The 2017 annual conference of the Italian political science association (SISP), held on 14-16 September in Urbino, was devoted to “Politics and Policies in Changing Times”.
I presented two papers. The first presentation, title Bad for me, but I give in so easily: governmental participation, the crisis, and electoral support for left parties, showed that the cost of ruling for government parties has steadily increased since 1990, reaching very high levels in since the Great Recession (mean relative loss: -21.0 per cent; frequency of losses: 82.9 per cent). Governmental participation is particularly dangerous for left-of-the-centre (radical left, social democratic, and green) parties. Future research should investigate if this depends on policy ineffectiveness, on coalition strategies, or on the growing mismatch between the neo-liberal orientation of centre-left governments and the welfarist aspirations of their supporters. The second presentation, titled Competitiveness and the European social model(s), presented some preliminary results of the RESuME project. It outlined that the concept of competitiveness can cohexist with a variety of alternative development models and policy options, both theoretically and in the history of the European Union. Thus, it can either erode or strengthen the high level of incomes and social protection characteristic of the European social model(s). Despite many signs that EU countries are increasingly pursuing a “low-road” and “beggar-thy-neighbour” competitiveness strategy during the Eurocrisis, European and national policies continue to include elements of a “high-road” and “solidary” competitiveness strategy based on public investment, innovation, and redistribution.
I also acted as a discussant in the panel “Authors and themes of historical politology” of the Politica e Storia Standing Group (chair: Marco Almagisti), where I discussed four papers dealing with extremism research.