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Does European Integration Sponsor Populist Politics?

Europe (Central and Eastern)
European Union
Populism
Mobilisation
P122
Ireneusz Pawel Karolewski
University of Leipzig
Timofey Agarin
Queen's University Belfast
Robert Sata
Central European University

Building: VMP 9, Floor: Ground, Room: VMP9-Lecture Hall

Friday 11:00 - 12:40 (24/08/2018)


Abstract

The panel focuses on majoritarian nation-state institutions and how they affect publics across European societies. The papers put the institutions-publics nexus into the context of the European Union integration in order to explore, how the EU deals with populist response from ethnopolitical entrepreneurs agitating nation-state-oriented publics. In the context of all papers, the dynamics of identity politics make frequent reference to ‘internal others’ and determine the exclusionary identity politics towards ‘external others’. The main focus of the panel revolves around the impact of European membership on the salience of ‘identity politics’ domestically, which constricts and constrains diversity through the use of identity discourse pivoted on ethno-cultural, language and religious symbolism. We examine these dynamics by offering sets of comparative studies of EU member-states all of which have three discursive elements: intolerance of autochthonous ethnic minorities; opposition to accommodation of newly arriving residents (refugees); and discrimination against gender minority groups. The papers look at how the ‘national self’ is being constructed in opposition to notional ‘Europe’, to external regional others, and to domestic others who violate the perceived (ethno-cultural, linguistic, religious) identity, which props up the state majority’s ownership claims to the state. Contributors to the panel are particularly interested in how dominant groups’ preference for safeguarding the institutions of the nation-states impacts non-dominant groups. These effects are caught between two extremes: segregation of minorities particularly in states designed to serve a clearly defined ethnic constituency and co-optation in societies divided by ethnic allegiances. We expect that multinational institutional design of the state and deep-seated division in societies militates not only the non-dominant groups but also de facto majorities to radicalize their rhetoric in favour of majoritarian decision making. This in turn showcases the potential for identity-based mobilization in ethnically diverse societies served by polities that by design are not ethnically blind. Against this background, the panel looks at EU integration as a (missed?) opportunity to demobilise the populist sentiments across European societies.

Title Details
Majoritarian Democracies for Divided Societies: How Tolerant are Estonians and Latvians of Their Minorities? View Paper Details
Minority Accommodation as a Trigger of Populist Politics in the Czech Republic and Slovakia: Populist Backlash? View Paper Details
No Space to Hide: Do Nation-State Institutions Create Populist Publics? View Paper Details
Populism or Neo-Authoritarianism in Diversified Europe? Comparing Poland and Austria View Paper Details
Breaking EU’s Eastern Democracies – Populism in Romania and Hungary View Paper Details