI TEMPI”, “In Cammino con Santa Chiara e San Francesco”) were the most productive in terms of posts and those that reached the highest engagement, surpassing right-wing populist parties and politicians, which are well known for the high level of engagement they usually attain on social media. A social media ecosystem of a myriad of religious pages and groups were found, including the most conservative and traditionalist, but an uncontested leader in the communication on the subject was also the mainstream, popular Catholic conservative radio Radio Maria, which reaches millions of faithful offline and also online, considering that its Italian Facebook page is followed by over 1,700,000 Facebook users. The time series analysis showed a dependency of the social media agenda on offline events (like the Family Day) and news media coverage, consistently preceding streams of discussion on Facebook. However, the analysis also showed that social media was used to transpose traditional activism practice online, for instance by sharing petitions (often published on the ultra-conservative catholic platform CitizenGO), both on official pages of large anti-gender organizations and on smaller groups. Sharing petitions does not imply any sophisticated use of social media, and the research also investigated the use of more digital-savvy strategies, in particular focusing on coordinated link sharing behavior (Giglietto, Righetti et al., 2020), which is the near-simultaneous sharing of same links on a network of pages or groups to boost the popularity and reach of specific content. The analysis discovered networks that spread anti-gender content and were already known for being linked to low-quality and black-listed news sources, often responsible for having shared at least some fake news (Giglietto et al., 2021). Besides these economically motivated networks, the analysis discovered a few coordinated networks composed of religious accounts. This is the case, for instance, of “Il Cavaliere Cattolico” and “Maria Rosa Mistica e Madre della Chiesa”, which shared an article, just to make an example, published by the blog “No al Satanismo” according to which “the Church of Satan promotes the gender dictatorship”. The use of these strategies shed new light on social media communication practice of religious conservative groups, opening a field that requires extensive specific research. Several cases of “copy-paste” messages spreading anti-gender content were also found, linked to pages and groups of local communities, suggesting the role of local networks to reach them with anti-gender content. Misinformation was the last dimension taken into consideration in this research. Misinformation is detrimental for minorities, and continuously appeared during the analyses, for instance in the news media sources shared by coordinated networks. It was also the focus of a more specific analysis, which found hundreds of posts (2.02% of the corpus) establishing a link between gender theory and pedophilia, an association frequently used to discredit LGBTQI+ organizations and people and to spread panic among parents. To conclude this brief overview, the research broke new ground by introducing a computational communication science approach and large-scale dataset analysis to a field already rich of valuable contributions in the strand of political science and gender study. It is also a first step toward a research program aimed at a large-scale transnational analysis of religious-conservative discourses on gender circulated on social media. REFERENCE (PARTIAL) Bellè, E., & Poggio, B. (2018). New Faces of Populism: The Italian “Anti-Gender” mobilization. In Populism on the loose. Garbagnoli, S. (2016). Against the Heresy of Immanence: Vatican’s ‘Gender’ as a New Rhetorical Device Against the Denaturalization of the Sexual Order. Religion and Gender, 6(2). Giglietto, F., Righetti, N., Rossi, L., & Marino, G. (2020). It takes a village to manipulate the media: Coordinated link sharing behavior during 2018 and 2019 Italian elections. Information, Communication & Society. Giglietto, F., Marino, G., Terenzi, M., Righetti, N., Rossi, L. (2021). Coordinated Hateful Disinformation on Italian Politics and Social Issues, since 2017. Habermas, J. (2008). Notes on post?secular society. New perspectives quarterly, 25(4). Harsin, J. (2018). Post-truth populism: The French anti-gender theory movement and cross-cultural similarities. Communication Culture & Critique, 11(1). Hunter, J. D. (1991). Culture Wars: The Struggle to Define America. Kováts, E., & Põim, M. (2015). Gender As Symbolic Glue. The Position and Role of Conservative and Far Right Parties in the Anti-Gender Mobilizations in Europe Kováts Maari Põim. Lavizzari, A., and Prearo, M. (2019). "The anti-gender movement in Italy: Catholic participation between electoral and protest politics." European Societies 21(3). Ottaviano, C. (2017). An attack called defence: The communication strategy of ‘gender opponents’ in Italy. Research on Education and Media, 9(2). Paternotte, D., & Kuhar, R. (2017). The anti-gender movement in comparative perspective. Anti-Gender Campaigns in Europe. Mobilizing against Equality, 253-276. Paternotte, D., & Kuhar, R. (2018). Disentangling and Locating the “Global Right”: Anti-Gender Campaigns in Europe. 6(3). Prearo, M. (2020). L’ipotesi neocattolica: Politologia dei movimenti anti-gender. Mimesis. Righetti, N. (2016). Watching over the Sacred Boundaries of the Family. Study on the Standing Sentinels and Cultural Resistance to LGBT Rights. Ita
 

Panel 6.3 System change, not climate change! Investigating new ecologist movements (I)


In the last two years, we witnessed the re-emergence of a global environmental movement characterized by the wide participation of young people aiming to face the climate emergency. With the rise of Friday for Future (FFF) and Extincion Rebellion (XR) environmentalism has become again pivotal in social conflict all over the world. Both these movements call for a reduction of emissions in a framework based on climate justice, by posing the strong nexus between ecological and the social issues at the core of their struggle and broadening the spectrum of alliances and claims. Even, the Covid-19 emergence has been framed by these movements as the result of the ecological crisis by giving them new arguments and the opportunities to reveal the strong link between sanitarian, ecological and social problems.
In order to deeply analyse this wide phenomenon, this panel accepts papers investigating:
- common features and differences between XR and FFF at both italian and international level
- the evolution of the current ecologist movements during these years in terms of alliances, frames, strategies and in the relationship with the institution and with the economic actors
- the elements of continuity and those of rupture between the current and the past ecologist movements
- the relationship between these wide and transnational ecologist movements and the local environmental conflict (as LULU movements)
- the relationship between ecologist movements and feminist, anti-racist and workers struggles, by taking into account the attempt of ecologist actors to present environment issue as a social issue - as emerges by the climate justice concept and claim
- the connection between ecologist movements and the right to the city ones, by considering the nexus between the gentrification, intensive turism, overbuilding, urban traffic, absence of green areas and the claim for a wide and healthy access to the city
- the relationship between ecologist movements, the rural movements and consumerist groups in relation, on one hand, with the issue of production and distribution of food, and, on the other hand, with the labour conditions of farm workers
- the relationship between the pandemia and ecologist movements: how these movements have reframed their struggle in Covid-19 pandemia? What kind of practices and claims have they developed and proposed to face the sanitary emergence?

Chairs: Massimiliano Andretta, Paola Imperatore

Discussants: Massimiliano Andretta

Between materialist and post-materialist approach: investigating the ecologist archipelago 30 years later
Paola Imperatore, Massimiliano Andretta
Abstract
This paper aims at exploring the current Italian ecologist archipelago by focusing in particular on the way this movement takes material and post-materialist perspectives. The spread all over the world of the ecologist movements during the ’70s was one of the phenomena that conducted scholars to deeply questioning social movements literature, by opening the road to the new social movements approach. The struggle for the defence of environment led to analysing the social conflict field with new interpretative keys. The pivotal changes were related to the main subject and the type of issue at the core of the modern conflict. For several scholars, in fact, the class as subject of grassroots mobilization had been replaced by a plurality of actors with high cultural capital that identify themselves as part of a category in term of gender, race, generation and others and that engage protest to improve their quality of life rather than for their material conditions. In this sense, the feminist, pacifist or ecologist movements have been framed as struggle for post-materialist values, as Inglehart's successful publication – The Silent Revolution (1971) - highlights. This cleavage/perspective shaped the social movement research for decades, by conducting several scholars to investigate ecologist movements as post-materialist oriented and by considering its activists as wealthy people, with high political, social, economic and cultural capital. This field of study proliferated, by developing systematic analysis on ecologist movements at both transnational and national levels. By focusing on the Italian contest, the most complete and exhaustive work on the ecological movement was done by Mario Diani with his publication Isole nell’arcipelago: il movimento ecologista in Italia that in 1988 described Italian environmentalism as a plural and fragmented cosmos in which different identities coexist. Some decades before, some scholars (Diani and Forno 2003, Diani and della Porta 2004) have returned to the issue, observing, on one hand, an institutionalisation of environmentalism and, on the other hand, its reorganisation at the local level, with a more frequent use of protest. The new materialist approach opened by the environmental movements within the Global Justice Movement mobilization (della Porta, Andretta et al. 2006) has led some scholars to start questioning the post-materialist dimension of ecologist movements, while, in the last years, the explosion of ecologist movements at global level has forced scholars to reopen the debate. Some of the claim at the core of new cycle of contentions recite “we are the nature that rebels” or “system change not climate change”, by putting the focus on the nexus between ecological and material conditions. At the same time, the traditional associations tend to frame their mission with the framework of scientific environmentalism, by focusing not on the political dimension of their struggle but on the technical validity of their claims. With this paper, by drawing on a mixed qualitative/quantitative methodology, we aim to investigate the Italian environmental archipelago 30 years later, by pointing out the element of connection and those of rupture with past movements and to analyse the complex dialectic between post-materialist and materialist. On one hand we use the Protest Event Analysis (PEA) to trace the main trends in terms of institutionalization/radicalization, territorialisation, alliance structure and other aspects of the environmental protest, while, on the other hand, we explore the issue through the frame analysis approach (della Porta and Diani 2006) based mainly on in-depth interviews and the analysis of documents drafted by the social movement actors.
(Water) Bottles and (Street) Barricades: the Politicization of Lifestyle-Centred Action in Youth Climate Strike Participation
Niccolò Bertuzzi, Lorenzo Zamponi, Anja Corinne Baukloh, Daniela Chironi, Donatella Della Porta, Martin Portos
Abstract
How political is lifestyle activism, compared to claim-based forms of action, in addressing the climate crisis? What are its determinants and to what extent do they differ from the determinants of other forms of action? Does the centrality of lifestyle changes for young participants translate into a disaffection towards more traditional forms of action? The article analyses the generational dimension of environmentalist mobilizations for climate justice. Specifically, we explore the forms of actions adopted by participants in two Fridays For Future (FFF) strikes, with a focus on young people’s repertoires and lifestyle politics. We draw on protest survey data covering the FFF demonstrations held in March and September 2019 in 15 European countries. Starting from a striking generational difference regarding the centrality given to individual lifestyle changes in addressing the climate emergency, we investigate whether this translates into significant generational differences in the choice of repertoire of action. Challenging the vision of young people as “disaffected citizens”, we note young activists do not participate less in political forms of action than older cohorts. Furthermore, a process of politicization is undergoing which might lead to increased commitment in both lifestyle and political forms of participation.
Against Climate Consensus. Thinking through the Politics and Strategies of Grassroots Climate Action with Social Movements in Malmö and Sweden
Salvatore Paolo De Rosa
Abstract
Sweden is hailed for being at the forefront of climate politics among developed countries. Indeed, it has some of the most ambitious emissions reduction objectives in Europe and it boosts specific cities, like Malmö, as global leaders in sustainability transitions. However, several contradictions lie under the shiny surface. Some of these comprise the disconnect between ambitions and real reductions; the methods of emissions accounting; the deployment of “green fixes” and of controversial “green solutions”; the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure; and finally the persistence of (green) colonialism against the indigenous Sami population linked to renewable energy projects and to forestry management for biomass. Such contradictions, besides showing inherent shortcomings within Sweden climate governance, also reflect a lack of engagement with present and future weather extremes exacerbated by global warming, including a lack of considerations for justice and equity in adaptation and mitigation. Facing this state of affair, Swedish social and climate movements increasingly challenge internal and external consensual representations of Sweden as climate leader. By deploying a variety of strategies and tactics, they aim to open up physical and symbolic spaces of contestation against the consensual regime of Sweden’s techno-managerial approaches to the climate crisis, thus offering important lessons and insights for climate justice movements, especially those mobilizing in the Global North. In this article, I aim to present and analyze the strategies and politics deployed by Swedish grassroots climate activists, particularly in the context of Malmö, in order to think with them what are the constraints and possibilities for (re)politicizing the multiple socioecological relationships and injustices intersecting the climate crisis. By engaging recent theoretical debates in political ecology, climate justice and transformative adaptation, I look empirically at the ways in which three social movements – Extinction Rebellion Skåne, Fossilgasfallan and Kontrapunkt – are addressing issues of mitigation, adaptation, justice and democracy. The task I pursue is a comparison between different activists’ practices and discourses to assess, in conversation with theory, their potential openings towards genuinely political spaces vis a vis the consensus surrounding municipal and national climate governance. In particular, I ask how is the climate rendered political by climate activists and to what degree do they challenge the socioecological dominant order? By answering these questions, I devote analytical attention to those expressions of bottom-up organizing that contest the consensual politics of techno-managerial solutions, produce counterhegemonic interventions and perform potentially transformative political openings.
 

