EECPS is organising a monthly panel series, “Mapping European Populism”. Across ten monthly sessions, the panels bring scholars together to discuss the state of political populism in different regions of Europe. We have done 5 sessions so far: The first one was on Southern Europe and focused on Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal; the second one was on Central and Eastern Europe with the examples of Hungary, Poland, the Chech Republic and Serbia, and the third one was related to Scandinavia at which we discussed the situation in Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark. The fourth one analyzed populist politics in Europe’s heartland, namely Germany, Austria and France, and also the UK. In the fifth session, we examined the Balkans region by reviewing the state-of-the-art in Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Kosovo. The sixth session focused on the Benelux countries and Switzerland. The aim is to have a complete picture of populism in Europe following the conclusion of this panel series. After each session, ECPS publishes a panel report with the video recording on its website. This month, we are holding the 7th panel on the populist parties/actors and far-right movements in the Baltic countries and Belarus. Our panellists are Dr Jogile Ulinskaite, Dr Mari-Liis Jacobson, Dr Aleksandra Kuczynski-Zonik, and Dr Tatsiana Kulakevich, and Professor Andres Kasekamp will moderate the panel.
The panel is on the 15th of December from 15:00 to 17:00 (CET).
Sharp Power is a new concept that emphasises the policy transition from “soft” to “hard” in a global/local context. ECPS is hosting a weekly talk series exploring the concept of Sharp Power in collaboration with ADI & Deakin University. The talk series will consist of eight live-streamed seminars every Wednesday from October until mid-December. The live streams will also be published on the YouTube channel. During the sessions, distinguished experts in the field will hold theoretical background, country contexts (China and Russia), European and Asian cases, impacts on the digital environment, and human rights perspectives.
Our upcoming session will be in a panel format with the participation of Dr Grigorij Meseznikov, Dr Tihomira Doncheva, and Dr Victor Denisenko and will feature the case of Central Europe and the Balkans.
ECPS is looking to empower PhD candidates and early-stage post-docs by launching the Early Career Researchers Network (ECRN) platform that ultimately aims at boosting cooperation, knowledge-sharing, and socialization amongst like-minded individuals.
Becoming an ECRN member will give you immediate access to inspirational discussions with other scholars from diverse disciplines. Moreover, you will have the chance to propose events aligned with your interests and help in their design, elaboration, and execution. Further, ECRN members will enjoy attending seminars, workshops and conferences that will increase their knowledge of multidisciplinary methodologies and new theoretical trends and provide them with career advisory focused on the public and private sectors.
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, this network for PhD candidates and early-stage post-docs will be used to share job opportunities and potential collaborations with the media, specialized magazines, and other research institutes. It will also serve as a reminder for upcoming events, call for papers in academic journals, and deadlines for job applications!
Do you want to contribute to ECRN? If so, do not hesitate to contact us through our email at email@example.com if you want more information about the next steps in becoming a member of this network.
Voice of Early Career Researchers
“Culture wars in a fragmented Brazil, a guide to understanding what happened in the Brazilian election” by João Ferreira Dias
João Ferreira Dias is a researcher at the Centre for International Studies – ISCTE, Lisbon, in the Research Group Institutions, Governance and International Relations. He is conducting research on culture wars, politics of identity and fundamental rights. PhD in African Studies (2016). PhD candidate in International Studies (2021-). Columnist. https://linktr.ee/joaoferreiradias
First of November brought Lula’s reelection as President. He won but did not win. The results leave the country in the same polarization and without any chance of reconciliation. Brazil is a country without communicating vessls. If the social situation will not escalate into civil war and Lula da Silv takes office within the (minimum) regular functioning of institutions, Brazilian democracy will enter its most decisive chapter since the end of the dictatorship. However, the challenge is Herculean because what is at stake, from now on, is to save democracy from its most terrible ghosts. Read
Voice of Youth
“The anatomy of the Italian vote” by Luca Mancin
In a few months, indignant citizens will probably forget their fascist fear, while Meloni’s supporters, after the “honeymoon period”, will become progressively more critical toward their leader – because rhetoric is rhetoric, but politics is politics. In five years, but probably less, everything will start over – only with more national debts on the shoulder of the young people. “Everything must change for everything to remain the same,” Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa wrote in The Leopard (1958). That is Italy, and it has always been.
In this talk, on 14 November, Dr. Heidi Hart explored the wide range of musical genres and styles used in populist and particularly far-right propaganda in European context. From feel-good folk songs appealing to young people in Germany to nationalist mehter band music in Turkey and “identity rock” and political chants in Italy, musical forms that appeal to a sense of belonging, heritage, and ressentiment are especially powerful when they hook into embodied cultural associations. Dr Hart illustrated the phenomenon of “entrainment” or rhythmic synchronization between body and sound, as well as culturally dependent forms of sonic association that take on new ideological meanings in a world veering toward authoritarianism. Because music can reach the body more directly than text by itself, it is an effective tool for manipulation, especially among young people who are still forming a sense of purpose and identity.
Our fifth instalment of the “Mapping European Populism” series explored the growing populist movements in the Balkan countries. Our panel of experts broke down the conditions for rising populist parties and far-right movements in the Balkan countries; Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Kosovo.
This past week we kicked off our Sharp Power Talk Series in a session featuring one of the biggest names in the field, Christopher Walker. Since coining the phrase sharp power in 2017, Walker has worked on raising awareness around these authoritarian manipulation tactics and the threats they pose to democracies. Revisit the session here to gain an overview of this increasingly relevant concept!
“Lula is back! Third time lucky or will his return lead to the revival of Bolsonaro?” by Nicole McLean