Click on a workshop title to see the full description.
- Are parliamentary institutions still fit for purpose?
- Challenging Anthropocentrism in Political Science: Gender, Race, Intersectionality, and the More-Than-Human
- Continuity and Change in European (Dis)Integration
- Ethnic Minorities, Islam and Migration in Politics
- Lokale politiek in Nederland en Vlaanderen
- Patterns of opposition to welfare policy: chauvinism, populism and Euroscepticism
- Political Communication
- Realism and International Relations in Times of Change
- Technoscience and Politics: Imaginaries, Infrastructures, and Innovation
- The Causes and Consequences of Political Support
- The Politics and Economics of EU Macroeconomic Policy Coordination: from the European Semester to the Recovery and Resilience Facility
- Volatility & Polarization in the Low Countries
#1 - Are parliamentary institutions still fit for purpose?
Martijn Huysmans (Utrecht University)
Christine Neuhold (Maastricht University)
The goal of this workshop is to bring together empirical and theoretical contributions that address issues of parliamentary organization, with a focus on parliaments in the EU.
With the Treaty of Lisbon, the European and national EU parliaments have received more formal rights in EU politics (see e.g. Auel & Neuhold, 2017; Cooper 2018; Ripoll Servent 2010; van Gruisen & Huysmans 2020). Likely in part as a reaction to these new formal powers, national parliaments in the EU became more aware of EU issues and have invested in the exchange of information through networks and platforms such as COSAC, IPEX, and their national parliamentary representatives, engendering a process of transnationalization of national parliaments (see e.g. Crum, 2020).
However, the European Parliament and national parliaments also face challenges in EU politics in the form of Brexit, Covid, and the dominance of the European Council in moments of crisis and key decisions such as the appointment of the European Commission. A recent ‘European democracy action plan’ (2020) also raises the issue that ‘pressure is mounting on democracy.’
The much-anticipated Conference on the Future of Europe will certainly have to grapple with the role of EU Parliaments in light of their new roles and challenges. How can parliaments harness their new rights and opportunities? What are best practices in terms of organization, and which channels maximize their influence?
While parliaments face unique challenges and opportunities in EU politics, this workshop also wants to look beyond the role of parliaments in the EU only. How do parliaments worldwide cope with political and societal evolutions? How do they organize their internal business? In matters of international politics, do they engage directly with other parliaments and how? (see e.g. Frennhof Larsén (2008) on relations between the Japanese Diet and the EP)
#2 - Challenging Anthropocentrism in Political Science: Gender, Race, Intersectionality, and the More-Than-Human
Mihnea Tanasescu, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Mariska Jung, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
At the dawn of the Anthropocene, the category of the human (the “anthropos” of the new era) needs to be critically examined. This need goes against the dominant tendencies in political theory and science that, for the better part of their history, have been founded on the exclusive right of humans to convene a polis. Consequently, critical study of land issues, climate change, animals and tensions between wildlife and urbanity have remained niche endeavors within the field of political science. Yet current phenomena such as climate change, refugeeship, the COVID-19 pandemic, land struggles of indigenous communities, and the incremental success of European animal parties shows that our realities are comprised of more-than-human entities which translate into concrete non-human political urgencies that political science should not leave understudied.
Moreover, if political scientists do study the more-than-human, they rarely engage in dialogue with scholarship on gender, race, ethnicity and migration politics. Yet there are rich theoretical fields that have engaged the non-human from and gender, race or intersectional perspective, such as varies strands of political ecology, ecofeminism, critical animal studies, feminist new materialism and decolonial ecology. We therefore see a real and timely opportunity for political scientists to rise to the challenges of our times and push the field forward by engaging these cutting-edge theories in their study of more-than-human politics.
We take up the term politics broadly, as this may include topics that have captured the attention of local, national or European representative politics, social movements, political parties or general political debates. The more-than-human is also given a broad meaning, and may refer to nature as such, ecology, climate, environments, wildlife, farming, food, lands, rivers, viruses, technology, and so on. We welcome empirical studies and theoretical or philosophical essays. Ideally, the workshop hosts a mix of these approaches.
