AreaS-medlemmer Elin Strand Larsen, Harald Borgebund, Robert Mikkelsen og Franck Orban reiste til IPSAs internasjonale kongress i Brisbane, Australia i tidsrommet 21.-25. juli 2018. IPSA er verdens største organisasjon for statsvitere, med over 2000 medlemmer.
På kongressen i Brisbane la AreaS fram fire bidrag og hadde ansvar for en paneldiskusj0n om faktorer som begrenser demokrati (Constraining Democracy: Factors and Actors). Panelet bestod av følgende:
- Building Walls – Building Bridges; The Role of Ethnicity in American Politics
Author: Prof. Robert Mikkelsen
- Costly Extremism: How High Voting Costs Deter Participation Among Moderates and Generate a Voting Population Dominated by Extremists
Author: Dr. Victoria Shineman
- Populism and the Blurring Frontier between Left and Right in Politics : Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Mélenchon in 2017’ French Presidential Election
Author: Dr. Franck Orban
- The Limits of Democracy
Author: Dr. Harald Borgebund
- The Limits of Truth – A case study of Faktisk and CrossCheck
Author: Dr. Elin Strand Larsen
AreaS-bidragene dekket følgende temaer:
Ethnicity has been a central uniting and dividing factor in American politics since the Declaration of Independence in 1776. In this paper, I will examine its impact on a variety of political developments since that time, including nativism, the labor movement, and the interplay between racism and immigration restriction. This will be done with an eye towards examining the present conflicts within America with regard to both legal and illegal immigration, as well as examining the related issues domestic of integration and exclusion. The essential question is – Who sets the terms of the definition of belonging to a nation? Who sets the borders? I will show that despite different eras and circumstance, those terms have remained remarkably consistent both for those who build walls and for those that build bridges in the United States.
This paper takes a closer look at how populism intends to concretize a shift away from traditional politics over to political borders reflecting a so-called “new reality.” The first part examines the present debate on populism by stressing how the high degree of politicizing, the absence of academic consensus and myriad of definitions and approaches to populism complicate a clear understanding of this phenomenon. The second part is focused on the rise of populist parties in Europe since the beginning of the millennium and analyses the current situation, emphasizing the increasing porosity between traditional parties on left and right and former “protest parties” that capitalize on voters’ distrust towards main parties. The third part analyses similarities and differences between right-wing populism and left-wing populism. Using background analyses and speeches given by Marine Le Pen, leader of National Front (now renamed “National Rally”) and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the grass-roots movement “Unsubmissive France,” we show how Le Pen and Mélenchon deliberately intend to transform traditional political dividing lines between the left and the right into a new globalist/anti-globalist axis.
In this paper I define the limits of democracy based on constitutional limits and limits on the method of democracy. I argue that democracy is best served by strict constitutional limits and the insight of realistic democratic theory and psychology. Within these constrains it becomes clear that democracies can only function by being confined within certain limits. In the first section I outline the traditional constitutional view of democracy and emphasise its historical development. In the second section I discuss the implications of the many recent studies on realistic democracy and psychology emphasising the many cognitive problems arising when individuals and groups of individuals are making political decisions. In the third and final section I use the framework developed in the two first sections to outline how democracy ought to be limited within the context of the modern nation state. I conclude that in a modern context we have access to knowledge that can help us counter human biases and improve the quality of our democratic practices.
In the aftermath of the 2016 US presidential election and Brexit, we have seen a rise in the number of fact-checking projects across the globe, devoted to check the facts of public statements and reveal fake news circulating in social media. Today we can find as many as 100 different fact-checking projects spread across 40 countries. In what has become a post-truth era, the fact-checkers argue there is a common reality and a shared set of facts “out there” that can be tested and verified. Their job is not to evaluate meanings or feelings, but to inform the public about what and who to trust among their politicians, in their social media feeds and among their news sources.
In this paper, I will do a comparative case study analysis of two fact-checking projects recently launched in connection with the 2017 parliamentary election in Norway and the 2017 presidential election in France – Faktisk and CrossCheck. My research questions are:
1) How do Faktisk and CrossCheck fact-check the elections?
2) What kind of stories do Faktisk and CrossCheck mark as true, false or uncertain?
3) Who are the political parties/candidates involved in the fact-check?
Regardless of the two projects being collaborative, launched in connection with the elections and based on the same mission of fact-checking and revealing fake news circulating in social media, I still find them to be very different in the way they function and operate. We can relate these differences to the level of trust in news media, as well as the concern about fake news in Norway and France. In France, the overall trust in news media is low compared to other European countries, and a high proportion say they are very or extremely concerned about fake news on the internet. In Norway, we do not see the same lack of trust in the news, and the parliamentary election 2017 was not affected by fake news in the same way as the French presidential election in 2017.
My main argument is that we need to be aware of the differences in the way news stories and public statements are fact-checked. The fact-checking projects are always bound to the political and journalistic context of the countries they operate.