'Fragile Europe' - European Political Sociology, Charles University Prague, Czech Republic, 2-3 November 2018

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Application deadline: 14 May 2018

The 5th ESA RN-32 mid-term conference aims to gather researchers working from within a European political-sociological perspective.  We particularly welcome proposals for individual papers and panels dealing with the following – interrelated themes:

  • Populism. Populist movements and parties, preponderantly if not exclusively on the right of the political spectrum, are increasingly visible throughout Europe, and in some instances are playing an important role in government. To what extent populism poses a threat to the existing democratic systems (including the EU), and to what does it provide an opportunity to innovate or renovate democracy?

  • Feminist/sexualities projects and backlash. Conflicting tendencies are visible in Europe regarding issues of gender equality and LGBT rights. The #MeToo campaign is pushing for a timely redefinition of the position of women in society, while the equal marriage rights and trans-rights movements challenge established social hierarchies and press for new legal frameworks. At the same time a conservative backlash is gathering pace in various European societies (e.g. Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, UK) pushing against expanding women’s rights on such issues as abortion or violence against women, and LGBT rights for more inclusive definitions of marriage.

  • (Transnational) social movements, austerity, and human rights. The multiple European crises have seen various attempts by civil society – at both national and transnational level – to mitigate the effects of the economic, social, and political crises for the most vulnerable groups, as well as a range of society-wide mobilizations to bring about alternative policies and institutions. This theme also focuses on the complex interaction between established national and European political actors and civil society.

  • Migration. The significant migration movements that have the European continent as their terminus have had a major impact on politics and the policy stance of political parties. Calls for regulating and reducing migration flows, even closing borders, and diminishing access to (social) rights are becoming more and more common across Europe, and inform strong tensions within the EU. How do different sorts of political actors respond to these challenges?