195 Populist Party Transformation and Quality of Democracy in Europe

Thursday, July 13, 2017: 4:00 PM-5:45 PM
WMP Yudowitz Seminar Room 1 (University of Glasgow)
Populism was once considered a temporary oppositional force in Europe in the margins, but now features in the mainstream of political discourse with increasing electoral success. Of particular concern is the rise of radical right populism that excludes immigrants and minorities, which has gained traction since the 1980s. While scholars have started documenting the relationship between populism and democratic erosion and democratic performance, there is work to be done in elaborating the causal processes at play and differentiating between and measuring policy impacts of populism and discursive impacts of populism.

This panel welcomes papers discussing the impacts of populist transformation on parties and political actors and the consequences for quality of democracy in Europe, both in terms of party strategies and policy outcomes. We are especially interested in papers that explore discursive elements of populism such as discourse, ideological positions, framing, etc. How and why has populist discourse changed over time? What strategies do parties and leaders adopt to compete for electoral success? How might discursive elements of populism impact voter behaviour/attitudes? How might populist discourse impact quality of democracy and how can it be empirically measured?

To address these questions, we invite papers from graduate students, junior, and senior scholars interested in exploring the impact that populist party politics have on the quality of democracy in Europe from a comparative perspective. Contributions can employ qualitative, quantitative, and/or mixed-methods approaches. Theoretical papers, as well as empirical single-case studies contributing to a wider understanding of populism and democracy are also welcome.

Lori Thorlakson and Nicole Lugosi
Discussant :
Bartek Pytlas
Measuring the Impact of the Populist Radical Right on Quality of Democracy in CEE: The Discursive Dimension
Lori Thorlakson, University of Alberta; Nicole Lugosi, University of Alberta
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