18 episodes

In this podcast series, I talk to other political scientists about one of their publications that can help us better understand the Transformation of European Politics in the past 20 years. We link these academic works to broader debates within political science but also try to show how they relate to current political developments.

Transformation of European Politics Podcast Transformation of European Politics Podcast

    • Government

In this podcast series, I talk to other political scientists about one of their publications that can help us better understand the Transformation of European Politics in the past 20 years. We link these academic works to broader debates within political science but also try to show how they relate to current political developments.

    Episode 18 - Gary Marks. The Sociology of Politics and the Work of Seymour Martin Lipset

    Episode 18 - Gary Marks. The Sociology of Politics and the Work of Seymour Martin Lipset

    In this episode, I talk to Gary Marks who is Professor of Political Science at UNC-Chapel Hill. We discuss the work of Seymour Martin Lipset and focus on three main themes in Lipset’s body of work.

    We first discuss Lipset’s 1960 book Political Man, which includes a number of essays that have become classics of political sociology and political science more generally. Central themes of the book are the social requisites for democracy and the group bases of politics. Our second focus is on Lipset and Rokkan’s cleavage theory and the formation and transformation of party systems. In line with the main ideas of Political Man, we discuss cleavage theory as a sociological and group based approach to political competition and contrast it with the Downsian perspective. The third part of the conversation covers Gary’s joined work with Lipset that addresses the question of why there has never been a successful socialist party in the United States.

    The conversation goes beyond the work of Lipset alone and focuses on several main themes of political sociology as well as many political transformations of the last 100 years.

    If you want to know more about Gary and his work, you can visit his website. http://garymarks.web.unc.edu/

    I hope you enjoy the conversation.

    Political science reading recommendation:
    Achen, Christopher/Bartels, Larry, 2016, Democracy for Realists, Princeton University Press

    • 1 hr 36 min
    Episode 17 - Björn Bremer. Austerity Politics

    Episode 17 - Björn Bremer. Austerity Politics

    In this episode, I talk to Björn Bremer who is Senior Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (MPIfG) in Cologne. We talk about his article “The ideational foundations of social democratic austerity in the context of the great recession” which is co-authored with Sean McDaniel and was published in the Socio-Economic Review in 2019.

    The article investigates the economic ideas that build the bases for the decision of social democratic parties to embrace austerity policies following the economic and financial crisis in 2008. Based on over 60 semi-structured interviews with high-profile social democratic politicians in France, the UK and Germany, the authors argue that what they call supply-side Keynesianism builds the ideational foundation for these policies. Social democratic austerity policies are thus based on a unique ideational perspective that is neither fully congruent with neo-liberal or conservative perspectives, nor can it fully be explained by structural determinants.

    We also discuss the largely negative consequences that embracing austerity has had for social democratic parties and the question if the economic response to the current Covid pandemic is comparable or different.

    If you want to know more about Björn and his research you can follow him on Twitter under at bjoern_bremer or visit his website www.bjoern-bremer.com

    I hope you enjoy the conversation

    • 58 min
    Episode 16 - Rafaela Dancygier. Dilemmas of Inclusion and Minority Representation

    Episode 16 - Rafaela Dancygier. Dilemmas of Inclusion and Minority Representation

    In this episode, I talk to Rafaela Dancygier, who is Professor of Politics and Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. We talk about her book “Dilemmas of Inclusion” which was published in 2017 with Princeton University Press.

    The book investigates how and why political parties include Muslim candidates in Western Europe. Muslims have grown as a share of the electorate so parties have an incentive to appeal to them. However, many Muslims also hold values on cultural issues such as gender equality or LGBT rights that differ strongly from other electorates that parties want to appeal to. This creates a dilemma especially for parties on the Left. Hence, when parties want to do more than symbolic appeals to Muslim communities this can lead to negative trade-offs in the long run such as unstable support patterns but also a reduction in female candidates.

    The conversation also focuses on questions of minority representation more generally and which factors prevent higher levels of migrant background politicians.

    If you want to know more about Rafaela and her research you can follow her on Twitter under at RDancygier or visit her website https://scholar.princeton.edu/rdancygi/home
    I hope you enjoy the conversation.

