Steven M. Van Hauwaert, Université Catholique de Louvain
Caterina Froio, Sciences Po Paris
DEADLINE: 15 February 2016
For several decades now, populism and political extremism have been prominent political phenomena and have attracted wide scholarly attention. Initially, political research was mainly concerned with understanding the emergence and the potential challenges of populism and political extremism in contemporary democracies. Now, after an intensive research tradition of more than thirty years, scholars are investigating persistence, resilience and consolidation of these initially marginal phenomena. Populism and political extremism are often interpreted as a result of the shortcomings of the current political system/s, as they provide a continuous and inherent set of challenges to the functioning of contemporary European democracies. Numerous parties that represent such positions have both consolidated on an organisational (internal) and representational (external) level. The prominence and spread of such ideas throughout the vast majority of European electorates and democracies has been unmistakable.
Despite this, large-scale consensus remains generally absent, and this both on a conceptual and an empirical level. First, most divergent opinions still exist when scholarship addresses who the contemporary voices of populism and political extremism are and what exactly their messages are. Second, different views emerge when research touches upon the notion of ‘impact’ or ‘influence’, and particularly the extent or degree thereof. Third, even though scholars agree on the challenging nature of these phenomena as such, little convergence exists around how challenges are defined and to what extent (if at all) they change today’s politics. Populism and political extremism affect politics through different channels, either adopting ‘mainstream’ features or promoting change in traditional political agents/processes.
This invites further research, nourished by distinct paths and approaches, to broaden the overall understanding of these dynamics of change and persistence.
Call for Panels and Papers
This Section combines different conceptual, theoretical, methodological and empirical approaches in order to examine the multifaceted and persistent impact populism and political extremism have on the different layers of European democracies. This includes – but is not restricted to – research on
(i) conceptual/methodological debates surrounding populism and political extremism,
(ii) the internal and external (supply-side) components of parties and partisan actors,
(iii) individual and contextual determinants of support for populism and political extremism,
(iv) on- and off-line discourses by populist and politically extremist actors,
(v) direct or indirect paths towards political (policy) influence, and
(vi) old and new patterns of mobilisation.
The Section will bring together several substantive and methodological research traditions from various disciplines, with a particular interest in those who seek to bridge some of these thematic areas. At the same time, this section seeks to harmonise and unify different analytical focuses. More specifically, we provide a comprehensive analysis by including
(i) comparative contributions including – but limited to – CEE and West European countries,
(ii) supply- and demand-side dynamics,
(iii) national and supranational levels of analysis, and
(iv) dynamics within and beyond the electoral arenas.
We do not favour any specific methodological approach over any other, but this Section particularly promotes mixed-method, comparative and innovative approaches.
Individual papers must be submitted online here. All authors and/or co-authors of a paper must have a MyECPR profile in order for the paper to be submitted.
Full panel submissions must be submitted online here by the Panel Chairs (note, we can make changes to the names of the Panel Chairs/Co-Chairs/Discussants after the Panels have been submitted/approved). Panels must include 3-5 Papers, and all participants in the Panel (Chair/Co-Chair/Discussant/Paper presenter/Co-author) must have a MyECPR profile in order for the Panel to be submitted.
For any further questions regarding paper and/or panel submissions, please contact Steven M. Van Hauwaert (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Caterina Froio (email@example.com)