Workshop/CfP - The Rise and Spread of Populism: Effects only for Human Rights of Refugees? Or also for Citizens’ Human Rights?, 20 April 2017, Germany

Publish Date: Apr 04, 2017

Deadline: Apr 30, 2017

The Rise and Spread of Populism: Effects only for Human Rights of Refugees? Or also for Citizens’ Human Rights?

Rightist populism appears to enjoy its rise to power not only in the United States und following the Brexit vote. On the European Continent, rightist forces appear to gain mainstream political ground. Even though the parliamentary election in the Netherlands stopped Wilder’s “party” from building the next government, the results of the coming important elections in France and Germany remain open. Europe faces unprecedented challenges in this year of multi-elections.

Populism can have negative effects on the protection of human rights, not only for refugees but also for citizens. It's anti-immigrant position recurs to a nationalist and patriotic ideology that fosters demagogic fears and pledges dreams of the "good old days" and the grandeur of their own nation. Very often it uses the rhetoric of fears to capture voters' voices.

The populists’ exclusive and discriminatory position particularly towards migrants and refugees has challenged the life of an open and pluralistic society. As the European Union (EU) adopts increasingly restrictive migration control and externalization security measures following the refugee crisis, these policy developments also appear to have undermined the EU’s humanitarian obligation to protect human rights of those who flee from civil wars and poverty. Particularly, the authoritarian tendency within some of the member states of the EU (e.g. Hungary and Poland) has risked to violate the fundamental rights and freedoms, based on which the EU is founded. In both countries, their media laws have limited the freedom of the press and as such, the independence and freedom of association as basic freedoms can no longer be assured.

The panel addresses the following questions: In view of the rise of populism, are citizens’ civil and political rights and freedoms under threat? To what extent and how have radical voices about human rights have entered into public discourses found in the parties, parliaments, and governments? Will populism stay long becoming part of the political landscape? What are the root causes of the current tendency of populism? Following the economic, financial and refugee crises, to what extent can the structural change triggered by the ongoing digitalization at the labor market prompt a further rise of populism, as many job opportunities will increasingly be replaced by robots which will challenge and change post-industrialized societies? How can the society become more robust against the spread of populism forces? Otherwise are we approaching again the old dilemma between democracy and human rights, whereby the mainstream voices in the name of „the people“ may erode the human rights of minorities, migrants, and refugees?

The panel pursues two goals. First, it aims to examine systematically the worldwide rise of populism and its implications for the protection of human rights. Secondly, it invites not only academic papers but also voices from policy and practitioner community to reflect upon the root causes of populism in relation to (extreme) political ideology and economic factors and its danger for the protection of human rights.

Possible themes may range from comparative views of the rise of populism and its effects upon human rights in different national contexts; human rights programs in populist movements; the relationship between populism and protection of human rights; driving factors leading to populism; counter-strategy to stop populism; neoliberal policy practices and their impacts upon human rights of citizens and non-citizens; to the issue of the long-term effects of labor digitalization (e.g. Industry 4.0) that may facilitate the rise of populism.

Contact Info: 

5. Open Workshop of the Section „International Relations (IR)“, German Association of Political Science (DVPW)

University Bremen/Bremen (Germany)

Abstracts (no more that 200 words) can be submitted (the deadline: 20. April 2017) to Dr. Miao-ling Lin Hasenkamp, University Magdeburg, Germany

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Human Rights

Migration Studies

Political Sciences

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