Dec 4rd, Day 2:

9:30 – 11.00
Panel 4

Populism, illiberalism and crisis

Postdemocracy and what came after
Meike Schmidt-Gleim, University of Applied Sciences Fulda


The paper asks what kind of discursive pattern is at the core of undemocratic politicization, what is it that renders a politicization democratic or undemocratic. Instead of looking at right wing populist discourse it concentrates on one thread of critical leftist academic discourse that arose in the 1990s and is characterized by a strong politicization, but also by an emergence of new cleavages, binary confrontations of friend and enemy, that prevent a collective democratic debate.

The Gilets Jaunes in France: Background and Analysis
Niilo Kauppi, Helsinki University


The presentation analyses “the Gilets Jaunes movement”. It claims that even though the movement was triggered by the introduction of a new bill on fuel tax it has deeper roots in social inequality and a lack of representation of certain disadvantaged groups of French society.

Recurring Patterns: Illiberalism in Global Comparison
Boris Vorman and Michael Weinmann, Bard College Berlin


As illiberal and authoritarian trends are on the rise—both in fragile and seemingly robust democracies—there is growing concern about the longevity of liberalism and democracy. In this talk I examine some ideological and structural roots of the current crisis of liberal democracies, in the West and beyond. I contend that the crisis has evolved from tensions within liberal democracy — and that illiberalism is not just a reaction to the failures of neoliberalization but has generative potential in restructuring the state and undoing the processes necessary to sustain liberal democracy.

11.00 – 11.30

Coffee Break

11:30– 13.00
Panel 5

Economics, Citizens and Crisis

Understanding the Unstable Frames of Citizen Participation in the EU: field effect, public sphere and governance functions
Luis Bouza, Autonomous University Madrid


The paper discusses the different potential effects of the ongoing (re-)distribution of political opportunities for civil society to interact with EU institutions on the logics of interaction, coalition building and competition among civil society groups in the EU, for instance for the role of the new participatory structures.

Investments in Europe: Struggles over democratic legitimacy and EU politico-economic expertise
Christian Schmidt-Wellenburg, University of Potsdam


Since the end of the 1990s, EU expert groups have either been criticised for lacking legitimacy or hailed as means to democratise the EU. As will be argued, neither is the case. Rather, calls for democratisation have led to de-scientisation and politicisation of expertise, as shown by a study of 21 EU groups of experts on monetary and market integration between 1966 and 2017. Using multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) on professional backgrounds, structures of a space of EU expertise are uncovered, changes over time visualised, and politicisation of expertise interpreted as an effect of the emerging field of EU politics.

The European Central Bank between financial crisis and populisms
Corrado Macchiarelli, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, London


Drawing on the book “The European Central Bank between the Financial Crisis and Populisms” (Macchiarelli, Monti, Wiesner, and Diessner, 2020 – Palgrave MacMillan), the presentation looks at the evolution of the monetary policy of the ECB during the decade 2010-20, how the central bank managed a delicate balance between ‘interventionism’ and ‘independence’, and the growing challenges to its legitimacy amid the upsurge of populist parties in Europe and Covid-19.

13.00 – 14.30

Lunch Break

14.30 – 16.00

Roundtable: whither politicization?

Lisa Anders, Leipzig University
Luis Bouza, Autonomous University Madrid
Philip Liste, Fulda University of Applied Sciences
Meike Schmidt-Gleim, Fulda University of Applied Sciences

16.00 – 16.30

Wrap-up and Good Bye


End of day 1