Ana Filipa Madeira: “The Past in the Present: Antecedents and Consequences of Luso-Tropicalism for the Legitimation of Contemporary Social and Racial Inequality.Ana Filipa Madeira”

Ana Filipa Maidera, from ICS-Ulisboa, has presented the following FCT project won by herself and colleagues (Cicero Pereira (PI), Filipa Madeira (Co-PI), Joaquim Valentim, Ana Figueiredo, Rui Costa Lopes, Jorge Vala): The Past in the Present: Antecedents and Consequences of Luso-Tropicalism for the Legitimation of Contemporary Social and Racial Inequality“. Here follows the project’s abstract:

“Recent social psychological perspectives on the legitimation of discriminatory attitudes and behaviors toward formerly colonized groups have emphasized the role of postcolonial ideologies in perpetuating social asymmetries and resistance to social inclusion measures social (Sibley et al., 2008; 2016; 2018; Newton et al., 2018). In particular, the literature has shown that the content of colonial beliefs in various postcolonial societies organize contemporary negative attitudes toward colonized groups and resistance to public policies that promote inclusion and access to material resources for people from colonized (and typically socially disadvantaged) groups (Castro et al., 2022; Valentim & Heleno, 2018; Satherley & Sibley, 2018). However, because the content of colonial beliefs is primarily derived from the socio-historical narrative of each society, the structure and function of these postcolonial ideologies in key dimensions of asymmetrical relations between groups continues has still to be fully elucidated. This is important because by examining the psychosocial substrate of colonial ideological thinking we can elucidate relationships that have remained unanswered. The LUSO project, therefore, proposes to examine the structure of postcolonial ideological thinking and the function it plays in contemporary social inequalities. It assumes that it can be conceptualized as a style of colonial thinking that emerged from social concepts, politically institutionalized to justify geopolitical strategy and shape collective representations about the colonial past (Castro et al., 2022; da Silva & Cabral, 2020; Licata et al., 2018; Sibley & Osborne, 2016; Valentim, 2011). Previously theorizing developed by members of LUSO, identifies at least four organizing components of postcolonial ideological thinking that integrate historical denial of injustice (Pereira et al., 2018; Sibley & Osborne, 2016), scope of justice (Lima-Nunes et al., 2013; Opotow, 1996), miscegenation (Cabecinhas & Feijó, 2010; Valentim, 2011), and development (Licata et al., 2010; 2018). These four components illuminate the psychosocial process of the emergence, structuring, and political implementation of colonial ideological thinking, which in the past served to legitimize the maintenance of colonial empires and today legitimizes the existence of social asymmetries between socially advantaged (i.e., formerly colonizers) and disadvantaged groups (i.e., formerly colonized). This clarification of the organizing components of postcolonial ideologies will allow us to answer the questions that remain unanswered, namely: To what extent are these ideologies socially accepted today by representing a legitimating mechanism in the relationship between a general orientation toward dominance and prejudice and hostility toward formerly colonized groups? To what extent does adherence to postcolonial ideologies vary across a) generations and b) group social status? The general objective of LUSO is to analyze how the organizing dimensions of colonial ideological thinking persist and operate in Portuguese society, and what function they have in legitimizing discriminatory attitudes and behaviors toward formerly colonized groups. The research questions will be addressed in four working packages (WP). Specifically, LUSO will (1) develop and validate a new instrument measuring the organizing dimensions of Luso-tropicalism, as a postcolonial ideological thinking, which we propose to be organized in four latent factors (WP1); (2) test the social normativity of Luso-tropicalism (WP2); (3) test if it operates as a legitimizing myth within the general framework of intergroup ideologies (WP3), by proposing that it can dampen support to inclusive social policies (i.e., a suppression effect) and facilitate discriminatory attitudes and behaviors toward disadvantaged people from formerly colonized groups (i.e., a foster process); (4) examine the social diffusion of these assumptions with a sample of the Portuguese population (WP4), while testing potential moderators of those relationships, namely socialization patterns (i.e., intergenerational differences) and group status (high SES vs low SES). LUSO will conduct a multi-method research program that includes qualitative and quantitative studies, correlational and experimental research designs, and an online survey. LUSO will make a substantial contribution to the study of the psychosocial processes of colonial legacy in the national context and will significantly advance the knowledge about the structure of postcolonial ideological thinking in the international scene.”

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Edalina Rodrigues Sanches and Yani Kartalis: “Constituency focus in a closed list proportional representation system: An analysis of parliamentary questions in the South African Parliament”

Edalina Rodrigues Sanches and Yani Kartalis, from ICS – University of Lisbon, presented a paper entitled: Constituency focus in a closed list proportional representation system: An analysis of parliamentary questions in the South African Parliament. Here follows the abstract: 

What drives legislators’ constituency focus under closed list proportional representation (CLPR) systems? CLPR systems are said to offer fewer incentives for legislators to cultivate the personal vote and cater to district interests. We argue that legislators will have electoral and careershaped predispositions to perform constituencyfocused activities, as they seek to pursue their goals and satisfy their principals. Drawing on an original dataset of 20,293 questions submitted to the Parliament of South Africa between 2006 and 2022 and on legislators biographic data, we test three hypotheses, namely that more electorally vulnerable legislators, junior legislators, and those with prior political experience in the district will have more incentives to perform constituency based activities. Our results lend support to the hypotheses on electoral vulnerability and localness but run counter to most studies as we show that seniority fosters rather than diminishes constituency focus. These findings clarify the importance of individual level factors beyond institutional constraints. They also nuance existing studies that downplay the role of constituency service in partycontrolled assemblies in Africa

Luca Manucci: “Back to the future? Populism and the Legacies of Authoritarian Regimes”

Luca Manucci, from ICS-Ulisboa, has presented his new FCT project POLAR: “Back to the future? Populism and the Legacies of Authoritarian Regimes”:

“How can we explain the normalisation of the populist radical right?With democratic countries backsliding towards authoritarianism and populist radical right parties becoming increasingly successful in elections even in countries that were considered immune to the radical right, it is crucial to understand why the stigma associated with past authoritarian regimes no longer seems to serve as an antidote to the populist radical right.”

