Throughout 2018, REPRESENT will host a series of research seminars, alternating between Birmingham and Nottingham. These seminars, which are open to all staff and students at both universities, will feature a mix of external and internal speakers.
Details about the research seminars are available here.
Conference: Political Parties in the Age of Populism
On 26-27 April 2018, REPRESENT hosted a conference on Political Parties in the Age of Populism at the University of Birmingham.
The focus of this conference was on populism, political parties, and the use of foreign aid to support democracy overseas (often termed ‘democracy support’). Each session addressed one of four key themes:
- The rise of populism and the (apparent) crisis of representative democracy.
- The impact of populism on political parties.
- The challenge of responding to parties that threaten democracy.
- The potential, and limitations, of alternatives to political parties.
A fifth, cross-cutting theme – the implications of recent trends for the provision of assistance to parties by civil society groups and international donors – was addressed by all four sessions. A distinctive feature of this conference was its emphasis on building bridges between academics conducting research on these themes, and policy-makers and practitioners confronting these problems in the field.
Update: The slides used for selected presentations are now available.
- Fernando Casal Bértoa and José Rama Caamaño: Sickness or symptom? The crisis of representative democracy and the rise of anti-political-establishment parties
- Danielle Resnick: Populism, democracy and party institutionalization in Africa
- Jorge Valladares: Populism and democracy assistance
- Philippe C. Schmitter: Democracy’s dissidents and the future of political parties
- Matt Qvortrup: Referendums and populism
- Angela Bourne: Militant democracy and responses to populist parties
- Lise Storm: Youth politics in the MENA: Democracy support from the ground up
- Beata Martin-Rozumilowicz: Civil society as a proxy for expressing political preferences in Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine
- Nic Cheeseman and Susan Dodsworth: Beyond parties – Populism as challenge and opportunity for democracy support
Conference: Representation in the Age of Populism – Ideas for Global Action
The members of REPRESENT are acting as academic advisers for a high-profile conference, Representation in the Age of Populism, to be held in Brussels in June 2018. This event, to be co-hosted by leading democracy assistance providers (including International IDEA, the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), and the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD).
This conference will bring together leaders from politics, society, academia, democracy support, and media from across the world to shape a Global Agenda for the Renewal of Representation. This Agenda will be aimed at two groups: (i) governments at all levels (national, regional and local) in Europe, and across other regions of the world, and (ii) the democracy assistance community. The Agenda will inspire action towards reinvigorating democratic representation in its diversity across regions, helping governments, citizens, donors and democracy assistance providers to confront the challenges presented by populism – in all its forms – in recent years.