The Dynamics of Social and Political Conflict in Eastern Europe: A New Era of Mobilization?

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The politics of the “Refugee Crisis” drew attention to Euroskeptic, right-wing mobilization in Eastern Europe. Particularly in the Visegrád countries, scholars and observers document the rise of „illiberal democracy” and populism. However, it is unclear to what extent these developments follow a long-term trend and represent societal lines of conflict in Eastern European societies.

The seminar critically examines the social and political structure of mobilization in Eastern Europe. The first two sessions present a theoretical overview on cleavage formation, the development of programmatic party competition, and the extent to which one observes recurring patterns of conflict amidst high electoral volatility. The third and fourth sessions consider recent developments and examine electoral and protest mobilization since the EU accession and the Great Recession. In these two sessions, we analyze the causes as well as the consequences of populist mobilization and counter-mobilization in the electoral and protest arena.

The block-seminar was held between April 20-28, 2018.