Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
RN32_05b_P: (De-)Politicization in the Neoliberal Era V
Thursday, 31/Aug/2017:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Virginie Van Ingelgom, Université catholique de Louvain
Location: PD.2.34
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: D, Level: 2.

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Social policy design: Psychological determinants of non-take-up in the era of digital and virtual governance

Maria da Luz Leite Cabral

Escola Superior Saúde Alcoitão, Portugal

Recent technological changes have stimulated programs of administrative modernization with consequences in the formats of public services availability and in the relation citizen-state . One possible effect is the constraint on citizens' access to non-take-up benefits - namely social (e.g., Direct Social Security). The literature has focused on economic and socio-economic factors underlying non-take-up, with social stigma being one of the few psychological variables identified. Research on e-Government is incipient. However, research on information technology (IT) has suggested relevant individual, psychological and social variables in understanding the non-take-up via e-Government portals. Individual differences related to social dominance and other psychological variables have revealed impact on the adoption and use of technologies . What impact these variables may have on non-digital take-up is yet to be explored.

The theory of social dominance suggests that gender, age, and literacy may be responsible for the inequitable distribution of resources: subordinate or low status groups are less likely to access resources .

Access is closely linked to administrative conditions: virtualization solutions and dematerialization of public service contact provide added value, but can raise additional barriers to access to services, particularly by the groups of citizens who are most vulnerable in digital access in Virtue of individual, psychological and social attributes and that Governance will have to consider in order to remove barriers to access.

Triangulating Youth Participation and Politicization: Combining Ethnography and Data Mining

Veikko Eranti1, Georg Boldt1, Tuukka Ylä-Anttila2

1University of Tampere, Finland; 2University of Helsinki, Finland

This paper presents the first results of a multi-year multi-field study on youth participation and politicization in Finland. The paper focuses on different “top-down" youth participation mechanics, ranging from participatory budgeting to online idea-proposition online, from the perspective of deliberation and civic imagination. The study combines data mining (topic modeling) of large online text corpora with extensive ethnographic fieldwork and aims at answering a question about contemporary political citizenship in Finland: which kind of norms and ways of doing politics are learned through these channels? The hypothesis, supported by preliminary research results, is that the material and ideological arrangements in the participatory channels are conductive for certain kind of political participation, sometimes called “problem-solving” civic imagination, but not at all conductive for more radical styles of doing politics or being political. The constraints of participatory systems do not effectively allow for the critique of the system itself.

Combining digital methods with ethnographic fieldwork is one of the more exiting mixed methods approaches. Combining the larger data set and easier generalizability with the in-depth understanding and interpretation promises to open new avenues, both within the classical positivist-interpretative dualism, as well as within a more pragmatist, adductive tradition of reasoning. The benefits of this kind of methodological dualism are clear, when doing research on ephemeral subjects such as youth participation and politicization: it allows for building a cohesive picture of a dispersed phenomenon. Because using text-mining methods is in itself dual-natured (to be able to use text-mining methods in a meaningful way, one has to also spend considerable amount of time doing qualitative readings of materials produced within digital sphere), we can call this approach triangulation.

Traditional voters or postmodern citizens? Citizenship typology in Lithuania

Jurate Imbrasaite

Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania

Democracy is rather fragile, when it is based on formal democratical institutions. Support for govermental institutions and citizen participation in the process of political governance is an essential condition for the functioning and stability of democracy. Citizens are free to choose a number of ways to influence the political process. However, not all modes of political participation are equal with respect to the consolidation and quality of democracy. Support for democracy and conventional modes of participation constitute a precondition for a stable democratic system. On the other hand, participation in legal protest actions may be considered as acts of self-expression and it is not dangerous for stability of democracy.

The focus of this paper is to identify and to investigate types of citizenship in Lithuania. What groups of citizens in Lithuania may be distinguished in accordance with their level of interest in politics, political efficacy, trust to political institutions and participation in political acts? What are the factors that determine the differences between types of citizens? What are the causes and explanations of different patterns of political trust and participation between types of citizens?

Based on the survey conducted in Lithuania and 60 semi-structured interviews, the paper draws conclusions that four types of citizens (trustful optimists, traditional voters, distrustful active, distrustful passive) may be indentified and they significantly differ by their age, education, evaluations of country‘s econonomy, and evaluations of procedural justice in public sector. From theoretical perspectives of active traditional and postmodern citizenship, the characteristics of identified groups are mixed, because of socioeconomic and cultural conditions in Lithuania.

Keywords: political trust, conventional participation, nonconventional participation.

The de-politicization of refugee protection through securitization. The Italian case

Mariafrancesca D'Agostino

Università della Calabria, Italy

The de-politicization of refugees protection through securitization. The Italian case

While new political crises are generating massive population movements around the world, the chance of refugees to see their right of asylum recognized has constantly decreased in a new “humanitarian framework” of complex relationships between States, military organizations, international institutions, NGOs, local and international legal systems.

For years, this shift was mainly observable in developing regions with endemic political problems, where different agencies deliver assistance to prevent the flight of refugees, catching them into a victimhood order that tends to assume repatriation as the ideal solution. However, the growth and increasingly autonomy of forced migrations, are now outlining the transition to a “new stage” where these patterns of intervention are spreading also in Europe, becoming an emblematic example of how depoliticization assumes in this phase of “multiple crises” the character of a purely global phenomena.

Following this theoretical perspective, this presentation aims to provides important insights into the evolving situation of depolitizacion in the context of the Italian responses to current refugee flows. By presenting the Italian case, the principal objective pursued by this study is to furnish a stronger understanding of the factor that are here triggering a new depoliticized asylum system and on the specific role played by bureaucracy and by non-state actors dealing with asylum.

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