Panel 6.3 System change, not climate change! Investigating new ecologist movements (II)


In the last two years, we witnessed the re-emergence of a global environmental movement characterized by the wide participation of young people aiming to face the climate emergency. With the rise of Friday for Future (FFF) and Extincion Rebellion (XR) environmentalism has become again pivotal in social conflict all over the world. Both these movements call for a reduction of emissions in a framework based on climate justice, by posing the strong nexus between ecological and the social issues at the core of their struggle and broadening the spectrum of alliances and claims. Even, the Covid-19 emergence has been framed by these movements as the result of the ecological crisis by giving them new arguments and the opportunities to reveal the strong link between sanitarian, ecological and social problems.
In order to deeply analyse this wide phenomenon, this panel accepts papers investigating:
- common features and differences between XR and FFF at both italian and international level
- the evolution of the current ecologist movements during these years in terms of alliances, frames, strategies and in the relationship with the institution and with the economic actors
- the elements of continuity and those of rupture between the current and the past ecologist movements
- the relationship between these wide and transnational ecologist movements and the local environmental conflict (as LULU movements)
- the relationship between ecologist movements and feminist, anti-racist and workers struggles, by taking into account the attempt of ecologist actors to present environment issue as a social issue - as emerges by the climate justice concept and claim
- the connection between ecologist movements and the right to the city ones, by considering the nexus between the gentrification, intensive turism, overbuilding, urban traffic, absence of green areas and the claim for a wide and healthy access to the city
- the relationship between ecologist movements, the rural movements and consumerist groups in relation, on one hand, with the issue of production and distribution of food, and, on the other hand, with the labour conditions of farm workers
- the relationship between the pandemia and ecologist movements: how these movements have reframed their struggle in Covid-19 pandemia? What kind of practices and claims have they developed and proposed to face the sanitary emergence?

Chairs: Massimiliano Andretta, Paola Imperatore

Discussants: Paola Imperatore

The participation of indigenous peoples and local communities in the Convention on Biological Diversity
Louisa Parks, Elsa Tsioumani
Abstract
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is considered one of the more promising sites of global environmental governance as far as the inclusion of the voices of indigenous peoples and local communities, as well as the recognition of their importance in environmental protection, is concerned. This paper discusses how the CBD has evolved over time in terms of the measures and discursive spaces it allows for these groups, which speaks to how local activists may be able to participate in and ultimately shape global decisions making in environmental governance. We draw on legal and political analyses of the CBD and its decisions to identify the growing (but limited) spaces accorded to these local voices. Specifically, we first introduce the CBD and participation from a legal point of view, then build on a comprehensive frame analysis of the idea of the participation of indigenous peoples and local communities and the meanings attributed to it in all of the decisions of the CBD. On that basis, we argue that concrete opportunities for indigenous peoples and local communities to engage in the decision-making processes and implementation of the CBD are provided through calls for direct inputs from these groups without any role for national state bodies on the one hand, and in the emphasis of their role as crucial to carrying out the decisions of the CBD, on the other. These small but potentially practical spaces speak to the idea of better governance, where a sense of participation and ownership in decision-making has been argued to translate into ownership and commitment to implementation (Backstrand and Lovbrand). We then discuss to what extent these opportunities translate into actual opportunities for participation by indigenous peoples and local communities by tracing claims made in the Local Biodiversity Outlook as they work through working groups, COPs and into final decisions.
From social to environmental justice : the politics of anti-mining movements in Peru (1992-2020)
Kyra Grieco
Abstract
From social to environmental justice : the politics of anti-mining movements in Peru (1992-2020) Kyra Grieco Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sociétés Solidarités Territoires (LISST) Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) Since the early 2000s, Peruvian social movements have successfully politicised the impacts of large-scale mining – especially on water reserves- by articulating international environmentalist and indigenous rights movements with local and national struggles for social justice. In post-conflict and post-dictatorship Peru, where left-wing politics are readily accused of terrorism, anti-mining struggles have in fact permitted the convergence of different actors and towards a new, common, and less politically stigmatised agenda. The creation of multi-scalar alliances and the emergence of a new generation of militants, well versed in ecological and indigenous rights, has facilitated the shift from social to environmental justice claims. Under overarching and inclusive slogans such as “No to gold, yes to water” or “Water is life”, historical political rivalries persist and social inequalities take on new forms. Based on a year of ethnographic fieldwork with local actors mobilised against large-scale mining in the northern Peruvian Andes, this paper focuses on the shift from social to environmental justice claims in Peruvian social movements, and its effects on long-lasting social inequalities (class, ethnicity, gender) amongst participants. In order to do so, I will start by outlining the main elements of continuity and rupture between 21st century ‘ecological’ mobilizations and movements for social justice from the second half of the 20th century. I will then show how former political and social differences have survived (and reconfigured) in the process. In conclusion, I will come to some perverse effects of “translating” local claims in to international environmentalist ad indigenous rights discourses, and the way in which these can be instrumentalised in order to maintain the status quo. Bibliography Arce, Moisés, « The Repoliticization of Collective Action After Neoliberalism in Peru », Latin American Politics and Society 50, no 3 (2008): 37?62; Bebbington, Anthony « Social Movements and the Politicization of Chronic Poverty », Development and Change 38, no 5 (2007): 793?818. Boelens, Rutgerd, Leontien Cremers, and Margreet Zwarteveen, Justicia Hídrica. Acumulación de Agua, Conflictos y Acción Social, 2011, Lima, Institute de Estudios Peruanos Bottaro, Lorena, Alex Latta and Marian Sola, « La politización del agua en los conflictos por la megaminería: Discursos y resistencias en Chile y Argentina », European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies Revista Europea de Estudios Latinoamericanos y del Caribe 0, no 97 (2014): 97?115; Bos, Vincent and Kyra Grieco « L’eau?: ressource naturelle, ressource politique? Reconstruction de la ressource hydrique en contexte d’opposition au secteur minier dans le nord du Pérou », Caravelle. Cahiers du monde hispanique et luso-brésilien, 2018, p. 59-78. Grieco, Kyra and Carmen Salazar-Soler, « Les enjeux techniques et politiques dans la gestion et le contrôle de l’eau?: le cas du projet Minas Conga au nord du Pérou », Autrepart 65, no 2 (2013): 151?68.
Antimilitarism and environmentalism: a comparative analysis of two Sicilian protest campaigns.
Giuliana Sorci, Federica Frazzetta
Abstract
In academia, much attention has been given to no war and pacifist movements, but less attention has been given to anti-militarist movements. The latter can be conceived also as LULU (Locally Unwanted Land Use) movements, because they deny the exchange value of the territory to claim its "use value" to favour the use of the territory for social and environmental justice purposes. In LULU protest campaigns, often started as NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) but becoming NOPE (Not On Planet Earth), experiment a scale shift towards a trans-territorial dimension and a process of changing frames. In this article we compare two Sicilian anti-militarist mobilizations, the no MUOS movement in Niscemi and the Coordinamento per la smilitarizzazione di Punta Izzo in Augusta, that for several years have been able to bring out all the existing tensions between the management of the territory by the Italian and foreign military forces and the inhabitants of those areas. Considering their similarities and differences, we propose a frame analysis of these two mobilizations, to show how antimilitarism declined from a LULU perspective, is the bearer of issues related to the environment, the protection of the territory and a more environmentally conscious use of the territory. From a methodological point of view, we will use semi-structured qualitative interviews, participant observation of protest events, analysis of documents, blogs and social networks produced by activists.
“The Guardians of the Rivers”: reframing identity in ethnically divided Bosnia and Herzegovina
Aida Kapetanovic
Abstract
Post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina is a society divided along ethnic lines experiencing a never-ending process of transition to democracy. In such context civil society remained weak and NGO-driven, giving little space for local, grass-root environmental activism. Nevertheless, today Bosnia and Herzegovina has come to play a leading role in a regional campaign in defense of rivers threatened by hydro-power plants projects. Starting from disconnected local initiatives in small rural villages, the struggle developed into a national campaign organized in the “Coalition for the Protection of the Rivers of Bosnia and Herzegovina”, that coordinates local NGOs and individuals across the country. Defining the rivers and the ecosystems depending on them as a common good, the Coalition is defending the “right for water” against the interests of private investors and political ethno-nationalist leaders. Moreover, by re-framing the attachment to the territory through an ecological perspective and building networks that cross the country’s ethnicized geography, the Coalition is laying the grounds for a redefinition of the community and of citizenship alternative to the ethno-national one. Drawing from literature on environmental and LULU movements, human geography and social movements in divided societies, the aim of the research is to investigate how the Coalition is framing a local environmental conflict in relation to the global climate justice movement, and how it enables the emergence of an environmentalist and pluralist collective identity that can overcome ethnic divisions. The research will rely on frame analysis of data retrieved through online research, in-depth interviews and ethnographic fieldwork.
 

Panel 6.4 Political participation, discourses and identities (I)


2020 has been a complex year for European social and political movements. The measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 included periodical lockdowns, social distancing as well as severe limitations to mobility, meetings and collective initiatives. Additionally, European governments asked their citizens to contribute to the common effort of tackling with the crisis induced by the virus – which created a difficult political climate for criticisms and protests.
Many and ambivalent have been the consequences and effects in terms of political participation and social movements. This panel seeks to engage the standing group Political Participation and Social Movements in a collective debate over the changes that occurred last year.
• Social movements. 2020 challenged grassroots social movements to explore alternative forms of engagement and participation. In many cities, collective actors organized mutual aid initiatives to support those in need – in this sense, instead of decreasing, participation actually increased, as well as networking practices revolving around the politics of care. In some cases, street protests, events and initiatives were re-designed to meet the necessity of self and collective care. In other cases, protests raised in relation to the Covid-related restrictions: in many cities, rallies took place to protest against the compulsory wearing of masks, and networked campaigns developed to spread counter-knowledge against what was perceived as incorrect information about the virus. Conspiracy theories about the vaccines also gained space, in some cases in environmental movements.
• Political ideas and imaginaries – what people stand for. Broadly speaking, 2020 has been an important moment for rediscussing political priorities of social movements. “Care”, “inequalities”, even “class” emerged as foci of attention. In this direction, research is needed to explore how political priorities have changed, and whether this will be a permanent change.
• Political participation. During 2020, digital platform offered the chance to discuss politics and maintain a connection between each other. On the one side, then, we may ask whether digital political participation actually increased, during the pandemics – in the absence of other opportunity of participation – or, on the contrary decreased – and, more broadly, how it has changed. On the other hand, the increased necessity of digital infrastructure also contributed to relaunch the political discussion over technologies, their use, their being non-neutral, as well as the nature of digital networking.
• Political role of emotions. In relation to the challenges of the containment of the virus, emotions gained an important role in public debates. Usually private issues, fears, anxiety, and hopes for the future were reframed as politically relevant.

