Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Panel 703: Non-violence, Gender Ideology and Populism in the EU
Tuesday, 03/Sep/2019:
4:45pm - 6:15pm

Session Chair: Alexandru Balas, SUNY Cortland
Location: Anfiteatro 9


A Nonviolent Narrative for the European Union? Challenging Populism with Nonviolence

Claudio M. Radaelli1, Roberto Baldoli2

1UCL, United Kingdom; 2University of Exeter, United Kingdom

Populism has risen in Europe and is threatening the European project. Those supporting the European Union (EU) have responded in different ways to populist challenges, by drawing on variations around the themes of identity, demoi, and telos, without however gaining real traction among citizens. The peace narrative has historically played a fundamental role in the EU project, but is no longer effective in contrasting populist attacks on European integration. In this paper we explore the potential of nonviolence. Analytically, we draw both on the narrative policy framework and political theory. We make the case for a nonviolent narrative of integration, addressing these questions: (a) Why should the EU project be anchored to nonviolence, what are the risks and limitations, as well as the advantages of doing this? (b) How could a nonviolent narrative response to populist attacks on integration look like, and who should be the narrators? (c) what does a nonviolent narrative say about the final purpose of integration and the process of change? The conclusions appraise the prospect for a nonviolent narrative, its potential in counteracting populist attacks on the EU, and point to the way ahead.

How the Anti-movement Contest the EU Common Position on Women's Rights?

Esther Barbé, Diego Badell

Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals (IBEI), Spain

Sexual and reproductive health rights have sought their agenda advance since the adoption of the 1959 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Indeed, women’s rights as a whole are one of the scarce international regimes which agenda has continuously expanded for over 70 years. Examples of these are found in the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination of Women, or the 1993 General Assembly Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This is a regime encompassing both soft and hard law. Hard law is proven to shape states interests and identities where their reputation is in the spotlight, while soft law instruments are highly consequential. Thus, any attempt to contest women’s regime needs to be examined as norms are both constitutive and regulative. Norms are responsible of producing effects. In this research, international women’s regime is defined as a norm cluster being a collection of aligned, but distinct, norms and principle related to the advancement of the women’s agenda addressing different aspects and containing specific normative obligations. Recently, a contestation coalition or rival network has emerged where the opposition built the advocacy network on the idea of reframing human rights treaties. The family was presented as the basic unit of society where the right to life means protection from the moment of conception. We intend to study how internalized norms are contested. So far, scholars have devoted their attention to study the case of the United States and its networks of actors in the capacity to shape the country’s foreign policy, mostly under Republican Administrations. In this paper we will shed light on the European case. In the European context the opposing network remained unnoticed until the early 2000s. By resorting to document, and discourse analysis we will study how this coalition has eroded the EU common position on the Human Rights Council. Two major chain of events account for the relevance of this study. The first one is related to the European Parliament reports on sexual and reproductive health rights. Historically, these reports were passed by consensus or acclamation. But in 2002 the Parliament approved the report generating strongly objection with anti-choice organizations. The second hit took place at the United Nations. The European Commission recognized that in the 2014 United Nations Commission on Population and Development, the EU was not in a position to present a united position on sexual reproductive health and rights.