European Politics During the Crisis: Developing Research Agendas

Locations
Muirhead Tower, Room 427
Category
Research
Date(s)
Wednesday 1st May 2013 (12:00-18:00)
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Description

This one day workshop aims to facilitate the process of developing research agendas in the light of both the global economic crisis and Eurozone crisis.

The nature of studying European politics - both national and supranational - has and is changing rapidly as a result of both the ongoing global economic crisis and Eurozone crisis. Governments and national populations have both seemingly moved towards a more nationalist approach to European integration – initial responses to the banking crisis were national rather than supranational, and divisions over how to respond to the Eurozone crisis have taken a nationalist turn with ‘frugal’ Germans rejecting excessive support for ‘profligate’ Greeks. Euroscepticism amongst European publics has also witnessed a revival during the crises. Simultaneously, however, the adoption of the European Stability Mechanism potentially represents a major advance in European integration.

Further, the nationalist and austerity turn within the EU is also likely to impact the Union’s ability and willingness to rise to external challenges, from climate change, to development, energy security and to the Arab Spring, and its appetite for future enlargement is clearly diminished, leaving its relations with major partner countries, like Turkey, and entire regions, like the Western Balkans, in a state of uncertainty.

Within national politics we have witnessed new patterns of political participation, which represent a move towards more challenging behaviour by mass actors - witness anti-austerity general strikes in Greece, Portugal and Spain; strikes, fuel blockades and mass marches against reductions in French pensions; sustained student protests against higher education policies in the UK and Italy. In terms of party politics, we have witnessed an apparent polarisation of partisan positions, potentially representing a move away from processes of cartelization that had been observed prior to the crisis. Thus, the remarkable rise in the popularity of the electoral left (as opposed to centre-left) parties and coalitions, such as Syriza in Greece, and Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s Parti de Gauche in France, coincide with the rise of new (far) right parties such as Golden Dawn in Greece and UKIP in the United Kingdom.

In the light of these developments, therefore, there is a need to re-assess, re-think, re-design, re-evaluate and re-invogorate existing research agendas, which will form the subject of discussion for the workshop.

We have limited funds available to support postgraduate students’ attendance – please contact David Bailey (d.j.bailey@bham.ac.uk) for details.

Provisional Timetable

12.00 - 13.00 Lunch, Welcome and Introduction
13.00 - 14.00

The comparative political economy of Europe: responding to crisis

Paul Lewis (Birmingham Business School), Jason Heyes (Sheffield)

14.00 - 15.00

European party politics

Isabelle Hertner (POLSIS), Simon Lightfoot (Leeds), Michael Holmes (Liverpool Hope)

15.00 - 15.30

Tea/Coffee

15.15 - 16.15

Changing patterns of political participation

David Bailey (POLSIS), Stephen Bates (POLSIS), Mònica Clua Losada (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona

16.15 - 17.15 In with the New (Again): "Annuals’, "Perennials" and the Patterns of Party Politics in Central and Eastern Europe

Tim Haughton (CREES), Karin Bottom (INLOGOV)

 

17.15 - 18.00 What next for the European Studies Research Group?

Close and workshop group meal