#3 - Continuity and Change in European (Dis)Integration
Gijs Jan Brandsma, Radboud Universiteit
Markus Haverland, Erasmus Universiteit
Reinout van der Veer, Radboud Universiteit
Over the years, the EU has moved from a largely elite-led diplomatic project to a system of multilevel governance, in which member states share policy-making with supranational institutions, and has become contested among political elites and the public alike. Since the early 2000s, we have witnessed increasing public contention over European matters in election campaigns and party and media discourse. The shift in the power balance between national governments and supranational institutions started to influence the attitudes and behaviour of political parties and ordinary citizens. The deep economic and political interdependence in Europe becomes vividly clear in times of crisis (e.g. COVID-19, migration, the Eurozone crisis). Even to the least politically aware, rifts can be seen from North to South about questions of redistribution of resources and power, and from East to West about the core values underlying the European project.
This workshop aims to bring together contributions about the core challenges that the EU faces today. We invite papers about a variety of topics, including, but not limited to the following:
• Public opinion and Mass Media
• Political Parties
• Political Bargaining
• Political Institutions
• EU-member state relations
• EU Policy
• Processes of Integration and Disintegration
These topics can be approached from an empirical or normative angle, from a variety of methodological standpoints and levels of analysis, including the regional, national and European level.
#4 - Ethnic Minorities, Islam and Migration in Politics
Niels Spierings, Radboud Universiteit
Floris Vermeulen, Universiteit van Amsterdam
One cannot understand current politics without a proper understanding of the roles played by ethnic-minority actors as well as their anti-migrant and anti-Islam counterparts.
While much knowledge exists on the ethnic participation gap, (anti-)migrant voting, and the organization of anti-migration parties, an ever-changing context leads to new questions, for instance linked to societal debates on colonialism, systemic discrimination, or cultural resistance.
Are Islamic identity and anti-Islam discrimination becoming more important drivers of political participation and does this leads to a narrowing participation gap? How have racist argument been normalized by media? What explains the new success of ethnic-minority parties in the Netherland while being absent in Flanders? Which ethnic-minority or religious groups evaluate politics more positively? What are the dominant threats in anti-migration politics and how do they resonate with voters? And how do socio-economic, ethnic and gender issues intersect in mobilizing citizen protest?
This workshop focuses on the contemporary situation in the low countries in comparative perspective regarding the role of ethnic-minority status, Islam and migration (EMIM) in parliamentary and extra-parliamentary politics, in terms of empowerment and inclusion as well as rejection and anti-EMIM politics. Particularly, we hope forge a stronger connection between our knowledge of EMIM politics and anti-EMIM politics.
Amongst others, we welcome (theoretical, overview, qualitative and quantitative) papers focusing on:
• the influence of racist, anti-migration and anti-Islam politics on the mobilization of ethnic minorities, Muslim and migrant citizens, and vice versa;
• media portrayal of and discourses on the interaction between actors and events in EMIM politics, from both sides of the debate;
• the mobilization and empowerment of ethnic minorities, Muslim and citizens with a migrant background in the low countries (in comparative perspective); and
• the role of EMIM issues in anti-migration and PRR politics in the low countries (in comparative perspective).
#5 - Lokale politiek in Nederland en Vlaanderen
Dr. P. Castenmiller (PBLQ / Universiteit Leiden / VU)
Dr. H. Reynaert (Universiteit Gent)
De westerse democratie lijkt in veel landen onder druk te staan. Er zijn grote maatschappelijke uitdagingen (vergrijzing, (kinder)armoede, vereenzaming,…) en er zijn ook vele ontevreden burgers (cfr de (gemeenteraads)verkiezingen), terwijl er sprake lijkt van een ogenschijnlijk onmachtige overheid. Het lokaal niveau zou, volgens de leer, die uitdagingen bij uitstek moeten ervaren. Bovendien worden van de lokale overheid ook als eerste ‘oplossingen’ verwacht, zoals in de energietransitie of in zorg en welzijn. Staat ook het lokale bestuur onder druk, en hoe gaat dan het lokaal bestuur met deze uitdagingen om? Aan uitdagingen zeker geen gebrek. Denken we maar aan de verdere discussie over de fusies van gemeenten, wat met het provinciale niveau, evolueren we naar stadsregio’s, etcetera.
