In recent years, populist parties across Europe have achieved their best ever results, taking up or consolidating positions in regional and national parliaments in some countries and entering governments at all levels in others. This increasing presence of populists in elected assemblies/parliaments and in government (at subnational and national levels) raises a number of questions which the workshop will seek to tackle. These can be broadly grouped as follows:
- Policies: Do populist parties modify their policies once in parliament/government and, if so, how? How are these changes/discrepancies communicated?
- Relationships with other parties: How do interactions with other parties change when in parliament/government? How do populists justify the decision to enter government? How do coalition partners justify the decision to invite populists into government? How and why is the decision taken to remove a cordon sanitaire?
- Communication: How do populists communicate with their supporters, membership and the public while in parliament and government?
- Electoral support: What are the reactions in terms of electoral outcomes after populists have entered government?
- Party organization: How do party organizations change to meet the challenges of parliamentary and government participation?
- Effects: What does the rise of populist parties and their entry into government mean for European party systems and liberal democracy?
We welcome papers that discuss these issues, both from theoretical and empirical perspectives. We particularly hope to attract comparative papers examining populists not only across time and space within Europe, but also at different levels of government and varying stages of party development.