|Datum:||23. September 2014|
|Zeit:||17.15 Uhr bis 19.00 Uhr|
|Ort:||Hauptgebäude Uni Luzern - Raum 3.B55|
Daunis Auers, PhD (London) - Associate Professor, University of Latvia
The established framework for identifying political party ‘families’ was laid out in Peter Mair and Cas Mudde’s landmark 1998 journal article that identified four major approaches: Origins, name, ideology (and policy) as well as transnational links. However, these approaches, particularly the latter three, direct the researcher towards ‘buying into’ the external image and narrative that parties have created. As a result, scholars may be misdirected away from the core of what a party actually is.
This lecture proposes alternative approaches to the study of parties and party families that focus on the uncontrolled ‘signals’ sent out by parties. The study of party communications, particularly (1) internal messages and discussion, via social media, (2) party rallies and other events that mobilise key members and supporters, as well as (3) party responses to member deviation present a more realistic picture of what a party actually is rather than what it claims to be.
These approaches are then applied to the case of three new political parties, variously referred to as nationalists, populists, agrarians, conservatives or radical right populists, that have gained electoral success in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) in recent years: The Sweden Democrats (Sweden), the Finns (Finland) and the National Alliance of All for Latvia! and For Fatherland and Freedom / Latvian National Independence Movement (Latvia). All three recorded impressive and largely unexpected results in parliamentary elections over the last half-decade, and the National Alliance entered government in October 2011. This lecture will consider the extent to which these three seemingly different sui generis parties compose a party family.