De ondertussen traditionele, langstlopende workshop tijdens het PoliticologenEtmaal, over lokale politiek, zal ook dit jaar ween (digitaal of fysiek) platform bieden om hierover van gedachten te wisselen. Peter Castenmiller (PBLQ) en Herwig Reynaert (Universiteit Gent) zullen de workshop wederom organiseren. De workshop is dé ontmoetingsplaats voor alle politicologen in Nederland en Vlaanderen die zich bezig houden met het lokale bestuur. Onze insteek impliceert dat allerlei bijdragen over lokale politiek en bestuur meer dan welkom zijn. Het essentiële doel van onze workshop is immers om elke politicoloog die zich bezighoudt met lokale besturen een platform en ontmoetingsplaats te bieden waar kennis, ervaringen en inzichten uitgewisseld kunnen worden. Bovendien bieden wij weer graag de mogelijkheid om naast die uitwisseling van kennis en informatie ook de persoonlijke relaties te versterken.
#6 - Patterns of opposition to welfare policy: chauvinism, populism and Euroscepticism
Benjamin Leruth (University of Groningen)
Gianna Maria Eick (University of Konstanz)
Over the past three decades, European welfare states have undergone significant transformations across Europe. In most countries, key elements of the post-war social contract (such as old-age pensions, sick pay, unemployment benefits and access to healthcare) were reformed to reduce public expenditure. This led to the emergence of new welfare policy paradigms. Among these paradigms, three patterns of political opposition to welfare policy have progressively become influential. The first one is welfare chauvinism, i.e. the preference to grant entitlements to rights and access to welfare state benefits only to the members of one’s own ethnic community. The second one is welfare populism, namely the combination of egalitarianism and a critical view pertaining to the welfare state. The third one is welfare Euroscepticism, according to which the process of European integration constitutes a threat to social security.
While the relevance and success of these policy paradigms significantly vary between countries, their consequences on the future of the welfare state remain understudied. Furthermore, existing studies focus on specific sets of actors within the public sphere, such as political parties or public attitudes. With the exception of a few studies on policy congruence, little research has been done to compare welfare preferences and claims made by different actors, and how these shape welfare policy.
This workshop ambitions to bring together scholars of different disciplines who are interested in understanding the causes and consequences of the rise of these three policy paradigms within the public sphere. The central research questions to be addressed within the framework of this workshop are:
1. How and why do public actors advocate welfare chauvinism, welfare populism and/or welfare Euroscepticism?
2. What are the consequences of these policy paradigms on the future of the welfare state?
3. How can we explain the varying influence of these paradigms across Europe?
#7 - Political Communication
Emma Turkenburg (KULeuven)
Karolin Soontjens (UAntwerpen)
Sanne Kruikemeier (UvA)
Ruud Wouters (UAntwerpen)
Communication is a crucial aspect of politics. Among other things, political communication deals with the way political actors (parties, politicians, social movements,...) communicate information to citizens, how news media cover political actors, how this media coverage affects different actors such as voters and politicians, how political actors communicate with each other,....
This workshop aims to bring together relevant scholarship that address the broader causes and consequences of (new) media and (mediated) communication for political processes and its actors. We reach out to scholars of political communication in the broadest sense, and contributions investigating the impact of contemporary challenges to political communication - such as the fragmentation of the media landscape, fake news and disinformation, increased (online) incivility, etc. - are especially encouraged. The wide array of communication channels available to both political actors and citizens today, makes for a multitude of interesting topics to be assessed during this workshop.
