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European party systems from a comparative perspective (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Sarah Engler

wöchentlich | Donnerstag | 16:15 - 17:45 | 16.10.2023 - 02.02.2024 | C 12.105 Seminarraum

Inhalt: The seminar offers an overview of party systems in the old and new democracies of Europe. While the first part of the seminar deals with theories on political divides, party strategies, and voting behavior that have mainly emerged from a look at Western European democracies, the second part of the course focuses on party competition in Central and Eastern Europe and in the context of the supranational European Union. Core questions that we cover in this seminar among others: How can we understand and conceptualize political divides and to what extent do they differ across countries? How can we explain the success of green and populist radical right parties and the mainstream parties' reaction towards them? To what extent does the authoritarian past of post-communist countries still matter in party politics today?Is political competition always programmatic, or what other strategies do parties apply to attract voters?

The extreme right within the liberal nationstate (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Adrià Alcoverro

Einzeltermin | Do, 19.10.2023, 10:15 - Do, 19.10.2023, 11:45 | C 14.203 Seminarraum
wöchentlich | Donnerstag | 10:15 - 11:45 | 26.10.2023 - 02.02.2024 | W HS 3 | ab 26.10. in W HS3 (Wilschenbrucher Weg - Rotes Feld)

Inhalt: This course addresses not really the origins of the extreme right rather to understand how the contradictions within the problematic formation of the nation-state relate to the emergence of the extreme right. The argument is that the different ideological inspirations that have shaped the different forms of extreme right, despite of sharing often an irrational and anti-enlightenment ethos, they as well relate to dynamics that shaped the formation of the liberal nation-state and also steered the establishment of capitalism within a liberal democratic order which had in identity building a central part of this processes. This argument is not assuming determinism that would trace a causal relation between these complex historic processes and the rise of the extreme right in the present and past in Europe, rather to acknowledge the depth of the roots of the extreme right in European political history. In this way, the extreme right should not be considered just as a sort of cyclical foreign virus that threatens the liberal democratic order in times of crisis rather a permanent thread that strategically lures in shared societal imaginaries well entrenched in our societies. In order to provide a democratic anti-authoritarian answer to the extreme right, the latter part of the course will suggest the need to reinvent this imaginaries, that is to discuss concepts such as collective identity or even nation to fill them with emancipatory and progressive ideals. Instead of historically surpass these concepts in the light of a post-national and de-territorialized global identity. as the method to counter extreme right’s essentialism, these could be reconstituted in the light of emancipatory values and popular democracy close to the citizens’ immediate social and cultural environment. The 14 sessions of the course will be divided in the following themes: 1. The formation of the nation state, centralization, verticality and some glimpses of identity. 2. Defining contradictions of the liberal-nation state and the concept of political nation: - The nation-state drive for congruence vs citizenship rights and multicultural and multiethnic populations - The artificial separation between political and economic realms in the context of capitalism. 3. Romantic essentialism and the consolidation of the liberal nation state reflected in the law: From early constitutional law to the current EU “migration crisis”. 4. Science and technological progress and the consolidation of myths of the nation-state. 5. Hannah Arendt’s, Helmuth Plessner’s and Antonio Gramsci’s reflections on the problematic formation of the nation-state in relation to the rise of fascism. 6. The present rise of the extreme right and the liberal nation-state. What is new? 7. Can collective identities and “national” imaginaries be reconstituted in the light of emancipatory values to counter the extreme right? I will share soon the reading material of the course. In addition to this, we will watch some films that reflect upon some of the aforementioned themes.