Chairs: Federica Frazzetta, Gianni Piazza, Giuliana Sorci

Discussants: Federica Frazzetta

Protests in Malta in the Covid Era
Michael Briguglio
Abstract
Protests in Malta in the Covid Era Dr Michael Briguglio This research presents and discusses physical protests that took place in Malta during 2020 and 2021 and which gained media coverage in Malta’s main independent newspapers. The paper will analyse the issues, organisations, coalitions, venues and type of protests in question. This will provide comparative analysis during the year through discourse/frame analysis. The study will look at the groups and organisations that make up the collective actions in question; the events that form the action repertoire; and the ideas that guide the protests. In turn, the study will look into the networks and the broader context in which movements are protesting, which in this case concerns the specific characteristics of movement and political activism in Malta as a small EU member state. KEYWORDS: Protest, New Social Movements, Malta, Civil Society, Activism
So close yet so far: frames and mobilisation strategies of the Italian far-right
Micaela Musacchio Strigone
Abstract
The electoral success that populist radical right parties achieved in Europe – and beyond – has sparked the attention of scholars that investigated causes and consequence of this phenomenon. Along the electoral success of populist radical right parties, also an increased mobilisation in the streets of populist extreme-right movements took place. The activities of far-right parties and those of far-right movements have been usually investigated separately: the former have been investigated by party scholars and the latter have been investigated by social movements scholars. In this paper, instead, I focus on both actors simultaneously to investigate how similar their frames are, when they are more likely to mobilise together in the streets, and around which issues. Through an extensive Political Claim Analysis of the instances of claim-making of Lega and CasaPound Italia for the period 2009-2019, this paper analyses their frames and mobilising strategies. The analysis of a social movement organisation and a political party in the Italian context assesses how their frames and tactics differ and when and how they are more likely to mobilise together. This paper shows how both actors, albeit they are part of the far-right, adopt different collective action frames, even when they mobilise together. By analysing how Lega and CasaPound frame the two main issues of interest for the far-right – migration and law-and-order – the differences and changes over time emerge. Lega is more likely to adopt a cultural argument, focusing on the threat posed to the national homogeneity by immigrants. While, CasaPound tends to support an economic argument, focusing on the economic resources being diverted from Italians to immigrants. This difference is explained by the different ideological tenets of the two actors, but also the different audience to which their messages are directed. The paper examines similarities and differences in frames and actions of two of the main actors of the Italian populist far-right and by doing so shows how the same issues are been dealt with differently. The paper argues that considering populist right-wing parties and movements as homogenous entities carries the risk of overlooking the specificity of their messages, their adaptability to changing external conditions, and internal ideological and strategic choices.
Social protest, Parties and the changing Manifestations of Populism
Juan Roch Gonzalez
Abstract
There seems to be a consensus in populism studies around the ideational approach although there are still discrepancies on the conceptual genus of populism (thin-ideology, discourse, communication style). Notwithstanding this consensus, multiple voices warn about an excess of description (quantifying and comparing populist ideas or discourse) and, more generally, about an analytical deadlock in the field of populism studies. As observed by De Cleen and Glynos (2021), the consistency and comparability of the concept of populist has been achieved, at least in part, by abandoning complex and context-bounded explorations of populist politics. This study aims to be a contribution to remedy this analytical impasse. First, it identifies the central problem in many studies under the ideational approach rubric. This paper argues that populism is generally conceived as a “thing” or “attribute” that can be possessed by political and social actors and endowed with a more or less permanent essence. This explains the way in which populist attitudes are studied as an attribute distributed among voters and a predictor of support for populist parties. The main argument of this paper contends that a more dynamic and interactive analytical framework is necessary to show the contingent and fragile nature of populist discourses and complement the current research agenda in populism studies. To illustrate this approach, I focus on the case of Podemos to scrutinize how the populist discourse varies across time for the same populist actor and to what extent this responds to changing socioeconomic and political contexts. I collect manifestos and campaign speeches of Podemos in Spain between 2013 and 2017. I combine a thick description of the case with a corpus assisted discourse analysis of people-centrism and anti-elitism, the two core elements that allow us to measure change in populist discourses. The study shows that populism mutable nature can be related to two main factors: social protest and actor configuration. I argue that these two dimensions should be explored in their interactions with populist discourse or populist ideas to accurately capture populist politics. Finally, we draw several theoretical implications for future research on populism and adjacent topics.
Coordinated populism: a reconstruction of M5S Directorate’s communication from 2013 to 2019
Federico Pilati, Flavio Piccoli
Abstract
In the last ten years, the term populism has become increasingly widespread: the first authors in this field defined this phenomenon by resorting to the concept of political ideology, thus defining populism as a thin-centred and weak theory (Stanley 2008). However, due to the mutability recorded by populist movements and the diversity of the contexts in which they developed, it has proven difficult to circumscribe the different manifestations of populist movements within a single ideology that, by its nature, requires a high degree of internal coherence (Urbinati 2019). Such considerations have led to the emergence of a new conception of the phenomenon that considers populism as an accentuation of the strategic acting already used in politics, aimed exclusively at achieving and maintaining power (Moffitt 2020). In fact, by not considering this ultimate goal, theorists of ideology have often attributed to populism systemic characteristics that are not its own and instead may reflect the broader contemporary political context in which populist movements have developed (Caiani and Graziano 2019). For example, the presence of a strong leadership, although often present, may also reflect the personalization of politics linked to the emergence of new media and the crisis of intermediate bodies (Bennett 2012). Similarly, the nationalist drift of many populist parties would seem to be a consequence of the loss of power due to globalization rather than a conscious ideological stance in favor of a specific country population (Vittori 2017). Within this strategic conception of populism, empirical research carried out has instead identified other possible regularities that seem to characterize populist movements (Roccato et al. 2019). First, the construction of a strong collective identity turns out to be a prerogative of most populist movements: indeed, those who adhere to these movements recognize themselves as the 'honest' people opposed to the 'corrupt' power-holding elite (Stanley 2008). The people are thus represented as an organic, homogeneous entity, which does not present any form of conflict within itself, conflict that is instead shifted towards an external agent: the elite, the first but not necessarily only enemy of the people (Urbinati 2019). By analysing populist movements in their attempt to build a collective identity, we can in fact say that they are configured as political communities with weak boundaries in entry - one is easily accepted as long as is not an enemy of the 'honest people' and shares hatred towards the elite - and strong boundaries in exit - there is no possibility of public criticism once taken part of the group, otherwise the 'traitor of the people' is immediately condemned and expelled (Aslanidis 2020). Therefore, Aslanidis (2015) proposes to conceive populism as a communicative process that use a specific discourse to frame events. Indeed, populist political discourse, unlike ideologies, does not need a strong internal coherence and does not necessarily refer to values, symbols and practices belonging to a single political culture (Pasquino 2018). Instead, a populist discourse seems to use the cultural toolkit (Swidler 1986) at its disposal by drawing from time-to-time different components of the social and cultural environment in which it is embedded, without being crystallized in a coherent and static ideology. In this sense, populism can thus be traced back to the filter used to frame a political event in which the narrative component of the discourse is used strategically, or adaptively, to constitute a multifaceted and contradictory identity to which everyone can refer while not sharing all of its instances (Aslanidis 2015). In the context of increasing digitization of political communication, several analyses have focused on the peculiar case of M5S: indeed, the movement founded by Beppe Grillo was the first digital native party to gain large-scale public recognition (Ceccarini and Bordignon 2018; Biorcio and Sampugnaro 2019). While the communicative role of the founder Beppe Grillo has been widely discussed in the literature (Manucci and Amsler 2018; Bracciale and Martella 2017), to date little attention has been paid to the relevance of the Directorate in shaping the political identity attributed to M5S (Mosca and Tronconi 2019; Pirro 2018). By analysing all the tweets posted by Di Battista, Di Maio and Fico from the Italian electoral campaign of 2013 until the European election of 2019, we will show how instead the "chameleon-like" and "catch-all" identity of 5 Star Movement has been built over time precisely thanks to the communicative coordination capacity of the Directorate. The presence of a shared communicative leadership has in fact laid the ground for the construction of a collective imaginary capable of intercepting and shaping the different souls of the Movement, without, however, affecting the rhetoric of opposition between people and elite on which the primary identity of populist movements is based. Based on this mechanism, we can in fact compare the strategy of collective identity construction proposed by the M5S to the post-modern conception of individual identity, i.e. a fragmented and situational identity proposal that sacrifices internal coherence in order to increase its ability to adapt to the events it faces (Aslanidis 2020). From this point of view, the M5S offer seems to have taken advantage of its innovative organizational structure: the Directorate has in fact created the conditions to implement a chameleon-like communication strategy, capable of intercepting and persuade citizens belonging to different and opposite ideological backgrounds. References Aslanidis, P. (2015). Is populism an ideology? A refutation and a new perspective. Political studies, Vol. 64, 88-104. Sage publications. Aslanidis, P. (2020). The social psychology of populism. In: Ron, A., & Nadesan, M. Mapping Populism: Approaches and Methods. Routledge. Bennett, W. L. (2012). The personalization of politics: Political identity, social media, and changing patterns of participation. The annals of the American academy of political and social science, 644(1), 20-39. Biorcio, R., & Sampugnaro, R. (2019). Introduction: The Five-star Movement from the street to local and national institutions. Contemporary Italian Politics, 11:1, 5-14, DOI: 10.1080/23248823.2019.1576997 Bracciale, R., & Martella, A. (2017). Define the populist political communication style: the case of Italian political leaders on Twitter. Information, Communication & Society, 20(9), 1310-1329. Caiani, M., & Graziano, P. (2019). Understanding varieties of populism in times of crises. West European Politics, 42(6), 1141-1158. Ceccarini, L., & Bordignon, F. (2018). Towards the 5 star party. Contemporary Italian Politics, 10(4), 346-362. Manucci, L., & Amsler, M. (2018). Where the wind blows: Five Star Movement’s populism, direct democracy and ideological flexibility. Italian Political Science Review/Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica, 48(1), 109-132. Moffitt, B. (2020). The global rise of populism. Stanford University Press. Mosca, L., & Tronconi, F. (2019). Beyond left and right: the eclectic populism of the Five Star Movement. West European Politics, 42(6), 1258-1283. Pasquino G. (2018). The disappearance of political cultures in Italy, South European Society and Politics, 23:1, 133-146. Pirro A. L. P. (2018). The polyvalent populism of the 5 star movement. The Journal of Contemporary European Studies, 26:4, 443-458. Roccato, M., Corbetta, P., Cavazza, N., & Colloca, P. (2019). Assessment of Citizens’ Populist Orientations: Development and Validation of the POPulist ORientation (POPOR) Scale. Social Science Quarterly, 100(6), 2148-2167. Stanley, B. (2008). The thin ideology of populism. Journal of political ideologies, 13(1), 95-110. Swidler, A. (1986). Culture in action: Symbols and strategies. American sociological review, 273-286. Urbinati, N. (2019). Political theory of populism. Annual review of political science, 22: 111-127. Vittori, D. (2017). Podemos and the Five-star Movement: Populist, nationalist or what?. Contemporary Italian Politics, 9(2), 142-161.
 

Panel 6.4 Political participation, discourses and identities (II)


2020 has been a complex year for European social and political movements. The measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 included periodical lockdowns, social distancing as well as severe limitations to mobility, meetings and collective initiatives. Additionally, European governments asked their citizens to contribute to the common effort of tackling with the crisis induced by the virus – which created a difficult political climate for criticisms and protests.
Many and ambivalent have been the consequences and effects in terms of political participation and social movements. This panel seeks to engage the standing group Political Participation and Social Movements in a collective debate over the changes that occurred last year.
• Social movements. 2020 challenged grassroots social movements to explore alternative forms of engagement and participation. In many cities, collective actors organized mutual aid initiatives to support those in need – in this sense, instead of decreasing, participation actually increased, as well as networking practices revolving around the politics of care. In some cases, street protests, events and initiatives were re-designed to meet the necessity of self and collective care. In other cases, protests raised in relation to the Covid-related restrictions: in many cities, rallies took place to protest against the compulsory wearing of masks, and networked campaigns developed to spread counter-knowledge against what was perceived as incorrect information about the virus. Conspiracy theories about the vaccines also gained space, in some cases in environmental movements.
• Political ideas and imaginaries – what people stand for. Broadly speaking, 2020 has been an important moment for rediscussing political priorities of social movements. “Care”, “inequalities”, even “class” emerged as foci of attention. In this direction, research is needed to explore how political priorities have changed, and whether this will be a permanent change.
• Political participation. During 2020, digital platform offered the chance to discuss politics and maintain a connection between each other. On the one side, then, we may ask whether digital political participation actually increased, during the pandemics – in the absence of other opportunity of participation – or, on the contrary decreased – and, more broadly, how it has changed. On the other hand, the increased necessity of digital infrastructure also contributed to relaunch the political discussion over technologies, their use, their being non-neutral, as well as the nature of digital networking.
• Political role of emotions. In relation to the challenges of the containment of the virus, emotions gained an important role in public debates. Usually private issues, fears, anxiety, and hopes for the future were reframed as politically relevant.

