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Università di Torino, Luigi Einaudi Campus

Lungo Dora Siena

10153 Turin


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13th-14th January 2017- Department of Cultures, Politics and Society (DCPS), University of Turin

A conference organised by the Political Studies Association’s Italian Politics and Anti-politics Specialist Groups, with the support of the PSA and the Faculdade de Ciencias Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova De Lisboa.

European democracies are under pressure. The rise of alternative left and right political parties and new populist parties, discontent with traditional ‘slow’ political processes and growing preferences among citizens for internet and social media-driven movements and the increasing success of ‘antipolitics’ rhetoric have seen politicians across European liberal democracies struggle to retain their relevance in an increasingly globalised, fast-paced social and economic world. Moreover, European leaders are facing increasing difficulties to deal with a growing confluence of crises, including an unprecedented influx of refugees, discontent at harsh austerity measures imposed on EU member states, and more broadly dissatisfaction with the European integration project. This is clearly manifested in the growth of euro-sceptic parties and anti-EU feelings even in traditionally ‘Europhile’ countries, and in the recent ‘Brexit’ referendum in the UK. The dynamics and forms of these pressures are multidimensional and compound: they have different roots and have taken different paths across Europe, and yet they converge in challenging political structures and the very institution of democracy.

The aim of this conference is to offer a distinctive approach in capturing such complexity, inviting contributions from scholars across Europe that will: reflect on the causes, symptoms, effects, and long-term consequences of the so-called ‘democratic crisis’; develop explicitly comparative insights into the European ‘democratic crisis’, within and between countries as well as at the transnational ‘European’ level; offer an opportunity to ‘redefine’, in the light of current changes and challenges, the key concepts (e.g. anti-politics, politicisation/de-politicisation, populism, political participation, and the very idea of ‘democracy’) underpinning the debate on ‘democratic crisis’.


DAY 1 (Friday 13 January)

12:15-12:45 Registration

12:45-13:00 Welcome: Franca Roncarolo (DCPS, Turin), Arianna Giovannini (IPSG), Matt Wood (APSG)

13:00-14:00 Keynote: ' Revisiting democratic principles in times of heightened interconnectedness' - Simona Piattoni (Professor of Politics, University of Trento; SISP President)

14:00-15:30 Panel 1: Parties and movements: between democratic innovation and protest

Chair: Giuliano Bobba (University of Turin)

‘Nothing new under the sun? Institutionalisation and organisational change in contemporary movement parties: an analysis through the case of the Five Star Movement’ Daniela Piccio, University of Turin

‘Social Movements as sites of political innovation’ Andrea Felicetti & Donatella Della Porta (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa)

‘The Icelandic Challenge: a laboratory for Europe?’ Lionel Cordier, University of Lyon & University of Iceland

‘Reshaping political participation? The use of the internet by the Five Star Movement and Podemos’ Cecilia Biancalana (University of Turin) & Raffaella Fittipaldi (University of Florence)

15:30-15:45 Coffee Break

15:45-17:15 Panel 2: Anti-politics and populist tensions: challenging or fuelling the democratic crisis?

Chair: Laura Polverari (University of Strathclyde)

‘Brexit, anti-politics and the quest for control’ Matt Wood (University of Sheffield) & Arianna Giovannini (De Montfort University)

‘The age of populism? An analysis of political communication in Italy and France’ Giuliano Bobba (University of Turin and Collegio Carlo Alberto) & Antonella Seddone (Université Catholique de Lille & University of Turin)

‘Elite responses to the crisis: a case of trying to stop the tide?’ James L. Newell (University of Salford)

‘The EU on the verge: falling forward again? Migrant crisis and populist discourses in Austria’ Werner Pleschberger (Universität für Bodenkultur, Vienna)

17:15-18:15 Workshop:

‘A deliberative experience: two editions of the Turin Deliberative Budget. Promises and pitfalls from different democratic perspectives’ Dr Stefania Ravazzi and Dr Gianfranco Pomatto, University of Turin

19:30— Conference Dinner (Optional, pre-booking required**)

** if you wish to join the conference dinner please email the conference organisers by Friday 6 January

DAY 2 (Saturday 14 January)

9:00-10:15 Panel 3: Electoral dynamics: assessing the democratic crisis through the vote

Chair: Antonella Seddone (Université Catholique de Lille & University of Turin)

‘Does the iron curtain still exist? Trends and sources of electoral volatility between Eastern and Western Europe (1990-2015)’ Vincenzo Emanuele (LUISS, Rome), Alessandro Chiaramonte (University of Florence) & Sorina Soare (University of Florence)

‘On the electoral consequences of protest motivations underlining vote choices: an empirical analysis of Western European countries’ Stefano Camatarri (University of Milan & University of Nottingham)

‘The declining role of traditional parties in Spanish municipalities. Mapping and explaining the rise of localist lists in an age of crisis’ Eliska Drapalova (Hertie School of Governance, Berlin) & Davide Vampa (De Montfort University)

‘Populism and Democratic Politics in Turkey’ Onur Yildiz (Yalova University)

10:15-10:30 Coffee Break

10:30-12:00 Panel 4: Responding to Anti-politics: Crisis, Accountability and Reform

Chair: Elisabetta De Giorgi (FCSH, Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

‘Accountability in post-crisis politics: Assessing contemporary challenges for decision-making and democracy’ Elisabetta De Giorgi, Rui Branco, Catherine Moury, Adam Standring (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

‘The Italian Constitutional Reform: Rethinking decision-making in times of crisis’ Michelangelo Vercesi (University of Pavia & Leuphana University Lüneburg)

‘Anti-systemic or opposition parties within the European Parliament? The Case of the Five Star Movement and Syriza’ Eugenio Salvati (University of Pavia)

‘Transnational municipalism and the local-centre relationship’ Elisabetta Mocca (University of Edinburgh)

12:00-12:50 Roundtable: European Democracy Under Stress. Lessons from comparative analysis

Panellists: Alfio Mastropaolo (Professor of Political Science, University of Turin); Daniele Albertazzi (Senior Lecturer in European Politics, University of Birmingham); Anna Masera (Journalist, editor-in-chief and public-editor, La Stampa; director of the Master in Journalism, University of Turin)

Chair: Dr Matt Wood (Deputy Director, Sir Bernard Crick Centre for the Public Understanding of PoliticsUniversity of Sheffield; ESRC Future Research Leaders Fellow; APSG)

12:50-12:55 Closing: Antonella Seddone (Université Catholique de Lille & University of Turin, IPSG)

12:55-13:30 Lunch buffet & drinks

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Università di Torino, Luigi Einaudi Campus

Lungo Dora Siena

10153 Turin


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