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Back to Panel Details
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'Us' and 'Them': Redefining Communities in Populist Times

European Union
National Identity
Populism
P003
Aleksandra Sojka
Universidad de Granada
Monika Verbalyte
Freie Universität Berlin

Wednesday 13:00 - 14:40 (04/09/2019)

Building: Institute of Geography Floor: 3rd floor Room: 336

Abstract

This panel’s focus is on identity and community redefinition in relation to populist politics in the European Union (EU). The first paper in the panel looks at how descriptions of the EU in the media could contribute to the advancement of populism. By contrasting the attributes attached to the EU in the public media prior to national and European elections of the past decade, the study aims to answer three questions: (a) Does the definition of European as ‘them’ differ between national and European elections? (b) How does it differ between countries? (c) Does this definition become more similar as populist parties start to coordinate their message? The second paper in the panel explores perceptions of EU citizenship rights among British citizens after Brexit and seeks to explain individual level support of and opposition to the different rights, as well as the consistency of such support. The third paper focuses on the relationship between Italian governmental activities and international commitments deriving from membership of the European Union, related to rule of law, financial stability, and freedom of movement. In particular, it tests the proposition that the equilibrium point between the populist narratives of the two government partners is a new discourse of national assertiveness vis-à-vis the European institutions and partners. The authors propose that the legitimacy of government action comes to rely on a redefinition of Italian national identity in a more assertive and less conciliatory posture. The fourth paper analyzes Russian-speaking minorities in Estonia as objects of various projects and discourses aimed at constructing groupness and belonging. The paper traces discursive representations of Russian-speakers in the Estonian-language media over a period of thirty years, from 1988 to 2018. The paper seeks to ascertain the relative prevalence of these constructions across the media space, the discursive contexts in which they are used, as well as changes in the discursive representations of the country’s Russian-speakers over time.

Title Details
Betrayal by Portrayal: How Descriptions of the EU Advance Populism View Paper Details
Is European Citizenship a Two-Way Street? Attitudes towards EU Citizens’ Rights Compared View Paper Details
Russian-Speaking Minorities in the Estonian Media: Topic Modeling of Newspaper Content 1996-2019 View Paper Details
Janus-Faced Populism? The Politics of the Italian Coalition Government and the New National Assertiveness View Paper Details