NEW PROJECT: POPULISM AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT – A FINE-GRAINED, DYNAMIC, CONTEXT-SENSITIVE AND FORWARD-LOOKING RESPONSE TO THE NEGATIVE IMPACTS OF POPULIST MOVEMENTS (PACE)

 

With the rise of populist parties and movements across Europe and with the outcome of the Brexit referendum in 2016, the academic research on populism gained remarkable attention. The rise and growth of parties and movements that claim to speak and act in the name of the "ordinary people" and challenge and attack the liberal elite as being corrupt could be observed in most parts of Europe. This set of idea surrounding this antagonism between people and elite can be summarized under the term "populism", which quickly became a frequently used buzzword in both media and academics. 

The EU Horizon 2020 project "Populism and Civic Engagement" (PaCE) aims at understanding and addressing causes, characteristics and consequences of the current rise of populist parties and movements in Europe, to develop instruments to tackle the negative tendencies of rising populism. The project involves nine partners from all across Europe and runs from February 2019 until January 2022. Its objectives are (1) to trace the historical growth and political consequences of illiberal, nativist and anti-democratic populist parties for the European Union (EU) project and democracy, (2) to study the general and specific causes for these three modes of populism in European democracies, distinguishing between demand and supply side as well as internal and external causes, (3) to study, propose and test policy-oriented responses to each of the three modes of populism, (4) to identify strategies to strengthen democratic values and practices taking into account the role of traditional and social media as well as public opinion and (5) to engage with stakeholders, especially groups underrepresented in public affairs, such as younger citizens and include schools and local communities in order to apply particular findings of the project.

Therefore, in a first step, the type, growth and consequences of the different populist parties in Europe are being investigated in general as well as linked to their particular contexts and characteristics. From there, causes for the appearance and growth of populist parties are being established and the challenges for liberal democracy will be identified. Here, it has to be differentiated between internal and external causes of the rise and growth of populist parties and attitudes and it has to be accounted for the particular structures of the demand and the supply side. This will be analysed using statistical and simulation approaches. After having built a solid associative framework, policy-oriented responses to different forms of populism are being proposed and tested. Also, risk-analyses for the particular responses will be run applying an agent-based simulation of political processes that will include political attitudes and contextual factors in order to test the causes and the proposed responses to populism. The project applies modern methods from computational social sciences, such as agent-based policy simulation to be able to find and address variation in context and type of populism.

In addition to the analytical work and throughout the project, the partners will directly engage with citizens and policy actors, especially with groups that are underrepresented in public affairs, such as younger citizens in order to establish a link to educators and other practitioners to take the research forward into practice and therefore increasing the impact of PaCE’s outputs and simultaneously evaluate them in the form of practical application. A further aim of integrating citizens and policy actors into the work of the project is to help strengthening democratic values and practices, especially in the context of schools. For policy-makers, the output of the project in the form of policy recommendations can be helpful, as risk factors related to populism will be identified and are to be mitigated in the arena of politics, which can in turn lead to a more stable, inclusive and resilient society.

List of participants:

  • Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) (Coordinator) - United Kingdom
  • City of Reykjavik (RVK) - Iceland
  • The Centre for Liberal Strategic Foundation (CLS) - Bulgaria
  • The Paris-Lodron University (PLU) - Austria
  • The Technical University of Dresden (TUD) - Germany
  • The Democratic Society (DS) - Belgium
  • Trilateral Research (TRI) - Ireland
  • University of Helsinki (UH) - Finland
  • Citizens Foundation (CF) - Iceland

Members of the Salzburg team:

  • News
    As part of the series "MUSIC & MEDICINE“ the science and art cooperation focus group is organising a total of three online lectures in January and February 2021.
    With the PLUS Talk, a new form of communication was introduced to the Paris Lodron University of Salzburg in 2020. Within the framework of this format members of the rectorate discuss certain key issues with employees of the PLUS, students and public representatives. The discussions take place LIVE and offer participants the opportunity to ask questions on current topics.
    On Wednesday 17th March 2021 PLUS is holding a virtual open day and warmly invites all interested pupils and final year classes offenen. Further information can be found under www.uni-salzburg.at/openday.
    After talks with the ministry and intensive consultation with the deans, the rectorate of the Paris Lodron University of Salzburg has decided that exams should generally only be conducted online at the moment. The following points apply here:
    There are numerous challenges in everyday elementary education, not only in Corona times. The art lies in dealing constructively with challenging situations. The fourth day of elementary education in Salzburg on 22nd January 2021, which will take place in digital form due to the pandemic-related measures, is dedicated to the topic of "Dealing with challenges in a solution-oriented way - competently and safely".
    Dialogue and Liberation in a Digital Future - Place and time: Paris Lodron University Salzburg; 14-16 October 2021 - Contact: markus.maier@stud.sbg.ac.at
    INTERDISCIPLINARY CONGRESS under the leadership of Reinhard Heinisch, Reinhard Klaushofer, Christoph Kühberger and Margit Reiter
    Prof. Dr. Hans van Ess (Vice President of the Ludwig Maximilians University and Professor at the Institute for Sinology) with the topic "New Confucianism in the 21st Century" on Tuesday, 19 January, 2021 at 6:00 pm.
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    As part of the series „MUSIC & MEDICINE“ the cooperation focus group science and culture is organising another online lecture on the 3rd February 2021.
    The Law Academy at the University of Salzburg is offering three online seminars in January 2021 on the topics of an update to competition law (antitrust law and UWG) on Friday, 15 January 2021, an update to company law on Friday, 22 January 2021 and an update to warranty law on Friday, 29th January 2021.
    We would like to remind you of the Call for Lectures, which is still open until 28th February. Apply to be a lecturer at the ditact_women‘s IT summer studies, which will take place from the 23rd August.- 04th September 2021 at the University of Salzburg. It is very important to us to also support young female lecturers. E
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