Call for Papers: ECREA’s 6th European Communication Conference: ‘Mediated (Dis)Continuities: Contesting Pasts, Presents and Futures’

Call for Papers

ECREA’s 6th European Communication Conference: ‘Mediated (Dis)Continuities: Contesting Pasts, Presents and Futures’

Prague, 9 – 12 November 2016


The TWG ‘Communication and the European Public Sphere’

Panel ‘Populist and extremist discourse in the EU: creating discontinuities and reshaping politics’


Populism, nationalism and right-wing extremism are seeing a resurgence in a number of states across Europe, with consequences on the decision-making process in the European Union. As it became a very familiar narrative in recent years, this phenomenon creates severe discontinuities from the previous EU communication paradigm. The dangers associated with populism in the political discourse is that in order to meet the increasingly Eurosceptic public opinion, the European leaders, in most cases, choose an antagonistic approach on the national interest as opposed to EU’s interest. Populist tendencies are worth exploring in the light of EU’s multiple difficulties, the immigrant crisis being only the latest one.

Multifaceted theoretical approaches have been assigned in the last decades to the concept of “populism”. In an attempt to extract and isolate its unique characteristics, scholars have tried to understand it in terms of expressed ideas, manifested style and formal organization. As proofs of European populist behaviour have never stopped being invoked both by the literature and by the media, further contextualization is not only explainable, but also welcome.

The popular mobilization that far right parties (through political figures like Le Pen in France, Jobbik in Hungary or Berlusconi in Italy) have successfully determined adds new perspectives to the concept of populism. Searching for the lowest common denominator (Rooduijn, 2013) of these movements, Euroscepticism comes to the forefront of the national action. Populism of the recent years, or the “new populism” (Canovan, 2006), finds in Euroscepticism one of the strongest arguments. The opposition towards the EU has become the playground for populist actors, and the playground is getting larger with every missed step in action and communication made by the EU institutions.

This panel seeks contributions related to the populism and extremism, as depicted in the media and in the political discourse.  Contributions may include, but are not restricted to:

  • Narratives of disruption: nationalism, populism and extremism in the context of the immigrant crisis
  • Euroscepticism as a core argument of far right and populism approaches
  • Populist discourse in the context of the immigrant crisis
  • Media coverage of the immigrant crisis: populist standpoints and nationalistic approaches
  • Populism in the European Union: recent developments of a familiar concept
  • Case studies on the resurgence of nationalism and extremism across EU member states
  • The crises of the European Union: fuelling far right movements and populism
  • Populist discourse in local political environments within EU member states
  • Changing extremist and anti-extremist discourse about refugees within EU member states
  • Populist and Extremist discourse via social media within EU member states


Paper submission

  • Paper proposals should contain abstract (max 500 words) and 3-8 keywords and should be sent to [email protected] by February 20th.



The panel is organized in the context of the ECREA TWG ‘Communication and the European Public Sphere’

The TWG aims to shed light on the impact of the European public sphere on the future of European integration. The constructive discussions and the collaborative work stimulated by this TWG will open up new directions in research in the field and will explore new theoretical frameworks that explain how current communication practices, including media visibility and framing, public discourse, citizens’ perceptions and participation, influence the development of a European arena of communication.

Chair: Alina Bârgăoanu (National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Faculty of Communication and Public Relations, Bucharest, Romania)

Vice Chair: Holger Sievert (MHMK – Macromedia University for Media and Communication, Cologne, Germany)

Vice Chair: Jozef Niznik  (European Studies Unit, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland)


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