contentious politics

  • Why Did Italian Democracy Become Vulnerable? Theorizing the Change from Neo- to Quasi-Militant Democracy

    Author: Joanna Rak
    Institution: Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland)
    ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0505-3684
    Published online: 21 June 2021
    Final submission: 2 June 2021
    Printed issue: December 2021
    Source: Show
    Page no: 11
    Pages: 51-61
    DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/ppsy202109
    PDF: ppsy/50/ppsy202109.pdf

    Embedded in scholarship on militant democracy, this research aims to explain how Italian legislation was positioned to militant democratic measures and how this changed over time. Drawing on the qualitative source analysis and the explanatory frameworks of democratic vulnerability tests two competing theory-grounded assumptions. While the first one assumes that Italian democracy became vulnerable when traditional militant democracy instruments were outmoded, the second considers the misuse or abandonment of those means with social consent as the source of vulnerability. The crisis-induced socioeconomic inequality and uncertainty weakened the Italian political nation. As a result, the latter supported populists in return for a promise of political change. The anti-democratic legal means employed to extend power competencies and prevent the exchange of ruling parties were the way to and the costs of the expected political change. At the same time, the political nation became unable to self-organize to strengthen democracy self-defense. As a result, Italians co-produced a quasi-militant democracy that turned vulnerable because militant democracy measures were misused or not used with the consent of Italians that relinquished their political subjectivity in favor of the Northern League and the Five Star Movement.

  • „I Am Not Going”: Determinants of Social Activity before Poland’s Ghost Election

    Author: Kamila Rezmer-Płotka
    Institution: Nicolaus Copernicus Univeristy (Poland)
    ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1458-5076
    Published online: 25 July 2022
    Final submission: 4 May 2022
    Printed issue: 2022
    Source: Show
    Page no: 9
    DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/ppsy202202
    PDF: ppsy/51/ppsy202202.pdf

    The article analyses political opposition toward the date of presidential elections and conducting them in the correspondence form on May 10, 2020, in Poland. The study is embedded in the theories of quasi-militant democracy and the emergence of social movements. The method used in the study is the qualitative analysis of media messages of the main news websites in Poland. Mainly in terms of the activity and arguments of citizens against the elections in the form of correspondence. The presidential elections revealed the imperious relationship between the government and citizens in Poland’s becoming quasimilitant democracy. The emphasis was on the elements regarding the organisation of elections on May 10 that could impact a social movement’s emergence. The most significant role in stopping the May 10 elections was played by institutional opposition in the form of local self-governments’ civil disobedience and the Senate’s action, which efficiently blocked the party’s initiative. The article accounts for how election matters determined the social mobilisation and activity of the new social movement. This paper’s main finding is that institutional opposition may prevail over the social one in the pandemic.

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