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Accademia Lincei, Rome, ITALY AUGUR AUGUR workshop, 14-16 March 2012 Towards EU breakup? three ideological dimensions and a case study William Brett, presentation.

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Presentation on theme: "Accademia Lincei, Rome, ITALY AUGUR AUGUR workshop, 14-16 March 2012 Towards EU breakup? three ideological dimensions and a case study William Brett, presentation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Accademia Lincei, Rome, ITALY AUGUR AUGUR workshop, March 2012 Towards EU breakup? three ideological dimensions and a case study William Brett, presentation to AUGUR Rome meeting,

2 Accademia Lincei, Rome, ITALY AUGUR AUGUR workshop, March Starting points 2.Theories of political realignment 3.Populist extremism 4.Three dimensions of ideology 5.Case study: Greece 6.Questions for the future

3 Accademia Lincei, Rome, ITALY AUGUR AUGUR workshop, March 2012 How might politics develop around the world? What are the pressure points where major political changes could originate? Under what circumstances could extremist parties come to power? How do these futures relate to the AUGUR scenarios? Starting points

4 Accademia Lincei, Rome, ITALY AUGUR AUGUR workshop, March 2012 Stumbling blocks The contingency of political processes -Different time, different place, different outcome -Causal mechanisms are always obscure owing to the open and highly complex nature of political and economic systems The heterogeneity of political systems - Different processes for democracies and autocracies (not applicable at EU level) - The level of analysis problem: Individuals? Parties? Countries? Regions?

5 Accademia Lincei, Rome, ITALY AUGUR AUGUR workshop, March 2012 Extremist parties (partic. of the right) present a significant threat to the liberal democratic order We know from the 1930s that times of global economic crisis create opportunities for political realignments to occur But these opportunities can be seized by very different types of political actor Narrowing the focus: populism and economic crisis

6 Accademia Lincei, Rome, ITALY AUGUR AUGUR workshop, March 2012 Theories of political realignment “Political realignment”: the fundamental restructuring of political representation, through… a)the emergence of new parties or the disappearance of established parties b)a significant and long-lasting shift in support from one party (or parties) to another, and/or… c)the development of new social coalitions in support of particular parties Explanatory frameworks “Society-first” theories a)social cleavages (Lipset and Rokkan) b)modernisation/ postmaterialism and the “silent counter-revolution” (Inglehart, Ignazi) “Politics-first” theories: party competition, political articulation (eg. BJP in India)

7 Accademia Lincei, Rome, ITALY AUGUR AUGUR workshop, March 2012 “… the danger of political polarization and extremism is greater in some national circumstances than others. It is greatest in countries with relatively recent histories of democracy, with existing right-wing extremist parties, and with electoral systems that create low hurdles to parliamentary representation of new parties. Above all, it is greatest where depressed economic conditions are allowed to persist.” (de Bromhead et. al. 2012)

8 Accademia Lincei, Rome, ITALY AUGUR AUGUR workshop, March 2012 Populist extremism: a core definition Anti-establishment, anti-system, but not anti-democracy Populism: a discourse rather than a term describing a party The populist appeal is made on behalf of “the people”, in opposition to a vilified “elite” This appeal can be made from the left or the right, from a welfare state or anti-welfare state position, from a nativist or internationalist perspective etc. In democracies, the populists that really matter claim to be democrats. Indeed, the appeal to the people is at its core (pseudo)- democratic. But different conceptions of “democracy” can be framed within the populist appeal. Existing democratic arrangements are not a given Populist extremism: those who use the populist appeal to attack the existing mainstream – “anti-system”

9 Accademia Lincei, Rome, ITALY AUGUR AUGUR workshop, March 2012 Populist extremism today 1. European parties and movements Neoliberal populists (FPO, List Pim Fortuyn) Welfare chauvinists (Front National, Dansk Folkeparti) Left-populists (Coalition of the Radical Left, Occupy) Extremists/fascists (Golden Dawn, English Defence League) 2. USA Tea Party Republicans Occupy

10 Accademia Lincei, Rome, ITALY AUGUR AUGUR workshop, March 2012 BIG GOVERNMENT (welfare spending, public ownership, increased regulation) SOCIALLY LIBERAL (pluralist tolerance) INTERDEPENDENCE (pro-EU, pro regional/global decision-making structures) SMALL GOVERNMENT (spending cuts, tax cuts, privatisation, deregulation) SOCIALLY CONSERVATIVE (support for traditional values) SOVEREIGNTY (Anti-EU, support for the nation state) Three dimensions of ideology 1.Economy 2.Values 3.International relations