Chairs: Federica Frazzetta, Gianni Piazza, Giuliana Sorci

Discussants: Giuliana Sorci

The convergence of Northwestern and Southern Europe towards radical-right populism during the “long crisis-decade” (2008-2019)
Mirko Crulli, Lorenzo Viviani
Abstract
This paper questions the thesis that there has been a structural difference in the evolution of Northwestern Europe (NWE) and Southern Europe (SE) party systems following the Great Recession of 2008. According to an influential stream of literature, transformations of politics after the Recession and the subsequent euro and migrant crises have been led by populist radical right challenger (PRRC) parties in NWE and by populist radical left challenger (PRLC) parties in SE. Furthermore, according to the same literature, in SE there would be historical and cultural hindrances to the populist Right. Against this backdrop, we claim that, considering the whole “long crisis-decade” (2008-2019), instead of the immediate post-2008, we need to highlight the convergence, and not the divergence, between the two European regions. Indeed, although it is true that the radical Left has grown strongly in SE, the even more significant outcome of the crises has been to push PRRC parties to a similar (high) consensus in SE and NWE. The analysis supporting this thesis focuses on five NWE and four SE countries. First, we explore electoral results, stressing that: the more recent elections have witnessed the surge of PRRC and the setback of PRLC parties in SE; over the decade, PRRC parties have strengthened far more in SE than in NWE; the latter region has reacted to the crises in a heterogeneous way. Secondly, we rely on the European Values Study (EVS) surveys to verify whether, even before the rise of right-wing populism in SE, NWE and SE citizens shared similar orientations on four issues: immigration, European integration, “authoritarianism vs liberal democracy” and “State vs market”. This would mean that, on the demand side of politics, those alleged hindrances to the populist Right in SE had already collapsed. We then examine whether, during the long crisis-decade, there has been an alignment between Northwestern and Southern Europeans on these four issues. Our findings have remarkable implications for grasping the common reasons behind the success of the populist Right in several European political systems.
“The Oktoberfest is populist”: The rhetorical contestation and weaponization of populism in four European parliaments (2010-2020)
Matteo Cesare Mario Casiraghi, Margherita Bordignon
Abstract
Political Science literature has largely discussed the nature of populism and has often analysed the rhetorical manifestations of populist discourses, namely how populist politicians “speak politics”. However, scant attention has been devoted to how populist and non-populist politicians characterize populism. In this article, we investigate a corpus (N = 4.835) of parliamentary debates in Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom, employing qualitative text-analysis techniques, to assess why politicians define populism in different ways and under what conditions they rhetorically weaponize the term to attack their colleagues. Our results show that politicians describe populism in comparable terms, though important differences at the national level influence the topics they discuss, the adjectives they associate with the term, and the targets of their rhetorical criticisms. In addition, divergences among political parties’ positions on crucial issues, such as left-right ideologies, multiculturalism, neoliberalism, and corruption, also shape the way in which politicians rhetorically describe and employ populism in the parliamentary arena. Discussing these findings, our study offers engaging implications for the literature on populism, parliamentary affairs, party politics, and text-analysis.
Myths and emotion in populist narrative
Cristiano Gianolla
Abstract
Populism is successful for being able to manage the relationship of emotions of those who belong to "the people", which is positively articulated in the ingroup while the relationship with outgroups is characterised by negative emotions. Connecting the two is there a narrative which, in return is based on frames that are articulated in the populist imaginary or political myth. This paper aims to explore this argument.
 

Panel 6.5 POLITICAL PARTICIPATION, EPISTEMIC AUTHORITIES AND NEW SOCIAL IMAGES OF POLITICAL POWER.


POLITICAL PARTICIPATION, EPISTEMIC AUTHORITIES AND NEW SOCIAL IMAGES OF POLITICAL POWER.

Recent debates on conspiracy theories, anti-vaccination campaigns, protests against measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 and, more broadly, on populism and science, pointed out the complex relationship between authority (in its many forms) and political participation (in its many forms).
In terms of epistemic authority, for example, studies explored what has been called “epistemological populism” (Saurette and Gunster 2011), which includes the criticisms against traditional epistemic authorities and the praise of experiential wisdom and common sense. Also, research introduced concepts such as ‘pseudo-science’ and ‘troll-science’ (Eslen-Ziya 2020), or ‘counterscience’ (Ylä-Anttila 2018) to point out how traditional epistemic authorities are contested by advocating alternative knowledge authorities and scientific theories and facts. Epistemic authority is indeed a space of contestation.
With the rise of populist movements, not only have political cultures changed in many international political contexts, but also the social dynamics of legitimation and delegitimization of power in public space. In this sense, as Castoriadis (1975) and Taylor (2004) have shown, the political and social imaginaries, which determine the social processes of institutionalization, have also undergone a deep change. The phenomenon of cultural backlash due to right-wing populist movements (Norris and Inglehart, 2019), has re-proposed the problem of the impact of more recent forms of modernization on local political cultures. We are witnessing a reconfiguration of social representations of power, characterized by strong polarizations, redefinitions of identities, and highly simplified conceptions of popular sovereignty.
In this panel, we seek to unpack the many forms in which the concept of authority is referred to in social movements and political participation, and to explore the connections between different conceptions of authority and political imaginaries with different forms of political participation.
We welcome empirical, theoretical and comparative papers

Chairs: Manuel Anselmi, Alberta Giorgi

Discussants: Alberta Giorgi

Discouraging Political Participation, Encouraging Subservience: Towards Anti-democratic Image of Political Power in Covid-driven Poland
Joanna Rak
Abstract
The paper examines the modes of discouraging Poles from political participation and encouraging them to political subservience during the pandemic. It addresses the research question: how did the ruling party Law and Justice (Prawo i Sprawiedliwo??, hereafter ‘PiS’) justify and account for the illegal implementation of COVID-19 pandemic-derived restrictions of political participation? How did they convince the Polish to obedience? The study applies the source analysis method, which draws upon the qualitative content analysis of news concerning the restrictions. The investigation is embedded in the delegitimization theory by Daniel Bar-Tal modified by Chiara Volpato’s research group. The principal argument is that the limitation of freedom of assembly provided the state-owned broadcasters (TVP1, TVP2, TVP Info) with the new means of delegitimizing the ruling party's opponents. The dominant strategy, outcasting, consisted in labeling the political opponents as madmen, psychopaths, and confirmed criminals. By showing the protest participants as notorious and multiple offenders, the partisan media considerably diminished their credibility and deprived them of legitimacy for their political roles. This research contributes to European studies on the partisan media-supported anti-democratic turn and democratic erosion, which is understood as the state-led weakening or elimination of the political institutions sustaining an existing democracy. The study uncovers the creations of political enemies that served to legitimize the drift towards centralized government and limitations of civil rights and freedoms. The contribution consists in identifying and explaining the strategies of delegitimization used by the government in Poland to prevent challengers from making political claims and eliminate them from public discourse. The research draws attention to the discursive strategies that proved efficient to justify and explain an anti-democratic turn. It accounts for how the ruling party took advantage of the partisan media to frame its political opponents, ideas, and activities not compatible with their current interests. The conclusions can be useful in analyzing reinforcing authoritarianism and authoritarian populism in other Central and Eastern European states.
Science, politics and everyday life. Between populism and subpoliticization
Luca Raffini, Elisa Lello, Clemente Penalva
Abstract
The spread of vaccine hesitancy – and more generally the growing critical attitude toward science – are caused by a plurality of political, social and cultural factors. The delegitimization of the “mainstream” political, economic and media actors, find nowadays expression in the growing consensus towards populism, which combines criticism of the political elites with an aversion to the economic and scientific elites, as the latter are considered mostly subordinate to the interests of the former, and as opposed to the interests of the people. The decreasing trust towards institutions goes hand in hand with a crisis of epistemic authority (cfr. the concept of epistemological populism, Saurette and Gunster 2011), apparently converging in a deep crisis of the epistemological and ontological pillars of modernity, the consequences of which also include the crisis of communication, marking the entering in the era of post-truth (Harsin 2018). The “disrupted public sphere” (Bennett and Livingston 2018) is a highly fragmented and individualized public sphere, where appeals to rationality are replaced by appeals to emotions, with the spread of ˜pseudo-science” (Tipaldo 2018), and where the space of the public debate seems to be more and more reduced. The Covid-19 pandemic seems to have exacerbated these dynamics, generating an apparent new cleavage between science and anti-science, which overlaps with that between liberal democracy and populism. We argue that the multiple scenario of crisis (crisis of liberal-democracy, epistemological crisis, communicative crisis) cannot be reduced to dichotomies as liberal democracy vs populism; science vs anti-science; rationality vs emotions. On the one hand, the concept of neo-populism needs to be attentively considered, at least for what concerns how it’s frequently employed to describe new actors and recent developments within contemporary Western democracies. It has been put into evidence how it may be considered quite a normatively charged concept, and as one capable to shift responsibilities for current dramatic political changes from traditional parties towards electors (Schadee, Segatti and Vezzoni 2019). In such cases, populism may function as a discursive strategy aimed both at excluding and delegitimizing potential political oppositions, and to elude traditional political elites’ responsibilities and failings. On the other hand, it seems necessary to critically assess the effective level of pluralism, independence and accurateness of information offered by the mainstream media, at the light of research indicating how people actively look for alternative sources when they perceive marked one-sided approach and scarce reliability on the part of the mainstream media (Quintero Johnson et al. 2011). At last, the coincidence between critics towards vaccines (or critical attitudes towards science in a broader sense) and populism is strictly connected to the idea that they are fuelled by ignorance and inability to understand the scientific method. Nevertheless, this idea, which pertains to old and overpassed models of relationship between science and society, has been replaced by more accurate models, which have recognized the legitimacy of critical citizens as stake-holders and hence attribute value to horizontal discussion and exchange between experts and common citizens (Coniglione 2010). At the opposite end of the spectrum of populism is technocracy, which is at least as hostile to the exercise of criticism and public debate as populism, assuming that the space for discussion, criticism and choice should be reduced in the face of the objectivity of technical choices. But these, it was said, reveal a deep sub-political connotation. By adopting this approach, we finally arrive at rejecting the simplistic contraposition between the responsible (civilised and rational) citizens – who dutifully respect the prescriptions and behaviour prescribed by political and health authorities and act rationally -, and the irresponsible citizens (uncivilised and irrational) who does not comply with them, because influenced by misinformation, and/or because they are selfish. Acting neither as the good – democratic - 'dutiful citizen', represented by the former, nor as the 'bad citizen', represented by the latter, we identify the spread of a 'self-actualising citizenship' asserts (Bennett 2008), whose characteristics are: "weak sense of duty to participate in government; Focus on lifestyle politics: political consumerism, volunteering, social activism; Mistrust of media and politicians - less likely to follow politics in the news; Joins loose networks for social action - communicates through digital media". We are living a complex ri-definition of the relation between science, politics, and everyday life, affecting the relation between individuals and society. At the heart of these dynamics are the processes of subpoliticisation (Beck 1992) and hybridization, the reconfiguration of the public sphere and a wide process of reinvention of politics (Pirni, Raffini 2016). The Vaccine controversy is paradigmatic. It is “ultimately a controversy about what it is to be a modern human, including questions about the responsibility one has to oneself, one’s family and community, and the human community overall, as well as to the earth and its sustainability” (Hausman 2019, p. 3), as well as a concern about the “government intrusion on the bodies of citizens” (ivi, p. 52). Goal of the paper is to draft a research agenda on the change affecting the relation between Science, politics and everyday life. Between populism and subpoliticization. References Beck U. (1992), Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity, London: Sage. Bennet W.L. (2008), Civic Learning in Changing Democracies. P. Dahlgren, Young citizens and New Media, London-New York: Routledge Bennett W.L., Livingston S. (2018), “Disruptive communication and the decline of democratic institutions”, European Journal of Communication, 33(2) 122–139 Coniglione, F., Ed. (2010), Through the Mirrors of Science. New Challenges for Knowledge-based Societies. Ontos Verlag, Heusenstamm. Harsin J. (2018), "Post-Truth and Critical Communication", Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication. Hausman B. (2019), Anti/Vax: Reframing the Vaccination Controversy, BP: Cornell University Press. Quintero Johnson, J., Sionean, C., Scott, A.M. (2011). Exploring the presentation of news information about the HPV vaccine: a content analysis of a representative sample of US newspaper articles. Health Communication, 26, 6, pp. 491-501. Pirni A. Raffini L. (2016), The rielaboration of the collective sphere. New Paths of Sociality and Groups-formation Among the New Geerations, Partecipazione e Conflitto 9(3) 2016: 799-823. Saurette, P., & Gunster, S. (2011). Ears Wide Shut: Epistemological Populism, Argutainment and Canadian Conservative Talk Radio. Canadian Journal of Political Science, 44(1), 195-218. Schadee, H., Segatti, P. and Vezzoni, C. (2019), L'apocalisse della democrazia italiana: alle origini di due terremoti elettorali, Bologna: Il Mulino. Tipaldo G. (2018), La post-scienza, Bologna: il Mulino.
The Italian vaccine skepticism movement in times of pandemic: Organizational structures and meaning-making practices
Niccolò Bertuzzi, Marco Pedroni, Davide Beraldo
Abstract
The Covid-19 pandemic has given new visibility to anti-vaccination positions and to those who express skepticism towards vaccines and/or contest the vaccine obligation. In the Italian debate, vaccine skepticism as a whole is often referred to as No-Vax, despite positions being actually heterogeneous and some activists strongly refuting the label. Adopting a constructivist approach, we argue that is necessary to take into account the narratives proposed by these social actors, their frames and their self-perceptions as elements through which they define subjective and intersubjective meanings. Within a universe too often represented in a monolithic way, positions are actually variegated: from explicit anti-vaccination (no-vax), to opposition against the obligation (free-vax), to mere vaccine hesitation (ni-vax). Furthermore, it cannot be ignored that most of the so-called No-Vaxs eschews this label, differently from No Tav, No Tap or other movements characterized by a contentious and oppositional standing (that however reject other labels, such as that of NIMBY claiming other frames such as that of NOPE). Based on such premises, the research project aims to analyze the phenomenon of vaccine skepticism in contemporary Italy by integrating different approaches and research methods. As for the approach, framing and labelling theories will be combined, using both perspectives coming from social movement studies (to identify groups/collective identities) and that of individual agency and reflexivity (to analyze personal motivations and experiences). Nevertheless, individual and collective dimensions are increasingly connected in many contemporary social movements, to the point that some authors have spoken of lifestyle politics (Giddens 1991) and lifestyle movements (Haenfler et al. 2012). As for the research methods, we aim at integrating digital research methods with qualitative interviews. In particular, we plan to use digital methods to explore the Italian vaccine skeptics galaxy on Twitter. A heuristic sampling procedure, based on relevant hashtags and snowballing techniques, will allow to identify the main actors and to map the structure of this network, as well as to conduct a semantic analysis in relation to vaccine skepticisms activity during the pandemic. This mapping can also give the opportunity to evaluate overlapping memberships and intersections with other movement areas. Through the interviews we intend to investigate motivations and arguments of vaccine skeptics, integrating existing scientific and common sense explanations focused on the correlation between anti-vaccination positions and low socio-economic backgrounds, with theories of conflict and social change. Finally, starting from an analysis of the frames, we aim to identify a typology of different expressions of vaccine skepticism in the contemporary Italian panorama. The overall objective of the research projects is understanding the organizational structure and meaning-making layer of a central, albeit controversial, form of mobilization. This goal is articulated in a number of research questions: ? What are the main organizational expressions of the anti-vaccination movements in Italy? ? How is the vaccine skeptics galaxy articulated online? ? What are the information channels of this galaxy? ? Through which discourses and practices does the anti-vaccination positions take shape? ? How do anti-vaccination activists perceive their movement and their relation to the political context? ? What role do vaccine skepticism and the anti-vaccination movement play in the Italian political field? What is the relationship with democracy and science? By presenting our research frame and research questions, together with some preliminary findings, we pursue a twofold aim: affirming the need to understand the organizational structures and the meaning-making practices of vaccine skeptics and their role in the debated on Covid-19 pandemics; and collecting feedback from other scholars as to improve our research design and questions.
 

