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Plenary Lecture 

The discursive construction of discontent: Varieties of populist anti-system ideas and discursive networks in Europe

Friday 11 June, 17:30 CEST (16:30 BST)

Speaker – Vivien Schmidt, Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University

Sponsored by the Journal of European Integration 


This is ECPR's first-ever hybrid lecture, organised by and hosted at Luiss Univerity in Rome!

About the Lecture

On the occasion of its 40th anniversary in 2018, the Journal of European Integration (JEI) inaugurated the practice of hosting annual lectures on relevant issues of European integration. The past editions focused on topics such as European foreign policy, Brexit and the responses of the EU to the Covid-19 pandemic. Previous speakers included Nathalie Tocci, Kalypso Nicolaidis and Sven Biscop.

The fourth edition was delivered by Vivien Schmidt, Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration at Boston University. The event was hosted live from Luiss University on Friday 11 June 2021 as part of the 10th Conference of the ECPR Standing Group on the European Union.

In this lecture, Vivien presented a Paper that, using discursive institutionalist analysis, theorises and investigates the varieties of populist anti-system ideas and discursive networks in Europe - with illustrative examples from EU and national level. 

Friday 11 June
17:30–17:35 Opening remarks Andrea Prencipe, Rector and Professor of Organisation and Innovation - Luiss University
17:35–17:40 Introduction to the Lecture Thomas Christiansen, Professor of Political Science and European Integration - Luiss University, and Executive Editor of the Journal of European Integration (JEI)
17:40–18:25 Lecture: 'The Discursive Construction of Discontent: Varieties of populist  anti-system ideas and discursive networks in Europe' Vivien Schmidt, Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration and Professor of International Relations - Boston University
18:25–18:55 Q&A session  
18:55–19:00 Final remarks Sergio Fabbrini, Dean of Political Science Department and Professor of Politics and International Relations - Luiss University

About the Speaker

 Vivien A. Schmidt

Vivien Schmidt is Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration, Professor of International Relations in the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies and Professor of Political Science at Boston University, as well as Founding Director of BU’s Center for the Study of Europe.

Vivien's focuses on European political economy, institutions, democracy, and political theory – in particular on the importance of ideas and discourse in political analysis (discursive institutionalism). Her latest books include Europe’s Crisis of Legitimacy: Governing by Rules and Ruling by Numbers in the Eurozone (2020), Resilient Liberalism in Europe’s Political Economy (co-edited, 2013), Debating Political Identity and Legitimacy in the European Union (co-edited, 2011), Democracy in Europe (2006) – named in 2015 by the European Parliament as one of the ‘100 Books on Europe to Remember’—and The Futures of European Capitalism (2002). 

Her honours, awards, and fellowships include a Guggenheim Fellowship, an honorary doctorate from the Free University of Brussels (ULB), the Belgian Franqui Interuniversity Chair for foreign scholars, a Rockefeller Bellagio Center Residency, and Fulbright Fellowships to France and the UK.  She was recently named a Chevalier in the French Legion of Honour.

About the Journal of European Integration

Journal of European Integration

The Journal of European Integration (JEI) publishes scholarly work on all aspects of the European integration process. It welcomes submissions from a variety of disciplinary or multidisciplinary perspectives, ranging from political science and political economy to public administration, law, history, sociology and cultural studies. However, the primary emphasis is on the discussion of European integration in the fields of political science and international relations.

JEI understands European integration broadly, as pan-European process rather than merely the European Union, though the majority of its contributions might be devoted to the latter. The journal also publishes comparative studies of federalism, regional integration and other forms of multilateral cooperation, as well as articles dealing with the European Union’s external relations and its global role, be it concerning economic, diplomatic or security relations.