CALL FOR PAPER 2019

NICE, FRANCE, JULY 1st AND 2nd, 2019, CONFERENCE IN COMPARATIVE POLITICAL COMMUNICATION

2019 EUROPEAN ELECTIONS BANALISAZION OR CREATIVITY OF POLITICAL COMMUNICATION ?

Photo by Rock Cohen

Elections to the European Parliament have long been considered « second class » elections (Reif & Schmitt, 1980). Two main factors have been put forward in order to justify this assessment: the persistent low level of participation in this election in most of the European Union countries and the weakness of the European Parliament in regard to the capabilities and powers of the different national parliaments. As a result, mainstream political parties – in office locally sooner or later – have somewhat neglected these elections, often perceived by the public at large as a « sideline » for politicians having lost momentum or at the end of their careers. However, marginal political parties, or those representing the extremes of the political spectrum, have benefited from the weak investment of mainstream parties, making their voices heard and advancing their ideas.

While the 2014 European elections did not directly change the situation, the influence of this vote is far from negligible. Indeed, the political communication of the marginal and extreme parties during this election has influenced the opinion of its tone even more demagogic and populist than before, with speeches attacking the European Union and its Brussels institutions, or those opposed to immigration or advocating a return to national borders, sometimes with some violence unheard since the first half of the 20th century. More than ever, mainstream parties have been blamed as « complicit » in this surrender of sovereignty.

With this frontal denunciation of mainstream parties, but also with the rebuttal of the ideas of political consensus inherent to the usual democratic debates, the political communication of the 2014 European elections has become the testing ground of several demagogic parties, frequently characterized as « populists ». They took advantage of this platform to make their voices heard, and then grasped power in several countries of the European Union. One can also glimpse in this movement the birth of the idea of « clearing off » (politicians and parties), which made the later happiness of some newcomers on the political chess boards of several countries of the Union, with notably the 2017 « party-less » victory Emmanuel Macron in France in 2017.

Looking at the political communication flows of the 2014 European elections thus made it possible to show that their « second-order » status had become questionable: if their immediate result – the composition of the European Parliament – did not change very much, the influence of these elections on the internal votes that followed in the EU countries is far from negligible.

This conference proposes to its contributors to draw up an initial assessment of the political communication of the 2019 European elections by particularly exploring three points: 

-a comparative analysis of the political communication strategies and tactics of the campaign in the European Union, through all the communication tools and methods, including possible subversive uses of social networks and the deliberate use of fake news;

-linking content and programs with the political evolution of many EU countries since the previous European elections, which will lead to consider the balance between national issues and European issues, some seemingly becoming crucial for politicians in office (starting with France);

-finally, the evaluation of the « disruptive » or, on the contrary, more classical feature of political communication at the European level; will we be witnessing a banal practice of political communication across the countries of the Union? Or will the diversity and fragmentation of political landscapes and the increased growth of social networks spark innovation and creativity?

These central questions will be the subject of the international conference on comparative political communication to be held in Nice on July 1st and 2nd, 2019, in the framework of cooperation between the « SIC.Lab Méditerranée » laboratory of the Côte d’Azur University (www.siclab.fr) and the center of comparative studies in political and public communication (www.ceccopop.com). This scientific event will bring together researchers and communication professionals on the Carlone campus of the LASH Faculty of the Côte d’Azur University and at the Mediterrancan University Center, located on the « Promenade des Anglais ».

The conference is organized by Philippe J. Maarek, Professor specialized in Political Communication at the Paris Est Créteil University (UPEC), former president of the Political Communication Research Sections of IPSA and IAMCR, associate member of the Sic.Lab and head of CECCOPOP. He ensures its scientific coordination with Nicolas Pelissier, Professor of Information Sciences and Communication at the University of Côte d’Azur and Head of Sic.Lab Méditerranée (EA 3280).

The event will be bilingual, French-English. Colleagues wishing to present a paper are invited to send a request to participate before February 27, 2019, to the following email address: ceccopop@gmail.com .

Proposals must include an abstract of 250 to 500 words (one or two sheets) and a one-page Vitae. They will be subject to a double-blind evaluation by the Scientific Board.

Scientific Board

Françoise AlbertiniUniversité de Corse, France
Paul BainesCranfield University, Royaume-Uni/United Kingdom
Camelia BeciuUniversité de Bucarest, Roumanie/Romania
Donatella CampusUniversità di Bologna, Italie/Italy
Maria-José CanelUniversité Complutense, Espagne/Spain
Eric DacheuxUniversité de Clermont Auvergne, France
Alex FrameUniversité de Bourgogne, Dijon, France
Lutz HagenUniversité Technique de Dresde, Allemagne/Germany
Denisa HejlovaCharles University, République Tchèque/Czech Republic
Christina Holtz-BachaFriedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Allemagne/Germany
Karolina Kok-MichalskaAudiencia, France
Darren LillekerBournemouth University, Royaume-Uni/United Kingdom
Eric MaigretUniversité Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle, France
Anna Matulková-ShavitCharles University, République Tchèque/Czech Republic
Lars NordMidwestern University, Suède/Sweden
Paul RasseUniversité Côte d’Azur, France
Jordi Rodriguez VirgiliUniversity of Navarra in Pamplona, Espagne/Spain
Brigitte SebbahUniversité de Toulouse 3, France
James Stanyer, University of Loughborough, Royaume-Uni/United Kingdom
Ioanna VovouPanteion University, Grèce/Greece
Claes de VreeseUniversity of Amsterdam, Pays-Bas/Netherland
Malgorzata Winiarska-Brodowska, Jagellon University, Pologne/Poland

Organizing comittee

Direction : Philippe J. Maarek (CECOPOPP) & Nicolas Pélissier (SIC.Lab Méditerranée) 
Coordination : Amandine Astic (Master Student DISTIC SIC.Lab) & Vanessa Landaverde (PhD SIC.Lab), 
Communication : Levon Bosnakian (PhD Student SIC.Lab),  Marie-Eleonore Georges et Adèle N’Dao (Master Student DISTIC SIC.Lab)