CANCELLATION of the 2020 International Paris Conference on

The Political Communication of Protests and Emotions


On June 24-25, 2020, the Centre for Comparative Studies on Political and Public Communication (Ceccopop) will be holding its 26th annual conference in Paris in partnership with the International School of Political Studies of Paris East – UPEC University.  The focus of the conference is on the role of political communication in the study of protests, demonstrations, and anomic displays of emotions.

Around the world we have seen the rise of protests and expressions of passion in opposition to dominant power structures, leaders, and elite decisions.  American or Ukrainian new leaders without any traditional political background and backing have been elected showing, as in France, that the emotion is a major factor in the individual decision to vote (Foucault, 2017). Protests have occurred in long-established democracies, democracies in transition, and even non-democratic countries—invoking many forms of communication. Arab Springs, French seemingly never-ending protests and strikes and so-called « yellow vests » phenomenon, the American Women’s March, Californian or Australian climate change petitions and marches, European countries xenophobic gatherings, achievements of Italian or Indonesian populist parties, Indian demonstration against anti-Muslim laws, the recent years have seen protests and emotions invade the political sphere with the help of the whole new range of tools granted by traditional and social media.

Anomic action is generally the result of some frustration with regular channels of politics i.e. a failure of communication between the governed and the government.  Plato warns that: “When revolution comes it may seem to arise from little causes and petty whims; but though it may spring from slight occasions it is the precipitate result of grave and accumulated wrongs” (Bloom, 1968, 556).  Likewise protests arise from a feeling of hurt or threat.  They may be violent or peaceful; seek change or return to previous dominant patterns of privilege or power targeting particular governmental, economic, religious, or cultural elites. Additionally, counter-protests may arise based on issues or moral values.  In all of these cases, protest is essentially a communicative action replete with emotions. Historically, emotions and cognition/reason have been viewed as disembodied and separate phenomena, but current research argues that they are integrally linked processes of understanding and meaning making (Marcus & al, 2000, Jasper, 2018). Through the lens of political communication scholars can explore the framing of protests, or the identities that are primed, and the agendas they set, which are all aspects of political communication.

Some possible questions.  What communication tools help to spread or contain protest movements? What are the emotional messages conveyed in news media coverage of protests?  What emotions are expressed under what conditions and by whom? What are the implications for governance with the spread of emotional protests?  What emotions are expressed verbally, visually, aurally, symbolically? What are the emotions that drive people to protest? How do leaders use affective appeals to foment, channel or repress protests?  How are some leaders managing to channel emotions in order to obtain or to maintain power? Have social media encouraged protests and how does it compare to protests a century ago, when populism and nationalism was rising? 

These central questions will be the subject of the international conference on comparative political communication to be held in Paris by the Center of Comparative studies in Political and Public Communication ( in partnership with the International School of Political Studies of Paris East – UPEC University. This scientific event will bring together researchers and communication professionals from several countries.

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 Mediterrannée, former member of the Institute of Communication Science of CNRS, and head of CECCOPOP. He shares its scientific direction with Ann Crigler, Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Southern California and Marion Just, Emerita Professor at Wellesley College.

The event will be bilingual, French-English. Colleagues wishing to present a paper are invited to send a request to participate before February 25th, 2020, to the following email address:

Proposals must include an abstract of 250 to 500 words (one or two sheets) and a one-page Vitae. They should clearly articulate the central question, theoretical and methodological approaches, evidence that will be used to address the argument, and the broader implications of the work for the study of political communication. They will be subject to a double-blind evaluation by the Scientific Board.

Attendees will be notified of acceptance by March 20, 2020. All papers must be presented in English or French with a Power Point in the other language. PowerPoint presentations based on accepted abstracts will be due June 15, 2020.  The conference fee will be 120 euros to cover organizational expenses and lunch. All participants should find their own accommodations in Paris. 


• Foucault, Martial, 2017, « Le clivage gauche-droite n’a pas disparu« , Le Monde, Sept 2, 2017.
• Jasper, James M. 2018. The Emotions of Protest. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
• Marcus, George, W. Russell Neuman, & Michael MacKuen. 2000. Affective Intelligence and Political Judgment. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Plato. The Republic. 1968.  Ed. And Trans. Allan Bloom. New York, NY: Basic Books. Ed. and Trans. Allan Bloom. New York, NY: Basic Books
• Plato. The Republic. 1968.  Ed. And Trans. Allan Bloom. New York, NY: Basic Books. Ed. and Trans. Allan Bloom. New York, NY: Basic Books

Scientific Direction

Ann Crigler, University of Southern California, USA
Marion Just, Wellesley College, USA
Philippe J. Maarek, Université Paris Est – UPEC & Ceccopop, France

Scientific Board

Camelia Beciu, Université de Bucarest, Romania
W. Lance Bennett, University of Washington, USA
Donatella Campus,Università di Bologna, Italy
Eric Dacheux, Université de Clermont Auvergne, France
Dana R. Fisher, University of Maryland, USA
Denisa Hejlova, Charles University, Czech Republic
Christina Holtz-Bacha, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
Julio Juarez Gamiz, UNAM, Mexico
Paolo Mancini, Università di Perugia, Italy
Anna Matulková-Shavit, Charles University, Czech Republic
Lars Nord, Midwestern University, Sweden
Edoardo Novelli, Università degli Studi Roma TRE, Italy
Yves Palau, Université Paris Est – UPEC, France
Stylianos Papathanassopoulos, National and Kapodistrian University of AthensGreece
Nicolas Pelissier, Université Côte d’Azur, France
Brigitte Sebbah, Université de Toulouse 3, France
Ioanna Vovou, Panteion University, Greece
Claes de Vreese, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands


Philippe J. Maarek,Université Paris Est – UPEC, France