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A Closely Coupled Tango? Interactions between Electoral and Protest Politics, Workshop at the ECPR Joint Sessions, Nottingham, 25-30 April 2017, organizers: Ondrej Cisar (Charles University in Prague) & Swen Hutter (European University Institute)

The proposed workshop focuses on one of the most debated theoretical and empirical problems of social movement and collective action research. Social movement studies have tended to declare social movements the defining feature of established post-1968 democracies and generally prioritized the protest arena of action. However, there have been important recent contributions pointing out the need to focus on the electoral arena, political parties, and their interactions with social movements and protest politics. In fact, this type of inter-arena interaction constitutes one of the most important challenges of social movement research. At present, their interaction remains undertheorized and understudied. Moreover, by focusing on these two particular arenas, the papers assembled in the workshop will be able to address more general issues related to interactions of social fields in modern societies. Also, it will hopefully stimulate conversations across various research areas by bringing together scholars working on social movements, political parties and their networks, as well as on political participation and representation more generally. Given that European societies are currently facing multiple challenges, such as the recent economic recession in some parts of the continent, the rise in political populism, and xenophobic mobilization against diverse representatives of the supposed European “other”, this type of research focused not only on protest, but also its electoral consequences is about to become even more important. This is currently reinforced by the European “migrant crisis” which holds a clear potential to politically reconfigure not only the European political arena, but also national politics in many member states. In this respect, the workshop focuses on a problem of high real-world relevance.

To learn more about the Workshop and to submit a paper proposal visit the ecpr website. Abstracts are to be submitted by 1 December 2016.


Swen Hutter: Protesting Culture and Economics in Western Europe. New Cleavages in Left and Right Politics. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press 2014

Hutter 2014In this far-reaching work, Swen Hutter demonstrates the usefulness of studying both electoral politics and protest politics to better understand the impacts of globalization. Hutter integrates research on cleavage politics and populist parties in Western Europe with research on social movements. He shows how major new cleavages restructured protest politics over a thirty-year period, from the 1970s through the 1990s. This major study brings back the concept of cleavages to social movement studies and connects the field with contemporary research on populism, electoral behavior, and party politics. Protesting Culture and Economics in Western Europe makes productive empirical, methodological, and theoretical contributions to the study of social movements and comparative politics.

For more details see the MUP website. A discount flyer (30% off) can be found here.

Call for paper proposals for a workshop „Voters, protest and policies: Bridging public opinion, social movement outcomes and policy responsiveness research“, 16-17th June 2014, University of Leicester, UK, A research workshop sponsored by: The RESPONSIVEGOV project and The MOVEOUT network

Studies on governmental responsiveness have often taken two different angles: analyzing reactions to opinion polls or the general ‘public mood’ on the one hand, and to collective action, on the other. A large and increasing body of scholarship focuses on how much attention governments pay to opinion polls and to the public mood expressed through surveys. The traditional approach in political science has been to measure or approximate public opinion through the beliefs and preferences expressed in representative surveys. This method, however, does not account for the fact that public opinion, or at least a segment of it, is also expressed through other means. Collective action – from demonstrations and to street occupations – is another way for the public to voice their views, demands, and policy preferences. Studies of social movement outcomes, particularly the ones interested in the effect of mobilization on public policy take collective action seriously, but often neglect the role of public opinion.

This research workshop aims at starting to bridge the gaps between these different areas of research that have tended to ignore each other. The workshop will bring together the team members of the European Research Council-funded project ResponsiveGov and the members of MOVEOUT the international network on the study of social movement outcomes, as well as other scholars working in these topics.

We are seeking paper proposals from scholars who would be willing to participate in the workshop with papers that examine the intersections of public opinion, social movement outcomes and policy responsiveness research. We will welcome theoretical and empirical contributions.

The workshop has no fee, provides coffee/tea and lunch on both days. The participants are expected to cover their own travel and accommodations costs. Only limited support towards travel and accommodation costs might be available, depending on funding availability, and it would be allocated strictly on a needs basis.

If you are interested in participating in the workshop, we invite you to send your paper proposal by email no later than 8th January 2014 to responsivegov(at) The proposal should include title, author(s), institutional affiliation(s), email contact, an abstract of up to 600 words, and information about funding needs (if any) to be able to attend the workshop.

Hanspeter Kriesi, Edgar Grande, Martin Dolezal, Marc Helbling, Dominic Höglinger, Swen Hutter und Bruno Wüest: Political Conflict in Western Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2012

What are the consequences of globalization for the structure of political conflicts in Western Europe? How are political conflicts organized and articulated in the twenty-first century? And how does the transformation of territorial boundaries affect the scope and content of political conflicts? This book sets out to answer these questions by analyzing the results of a study of national and European electoral campaigns, protest events and public debates in six West European countries. While the mobilization of the losers in the processes of globalization by new right populist parties is seen to be the driving force of the restructuring of West European politics, the book goes beyond party politics. It attempts to show how the cleavage coalitions that are shaping up under the impact of globalization extend to state actors, interest groups and social movement organizations, and how the new conflicts are framed by the various actors involved.

See the CUP homepage for details

Das Parlament: „Protestforscher Rucht: Kein Zusammenhang zwischen Bürgerbewegungen und sinkender Wahlbeteiligung

Deutschlandfunk: „Die Blockade zwischen Staat und Bürgern“ (Autor: Roland Roth)

Titelbild: Performance von Pussy Riot auf dem Roten Platz (Foto: Pussy Riot Blog)

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