Jorge Vala: “Introduction – Threats: An indispensable Debate”

Jorge Vala,  from ICS, presented the introduction of the book “Societies Under Threat – A Pluri-Disciplinary Approach” edited by Denise Jodelet, Jorge Vala and Ewa Drozda-Senkowska. The summary reads:

“This Seminar aims to stimulate the discussion about a concept – threat. Threat still has little emphasis in the analysis and theorization of social sciences which concern the changes that have taken place in the last twenty years, and those that we imagine will still occur. For a long time, risk was considered an adequate and sufficient concept to address situations marked by uncertainty and unpredictability. Threat is not an alternative to the concept of risk but it may allow a broader focus encompassing phenomena analysed under risk and also extends to phenomena ignored by risk analysis. Thus, this seminar asks, can the concept of threat bring us anything new? Three topics will be addressed: conceptual challenges; the potential operative role of the concept in different domains; reactions to threats.​”

Pedro Magalhães and Mariano Torcal: “Ideological Extremism, Perceived Partisan Polarization, and Democratic Support”

Pedro Magalhães,  from ICS, presented a paper. The first paragraph of the introduction reads:

“What are the implications of ideological polarization for the democracy legitimacy? Sartori noted long ago that when the ideological distance between the “lateral poles” of a party system is very large, “covering a maximum spread of opinion, (…) [t]his is tantamount to saying that cleavages are likely to be very deep, that consensus is surely low, and that the legitimacy of the political system is widely questioned” (Sartori 2005 [1976]: 120). Sartori’s prescient concern with the implications of ideological polarization for regime support has experienced a revival in recent years. Polarization has been argued to constitute, in different ways, a potential danger for democratic stability and, particularly, for citizens’ principled commitment with liberal democracy, its principles, and practices (McCoy et al. 2018; Levitsky & Ziblatt 2018; Carothers & Donahue 2019; Svolik 2019; Svolik 2020; Nalepa et al. 2018; Graham & Svolik 2020).​”

Michael Lewis-Beck forecasts the winner of the next US election

Michael Lewis-Beck presented a forthcoming paper of his entitled: “U.S. Presidential Election Forecasting: The Economist Model”. The preview reads:

“In June of this year, The Economist began publishing regular forecasts of the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. In this article, Colin and Michael Lewis-Beck describe the model used, evaluate its potential strengths and weaknesses, and provide many perspectives on election forecasting models in general. They conclude with forecasts of the results of the vote in the upcoming November 3 U.S. presidential election.​”


Raquel Rego, Tatiana Pita & Cristina Nunes “The crisis of European tripartism: The case of gender equality on social concertation in Portugal”

Raquel Rego did a presentation concerning the contribution of social concertation through the social pacts on gender equality in the labour market.

Here’s the abstract:

“​​​Within the corporatist systems of the EU, social concertation is the body that promotes the national consensus among trade unions, employers and governments. Given the persistent inequality of the labour market, we have wondered what contribution it has been making to gender equality policies. We responded to this question by analysing the content of the social pacts signed in Portugal over more than 30 years of tripartism (1984-2019). The results show that gender equality has little weight in social pacts and that the European regulatory framework is decisive in the progress made. Our study thus reinforces the existing literature which points to the need for a reform of tripartism.”

Patrícia Calca and Teresa Ruel “Party Anchorage in Multilevel States: The Selection of Representatives”

Patrícia Calca,  from ISCTE, presented a paper with the following abstract:

” Depending on the country, an MP may be legally bounded to represent her constituency or the entire territory. Nevertheless, there is a dual and conflicting relationship between the party representation, at the national level, and the other territorial tiers of government. Besides these constraints, a representative can, however, serve the party in other ways and stations because there will be an additional level of career opportunities. Thus, we ask under which conditions is an MP candidate in the regional lists for the legislative elections more likely to appear in placements for secure seats? We expect that MPs coming from the regional constituencies (Azores and Madeira) and in more secure seats, be more likely to be, at a point in time, an MP at the Regional Assembly. We test our hypotheses with new data from the Portuguese case.​”

Catherine Moury “”Mind the (submission) gap: EPSR gender data and female authors publishing perceptions”

Catherine Moury,  from UNova, presented a paper about the gender gap in political science publishing.

Here’s the first paragraph:

“The EPSR defines itself as a generalist journal devoted to the most important debates in
political science. that seeks to publish articles with the highest possible standards in conceptualisation, theorisation and methodology. It sounds like a truism, that the gender of the authors and, more generally, gender as a topic should not represent a priori a significant obstacle for publication. Yet, as students of gender in neighbouring disciplines have shown, research often contains an implicit (and unconscious) bias (Clains 2018).”

Annette Bongardt and Francisco Torres “Brexit: Explaining UK dithering and drawing lessons for EU sustainability”

On the eve of Brexit, Annette Bongardt from University of Évora and Francisco Torres from Lisbon Católica School of Business and Economics made a presentation based on their forthcoming book: The Politics and Economics of Brexit, London: Edward Elgar.

Here’s the abstact:

Brexit can be viewed as a logical consequence and culmination of the UK harbouring ever more divergent preferences from the EU. Such divergence became incompatible and arguably unsustainable when EU integration deepened to EMU and the UK was not prepared to go along with the requirements to make it function. The clear result of the December 2019 UK election meant that Brexit could go ahead at last on 31 January 2020 (next Friday), putting and end to the many political attempts to reverse the UK’s democratic decision. Those attempts were mainly channelled through a series of procedural challenges through the courts and through a British parliament seemingly disconnected from the non-binding referendum mandate to exit the EU that it had promised to honour and from the decision to leave the EU at the end of March 2019, which it had also voted by an overwhelming majority. Arguably, the EU was putting its future at risk by contributing (with permanent whisperings of a possible reversal and with the insistence on conditions attached to the withdrawal agreement) to delaying Brexit and also to accommodating successive extensions of Article 50 TEU. That concerted strategy among anti-Brexiteers (not necessarily Europeanists) in the UK, the EU and elsewhere eventually backfired, not without strong reputational costs for the EU, and led, after the December 2019 elections, to a clear strengthening of the UK government’s position. It has also encouraged anti-EU sentiments in various political forces across the EU, notably in Italy. And yet, EU negotiators seem still more reoccupied than UK negotiators about the costs for the latter of not reaching a trade deal. Brexit has put in sharp focus the limits of differentiated integration in the EU. On the other hand there are a variety of options that are available to countries that intend to stay in the EU’s orbit, with differing benefits and sovereignty costs. In our view, variable geometry ought to imply ‘variably geometry Europe’, as variable geometry or differentiated integration in the EU has reached its limits. Accommodating member states’ preferences that are too divergent from the Union’s by means of more institutional flexibility at the expense of the Euro area and the objective of ever-closer union would mean transforming the EU into a mere intergovernmental organization without a common currency and without political ambitions. Therefore, all EU countries should be in all main EU (treaty-based) institutions, most notably EMU and Schengen, or leave the Union and opt for membership of the European Economic Area only or for a lesser preferential trade agreement like a Free Trade Agreement.

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