Panel 6.6 Left populism in the 21st century: New assessments and future prospects (I)


While populism has been steadily present at least since the 1960s in political and sociological debates at the international level, the concept has experienced a surge in the Western scholarly and media attention since the turn of the century, while being mostly associated with radical right actors. Today, over a decade into the consequences of the financial crisis of 2008 (and as we face a new multifaceted global crisis related to the covid-19 pandemic), populism in its left-wing manifestations is increasingly at the center of discussion in Europe and North America, given the rise of new empirical cases in recent years, including several electorally successful instances. As the availability of empirical cases grew, so did the number of theoretical and empirical studies on the subject, which today are part of a rich literature investigating their discourse, mobilization strategy and relationship with the radical left . While attempts to combine a populist rhetoric or logic with a left-wing political project occurred throughout the 20th century (and in its second half they were an important part of Latin American politics), only recently has a considerable amount of political actors on the Left fully embraced populism in the Western regions of the world (and beyond).

Over the past decade, left-wing populist actors in Europe and the United States have been characterized by a participatory mobilization strategy, anti-neoliberal and anti-system programmatic platforms, a focus on the long-term crisis of political representation, an overrepresentation among young people and precarious workers, and the call for more inclusionary politics and policies. At the ideological level, they ranged from openly declared socialist positions, such as Bernie Sanders in the US or Syriza in Greece, to more ambiguous cases such as the Five Star Movement in Italy, which never clearly claimed a left-wing ideological core and is characterized by an inclusionary discourse and programme only on certain dimensions. While in electoral terms they have been mostly successful in Southern Europe, where they were able to achieve key policy-making positions first in parliaments and then in the executive, left populist instances have spread across different kinds of political economies and social systems, including Eastern, Anglo-Saxon, Central and Balkan regions of the Continent. The emergence of the phenomenon across various contexts and concurrently to different societal transformations offers the opportunity to investigate more in detail both the social demands that they articulated and represented within the institutions, and the content of the reforms that they promoted once they reached relevant decision-making roles. Both dimensions appear crucial to our overall understanding of populism and party system changes. As we can collect larger evidence on the evolution of left-wing populist actors over time and in their transition from opposition to power, it seems now imperative to extend the scope of scholarly research on left populism and investigate thoroughly also its historical shortcomings and future potentials.

Our objective for the present panel is therefore to stimulate a discussion on all the dimensions of the left populist phenomenon that are still relatively unaddressed in the literature. We encourage in particular paper submissions related to the following spheres:
- left populism in power: how do left-wing populist actors transform after they enter political institutions?
- left populism and policy-making: how do left-wing populist actors affect the policy process and what policies do they propose?
- left populism, social groups and political identities: which social groups do they represent? Which social demands do they articulate? Which kind of political identities do they produce?
- beyond the populist party: what is the relationship that left populist parties establish with trade unions, other left-wing parties (either mainstream or radical), grassroots movements and organizations?

We welcome contributions adopting innovative methodological approaches to the study of populism and a comparative perspective across different regions of the world (e.g. Africa, Asia, Middle East).


References

Caiani, Manuela, and Paolo Graziano. 2019. ‘Understanding Varieties of Populism in Times of Crises’. West European Politics 42(6):1141–58.

Charalambous, Giorgos, and Gregoris Ioannou. 2019. Left Radicalism and Populism in Europe. Abingdon: Routledge.

Custodi, Jacopo. 2020. ‘Nationalism and Populism on the Left: The Case of Podemos’. Nations and Nationalism 1-16.

Damiani, Marco. 2020. Populist Radical Left Parties in Western Europe. Abingdon: Routledge.

Della Porta, Donatella, Joseba Fernández, Hara Kouki, and Lorenzo Mosca. 2017. Movement Parties against Austerity. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Font, Nuria, Paolo Graziano, and Myrto Tsakatika. 2019. ‘Varieties of Inclusionary Populism? SYRIZA, Podemos and the Five Star Movement’. Government and Opposition 1–21.

García Agustín, Oscar. 2020. Left-wing Populism: The Politics of the People. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing Limited.

Gerbaudo, Paolo. 2018. The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy. London: Pluto Press.

Hutter, Swen, Hanspeter Kriesi, and Guillem Vidal. 2018. ‘Old versus New Politics: The Political Spaces in Southern Europe in Times of Crises’. Party Politics 24 (1):10–22.

Katsambekis, Giorgos, and Alexandros Kioupkiolis. 2019. The Populist Radical Left in Europe. Abingdon: Routledge.

Kriesi, Hanspeter, and Takis S. Pappas. 2015. European Populism in the Shadow of the Great Recession. Colchester: ECPR Press.

March, Luke, and Cas Mudde. 2005. ‘What’s Left of the Radical Left? The European Radical Left After 1989: Decline and Mutation’. Comparative European Politics 3(1):23–49.

Mouffe, Chantal. 2018. For a Left Populism. London: Verso.

Mudde, Cas, and Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser. 2013. ‘Exclusionary vs. Inclusionary Populism: Comparing Contemporary Europe and Latin America’. Government and Opposition 48(2):147–74.

Padoan, Enrico. 2020. Anti-Neoliberal Populism in Comparative Perspective. A Latinamericanization of Southern Europe? London: Routledge.

Roberts, Kenneth M. 2019. ‘Bipolar Disorders: Varieties of Capitalism and Populist Out-Flanking on the Left and Right’. Polity 51(4):641–53.

Santana, Andrés, and José Rama. 2018. ‘Electoral Support for Left Wing Populist Parties in Europe: Addressing the Globalization Cleavage’. European Politics and Society 19(5):558–76.

Stavrakakis, Yannis, and Giorgos Katsambekis. 2014. ‘Left-Wing Populism in the European Periphery: The Case of SYRIZA’. Journal of Political Ideologies 19(2):119–42.

Tamames, Jorge. 2020. For the People: Left Populism in Spain and the US. Lawrence and Wishart.

Chairs: Beatrice Carella, Walter Haeusl

Discussants: Paolo Gerbaudo

Populist or popular? Analyzing the political discourse of the Equality Party and its relationship with the Chilean pobladores (urban poor’s) movement (2009-2019)
Cristóbal Sandoval, Nicolas Angelcos
Abstract
Title: Populist or popular? Analyzing the political discourse of the Equality Party and its relationship with the Chilean pobladores (urban poor’s) movement (2009-2019) Abstract: In the framework of the third wave of populism in Latin America, the following article is a case study on the political and discursive characteristics of the Equality Party of Chile and its relationship with the pobladores (urban poor’s) movement, in particular, the Movimiento de Pobladores en Lucha (MPL). Considering what was developed in a previous work, we seek to reflect on the populist political logic, centered on a discursive construction of the common people, as the ultimate source of political legitimacy, and anti-elitist elements observed in the Equality Party discourse. In this way, taking into account the theoretical distinction between the concept "populism" and "popular movements", we will analyze official political speeches, government programs, interviews with militants, campaign material and other documents produced by the party since its formation in 2009 to the present. In this sense, we identify what kind of popular identities and antagonisms are constructed in his discourse. Thus, we propose that the Equality Party corresponds to a radical left-wing populist party, but the discursive construction of the common people centered on the urbana poor, limits its ability to inclusively articulate heterogeneous demands. Finally, we critically reflect on his political ties with other left-wing forces and social movements today in Chile. Key words: Populist radical left, Equality Party, Urban poor’s movement, political discourse, popular identities
SYRIZA back in opposition (2019-2021): Towards a new political direction?
Grigoris Markou
Abstract
SYRIZA’s spectacular rise to power through a radical political proposal and strong a populist discourse has been the field of study of a large number of political scientists in recent years. Alexis Tsipras in opposition and in power expressed a strong inclusionary populist discourse, placing popular classes at a central position and opposing the political and economic establishment of the country and Europe. SYRIZA, during its second term, began to change its physiognomy, abandoning gradually its radicalism and embracing a typed of "political realism" and consensus, while it began to soften its populist intensity and passion. After the end of its rule (2019), it became clear that SYRIZA’s populism had nothing to do with the populist intensity and passion of the previous years. SYRIZA (2019-present) continued to maintain some populist slogans and a kind of anti-elitism (e.g. “the many” against “the establishment”), but to a lesser extent. Furthermore, a huge gap has been created between the party and the popular classes. SYRIZA can’t persuade, mobilize and lead the people against the right-wing government of New Democracy, in a period of intense social discontent with the management of the pandemic and the economy by the Greek government and at a time when popular demands for democracy, justice and labor protection are emerging. In this presentation, I will present the main characteristics of SYRIZA’s political discourse after its defeat in the 2019 national election, attempting to find if the party continues to express a populist discourse or not, through discourse analysis, while underling its new political direction. Furthermore, I will examine the reasons the rapid transformation of the party in a more mainstream and “realistic” direction.
Left-populism in power. Luci e ombre della sfida governativa di Podemos.
Matteo Giardiello
Abstract
LEFT-POPULISM IN POWER Luci e ombre della sfida governativa di Podemos Abstract Un crescente numero di partiti populisti non è più ai margini del sistema partitico, ma è integrato con forza all’interno dei rispettivi contesti politici nazionali. La ricerca accademica e scientifica sul populismo negli ultimi anni si è ampliata in maniera esponenziale e si è occupata in larga parte dell’analisi del discusso fenomeno dei cosiddetti “populismi di destra”. In risposta ai cambiamenti politici e sociali della crisi economica del 2008, anche forze cosiddette “populiste di sinistra” hanno guadagnato consenso e attenzione mediatica nel contesto statunitense ed europeo. Questo fenomeno ha quindi guadagnato una rilevanza maggiore anche all’interno delle trattazioni scientifiche e accademiche, nonostante non rivesta ancora lo spazio adeguato all’importanza che in questo momento alcune di queste forze rivestono nei rispettivi paesi. Con questo paper quindi si intende fornire un contributo alla riflessione andando ad analizzare una particolare fase dell’azione populista, cioè il "momento istituzionale”. L’analisi intende quindi indagare le modalità con cui le forze populiste di sinistra affrontano la sfida dell’istituzionalizzazione. E, ancora più nello specifico, ha l’obiettivo di evidenziare i cambiamenti che si verificano all’interno di un partito-movimento populista quando arriva a importanti posizioni di governo. Il caso più esemplare è sicuramente Podemos: il partito-movimento spagnolo che ha fatto del suo momento populista lo strumento di successo e consenso elettorale. Un successo che si è materializzato a Gennaio 2020 con l’ingresso nell’alleanza del Governo Sánchez II nel quale il segretario di Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, ha rivestito la carica di Vice-Presidente del Consiglio e Ministro delle Politiche Sociali. Partito-movimento che in questo momento vive una fase di riflusso, simbolicamente evidenziata dall’uscita dall’arena politica di Iglesias in seguito alla sconfitta di Unidas Podemos alle elezioni nella regione di Madrid dello scorso 4 Maggio 2021. L’analisi utilizzerà un metodo comparativo andando ad evidenziare le trasformazioni e i punti di convergenza occorsi in seguito all’entrata di Podemos all’interno del Governo Sánchez II. In particolar modo si andranno ad analizzare la dimensione organizzativa, la dimensione comunicativa e quella inerente alle pratiche portate avanti sia a livello territoriale che a livello nazionale. Il contributo verterà intorno alle seguenti domande di ricerca: quali sono stati i principali cambiamenti all’interno dell’organizzazione, della pratica e della comunicazione di Podemos in seguito alla sua entrata al governo? Come sono cambiate le relazioni con le forze di estrema sinistra e social-democratiche spagnole ed europee? Il “momento populista” di Podemos è terminato? Podemos e il populismo di sinistra spagnolo possono essere considerati in crisi? Se sì, quali sono state le cause principali? Matteo Giardiello (Napoli, 1993) Nel 2015 si laurea a pieni voti in Scienze Politiche e Relazioni Internazionali presso l’Università degli Studi di Napoli l’Orientale con una tesi in Geografia politica ed economica dal titolo "Il confine del Mediterraneo. Controllo delle migrazioni e spettacolo del confine". Nel 2019 termina la Laurea Magistrale in “Relazioni e Istituzioni dell’Asia dell’Africa” presso lo stesso Ateneo, conseguendo il titolo con votazione 110/110 e lode in Politiche Comparate discutendo la tesi "Anatomia di un Movimento Politico. L'organizzazione, il programma, la comunità di Potere al Popolo!”. Da Novembre 2019 è Dottorando in Politiche Pubbliche di Coesione e Convergenza nello Scenario Europeo presso il Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche dell'Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II e porta avanti un progetto di ricerca dal titolo “L’altra faccia del populismo. L’organizzazione, la pratica e la comunicazione del populismo di sinistra nell’Europa della crisi”. Bibliografia Campolongo F., Caruso L. (2021), Podemos e il populismo di sinistra. Dalla protesta al governo, Meltemi editore, Milano Damiani M. (2016), La sinistra radicale in Europa. Italia, Spagna. Francia, Germania, Donzelli Editore, Roma Dal Lago A. (2017), Populismo Digitale, Raffaello Cortina Editore, Milano della Porta D., Fernández J., Kouki H., Mosca L. (2017), Movement Parties Against Austerity, Polity Press, Cambridge Fittipaldi R. (2021), Podemos. Un profilo organizzativo, Meltemi editore, Milano Kitschelt H. (2006), Movement Parties, in Katz R. & Crotty W. (2006), Handbook of Party Politics, SAGE Publications, London, p. 280 Laclau E. (2005), La ragione populista, Laterza Mouffe C. (2018), Per un populismo di sinistra, Tempi Nuovi-Laterza Mudde C., Kaltwasser C. R. (2017), Populism. A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press Ottaviano G. (2019), Geografia Economica dell’Europa Sovranista, Laterza, Bari Pizzorno A. (1966), Introduzione allo studio della partecipazione politica, Quaderni di Sociologia, XV Ricolfi L. (2017), Sinistra e popolo. Il conflitto politico all’epoca dei populismi, Longanesi, Milano Sassoon D. (2019), Sintomi Morbosi, Garzanti, Milano Taranu A., Pîrvulescu C. (2012), The Populist Confusion. Populism, nationalism, extremism: expressions of antipolitics in Europe?, Conference: 22 IPSA Word Congress, Madrid Zulianello, M. (2020), Varieties of Populist Parties and Party Systems in Europe: From State-of-the-Art to the Application of a Novel Classification Scheme to 66 Parties in 33 Countries, Government and Opposition, 55(2), 327-347. doi:10.1017/gov.2019.21
 

