ProDem at the joint sessions of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR)

This week, Prodem members will present some of the early project findings at the joint session on movement parties of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR). ProDem has had a central role in the organisation of the joint session, as one of the project’s postdoctoral researchers, Fred Paxton, is one of the workshop directors.

During this event, we will share some of the early findings of the project. Fred Paxton will present data from the project’s mass media data collection and will talk about how the mass media reacted to the movementization of far-right parties. Moreover, Felipe G. Santos will give the first insights of our analysis of what drives support for movement parties using our survey data and cutting edge experimental designs.

If you are in Edinburgh and want to know more about movement parties, join them!

Felipe G. Santos and Dan Mercea analyse the outcome of the Hungarian elections using survey data from ProDem

In their latest piece at The Conversation ‘Hungary: election triumph for Viktor Orbán is a warning to progressive parties seeking a marriage of convenience with the far right, Felipe G. Santos and Dan Mercea use recently collected survey data to analyse the outcome of the Hungarian elections and the prospects of a united opposition in Hungary.

Protests, social mobilization, and civic activism in Romania

Dana S. Trif, Diana Mărgărit and Toma Burean are co-organizing a Panel on Romanian protests, movement parties and social movements at the 2022 Society for Romanian Studies Conference, which takes place in Timișoara between 15 – 17 June 2022. The panel will discuss the relationship between large scale protests and democracy in Romania. Do protests strengthen or weaken democracy? Do movement parties play a role in making the Romanian government more responsive to new political demands? How have social media such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram shaped large scale protest events? For answers to these questions and many more, join our discussion at the SRS Conference in June!

“Judge me by my size, do you?”– Movement Parties’ Visual Communication on Digital Platforms

Workpackage four at the University of Copenhagen has reviewed hundreds of images on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to analyze the visual communication strategies of Movement Parties. We ask if differences in country, platform, or a party’s electoral trajectory reflect in the curated visual narrative they present via their social media accounts. Beginning with the Danish party The Alternative, we employ a mixed-method approach that compares image types and policy issues in visual material but also allows for a qualitative discussion of political contexts and visual frames. Want to know more? We will present some insights at this year’s Media and Publics Conference in Roskilde (28th & 29th April). Spoiler alert: Lot’s of Star Wars:

WP5 starts its research activities in Frankfurt

As envisioned in the project, the Work Package 5, coordinated by Claudius Wagemann at the Goethe University Frankfurt, starts in the second year of ProDem. It deals with the institutional arena, exploring whether movement parties politically represent the concerns of the mass protests’ participants. Taking a policy analysis perspective, WP5 will investigate the transition of social movements’ political demands into the political system and provide a triple comparison between the agendas of social movements, movement parties, and governments. The next few months the WP5 team in Frankfurt will be analyzing the policy issues which are most important to the selected social movements in the six European countries studied by ProDem and the political agendas of the movement parties connected to these social movements, assessing the degree to which the latter reflect the political demands of the social movements. We will arrive at the political profiles of several most prominent policy issues for each social movement and movement party. In drawing up these profiles we will rely on the results and data from other ProDem Work Packages and complement that with the document analysis of relevant sources in each country case. This step will then bring us closer to the next goal of evaluating the degree to which movement parties and parliamentary and government actors adopt social movements’ policy demands for the set of identified central policy issues, later to be examined through Qualitative Comparative Analysis.

ProDem will be present at the 72nd Annual Conference of the International Communication Association

We are glad to announce that ProDem Members Christina Neumayer, Matthias Hoffmann, Dan Mercea, and Felipe G. Santos had two papers accepted at the 72nd Annual Conference of the International Communication Association ‘One World, One Network?’ which will be held in Paris, 26-30 May 2022. Christina and Matthias’ paper studies the trajectories from challenger to incumbent party in a cross-national comparison of movement parties’ social media communication in our six country cases. Dan and Felipe, together with Michael Saker explore the transnational connections, as well as framing and identity strategies of the movement opposing COVID-19 lockdown restrictions on Facebook.

Invited talk at INACH Annual Conference

Last week, Dan Mercea spoke at the annual conference of INACH (The International Network against Cyber Hate). Together with Lucy Calladine (YouTube Government Affairs and Public Policy Lead) Dan discussed the effects that social media algorithms can have on democracy. The discussion was moderated by Victoria Carasava (Project Manager at ActiveWatch Romania). Dan spoke about the changing public perceptions of social media, over the last decade, emphasizing the selective amplification and centralisation effects of algorithms on political communication. He argued for renewed accountability of social media to citiziens and the involvement of the latter in social media governance through democratic institutions.

New publication studies the new educational projects of Europe’s far-right

In a new journal article, Dorit Geva and ProDem member Felipe G. Santos explore the new educational projects of Europe’s far-right and their vision for the international order. They study the new institutes for higher education established by Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Budapest (Hungary), and former French National Front leader Marion Maréchal in Lyon (France) and Madrid (Spain) and conclude that they are seeking to establish a new globalist illiberal order. They argue that the globalist illiberal agenda extends elements of the globalist project while reclaiming a radicalized view of Christian democracy. Europe’s far-right views the global order as composed of strong nations who need to defend their sovereignty on ‘cultural’ issues while protecting their common Christian roots. They trace their project by focusing on two new institutions of higher education, Hungary’s National University of Public Service Ludovika (Ludovika-UPS) and the Institut de Sciences Sociales, Économiques et Politiques (Institute of Social Sciences, Economics, and Politics—ISSEP), based in France and Spain. Through these institutions, globalist illiberals aim to cultivate new leaders outside the liberal ‘mainstream’ and redefine the meaning of Christian democracy. They conclude that surging nationalism among mid to small powers is not resulting in deglobalization but is fostering illiberal globalization, which has no place for those who do not fit in their exclusionary vision of Christian Europe.