Children and childhood in the discourse and political practices of populists in Central and Eastern Europe
On November 11th, the HSE-FUB online workshop series "Varieties of Populism in East and West" continued. The focus of the second seminar was "Children and Childhood in Populist Discourse and Political Practices in Central and Eastern Europe." Dr. Mikołaj Rakusa-Suszczewski (University of Warsaw) was the guest speaker.
Dr Mikołaj Rakusa-Suszczewski studies the history of ideas, social movement theory, and socio-cultural developments in Europe, with a focus on the problems of political and economic populism. His book, The Shadow of Radicalism, was recently published.
The speaker's main points were as follows:
Populist regimes are gaining traction in Central and Eastern Europe as a result of the traumatic legacy of communism, the subsequent overburdening reforms and exhausting systemic transformation, the resurgence of ever-present nationalism, regional conservatism, parochialism, and cultural chauvinism, and/or as an example of the structural flaws of young democracies on the edge of civilization. Numerous and universal components of populist administrations are also present in this region of Europe, according to the subject literature. While there have been different interpretations of the subject of children in politics, the role of childhood in right-wing populist discourse and politics has remained a topic that has been examined only occasionally. Children, on the other hand, play a crucial and unique role in the right-wing populist superstructure: they serve as an illusory image of the nation, an allegory of its rejuvenation, and a useful tool for achieving political, ideological, and propaganda aims. Children's attitudes can be a significant element of populism as a whole, and should be considered in studies on the topic in Central and Eastern Europe.
Discussant: Dr Olga Savinskaya, Department of Sociological Research Methods, Faculty of Social Sciences, HSE Moscow.
Following the speaker's presentation and the contribution of the discussant, the audience engaged in a lively exchange.
The presentation's video can be found here.
More information about the FUB-HSE workshop series "Varieties of Populism in East and West" here.