Panel 6.6 Left populism in the 21st century: New assessments and future prospects (II)


While populism has been steadily present at least since the 1960s in political and sociological debates at the international level, the concept has experienced a surge in the Western scholarly and media attention since the turn of the century, while being mostly associated with radical right actors. Today, over a decade into the consequences of the financial crisis of 2008 (and as we face a new multifaceted global crisis related to the covid-19 pandemic), populism in its left-wing manifestations is increasingly at the center of discussion in Europe and North America, given the rise of new empirical cases in recent years, including several electorally successful instances. As the availability of empirical cases grew, so did the number of theoretical and empirical studies on the subject, which today are part of a rich literature investigating their discourse, mobilization strategy and relationship with the radical left . While attempts to combine a populist rhetoric or logic with a left-wing political project occurred throughout the 20th century (and in its second half they were an important part of Latin American politics), only recently has a considerable amount of political actors on the Left fully embraced populism in the Western regions of the world (and beyond).

Over the past decade, left-wing populist actors in Europe and the United States have been characterized by a participatory mobilization strategy, anti-neoliberal and anti-system programmatic platforms, a focus on the long-term crisis of political representation, an overrepresentation among young people and precarious workers, and the call for more inclusionary politics and policies. At the ideological level, they ranged from openly declared socialist positions, such as Bernie Sanders in the US or Syriza in Greece, to more ambiguous cases such as the Five Star Movement in Italy, which never clearly claimed a left-wing ideological core and is characterized by an inclusionary discourse and programme only on certain dimensions. While in electoral terms they have been mostly successful in Southern Europe, where they were able to achieve key policy-making positions first in parliaments and then in the executive, left populist instances have spread across different kinds of political economies and social systems, including Eastern, Anglo-Saxon, Central and Balkan regions of the Continent. The emergence of the phenomenon across various contexts and concurrently to different societal transformations offers the opportunity to investigate more in detail both the social demands that they articulated and represented within the institutions, and the content of the reforms that they promoted once they reached relevant decision-making roles. Both dimensions appear crucial to our overall understanding of populism and party system changes. As we can collect larger evidence on the evolution of left-wing populist actors over time and in their transition from opposition to power, it seems now imperative to extend the scope of scholarly research on left populism and investigate thoroughly also its historical shortcomings and future potentials.

Our objective for the present panel is therefore to stimulate a discussion on all the dimensions of the left populist phenomenon that are still relatively unaddressed in the literature. We encourage in particular paper submissions related to the following spheres:
- left populism in power: how do left-wing populist actors transform after they enter political institutions?
- left populism and policy-making: how do left-wing populist actors affect the policy process and what policies do they propose?
- left populism, social groups and political identities: which social groups do they represent? Which social demands do they articulate? Which kind of political identities do they produce?
- beyond the populist party: what is the relationship that left populist parties establish with trade unions, other left-wing parties (either mainstream or radical), grassroots movements and organizations?

We welcome contributions adopting innovative methodological approaches to the study of populism and a comparative perspective across different regions of the world (e.g. Africa, Asia, Middle East).


References

Caiani, Manuela, and Paolo Graziano. 2019. ‘Understanding Varieties of Populism in Times of Crises’. West European Politics 42(6):1141–58.

Charalambous, Giorgos, and Gregoris Ioannou. 2019. Left Radicalism and Populism in Europe. Abingdon: Routledge.

Custodi, Jacopo. 2020. ‘Nationalism and Populism on the Left: The Case of Podemos’. Nations and Nationalism 1-16.

Damiani, Marco. 2020. Populist Radical Left Parties in Western Europe. Abingdon: Routledge.

Della Porta, Donatella, Joseba Fernández, Hara Kouki, and Lorenzo Mosca. 2017. Movement Parties against Austerity. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Font, Nuria, Paolo Graziano, and Myrto Tsakatika. 2019. ‘Varieties of Inclusionary Populism? SYRIZA, Podemos and the Five Star Movement’. Government and Opposition 1–21.

García Agustín, Oscar. 2020. Left-wing Populism: The Politics of the People. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing Limited.

Gerbaudo, Paolo. 2018. The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy. London: Pluto Press.

Hutter, Swen, Hanspeter Kriesi, and Guillem Vidal. 2018. ‘Old versus New Politics: The Political Spaces in Southern Europe in Times of Crises’. Party Politics 24 (1):10–22.

Katsambekis, Giorgos, and Alexandros Kioupkiolis. 2019. The Populist Radical Left in Europe. Abingdon: Routledge.

Kriesi, Hanspeter, and Takis S. Pappas. 2015. European Populism in the Shadow of the Great Recession. Colchester: ECPR Press.

March, Luke, and Cas Mudde. 2005. ‘What’s Left of the Radical Left? The European Radical Left After 1989: Decline and Mutation’. Comparative European Politics 3(1):23–49.

Mouffe, Chantal. 2018. For a Left Populism. London: Verso.

Mudde, Cas, and Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser. 2013. ‘Exclusionary vs. Inclusionary Populism: Comparing Contemporary Europe and Latin America’. Government and Opposition 48(2):147–74.

Padoan, Enrico. 2020. Anti-Neoliberal Populism in Comparative Perspective. A Latinamericanization of Southern Europe? London: Routledge.

Roberts, Kenneth M. 2019. ‘Bipolar Disorders: Varieties of Capitalism and Populist Out-Flanking on the Left and Right’. Polity 51(4):641–53.

Santana, Andrés, and José Rama. 2018. ‘Electoral Support for Left Wing Populist Parties in Europe: Addressing the Globalization Cleavage’. European Politics and Society 19(5):558–76.

Stavrakakis, Yannis, and Giorgos Katsambekis. 2014. ‘Left-Wing Populism in the European Periphery: The Case of SYRIZA’. Journal of Political Ideologies 19(2):119–42.

Tamames, Jorge. 2020. For the People: Left Populism in Spain and the US. Lawrence and Wishart.

