Seminar series

The politics of Covid-19

Consolidation or transformation of the European cleavage structure?

Add to calendar 2021-09-29 12:30 2021-09-29 14:00 Europe/Rome The politics of Covid-19 Online Zoom YYYY-MM-DD


29 September 2021

12:30 - 14:00 Italian time




Join Prof. Daniele Caramani and Dr. Lorenzo Cicchi as they present their research in the second EGPP Seminar Series presentation.
The Covid-19 pandemic is a critical juncture that has created new oppositions across European societies. The health and economic crises have hit Europe asymmetrically across functional and geographical lines: some socio-economic groups and countries have been affected more than others from the health impact of the pandemic and from the economic consequences of lockdowns, leading to a new ‘health-economy’ (pandemic) cleavage. Similarly, on the implementation of the Recovery Plan different spending contrasts emerge, both functionally and territorially, prioritizing a rather technocratic long-term expenditure on structural investments, or a more politically rewarding short-term spending on economic sectors in difficulty, creating a new ‘reform-relief’ (recovery) cleavage. Theoretically, these new fault lines relate to the European cleavage structure by either overlapping with or cutting across existing dimensions created by previous crises (the economic and cultural left-right dimension but also on the urban-rural cleavage and creditor-debtor territorial cleavage between member-states). The research investigates which actors have politicized the asymmetric impact of the pandemic between countries and groups, as well as the politicization of spending plans for the recovery fund. The guiding hypothesis is that the existential nature of pandemic and recovery lead to a renewed salience of material issues as opposed to post-material once and thus to a shift of the new axis of competition toward the horizontal axis.
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