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Session Overview
RN32_01b_H: (De-)Politicization in the Neoliberal Era II
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Carlo Ruzza, University of Trento
Location: HB.2.17
HAROKOPIO University 70 El. Venizelou Street 17671 Athens, Greece Building: B, Level: 2.

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The Breakdown of the Left-Right political arena: the indirect consequences of the 2008 financial crisis and 2011 Global Protests

Lev Luis Grinberg

Ben Gurion University, Israel

The 2011 global wave of protests was a reaction to the failure of the established political parties to represent the expectations of lower and middle classes. Left and Right parties bailed out financial institutions and banks after the 2008 crisis, not the masses hurt by the crisis. The protests opened the space for the emergence of new charismatic leaders with radical discourse against neo-liberal globalization and the left-right established parties. The paper analyzes the emergence of charismatic movements as the dynamic interaction between agency, structure and institutional rules of the game. It argues that the present crisis is not the typical crisis of representation, it is rather a profound social crisis characterized by complete rupture between civil society and the State. It compares the emergence of Iglesias in Spain, Trump and Sanders in the US. Their respective "occupy movements" (15M and OWS) sparked in reaction to the failure of presumed "progressive" ruling parties (Socialists in Spain and Democrats in the US) to produce effective progressive policies following the 2008 financial crisis. Both occupy movements were initiated and framed by anti-globalization activists who opposed representative democracy, advocating direct democracy, and rejecting the option to influence representative politics. This abstention created a political vacuum later filled by charismatic leaders that adopted the anti-globalization and inequality agendas demanding an interventionist role of the State protecting lower and middle classes. Comparing the cases helps to comprehend political variations following different compositions of social constituencies, institutional rules of the game and electoral opportunities.


Gülşen ATAŞ

Adnan Menderes Üniversitesi, Fen Edebiyat Fak., Sosyoloji Bölümü Aydın, Turkey

Identity is one of the significant concepts that has been frequently discussed since 1980s. The visibility of identity has increased in the political sphere rather than other areas which in turn lead to the emergence of “identity politics”.

Religion has become the central issue of identity politics and it has opened new belonging spheres to individual. This situation in particular, has arisen as a "Islamist Identity Politics" and has become effective in political participation period of individuals in Turkey. Within that period, individuals and political leaders tend to both defining themselves agains tthe other and how it is perceived by others to believe that they themselves were. This situation has brought many problems jeopardising social and political integration.

This study aims to reveal the relationship between voting behavior with religious attitude and preferences of AKP voters. Where individuals are positioning themselves and their party while voting. Within this scope, has focused on Justice and Development Party and its voters that come into prominence with religious identity. Also, this study will be planned as qualitative research for collecting data.

Political parties discourses on European integration during the Eurocrisis : same patterns of (de)politicization between United Kingdom and continental Europe ?

Alban Versailles

Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium

Brexit has changed the way we have to look at European integration. Today, we all must recognize that it can be a highly politicized subject. That’s why the study of the concept of politicization is, now more than ever, crucial. The literature in this field underlines that there is a differentiated politicization between the different spheres (institutional, public…) and the different countries (De Wilde, Leupold, Schmidtke 2015). This literature concludes in particular to the need to study intermediate factors of politicization (Zürn 2015).

This paper presents the results of a research building on a comparative and mixed-methods design. It aims for a better understanding of the differentiated politicization of European integration between the United Kingdom and the continental Europe (Belgium, France, Germany). It combines the analysis of one contextual factor, the Eurozone crisis, to the analysis of national political parties’ discourses. Thus, this paper is focused on one important “shadow zone” of European integration (de)politicization process: the importance of intermediate factors of (de)politicization.

In order to understand the sources of (de)politicization, national political parties’ discourses are analyzed thanks to both qualitative and quantitative approaches. On the one hand, specific rhetoric and narratives in the parties’ discourses are highlighted and can teach us about polarization of positions, on the other hand, a lexicometric analysis enables us to evaluate the salience of specific issues in the discourses.

This comparative work can underline what are the specific characteristics and the general trends the United Kingdom shares or does not share with continental Europe.

Campaigning in Times of Austerity. Video Statements of Candidates in the Irish General Election 2016

Isabel Kusche

Aarhus Universitet, Denmark

The Republic of Ireland was hit especially hard by the financial crisis. The public bailout of Irish banks turned it into a sovereign debt crisis and triggered harsh austerity measures by two subsequent governments. Against this background the paper presents results of a qualitative analysis of brief video statements by candidates in the Irish general election in 2016. The material encompasses almost ninety per cent of all candidates who ran in the election. It permits comparisons with regard to the issues that candidates chose to address, if and how they attributed responsibility and blame for austerity, and which future they envisioned for their country and its politics. The results show important differences between candidates from established parties and new political groups. Adding the information on who actually got elected gives some indication of the success certain appeals had. The results thus help to understand consequences of the financial crisis and the turn to austerity for the links between politicians and potential voters. They also point to a remarkable absence of right-wing extremist positions. The paper discusses possible reasons for this.

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