Workshop on the dynamics of competition between populist challengers and mainstream parties in Europe today

By Jan.24, 2018

22-23 January 2018, University of Birmingham
A Workshop co-organised by the PSA’s Italian Politics Specialist Group, the “Parties, Voters and Elections Research Group” of the Department of Political Science and International Studies of the University of Birmingham, and the Department of Politics and International Relations at Aston University.
Room: 429, fourth floor, Muirhead Tower

Session 2
3:45-5:30pm
Chair and discussant: Jim Newell
Papers:
Gilles Ivaldi – Crowding the market: the dynamics of populist and mainstream competition in the 2017 French presidential elections
The 2017 French presidential elections have seen a considerable rise in support for populist actors at the periphery of the party system, challenging the dominance of the more established parties of the mainstream. The electoral success of Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s France Insoumise (LFI) has expanded the political space for populist politics to the left of the political spectrum, competing with Marine Le Pen’s Front national (FN) to the right. Meanwhile, the emergence of Emmanuel Macron as a politically viable centrist alternative has dislodged further the traditional bipolar dynamics of competition in French politics, resulting in a significant reshaping of the party system. Based on a national survey of French voters conducted in 2017, this paper will examine the dynamics of electoral support for populist candidates in the presidential election, looking at commonalities and differences between the left and right-wing manifestations of the populist phenomenon, and to which extent these differed from the mainstream. In doing so, the paper will position itself in the current comparative literature on populism, addressing in particular how populism interacts with other dimensions of competition, most notably globalization and European integration which were paramount in the 2017 elections in France.


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