We invite researchers from different disciplines and with different methodological backgrounds. Ideally, this workshop would accommodate a diverse selection of methods, such as survey research, experiments, (automated) content analysis, process tracing and other methods.
#8 - Realism and International Relations in Times of Change
Gustav Meibauer, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Linde Desmaele, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Michiel Foulon, ETH Zürich
Realism is usually considered one of IR’s mainstream approaches, especially for the study of war, grand strategy, balances of power, and interstate competition. It is frequently taught and cited, but almost as frequently criticized as out-of-date. In particular, as even realism’s newest variant neoclassical realism already enters its third decade, critics (continue to) argue that it fails to account for change(s) in IR. This criticism remains important as a diverse range of issues and changing international dynamics continue to permeate policy and scholarly agendas — including climate change, global health crises, terrorism, populism and (anti-)globalization. Realist attempts at responding to these charges and updating their theoretical and analytical tools, however, have been criticized as degenerative and lacking in internal consistency. In this depiction, realism has long outlived its use. And yet in recent years, the re-emergence of potential great power competition has triggered renewed interest in realist analyses.
Against this backdrop, this workshop examines what realism can contribute to studying IR in times of change. This workshop invites realists and other IR theorists to critically consider continuity and change in the historical and contemporary dynamics of international politics, and interrogate concepts such as history, time, socialization, emulation, critical junctures, and grand strategic change. How do diverging research agendas, realist and otherwise, interact? What type of theory emerges? Where can we expect theoretical innovation — and to what end? These questions do not simply involve theoretical introspection; they are crucial to the systematic investigation of important empirical problems centring on processes and patterns of cooperation and competition. In addressing these questions and problems, this workshop will consider how realism interrelates with change(s) in international relations. Both junior and established scholars will seek to develop novel theoretical answers and directions, and rethink what realism contributes to studying change(s) in IR.
#9 - Technoscience and Politics: Imaginaries, Infrastructures, and Innovation
Malcolm Campbell-Verduyn, University of Groningen
Raluca Csernatoni, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Marijn Hoijtink Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
Technology, in its multiple forms, is a central but often implicit element of politics. This is despite established technologies, such as railroads, and emerging ones, such as the internet-of-things or machine-learning algorithms, having profound repercussions on the structuring of politics. Most prominently today, technologies have structured the global spread, detection and international response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has included, amongst others, by technology, from planes and drones to vaccines and contact tracing apps. Yet while technology and its ramifications for politics is increasingly visible, serious engagement with how technology is embedded in politics by means of its interaction with humans, science and international publics is still lacking. This is due to two broader tendencies within politics and International Relations literatures. The first is a tendency to conceptualize and instrumentalize technology as an external tool that amplifies power, accelerates globalization or plays a role in the production and circulation of norms, but that is itself largely a-political. A second tendency that has prevented an analytical appreciation of technology concerns the way in which agency has traditionally been conceptualized – that is, as human action, which is, then, more or less constrained by the social structures in which it is embedded. To enable a focus that takes seriously how technology is embedded in politics and constitutive of political, scientific and governance effects, this workshop builds on efforts in IR to integrate insights and approaches from Science and Technology Studies (STS) in examining the enactment of technoscientific and expert-driven knowledge, as well as new forms of technological participation, contestation and resistance. In particular, we seek to build on recent studies of ‘technoscience’ that have drawn on STS insights on Imaginaries, Infrastructures, and Innovation in investigating the world-making capacities of science and technology in global politics.
