Call for Papers Panel: "Representative Democracy in Danger? The Impact of Populist Parties on the Powers of National Parliaments"- IPSA World Congress, Lisbon 2020
Panel convenor: Dr. Aleksandra Maatsch (Chair of Social Sciences and Economy, Willy Brandt Centre for German and European Studies, University of Wrocław)
Panel chair: Prof. Dr. Ireneusz Paweł Karolewski (Chair of Political Theory and Research on Democracy, University of Leipzig)
Panel co-chair: Dr. Aleksandra Maatsch (Chair of Social Sciences and Economy, Willy Brandt Centre for German and European Studies, University of Wrocław)

Over recent years no other phenomenon has received greater academic attention than populism. While the meaning of the term continues to generate deep controversies among scholars, there is a broad consensus on populism constituting one of the most serious challenges to contemporary politics. It may therefore seem surprising that one important aspect of the problem has so far escaped academic attention: comparative studies analysing whether (and if yes, how) populist parties influence the powers of national parliaments. This workshop therefore addresses the following questions: How does the presence of populist parties in national parliaments influence core parliamentary competences, namely law-making, scrutiny and representation? To what extent does the presence of populists in national parliaments erode representative democracy?
Why is this research question worth looking at? Firstly, for a democracy to thrive, national parliaments cannot be constrained in their capacity to control and to hold governments accountable and to debate and vote on legislative projects while also representing the variety of interests in the deliberative and law-making process. Secondly, we have no systematic knowledge regarding the impact of populist actors on national parliaments in Europe or elsewhere. In particular, we do not know which aspects of national parliamentary competences have been predominantly affected by the presence of populist parties in the national parliaments of specific states.
The aim is therefore to examine the de facto practices of national parliamentary legislative, scrutiny and representative functions under the impact of populist parties (our dependent variable). We are interested in examining the impact of populist parties as (a) the parliamentary opposition; (b) junior coalition partners in governments and (c) the major force in a government. We welcome papers focusing on European and non-European states, country case-studies and comparative papers employing either qualitative or quantitative
methods. Regarding the topics of the papers, we welcome contributions focusing on any of the core aspects of national parliamentary powers (i.e. law-making and/or scrutiny).
The panel is open to researchers working in different subfields of political science and legal studies. As output from the workshop, the organiser is aiming for a special issue in an international peer-reviewed journal.

Deadline for abstracts: Monday 7th October, please send to