Second ITC Conference Grant Successfully Completed

Dr. Marko Lovec, Research fellow and Assistant Professor at University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Science, received an ITC Conference Grant to participate at the International Studies Association’s Annual Conference entitled Re-Visioning International Studies: Innovation and Progress, which took place in Toronto between 27 and 30 March 2019. Lovec chaired a panel co-organized by central and East European International Studies Associations on small Central and East European (CEE) EU member states and presented a paper (co-authored by prof. Ana Bojinović Fenko) on populist foreign policy in those countries. While populism is not new to political science it has recently received increased attention demonstrated by the number of panel dedicated to this issue, with CEE countries such as Hungary and Poland often serving as an extreme example of populist-illiberal regimes. In contrast to this, according to the literature, International Relations (IR) discipline has so far failed to grasp the impact of populists on foreign policy due to lack of attention for systemic factors within Foreign policy analysis on one hand and lack of attention for party politics within IR and comparative politics on the other. The empirical research by the author confirms this by showing that within foreign policy arena, populists are more affected and socialized by the international system than vice versa and that apart from rhetoric, populism tends to be reserved for particular identity issues such as migration. Nevertheless, this does not make populist foreign policy completely benign since it often leads to poor diplomacy and loss of credibility as well as weakening of multilateral order which is harmful for small states depending relatively more on normative and institutional resources.


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