#10 - The Causes and Consequences of Political Support
Dr. Eefje Steenvoorden, University of Amsterdam
Ebe Ouattara, MSc. University of Amsterdam
Prof. dr. Tom van der Meer, University of Amsterdam
Over the past 50 years, citizens’ attitudes of support for democracy, its values, and its institutions have occupied a hot seat in public debates. The causes and consequences of system support appear to be of great importance to academics, journalists, politicians and citizens alike. This interest stems from the belief that widespread political support is essential for the stability and quality of democratic regimes. It undergirds the legitimacy of democratic systems, provides leeway to policy-makers in times of crises, facilitates broad compliance with the law and promotes broad citizen-engagement. Conversely, the erosion of system support may be a cause for concern. Recent scholarship on democratic deconsolidation and erosion echoes these arguments and links low trust in public institutions to growing disinterest in politics and support for authoritarianism and populism.
Yet, the absence of political support may also be beneficial for the quality of democracy. The absence of political support may serve as an important mechanism of widespread accountability if it reflects attitudes of critical citizens who seek to minimize the gap between democracy as practiced and the democratic ideal. Political dissatisfaction may precede much needed changes that strengthen democratic regimes.
In this panel, we invite papers that provide conceptual, theoretical and/or empirical insight about the antecedents of political support (broadly defined as support for democracy, its values, and/or its institutions), and its consequences for the stability and quality of democracy. We welcome qualitative as well as quantitative studies, single case studies as well as comparative studies.
#11 - The Politics and Economics of EU Macroeconomic Policy Coordination: from the European Semester to the Recovery and Resilience Facility
Amy Verdun, Political Science, Leiden University and University of Victoria
Paul Schure, Economics, University of Victoria
Valerie D'Erman, Political Science, University of Victoria
With the eruption of the Covid-19 crisis, commentators and critics are honing in on the European Union (EU) to see what it can do to encourage cooperation in macroeconomic policy-making once the immediate crisis has subsided and the effects of the ensuing economic downturn will become clear. Questions around solidarity but also mutual understanding have come to the fore. In the past year, the stark standoff has been between the ‘South’ – represented by France, Italy, Spain and Portugal – and the ‘North’ represented by Germany and the Netherlands. There are also questions about democracy, the rule of law, and the interaction between economic and social issues (including a gendered dimension) and even the need to address the climate crisis (the Green deal). In order to advise policy-makers of the usefulness of the existing framework of the European Semester, this workshop seeks to encourage papers that examine the past decade of macro-economic policy coordination (that is, since the start of the European Semester), with a particular focus on the involvement of domestic actors and member state governments in the European Semester process, widely conceived. In terms of methodology, papers are welcome that either adopt quantitative or qualitative methods (or mixed methods). In terms of theoretical underpinnings, the workshop is eclectic and welcomes a range of approaches although we expect papers to concentrate on the international-domestic nexus and thus to be sensitive to domestic (institutional) differences. Some people in this workshop may be part of a broader Jean Monnet Network (EUROSEM); but those unrelated to that network are warmly encouraged to apply to join the workshop.
#12 - Volatility & Polarization in the Low Countries
Mariken van der Velden, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Patrick van Erkel, Universiteit Antwerpen
Dirck de Kleer, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Current societies increasingly face social and political challenges. Across the Western world we see strong polarization – with citizens becoming both more extreme in their political opinions as well as in their feelings towards political opponents - leading to parliamentary and legislative gridlock. In addition, ever more parties are elected in parliament, resulting in a political arena that is highly fragmented electorally. Moreover, populists question the legitimacy of politicians and capitalize on citizens’ and pundits’ critiques of the establishment. These patterns of electoral change have important ramifications for the democratic processes. Especially in coalition countries, such as Belgium and the Netherlands, that have traditionally been characterized by a culture of strong political consensus.
This workshop invites papers which speak to these broader questions on the basis of analyses of (the causes and consequences of) electoral choices and public opinion in recent elections in the Low Countries. The idea of the workshop is to be inclusive with regards to different subthemes (campaigns, leaders, the role of the media, the economy, ideology and issues), as long as the paper focuses on voting behaviour and public opinion. Moreover, we especially want to support young academics that, due to the pandemic, have had fewer opportunities for feedback on their work.