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Political Sociology: Contemporary Challenges to State-Society Relations

Social Movements
Political Sociology
Section Number
Section Chairs
Laura Landorff
Aalborg Universitet
Oscar Mazzoleni
Université de Lausanne
Section Co-Chair

Globalisation, transnationalism, European integration, and digitalisation represent historical challenges to established State-Society Relations in the first decades of the twenty-first century. In response to these developments, this section addresses the question of how state-society relations are currently being reconfigured in the European context. On the one hand, we observe nation states under stress in terms of a decline of political participation, loss of trust in representative institutions, increasing bureaucratisation and securitisation and new forms of multilevel confrontation and conflict at intra-national, European, and transnational level. On the other hand, we observe how societal actors are empowered against states in the use of new digital technologies, rights and citizenship and new forms of association beyond the national. In the tradition of political sociology, this section seeks to explore how these various re-nationalising and trans-nationalising/Europeanising forces have an impact on both state and society. What are the consequences of these developments regarding both established state-society relations at national level and European integration with the prospect of an emerging ‘European society’? How are these developments of breaking up existing state-society relations resisted by new sovereigntist forces and populist parties? How do they affect several domains such as citizenship, solidarity, migration, civic mobilisation and social movements within the wider European space? Moreover, what challenges social identities, trust and legitimacy both between (national) state and its different social parts, and on a supra- and transnational level? Prompting inter- and multidisciplinary research, this section invites panel proposals from various disciplinary angles and multiple methodologies to address the changing state-society relations and thus to contribute to a new political sociology in Europe.

Panel List

Code Title Details
P108Elites, Anti-Elites and Civil Society: The Changing Landscapes of Power and Populism in Europe View Panel Details
P163Identity Politics in (Anti-)Populist and Radical Discourse View Panel Details
P349Social Networks and the Transformation of the Political Sphere View Panel Details
P428The Transnational Dimension of Populism: Manifestations, Interactions, and Mobilisations View Panel Details
P434Thinking Reflexively about the Political Sociology of the EU View Panel Details
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