BIBU & INEQ Workshop: Turbulent Times: The Political Consequences of Economic Transformations
10:00–16:00, Festsal, Swedish School of Social Science (Snellmaninkatu 12)
Current democracies have appeared to become increasingly hard to govern as political life has become turbulent and radicalism has been on the rise. This paper workshop will explore the roots and dynamics of the ongoing political turbulence by exploring the links between politics and economic transformations.
The one-day workshop is organised by the research project Tackling Biases and Bubbles in Participation (BIBU) in collaboration with INEQ. Professor Mike Savage from the London School of Economics (LSE) will join us to discuss and elaborate on the papers.
The ongoing economic transformations—globalisation, technological advances, job polarization and creative destruction— widen societal divisions as inequalities between socioeconomic groups, urban and rural areas and areas within cities are on the rise. In particular, the wealthiest groups have gained wealth and aspiring middle-class professionals continue to enjoy new opportunities. At the same time, middle classes face insecurity and the risk of downward mobility as occupations divide into high- and low-skilled job categories. Additionally, conflicts between the “insiders” and the “outsiders” (i.e., between the wage earners with protected jobs and those who are unemployed, work in the platform economy, or hold temporary jobs with few employment rights) are aggravating. The decreasing labour costs raise fears of a new underclass emerging as growing numbers of individuals occupy precarious employment positions, suffer isolation, are stigmatised as unemployed or encounter racism. Subsequently, societies appear as politically turbulent and hard to govern, and political radicalism is on the rise. In addition, the links between societal elites and citizens are weakened: political leaders cannot rely on relatively stable social classes, and voters act in increasingly volatile ways.
These changes call for studies that will cross the disciplinary borders and track the ways in which these ongoing economic transformations are reflected in social and political life including identities, political views and emotions. Oftentimes, this calls for crossover studies that will draw from different disciplines, such as economics, political science, sociology, social psychology, psychology, communication studies and others.
Welcoming Words: Professor Anu Kantola
10:00–12:00 Paper Session 1
Elites in the Economic Field of Power in the United Kingdom
Mike Savage, Marta Pagnini & Victoria Gronwald
London School of Economics (LSE), United Kingdom
Stratification in a Neoliberal Society: The Making of Elites and Occupationally Disabled in Contemporary Sweden
Stockholm University, Sweden
The Politics of India’s New-Entrepreneur Class
University of Helsinki
12:00–13:00 Lunch Break
13:00–14:15 Paper Session 2
The Great Squeeze: Political Emotions in Economic Transformations
Department of Social Research, University of Helsinki, Finland
Flexible selves surfing through difficulties: How restaurant workers learn to become respectable in the hyperflexible service sector
Lotta Junnilainen & Lotta Haikkola
Department of Social Research, University of Helsinki & Finnish Youth Research Network, Finland
14:15–14:30 Coffee Break
14:30–16:00 Paper Session 2 Continued
“Some are in breadlines and some earn tens of millions so yes, there is something amiss” - Perceptions of Inequality in the Finnish Paper Mill Industry
University of Eastern Finland
When voters see future less bright, they turn to radical right: Status decline anxiety and support for the Finns Party
Zhen Im, Hanna Wass, Anu Kantola & Timo Kauppinen
Department of International Economics, Government and Business, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark & Department of Social Research, University of Helsinki, Finland
We also welcome participants in the workshop without presenting a paper. Please enrol via E-form by May 31.