Chairs: Beatrice Carella, Walter Haeusl

Discussants: Paolo Gerbaudo

Left populism…or post-populism? About the new manifestation of the “populist reason” in Latin America.
Marcelo Nazareno
Abstract
Latin American left-wing populisms (re)emerged with intensity in the early twenty-first century. In many countries of the region, arose governments with several characteristics which we could consider populist. These governments, moreover, implemented policies we can consider belonging to the political left (mainly, but not only, redistributive policies and social protection towards sectors that were harmed by the neoliberal policies in the nineties of the last century). These government programs and actions in many ways remind us of the classic Latin American populisms of the mid-twentieth century. However, some very novel characteristics emerge, among which stands out the fact that such movements do not appear to be "purely" populist, but rather a combination of different logics or political grammars of which populism is only one (although, in many ways, dominant). The Frente de Todos that won the 2019 presidential elections in Argentina is part of this new Latin American populist tradition and is perhaps the clearest example of this successful combination of different identities and political style. The historical populist roots of this Front are explicit. Its organizational and political core is the Partido Peronista (later the Partido Justicialista), which constituted the political-electoral tool that brought Peronism to power in the 1940s. Already in this century, its most immediate antecedent is Frente de la Victoria with which Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Kirchner won the elections in 2003, 2007, and 2011. Both fronts (Frente de la Victoria and Frente de Todos) so can be properly called “peronists” and together they constitute one of the most successful expressions of Latin American populism of the twenty-first century: when the term of current president Alberto Fernández ends, populism will have ruled Argentina for sixteen out of last twenty years. However, as I said before, I maintain in this work that the Frente de Todos is not a movement that expresses only a “populist moment”. This front has a social and electoral base that consists of the blend of populist identities, of identities and modalities of political action typical of social movements and of identities and patterns of intervention in the political sphere that we can consider part of the “liberal tradition”. This thesis confronts two (potential) misunderstandings. One of a historical type, which assimilates that combination or blends to the nature prone of Argentine populism for building fronts from its very origin. So the novelty to which I referred previously would not be such. The Peronist Party was indeed born from the union of several parties that, formally at least, maintained their independence. Moreover, when at the beginning of 1970s Peronism returned to power, it did so by leading an electoral front (the Frente Justicialista de Liberación Nacional). However, this plurality of electoral instruments expressed only one "political logic" (in Laclau's sense) that was eminently populist. The Frente de Todos (and previously the Frente de la Victoria), on the contrary, expressed the articulation between different political logics. Another misunderstanding, more relevant for its analytical and political consequences, is the assimilation of these front experiences to Chantal Mouffe's concept of “left populism” (and also, to some extent, to Fraser's notion of “progressive populism”). In reality, this misunderstanding is encouraged by Mouffe's idea of left-wing populism. The Belgian author does not give a formal definition of what she understands by left-wing populism. However, when referring to its social base, she speaks of the “unification” of demands from different sectors and political traditions, which react to neoliberal aggression by pushing a program of restoration of popular sovereignty while preserving the validity of liberal rights. When she mentions these sectors, she talks about social movements, working-class and progressive sectors (her enumeration includes “demands of workers, immigrants, and the precarious middle class, in addition to including other democratic demands such as the of the LGTB community”). The problem is that some of these sectors or movements not only make demands (as holds by Laclau's ontology of populism to which Mouffe adheres), but that those demands already express grammars, practices, and identities constituted before unification: they are already political logics. The case of the Frente de Todos shows (and I believe that other cases in Latin America show also) that we are facing a qualitative novelty of great relevance (a new “political animal”, paraphrasing O'Donnell's term). It consists not in articulation between demands but an articulation between logics of articulation. The presence of a populist logic in these articulations is of great importance, but it does not subsume or dilute the others logics that also belong to that articulation. That is why I believe it is more pertinent not to speak of populism but about left post-populism. This notion of post-populism faces two theoretical challenges (related to the ontological dimension) and a historical-empirical one (regarding the ontic dimension) that we will address in the development of this work. The first theoretical challenge refers to the very possibility of a post-populist articulation. This ontological approach cannot, by definition, reproduce the ontology that Laclau proposes for the populist logic. In any case, one would have to think about the theoretical viability of a simple extension of an ontology of this type. In this sense, if a political logic implies the symbolic consolidation of a chain of equivalences between different demands, a post-populist logic could be thought of as the articulation between equivalent chains. Chantal Mouffe, implicitly, seems to point this way. I will show that such a solution is logically unviable. In effect, the equivalence possibilities are exhausted inside each particular political logic. Indeed, each specific identity within each equivalence logic is made up by reference to this particular equivalence. Therefore, a new equivalence chain could not be constituted without a modification of each specific identity. In this way, the “new” identities would dilute the previous logics of which they were part to become included in a new and unique equivalence logic of greater extension and scope. The conclusion, then, leads us to deny the premise (existence and potential articulation between different political logics) from which we started. I will show, turning to Laclau's works on rhetoric and politics, that post-populist ontology is possible through a metonymic operation that enables discursive sliding between logics. This sliding makes possible the coordination of political practices without affecting the identity of each logic as such. The second ontological challenge is about the conditions under which articulation of this type becomes left-wing. Laclau´s populist ontology does not provide us is with a theoretical frame regarding the content of right or left of populism. The same can be said, in principle, of post-populism. To avoid the analytical and political sterility of sustaining the constitutive contingency of these processes in terms of their political-ideological orientation, I will hold and justify the following proposition: each political logic (populist or not) has its right and left versions; so, a left-wing post-populist articulation depends, for its institution, on that in those political logics that actively operate in a specific social formation there is a primacy of its left versions over the right ones. The ontic challenge, for its part, consists in establishing whether the concrete historical expressions of post-populist articulations exist as such and whether their salient features are consistent with the proposed post-populist ontological foundation. We will deal with this challenge by point out some features, principally, but not only discursive, that the Frente de Todos shows since its constitution and during the nineteen months that it has been in office. I will pay special attention to the internal conflicts that emerged during its government. I will prove that a better understanding of those conflicts is achieved when we consider them the expression of stress among logics, rather than the outcome of differences that rise inside the only one (populist) political logic.
Locating the Laclausian Left — Progressive Strategy and the Politics of Anxiety
Maximilian Wolf
Abstract
A spectre is haunting Western democracies — the spectre of populism. Clichés aside, populism remains as controversial today as it is relevant, both in academia and beyond it. Ernesto Laclau’s ontological framework has proven among the richest and most promising approaches to the phenomenon, but remains in many ways incomplete; his promise of a Left progressive Strategy centred around ‘radical democracy,’ in particular, remained largely unfulfilled, unable to escape the gravity of its theoretical constraints. Recent attempts at remedying this, focussing on the kernel of Lacanian psychoanalysis present throughout Laclau’s work, have made attempts to supplement his discursive approach with an ‘affective’ dimension, but the ambiguous relation between discourse and affect, which Laclau conceived of as being ‘consubstantial,’ has undermined their development. This paper argues that while the work on Lacanian juissance by Stavrakakis, Glynos and others has been fruitful, a more neglected Lacanian concept, his notion of anxiety, not only solves the ‘consubstantiality’ impasse, but casts the entire field of affectivity in Laclau in a new light, opening up promising new points of analysis along the way. The logic of anxiety haunts Laclau’s work, never acknowledged but always there; it is not only implicitly present in a number of the key moments of Laclau’s framework, but, through its relation to subjectivity, fantasy, authority and agency, allows us to infer an ‘experience’ of populist discourse. Radicalising this Lacanian kernel enables us to approach a phenomenology of populism to supplement — and sharpen — Laclau's ontological approach. This not only paves the way for a reassessment of many key aspects of right wing populist scholarship, but provides some vital new insights into what a truly Laclausian Left project of radical democracy could look like. Synthesising Laclau, Lacan and Lacanian Left scholars, a bold new vision for a progressive politics of lack emerges.
Between Revolution and Reification: The Discourse of Tyrannicide in Mélenchon's 6th Republic and the Limits of Left-Populism
Reid Kleinberg
Abstract
Scholarship on Post-Structuralist Discourse Theory (PSDT) and Left-populism has been slow to consider the consequences of when left-wing populist movements articulate nationalism leading to a host of theoretical and normative questions. This paper tries to make headway in both arenas by examining the nationalist discourse of Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s 2017 presidential campaign and its articulation through the use of ‘tyrannicide’. (1) Drawing from Dan Edelstein and Kenneth Margerison, I reconstruct the development and deployment of ‘tyrannicide’ in the French Revolutionary pamphlet debates of 1787-1788. (2) I offer a comparative analysis of Mélenchon’s campaign to suggest tyrannicide framed his call for the 6th Republic, critique of French politicians, and repudiation of France’s neo-liberal economic policy. I argue that although tyrannicide acted as multiple nodal points of the campaign’s discourse, successfully articulating numerous legitimate critiques of French politics, the explicit articulation of nationalism, specifically the discursive placement of the nation and tradition as moral ‘guarantor’, overdetermined both a temporal and social boundary consistent with a traditionalist reading of the French community; the campaign reified a neo-Republican understanding of the French people. (3) This leads me to begin a theoretical probe of the role of ‘traditions’-starting with nationalism- in the PSDT/left-populism dyad. Drawing from the work of Hannah Arendt in Between Past and Future and On Revolution, and taking cues from Arendt’s concept of natality, I question the compatibility between political programs anchored by national traditions and radical democracy’s privileging of contingency.
The Nation of the People: An analysis of Podemos and Five Star Movement’s Discourse on the Nation
Jacopo Custodi
Abstract
How do populist actors talk about the nation? This is a research question that has been mostly tackled in studies on right-wing politics, which remains the primary focus of European studies on the relationship between populism and nationalism. Consequently, in this article we tackle this academic gap by advancing a targeted and comparative analysis on the Spanish party Podemos and the Italian Five Star Movement. The former is a paradigmatic example of radical left populism, while the latter is commonly considered as a catch-all populist party hardly classifiable through the Left/Right division. Relying on a set of sixty selected speeches, articles and texts by the leadership of the two parties, as well as on survey data on their electorate, we provide a comprehensive assessment of how these two actors refer to national pride and national belonging in their discourse. This permits to shed light on how populist actors who are not rightist refer to nationality, and to inquire into the differences between those with a clear leftist identity and those not. As the analysis indicates, populist parties that are outside the conceptual borders of right-wing populism may well include nationalist elements in their discourse, but the ideas of nation belonging and national pride they refer to reflect their ideological connotations and thus differ from the ones of right-wing populist actors.
 

Round table

Panel 6.7 TAVOLA ROTNDA CONGIUNTA: Perché parlare ancora di populismo, genere e religione? Sguardi e prospettive


La tavola rotonda, organizzata congiuntamente dagli standing groups Genere e Politica, Movimenti Sociali e Partecipazione Politica e Politica e Religione, ha l’obiettivo di contribuire alla discussione intorno a questi temi – compresa la loro continua rilevanza nel contesto politico contemporaneo in Italia, Europa ed oltre– mettendo a confronto contributi che muovono da campi teorici, dati empirici e strumentari analitici tra loro diversi.

• Luca Ozzano, Università di Torino (SG Politica e Religione) – Populismi e religione attraverso il Mediterraneo. Il contributo presenta i risultati di una ricerca comparativa intorno a populismi e politiche di genere in Italia, Israele e Turchia.
• Massimo Prearo, Università di Verona (SG Genere e Politica) – Il momento populista? Limiti euristici di una categoria interpretativa. Il contributo presenta una lettura del “momento populista” a partire dai movimenti (inclusi i movimenti anti-gender, pro-life e pro-family) che sono “naturalmente” collocati in quell'area, per cogliere limiti e potenzialità di tale lettura nel quadro dell’analisi dei rapporti tra populismo e movimenti sociali.
• Chiara Maritato, Università di Torino (SG Politica e Religione) – Politica, genere e religione in Turchia: complicare il quadro. Il contributo si propone di problematizzare la dicotomia populismo conservatore religioso dell'AKP versus élites laiche a partire da una ricerca sul rapporto tra genere, stato e religione in Turchia.
• Flaminia Saccà, Università della Tuscia - Populismo, Genere, Violenza. Il contributo si sviluppa a partire dalle recenti ricerche intorno al ruolo delle donne come leader di partiti e movimenti populisti, del discorso populista intorno al genere, e al discorso pubblico intorno alla violenza di genere.

Discute Carlo Ruzza, Università di Trento.
Modera: Alberta Giorgi, Università di Bergamo (SG Movimenti Sociali e Partecipazione Politica)

Chairs: Alberta Giorgi

 

Panel 6.8 The Making and Unmaking of Precarity. Transformations of Political Struggles in the Neoliberal Age


The panel aims to provide a nuanced reading of contemporary precarity unfolding its double face as set of processes of marginalisation and transformations of political struggles performed by individual and collective actors. The notion of precarity is difficult to summarise and be reconciled in the form of a contextualized and discrete concept belonging to a restricted disciplinary field. What it indicates, instead, is a complex mutation of subjectivity, a continued restructuring of individual and collective formations that has taken place since the advent of the neoliberal age. The aim is to map these subjectivities in their embodied precarity and alternative and experimental strategies, as well as locating the diverse practices of struggle advanced by precarious agents/actors. The panel wishes to explore 1) the historical, racialised, capitalistic and material making of
precarious conditions, 2) the (provisional) unmaking of precarity through the broad variety of resilience and resistance practices and 3) interferences between them (making and unmaking of precarity). The general aim of this panel is to connect engaged scholars that focus on multiple forms of precarity and the political struggles performed by individual and collective actors from several fields of investigation; amongst which, for instance: social movements, governance, migration and citizenship, welfare, labour and the arts. In particular, the panel will gather studies on strategies and practices that are substitutive, complementary or counter-hegemonic to the neoliberal framework.
Starting from the awareness that the forms of political mobilization and participation are radically transforming, the panel will answer to the following questions: what are the unconventional forms of political performance of precarious agents in the fields of social movements, governance, migration and citizenships, welfare, labour and arts? How do these unconventional forms of politics inform our conventional understanding of precarity, and the ways in which it is analysed in academic research? The paper proposals should focus around innovative methods and analyses for framing, approaching and studying the phenomenon in question, favouring a historical perspective able to integrate also the comparative and interdisciplinary dimensions. The wider scope of this panel and its papers is to bring together analyses from different social disciplines engaging with the issues of social movements, governance, migration and citizenship, as well as those of welfare and changing labour contexts and the cultural dimension of precarity. Qualitative contributions that make use of mixed methods, aiding the analysis with quantitative methodology are also welcome. One of the scopes of this panel is to discuss diverse approaches' contributions to our understanding of precarity in current socio-political contexts. It is hoped that this will help to shed light on the different forms and materializations that contemporary precarity and transformations of political struggles performed by individual and collective actors can take.