    Political science recommendation. Jessice Trounstine. 2018. Segregation by Design. Cambridge University Press

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Episode 15 - Tamar Mitts. Anti-Muslim hostility and jihadi radicalization

    Episode 15 - Tamar Mitts. Anti-Muslim hostility and jihadi radicalization

    In this episode, I talk to Tamar Mitts who is Assistant Professor at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. We discuss her 2019 article “From Isolation to Radicalization: Anti-Muslim Hostility and Support for ISIS in the West” which was published in the American Political Science Review.

    The article investigates how anti-muslim hostility fuels jihadi radicalization and stated support for ISIS in 4 Western European countries. It analyzes social media data in order to measure radicalization and locate ISIS supporters. The article demonstrates that ISIS support is higher, where radical right parties receive a higher share of the vote and where more hate crimes against Muslims take place. In contrast the number of asylum seekers is negatively correlated with the level of ISIS support.

    In addition to this, we discuss the effectiveness of measures of de-radicalization and patterns of radicalization among other groups such as white supremacists and the extreme right. Social media plays an important role for many of the mechanisms discussed throughout the episode.

    If you want to know more about Tamar and her research, you can follow her on Twitter under “at” TamarMitts or visit her website http://tamarmitts.com/

    I hope you enjoy the conversation.

    Political science recommendation: Mousa, Salma. "Building social cohesion between Christians and Muslims through soccer in Post-ISIS Iraq." Science. Vol. 369, Issue 6505, pp. 866-870. DOI: 10.1126/science.abb3153

    • 53 min
    Episode 14 - Liesbet Hooghe. The Transnational Cleavage

    Episode 14 - Liesbet Hooghe. The Transnational Cleavage

    In this episode, I talk to Liesbet Hooghe who is W.R Kenan Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. We discuss her article “Cleavage theory meets Europe’s crises: Lipset, Rokkan, and the transnational cleavage”, which is co-authored with Gary Marks and was published in the Journal of European Public Policy in 2018.

    The article investigates if Lipset/Rokkan’s famous cleavage theory can help explain the transformation of the European political space in the past 40 years. It postulates that a new transnational cleavage has emerged that primarily surrounds questions of immigration and European integration. The European financial and the so-called refugee crisis have worked as a catalyst for this cleavage. In contrast to the emergence of cleavages in the 19th country, today, fully developed party systems already exist. As established parties cannot easily adjust their positions to integrate the new cleavage, new party families have emerged.

    If you want to know more about Liesbet and her research, you can follow her on Twitter “at” HoogheLiesbet or visit her website http://hooghe.web.unc.edu/. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

    Reading recommendation:

    Ostrom, Elinor (1990). Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/governing-the-commons/A8BB63BC4A1433A50A3FB92EDBBB97D5

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Episode 13 - Sarah de Lange. The Radical Right in Government

    Episode 13 - Sarah de Lange. The Radical Right in Government

    In this episode, I talk to Sarah de Lange who is professor at the University of Amsterdam. We talk about her article “New Alliances: Why Mainstream Parties Govern with Radical Right-Wing Populist Parties” which was published in 2012 in Political Studies.

    In the article, Sarah applies theories of coalition formation to governments that formed with a radical right party. While these types of governments used to be quite rare, they have become increasingly common in Europe in the past 20 years. For parties of the mainstream right these coalitions provide an opportunity as an alternative to governing with the mainstream left. For radical right parties themselves joining these coalitions has been quite risky as government participation leads to increased scrutiny and might frustrate some of their voters. While government participation thus constituted a big challenge for the radical right, over the years these parties have learned and improved their behavior. Once in government, they now focus on specific portfolios that suit their agenda.

    If you want to learn more about Sarah and her research you can follow her on Twitter under at SLdeLange or visit her website https://www.uva.nl/en/profile/l/a/s.l.delange/s.l.delange.html
    I hope you enjoy the conversation

    Reading recommendation:
    Cas Mudde 2019: The Far Right Today. Polity Books. https://politybooks.com/?s=The+Far+Right+Today

    Also discussed on this podcast in episode 4

    • 48 min

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