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Citizens and the State During and After Crises: The Dynamic of Institutions, Attitudes and Behaviors

This conference aims to gather papers that address the relationship of citizens with the state in established or new democracies, transition countries and hybrid regimes from a variety of viewpoints, including the recent crisis of COVID-19 and Russia's war on Ukraine.

The relationship between citizens and the state has been unpredictable in the last four decades. On the one hand, there was a gap characterized by increasing dissatisfaction and disaffection of citizens towards the regime, state institutions and office holders. This was reflected in lower levels of political trust, questionable regime legitimacy, limited electoral participation, or voicing discontent through protest. On the other hand, there were occasional instances in which the citizens got closer to the state and rallied around the flag. The short-term surge in support has been mainly observed around crises such as 9/11, the financial crisis, large waves of immigrants or refugees, COVID-19, and Russia war on Ukraine. Considering these contrasting trends, we do not know what to expect in the future from this relationship. It remains unclear whether this oscillatory trajectory of contextual “love-hate” approach will continue or there are signs for different trends.

We are interested in learning about the relationship of citizens with the state in established or new democracies, transition countries and hybrid regimes (during and after crises) from two different perspectives: the supply side which includes state institutions and elites, who claim to represent and aggregate the interests of citizenry, and the demand side, which includes the citizens with their attitudes and behaviors oriented towards the state. The papers can discuss any crisis in the last two decades, including the recent cases of COVID-19 or the war in Ukraine. The papers can answer any of these questions, which include, but are not limited, to:
 How political institutions engage with people during crises?
 What changes in the institutional approach at state level in a crisis?
 What are the challenges of stateness or national identity during and after crises?
 Why do people support the regime during crises?
 How do citizens see their roles in society?
 What are the main challenges of national / local identity during or after crises?
 How do people participate politically during or after crises?
 How do citizens’ attitudes towards the state change over time?
Target Group, Workshop Structure and Planned Outcomes
The event will be multi-disciplinary and addresses scholars from Political Science, Sociology, History, and European Studies. A variety of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches is encouraged. The conference will seek to attract a mix of established scholars, early-career researchers, and PhD students. To increase the exchange of ideas, each paper giver will serve as discussant for another paper.
The conference will gather 20 participants. The papers will be clustered in thematic areas that will be decided after the acceptance of papers. Each presenter will be allocated 30 minutes: 15 minutes to present the paper, 5 minutes for the discussant and 10 minutes for general discussion.
Depending on the homogeneity of the papers, a special issue in a highly ranked peer-reviewed journal or an edited book may be feasible. The workshop organizers have extensive experience in editing special issues for both generalist and area studies journals.
Costs and Application Procedure
All costs related to accommodation, meals and coffee breaks for participants are covered by the organizers. Travel grants are not available, and participants must cover their transport to and from, as well as in, Stockholm. To apply, please fill in the application form in the link below until 20 February 2024. The results of the selection process will be communicated within five days after the application deadline.

Tid och plats

23 maj 2024, 12:00 - 24 maj 2024, 12:00


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