Building: VMP 8 Floor: 2 Room: 207
The recent crises weathered by the EU have opened up a series of opportunities for political challengers of different ideological persuasions. Such opportunities may be seen to enhance their prospects for successful mobilisation and their ability to shape the public debate. Yet, beyond the most predictable arenas where populist and radical challengers could reap fruit (that is, the electoral one and public opinion), lie a whole array of often uncharted territories. There is, for instance, a widespread perception that populist and radical parties have tipped the balance of contention in their favour by conditioning the policy choices of governments in place - either directly or indirectly. The scholarship on mainstream-outsider parties' interactions has discussed a series of responses to populist/radical collective actors, but leaves a number of questions, at best, only partly addressed. A first question relates to the spheres of impact: with particular reference to the populist radical right, are these actors able to exert influence beyond immigration and minority issues, and release effects, for instance, on European matters and foreign policy? A second question should keep the different levels of political activity in mind; research efforts predominantly focused on consequences at the national level, though largely neglected institution-shaping and policy-making effects at the local and supranational levels. Another crucial question pertains to populist and radical parties in government: what happens to the quality of democracy and the polity when populist and radical parties are no longer challengers, but themselves actual power-holders? The panel seeks to answer these and other questions problematising the influence of populist and radical parties, and does so by drawing evidence from single-case and comparative studies.