Hanspeter Kriesi gave a talk on political consequences of the Great Recession
One of the honorary speakers of the 9th LCSR International Workshop “Comparative Social Research” was Hanspeter Kriesi (LCSR HSE, European University Institute). His papers’ topic was «The Political Consequences of the Great Recession: Key Results of the POLCON Project». Thus, the main goal of the report was an attempt to review in general terms the main results of the project “Political Conflict in Europe in the Context of the World Economic Crisis”.
The study examined the political consequences of the Great Recession regarding elections and protest movements in three regions of Europe: central-east, north-west and south. Key research questions are the follows: “Was this crisis a critical electoral moment?” “Did this change the political conflict in national party systems, and who then was the driving force behind the transformation?” “Did the crisis lead to a protest wave sweeping across Europe?” “Did the protest contribute to the transformation of party systems?”.
Based on the results of the study, Kriesi answers the question of whether the Global economic crisis has become a turning point in the activities of European politicians. The answer is not universal for the regions: “while the north and west of Europe took the path of continuity, and Central and Eastern Europe chose the path of consolidation and unification, it was in the south of Europe that significant changes took place in the context of political struggle between the parties”. Hanspeter Kriesi shows that these transformations are associated with a wave of public economic protest that rose in southern Europe during the crisis, which, in turn, was caused by deep-seated economic and political public discontent.
Thus, the structure of national policy in the long-term period is due to the structure of the split, the legacy of the regime and the EU, and in the short-term period by economic and political crisis.