Chairs: Nicola Di Mauro, Emiliano Esposito, Laura Giovinazzi

Discussants: Stefano Portelli

The New Wave Of Populist Politics In Turkey And Its Effects On The Labour Issue
Özlem Bülbül
Abstract
Since the beginnings of the 2000s, Turkey has been going through a deep neoliberalisation process affecting social, economic and political realm. In fact, the transition to a neoliberal market economy with its corollary effects on the society has arised by the 1980s onwards. Populist and patronage based character of Turkish politics have also begun to change by these times. The impacts of these changes on the labour issue have been explicit especially in terms of employment and labour market structure. In this period, informal employment relations and outsourcing have become widespread. Apart from these, labour relations in general have become more deregularized. However, the main transformation in the labour relations has been put forward by the Justice and Development (JDP) governments. In this respect, the new Labor Law accepted in 2003 has been the trigger of these changes. This legal renewal has become the basis for the flexibilization of employment relationships in parallel to the neoliberal marketization of the economy. It implied a radical break from the social welfare policies of the past. At the same time, the changes that have started with the 2003 Labor Law and also continued with the National Employment Strategy in 2011, have legitimized the neoliberal populist strategy of the JDP governments. That is to say, the JDP government’s new governing strategy which has taken its main strength from the informal labour and the urban poor segments of the society, has transformed the way labour issue approached. Therefore, this study aims to analyze the changing labour relations in Turkey under the new wave of populist politics in the 2000s.
Fare e disfare la precarietà. Una prospettiva storica dall’America latina.
Laura Abbruzzese
Abstract
Il dibattito teorico sulla formazione del precariato come fenomeno nascente dal recesso delle politiche sociali, dalla flessibilizzazione e deregolamentazione del lavoro, va necessariamente rivisto per quelle società che mai hanno beneficiato della reale formazione di un welfare state. E’ il caso dell’America Latina, dove ciò che definiamo vagamente come processo di precarizzazione, appare piuttosto una condizione strutturale e strutturante di quegli Stati-Nazione costituiti sull’esclusione, o meglio, sull’ “inclusione differenziale” di territori e popolazioni dai quali estrarre per produrre accumulazione - in una continuità storica che va dal periodo coloniale alle fasi repubblicane: dal pueblo de indios all’ encomienda, dalla riserva alla zona di sacrificio -. Se i casi di protezione e sicurezza sociale risultano quindi un’eccezione e un privilegio delle élite, è quindi possibile sostenere che nelle società del cosiddetto Sud Globale - o volendo recuperare il concetto di Terzo Mondo - la precarietà del lavoro più che una realtà emergente in tempi recenti, sembra essere stata una caratteristica costante dello sviluppo diseguale nel capitalismo periferico, che colpisce una buona parte delle categorie professionali di un mercato del lavoro infinitamente eterogeneo. E’ quindi a partire da questa riflessione che ci proponiamo di guardare a questo fenomeno da un’altra prospettiva, tanto temporale quanto geografica, utilizzando come lente chi vive nel “tempo lungo della precarietà”, e cioè i popoli indigeni del subcontinente. Più in particolare useremo come referente il movimento mapuche contemporaneo. Partendo dalla seconda metà degli anni ’70, dalla chiusura del ciclo rivoluzionario e dall’insediamento delle dittature cívico-militari, ci proponiamo di guardare all’insorgere dei movimenti etnici davanti alla dissoluzione della classe come dispositivo organizzatore, soffermandoci in particolare su tre categorie centrali per le teorie e le pratiche politiche dei movimenti indigeni: tempo, territorio e memoria.
Bacurau: Chronotopes of Revolutionary Events/Becoming Class of the Precarious Multitude
Francesco Sticchi
Abstract
This paper addresses the political and conceptual power of the successful and highly praised Bacurau (Dornelles and Mendonça Filho 2019) by inserting it within general trends of contemporary visual culture surrounding the issue of cinematic precarity. The discussion will find its analytical coordinates around the notions of chronotope and dialogism. These tools are notoriously attributed to Mikhail Bakhtin and are intended to investigate regular patterns in aesthetic experiences and to evaluate the differential and subversive potential to be attributed to every case study. This approach, in line with the work put forth in the field of film-philosophy, rejects the understanding of audiovisual media as textual artefacts, and indicates them as experiential and operational maps featuring specific emotional and conceptual patterns. Grounding assumption of the current analysis, indeed, is to understand cinematic experience as an affective and ecological encounter, a practical conceptual experience in which viewers find the opportunity to explore and experiments complex ethical systems. A productive interrelation, therefore, that allows us also to connect the discussion with reflections upon general extractivist and enclosing dynamics of neoliberal governance and with trajectories of resistance and revolt against it.
Multidimensionalità ri/produttiva della precarietà e azioni collettive dei lavoratori precari: un’analisi comparata del movimento dei lavoratori della logistica e dei braccianti nel contesto pandemico
Federica Guardigli, Irina Aguiari
Abstract
Introduzione La crisi pandemica ha esacerbato le contraddizioni e le disuguaglianze inscritte nel sistema neoliberista. Un prisma di subalternità preesistenti ha riacceso i conflitti lungo le catene internazionali del valore. La precarietà del lavoro neoliberista nel contesto pandemico è andata intrecciandosi con la precarietà riproduttiva: con i conflitti tra capitale e vita (Pérez-Orozco, 2014). Il presente contributo indaga la dialettica precarietà-resistenza alla precarietà focalizzandosi sulla dimensione del lavoro nel contesto della pandemia da Covid-19. Attraverso l’analisi di due casi studio - il movimento dei lavoratori della logistica e dei braccianti - le autrici propongono un’interpretazione della crisi pandemica come giuntura critica (Capoccia et al., 2007) particolarmente fertile non solo per l’emersione dal cono d’ombra della multidimensionalità ri/produttiva della precarietà, ma anche per l’articolazione di forme di azione collettiva. Quadro teorico di riferimento La precarietà del lavoro affonda le radici nella flessibilizzazione del mercato del lavoro, che ha portato all’ individualizzazione delle condizioni lavorative e alla crescente diffusione di un senso di insicurezza non solo economica ma esistenziale (Murgia, 2010). Secondo la letteratura, queste dinamiche avrebbero indebolito le precondizioni strutturali che avevano facilitato negli anni del Fordismo l’emergere di una frattura di classe e delle rivendicazioni ad essa connesse (Della Porta et al., 2006). L’estrema individualizzazione avrebbe infatti indebolito il legame fra processo produttivo e produzione di soggettività, rendendo più complesso per i lavoratori riconoscersi come parte di un soggetto collettivo caratterizzato da una condizione di ingiustizia comune (Caruso et al., 2015). Dall’altra parte, tuttavia, alla precarietà materiale passivizzante ed alienante si è andata ad affiancare la precarietà come motore di attivismo sociale, sia in termini di proteste, sia di formulazione di strategie di resistenza che propongono modelli produttivi alternativi a quello dominante. In particolare, si è assistito a nuove battaglie per la dignità e il miglioramento delle condizioni lavorative in diversi settori produttivi, sia tradizionali che più recenti - come nel caso dei lavoratori della cosiddetta “gig economy” (Tassinari et al. 2018). Le vecchie e nuove forme di sfruttamento che spesso si nascondono dietro la retorica della flessibilità sono così andate a configurarsi come terreno comune di lotta. Descrizione dei casi scelti e loro rilevanza Questo paper esplora la costruzione e decostruzione della precarietà tramite l’analisi comparata di due movimenti per il lavoro. Il primo caso studio prende in esame la filiera dell’agroindustria italiana; il secondo prende in considerazione i lavoratori della filiera logistica, in particolare le proteste dei dipendenti Amazon in Italia. Si tratta di due casi paradigmatici delle asimmetrie di potere all’interno dei rapporti di produzione, in cui le condizioni materiali dei lavoratori sono state esasperate dalla pandemia generando una risposta collettiva. A marzo 2020, lo scoppio della pandemia in Italia ha minacciato il Paese con una crisi agricola. La chiusura delle frontiere ha evidenziato come l’intero settore primario italiano si regga quasi esclusivamente sullo sfruttamento di manodopera straniera. A fronte dell’impossibilità di assumere lavoratori stranieri, l’intera filiera dell’agroindustria sarebbe stata paralizzata: la raccolta estiva non sarebbe stata conclusa e i profitti sarebbero stati persi. Un acceso confronto politico si è aperto sulle possibili soluzioni al problema tra cui l’apertura di corridoi verdi con l’Est Europa, l’ulteriore liberalizzazione del comparto e la regolarizzazione dei lavoratori irregolari già presenti sul territorio nazionale. In questo scenario, diversi attori si sono mobilitati per ottenere la cosiddetta sanatoria: i sindacati confederali e di base così come movimenti sociali dal basso hanno organizzato campagne, scioperi e iniziative per rappresentare i braccianti migranti in Italia. Questa spinta subalterna ha rivelato la multidimensionalità della precarietà ri/produttiva che attraversa l’agroindustria italiana. In particolare attraverso una contingenza emergenziale come quella pandemica, i diritti alla salute e alla libera circolazione si sono intrecciati con i diritti lavorativi e la sovranità alimentare sullo sfondo dell’incipiente ombra dei caporali. Allo stesso modo, l’adozione di misure di lockdown ha portato ad un'enorme crescita dell’e-commerce. Mentre l’economia globale nel 2020 è entrata in una notevole contrazione, a beneficiare di questa tendenza sono state in particolare le società che già in precedenza avevano posizioni egemoniche, come Amazon, leader mondiale della logistica. Le dimensioni, l’influenza e l’enorme crescita recente di Amazon hanno riacceso i riflettori su una lunga serie di problemi dietro alla sua potenza e ricchezza, innescando un'ondata di proteste. Al centro delle mobilitazioni, le rivendicazioni contro l’assenza di basilari norme anti-contagio si sono sommate a quelle delle lotte nella logistica degli ultimi anni contro la precarietà lavorativa dei dipendenti. Il dominio dell’algoritmo nella definizione dei ritmi produttivi, il pervasivo controllo manageriale, salari bassi e assenza di diritti di sindacalizzazione costituiscono infatti aspetti strutturali dell’organizzazione del lavoro nel capitalismo digitale, di cui Amazon è un esempio paradigmatico. La protesta, da workers’ affair si è trasformata in mobilitazione transnazionale dal basso attraverso la campagna online #makeamazonpay (Amazon deve pagare). A trainare l’attivismo digitale una coalizione di attori apertamente critici nei confronti non solo delle condizioni di precarietà dei lavoratori della multinazionale, ma delle conseguenze più ampie del modello Amazon su ambiente e società - che la pandemia ha contribuito a rendere ancora più evidenti. In Italia, le lotte si sono tradotte a marzo 2021 nella proclamazione del primo sciopero a livello nazionale lungo l’intera rete di distribuzione Amazon. Obiettivi Porremo in luce due aspetti in comune dei movimenti. In primis, evidenzieremo come il contesto discorsivo aperto dalla pandemia abbia consentito la visibilizzazione della condizione di precarietà comune a questi lavoratori – a dispetto della retorica sulla loro “essenzialità”- e, tramite la mobilitazione, l’articolazione di richieste di maggiori diritti. In secondo luogo, dimostreremo come in entrambi i casi il lavoro non sia solo tornato ad assumere una funzione sociale ed antagonista all’interno dei processi della produzione, ma abbia anche funto da dimensione primaria tramite cui mettere in luce una condizione di precarietà prismatica. Nel movimento dei braccianti, infatti, alla precarietà strutturalmente materiale si sono sommate le denunce legate alle disparità intersezionali di genere e razza. Nella mobilitazione contro Amazon, e specialmente nell’attivismo digitale lanciato dai lavoratori Amazon con l’hashtag #makeamazonpay le rivendicazioni in rapporto alla precarietà del lavoro dei dipendenti sono state portate avanti insieme alla richiesta di restituire alla società quanto sottratto: non solo salari e diritti per i lavoratori, ma anche impegno per l’ambiente e per una maggiore giustizia fiscale. Nello specifico, l’analisi mira a rispondere alle seguenti domande: - In che modo il contesto discorsivo aperto dalla pandemica ha plasmato l’emergere di conflitti legati alla precarietà lavorativa? ? Che implicazioni ha avuto la pandemia sulla politicizzazione della precarietà sul lavoro? - Quali sono le forme di azione scelte dai lavoratori? Chi sono gli attori coinvolti? - Quali sono le identità collettive che emergono? Metodologia Utilizzando le categorie sviluppate della letteratura sui movimenti sociali, l’analisi prenderà in considerazione il contesto, il discorso e le forme di azione dei due movimenti. Dopo averne ricostruito lo sviluppo del discorso come frutto del contesto di opportunità aperto dalla pandemia, si porranno in luce similitudini e differenze in termini di modalità d’azione e rivendicazioni dei movimenti. L’analisi verrà condotta osservando le rivendicazioni degli attori coinvolti al fine di osservare come la subalternità del precariato sia bracciantile che del capitalismo digitale emerga dall’intersezione di una molteplicità di conflitti ri/produttivi. Nello specifico, il campione è costituito dai documenti disponibili online ed ascrivibili ad attori chiave di entrambi i movimenti. Il caso studio sulla filiera agroindustriale prenderà in considerazione i sindacati confederali FLAI-CGIL, FAIL-CISL, UILA-UIL, il sindacato di base USB, le organizzazioni parasindacali Lega Braccianti e Campagne in Lotta e il movimento Siamo Qui - Sanatoria Subito. L’analisi sul caso Amazon riguarderà i sindacati confederali CGIL, CISL, UIL, e diversi movimenti e organizzazioni firmatari della petizione #makeamazonpay. Bibliografia Capoccia, G., & Kelemen, R. (2007). The Study of Critical Junctures: Theory, Narrative, and Counterfactuals in Historical Institutionalism. World Politics, 59(3), 341-369. Caruso L., Giorgi A. (2015), L'azione collettiva dei lavoratori precari: elaborazione simbolica, identità collettive, rapporto con i sindacati e con la dimensione politica. Una comparazione tra Italia e Spagna, in OBETS Revista de Ciencias Sociales (10): 67-95 Della Porta D., Diani M. (2006), Social Movements: An Introduction. WileyBlackwell. Murgia, A. (2010). 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