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Political Sociology in Times of the Covid-19 Outbreak Crisis - Searching for the Theoretical, Methodological and Empirical (Extraordinary) Responses

Democracy
European Politics
Nationalism
Populism
Welfare State
Qualitative
Mobilisation
Narratives
S50
Laura Landorff
Aarhus Universitet
Oscar Mazzoleni
Université de Lausanne
Tatjana Sekulic
Università degli Studi di Milano – Bicocca

Endorsed by the ECPR Standing Group on Political Sociology


Abstract

Since the end of 2019, a global health crisis has been holding the world in suspense. Exposing humanity to an unknown perception of emergency risk, fragility and uncertainty, but also of interconnection and interdependence of our societies, the pandemic has challenged some of our very basic understandings concerning rights and liberties, power, stability, security, and solidarity. The uniqueness of the crisis requires us as political sociologists to reflect upon the very changing dynamics between politics and society, state and democracy, citizens, scientific authorities and political elites; between the national state, supra-/transnational institutions and the international sphere. Dynamics that we have witnessed in the past months, and whose consequences are still to reveal. In response, this section seeks to come up with extraordinary responses to an unprecedented crisis, by asking how the crisis affects our ways of thinking and conducting political sociology. How does it afflict our understanding of previous European and global crises – as the financial crisis in 2008, and the ‘migrant crisis’ in 2015? Do we need to reconsider liberal democracy, populism, nationalism and illiberal tendencies globally and within the EU -we tackled hardly in previous years-, through new lenses? What are the effects of the crisis on fundamental rights and liberties, on civil society mobilization, on political action of citizenry? How does the crisis affect the principles of deliberation, representation and accountability in EU and national policy- making? What does this crisis bring about regarding the interconnection among dismantled welfare state (including public health system), growing social inequalities, and abiding global dominion of a neoliberal capitalism? How did scientific and experts’ discourses, political discourses, (counter)narratives and (mis)information about the crisis and its consequences unfolded and intertwined throughout the European and global public space? We hope to provide theoretical, methodological and empirical analysis and proposals that would help leading the European societies and citizens out of the crisis, from “fragility to vitality”, desired by von der Leyen in her State of the Union address (September 2020). We invite contributions that might range over a large field of theoretical problems related to the above-mentioned basic concepts of the political sociology, under the stress of the Covid-19 outbreak crisis. In response to the methodological challenges that we have been facing during the crisis, in particular in conducting qualitative research, we invite contributions that present innovative methodological tools and solutions for conducting political sociology research in times of ‘social distancing’ and ‘hard borders’. Finally, the section welcomes empirical research on significant case studies in a comparative perspective.
Code Title Details
P126 Emotion and populism within and beyond the negative correlation View Panel Details
P130 Epistemic Populism, Conspiracy and Complex Truths View Panel Details
P135 EU and national crisis management: Governance tools, public discourses and decision-making processes View Panel Details
P271 National state and Covid-19 pandemic crisis: democracy, populism, nationalism View Panel Details
P295 Patriotism, Nationalism, Illiberalism in Their Relation to Religion: A Cross-Cultural Perspective View Panel Details
P331 Populism and science View Panel Details
P409 The Covid-19 pandemic transforming parliaments and democracy: Emerging practices for representation and policy-making across Europe View Panel Details
P455 Understanding Public Opinion and Voting In Pandemic Times View Panel Details