Call for Panel Proposals: 6th ECPR General Conference, University of Iceland, 25 – 27 August 2011

The Standing Group “Forms of Participation” is supporting the organization of a section to be held at the next ECPR general conference. This is a first informal call for panel proposals to be included in a section that will focus on “Contentious politics in time of crisis” (please see below for the provisional section outline).

Panel proposals should be sent to alice.mattoni[at] no later than Monday, 5 April 2010 and should include 1) title 2) chair and co-chair and 3) panel abstract (about 200 words). Please note that later submissions will not be taken into consideration.

The section will have a maximum of 8 panels that will be selected amongst all the panel proposals received. Selection criteria are: 1) panel proposal consistency with the general theme of the section; 2) relevance and novelty of the panel proposal topic; 3) university balance (meaning that the section will not have more than one panel organized by members belonging to the same university); 4) gender balance (meaning that we will try to have a section with an equal number of women and men acting as chair and co-chairs). Please consider that the selected panels will be part of a section proposal which needs to be approved by the ECPR. Therefore, when proposing a panel, be aware that sections may be rejected or approved with a reduced number of panels.

Title of Section: Contentious politics in times of crisis

Section Chairs: Donatella della Porta and Alice Mattoni, European University Institute

Abstract: In the past decades European societies experienced several moments of crisis, emergency and transition at the local, national and transnational level. Examples are the current international economic crisis, the climate change emergency, and the transition towards the European Union of new member countries. Although they differ in many respects, all these moment implies shifts at both the material and immaterial level, fostering the emergence of new arena(s) of contestation. The section asks what happens to contentious politics in time of crisis, emergency and transitions. Empirically, it is important analyze such moments looking at discourses and practices of both conventional and unconventional political actors (their protests and proposals, their concerns and solutions) in order to understand how social movements and new forms of political participation challenges existing forms of democracy. Theoretically, it is also important to grasp if scholars interested in political participation and protest movements should rethink their analytical tools in order to analyze contentious politics, political participation and protest activities in times of crisis. For these reasons papers are welcomed which address three main issues: (1) conceptual and theoretical thinking about contentious politics in times of crisis, including refining existing definitions and typologies; (2) methodological reflections about how to deal with the subject matter and how to avoid the obstacles that have hindered previous research, from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective; (3) empirical analysis of contentious politics in time of crisis in different social, cultural, and political settings, in particular comparative studies encompassing different movements and/or countries. We are interested specifically in cross-national empirical analyses that investigate the nexus between internal and external explanatory factors.

Keywords: Crisis, contentious politics, political participation

An indication of how many panels it will have: A minimum of 3 and a maximum of 8