José Magone: “The ‘superficial’ Europeanization of southern Europe: the persistence of peripheral governance”

José Magone, Professor of Regional and Global Governance at the Berlin School of Economics and Law, presented a chapter of his recent book: Constraining Democratic Governance in Southern Europe: From “Superficial” to “Coercive” Europeanization. Here follows the first chapter’s paragraph: 

The financial and sovereign debt crisis in the European Union had a devastating impact on southern Europe, not only economically and politically but also socially and culturally. The southern European countries had grown accustomed to a benevolent European Union (EU) that would transfer funding from the EU cohesion policy for the development of the region, no questions asked. This led to a desire on the part of elites and the local populations to perpetuate this relationship without making sufficient efforts to transform their political, economic, and social structures. The period between 2008 and 2014 did not represent a break with the past; rather, the impact of the financial and sovereign debt crisis is simply a confirmation of the ailing semi-peripheral socio-economic model of southern Europe.

Hugo Ferrinho Lopes: “Until another party do us part? Party members’ disloyalty in a third wave democracy”

Hugo Ferrinho Lopes, PhD student at ICS, and Marco Lisi, from NOVA University of Lisbon, presented a paper entitled: Until another party do us part? Party members’ disloyalty in a third wave democracy. Here follows the abstract: 

This article sets out to investigate party members’ voting defection behavior. Often taken as party’s most loyal voters, extant research suggests that the members’ vote is not unconditional. The argument is that ideological incongruence, intra-party democracy, incentive structure, and activism play a key role in explaining why a member casts a vote for another party at the ballot box while having a formal connection with his/her own party. We test the impact these factors play on members’ disloyalty by using the most recent survey data from Portugal, which include distinct types of party and different levels of membership strata (grassroots members and mid-level elites). Findings support the impact of intra-party democracy and activism on vote defection, whereas ideological incongruence and motivation have no significant effects. However, results differ across parties and membership type, suggesting the importance of the political context and party legacy. Results have important implications for party membership and mobilization, as well as for future research on the consequences of party cohesion and factionalism.

Ana Cristina Figueiredo: “Ideologias pós-coloniais, políticas de reparação e reconhecimento e relações intergrupais atuais: os Mapuche no Chile”

Ana Cristina Figueiredo, a Portuguese social psychologist working abroad at the Universidad de O’Higgins (Chile), presented a paper titled: Ideologias pós-coloniais, políticas de reparação e reconhecimento e relações intergrupais atuais: os Mapuche no Chile. Here follows the first paragraph of its summary:

“Hoje em dia, são muitos os países que enfrentam enormes desafios na forma como as demandas de grupos minoritários e/ou grupos indígenas são consideradas e abordadas. Isto acontece tanto em países europeus, onde antigos países colonizadores enfrentam demandas de reconhecimento e reparação pelas atrocidades cometidas durante o período colonial, como também noutras partes do mundo, como a América Latina ou a Oceânia, onde diferentes grupos indígenas exigem maior reconhecimento e direitos. O Chile não é exceção a isso e, por esta razão, propomos que compreender como as pessoas pensam e representam o passado, especialmente em relação a conflitos históricos (Liu e Hilton, 2005), é crucial para entender as sociedades atuais e as relações entre minorias indígenas e grupos maioritários não indígenas.”

Romain Lachat: “Time will tear us apart: European electoral participation dynamics in longitudinal perspective”

Romain Lachat, associate Professor at Sciences Po, presented a paper titled: Time will tear us apart: European electoral participation dynamics in longitudinal perspective. Here follows the first paragraph of the introduction: 

“Democratic theory postulates that citizens are equal before the government and that citizens equally contribute to the formation of the general will: as Post (2006: 28) states democracy “requires that persons be treated equally insofar as they are autonomous participants in the process of government”. The translation of the formal equality between citizens is transposed in the principle of “one person, one vote”: each citizen (at least those entitled to vote) is an agent of the democratic principle, for the democratic principle. Nonetheless, economic and political inequalities are believed to make the realisation of this normative principle difficult: excessive inequalities threaten the foundation of political regimes (Boix 2003). This idea is still debated and oftentimes challenged in the literature (Acemoglu & Robinson 2006; Houle 2009; Przeworski et al. 2000). Yet, while the literature focused mainly on democratisation and consolidation phases in relation to economic inequalities in the population (Houle 2009), in this paper we focus on political inequalities in consolidated democratic regimes. In particular, rather than establishing a causal effect, we want to investigate whether, alongside the growth of structural economic inequalities (Piketty 2014), European democracies have witnessed rising political inequalities in terms of political participation and namely, the most fundamental way of participating within democracy, i.e. through the participation in the election. In detail, using a timespan covering more than 70 years, we investigate whether inequalities in participation have grown over time and we also aim to detect which forms of inequality have become more pronounced.”