Working papers

Matteo Boldrini, Mattia Collini and Sorina Soare, “The Welfare State and the Politics on the Left”, Working Paper 4/2023, pp. 1-42

The welfare state has been a topic of increased political debate. In this context, this analysisaims to identify the existence of potential patterns in the stressful situation to whichmainstream centre-left parties have been subject since 2008. The analysis builds on a newdataset covering 252 parties from 30 countries, the 27 European Union Member States, theUnited Kingdom, Norway, and Switzerland. The main results show that it is difficult toprovide a general overview of how the Great Recession impacted the electoral performanceof the mainstream centre-left. Indeed, the statistical analysis shows important varianceacross welfare models, indicating that the context shapes the dynamics of the partycompetition. Moreover, results indicate that the competition on pro-welfare platformsfrom both the left and the right of the political spectrum varies importantly with differentpatterns and formulas across the five welfare types.

Petar Bankov, “Party digitalization: a non-partisan matter? Media narratives on party digitalization in Bulgaria”, Working Paper 3/2023, pp. 1-26

The use of online tools for internal and external party communication is an established partof party politics in Central and Eastern Europe. This development became further catalysedby the COVID-19 pandemic as parties heavily relied on such tools in their recent electioncampaigns at local and national levels. By far the most experience in this respect has beengathered in Bulgaria, which held four parliamentary elections between April 2021 andOctober 2022. This article explores the media narratives on party digitalization from keymedia outlets in the period between 2020 and 2022. Has party digitalization been perceivedas a vehicle for narrowing the gap between political parties and society or does this gapseem to have grown by the extensive use of online tools? The findings of this work wouldhelp us understand the effects of party digitalization on its relations with wider society.

Maja Savic Bojanic, “‘Standby Youth?’: The Patterns of Youth Political Participation in Bosnia and Herzegovina during Covid-19 Pandemic”, Working Paper 2 / 2022, pp. 1-21.

Approaches explaining the dynamics of youth crisis participation coincide with the binary nature of political engagement among youth, thus solely examining young’s activity in light of the general understanding of political participation as a cornerstone democratic right. What remains unknown in this constellation is the extent of reaction and the reasons behind such responses. This is why this qualitative study aims to investigate the causes of youth engagement in Covid-19 related protests and how it developed in response to government action. It does so through a series of twenty interviews conducted across BiH in the first six months of 2021. The primary focus is on two activities – protest for social cause and expression of opinion. The findings reveal that the action-reaction patterns were not independent occurrences, but evolved through three different stages each of which was marked by specific traits and depended on distinctive causes. The article points to a novel dimension of youth participation – the importance of the ‘ordinariness’ and the response as pushed by ‘standby citizens’ with a turnout which points that the country is dealing with a new generation of politically active citizens.

Raluca Luțai: “Intelligence Services on Social Media: Explaining Citizens’ Perceptions about Information”, Working Paper Series, Center for Government Studies and Security Policies, Working Paper 1 / 2022, pp. 1-15.

Over the past decade, many public institutions, including intelligence services, have made extensive use of social media to reach out to citizens. Great scientific attention is given to the way intelligence agencies share information about their activities, seek to improve transparency and accountability, or content. However, we know very little about what happens at citizens’ end, when the information reaches the users. This paper addresses this gap in the literature and analyzes how citizens perceive the information shared by the intelligence services on social networks. We use Romania as a single-case study and the semi-structured interviews conducted in December 2020-January 2021 with citizens of different socio-demographic profiles to explain the variation in how they understand the information and how they assess its content. The paper aims to test the explanatory power of several variables such as attitudes toward security or exposure to the media. The paper also controls several socio-demographic characteristics such as age, gender, education, and medium of residence. The results reveal that the citizens’ perceptions are influenced by a combination of general attitudes regarding the intelligence services.