11 Accademia Lincei, Rome, ITALY AUGUR AUGUR workshop, March 2012 BIG GOVERNMENT (wealth redistribution, NB: potential for populist appeal, anti-1%) SOCIALLY LIBERAL (respect for others, a modern sense of pluralism) INTERDEPENDENCE (globalisation, technological progress) SMALL GOVERNMENT (“government is out to get you”, tax as an unacceptable imposition, “welfare scroungers” etc.) SOCIALLY CONSERVATIVE (homophobia, chauvinism) SOVEREIGNTY (nationalism, xenophobia) Appeals to identity

12 Accademia Lincei, Rome, ITALY AUGUR AUGUR workshop, March 2012 Data source: the Comparative Manifesto Project Manifestos from the parties over 50 countries (not India) since 1945 Pros: large-N, longitudinal, malleable Cons: suspect reliability, missing data Codes for “socially liberal” Eg. “anti-morality” Codes for “socially conservative” Eg. “pro-morality” Codes for “big government” Eg. “pro-welfare state” Codes for “small government” Eg. “anti-welfare state” Codes for “sovereignty” Eg. “anti-EU” Codes for “interdependence” Eg. “pro-EU”

13 Accademia Lincei, Rome, ITALY AUGUR AUGUR workshop, March 2012 InterdependenceSovereignty Big Government Small Government PS (France) FN (France) FPO (Austria) Many E. European parties in the 1990s

14 Accademia Lincei, Rome, ITALY AUGUR AUGUR workshop, March 2012 Socially Liberal Socially Conservative Big Government Small Government DF (Denmark) SVP (Swiss) LPF (Dutch) Greens (eg. Germany) ???

15 Accademia Lincei, Rome, ITALY AUGUR AUGUR workshop, March 2012 Socially Liberal Socially Conservative Big Government Small Government Obama Romney Santorum

16 Accademia Lincei, Rome, ITALY AUGUR AUGUR workshop, March 2012 InterdependenceSovereignty Big Government Small Government MAP COUNTRIES? REGIONS? SCENARIOS?

17 Accademia Lincei, Rome, ITALY AUGUR AUGUR workshop, March 2012 Case study: Greece Parliamentary elections in April The present context: 20% unemployment, 50% youth unemployment etc. The future context: a decade of austerity? Public opinion: 87% “disappointed” with Papandreou government; 52% disagree with Parliament’s recent approval of austerity measures etc.; but 67% want to stay in the euro

18 Accademia Lincei, Rome, ITALY AUGUR AUGUR workshop, March 2012 PartyIdeologySupport Austerity measures Coalition of the Radical LeftLeft12.5%ANTI Ecologists- GreensLeft4%ANTI CommunistsLeft12.5%ANTI Democratic LeftCentre-left10.5%ambivalent PasokCentre-left13.5%PRO New DemocracyCentre-right23%PRO Independent GreeksCentre-right4%ANTI LaosRight4%ANTI Golden DawnFar Right3.5%ANTI

19 Accademia Lincei, Rome, ITALY AUGUR AUGUR workshop, March 2012 InterdependenceSovereignty Big Government Small Government Coalition of the Radical Left Communists Democratic Left PASOK New Democracy Independent Greeks LAOS

20 Accademia Lincei, Rome, ITALY AUGUR AUGUR workshop, March 2012 Sovereignty Socially LiberalSocially Conservative Interdependence Coalition of the Radical Left Communists LAOS Democratic Left PASOK New Democracy Independent Greeks

21 Accademia Lincei, Rome, ITALY AUGUR AUGUR workshop, March 2012 Volatility factors Mass discontent Baseline economic problems, particularly extended austerity (cf. de Bromhead et. al. 2012) Emergence of new parties, speed at which they are gaining enough support to cross representation threshold

22 Accademia Lincei, Rome, ITALY AUGUR AUGUR workshop, March 2012 Stability factors Electoral system (“reinforced” proportional representation) Representation threshold (3%) Potential correction in PASOK support Disagreement among far left parties

23 Accademia Lincei, Rome, ITALY AUGUR AUGUR workshop, March 2012 Questions for the future What are the tipping points which could spark populist protest on a scale which threatens the continuation of the existing order and the power of existing elites? Which of the AUGUR scenarios, if any, accounts for this risk? Policy proposals? Or exhortations to parties (primarily of the centre-left)? What about the other scenarios? What are the political routes towards “federalism” and “multi-speed Europe”?


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