Hadas Aron (Political Science, Columbia University)
"Intimate Rivals or Enemies of the State: Responses to the Populist Far Right in Hungary"
"Community-Based Organizations, and the Reconstruction of Policy Frameworks During Political Crises"
HADAS'S PAPER OBSERVES THAT EXTREME RIGHT GROUPS IN HUNGARY attacking the Roma community faced little state response. Moreover, in recent years, mainstream politicians have adopted extremist rhetoric and policy agenda. How do extremists influence mainstream politics and state institutions? Using evidence from the Hungarian case, the paper argues that when extremist groups incorporate national symbols and histories into their agenda, states will struggle to act against them. Extremists portray themselves as the “true” representatives of the nation. Acts of violence against minorities or jingoist expansionism thereby become expressions of the national will or national “defense,” making any confrontation with them politically costly.
JAMES'S PAPER EXAMINES THE FUNCTION OF COMMUNITY BASED-ORGANIZATIONS (CBOS) in episodes of contentious reconstruction of policy agendas. A case study examines public debates over education policy, after a series of school closings, in the Chicago neighborhood of Bronzeville, between 2013 and 2015. I find that CBOs inadvertently contributed to the marginalization of progressive policy proposals by focusing debate on community participation, and constructing moderate versions of progressive actors’ most compelling arguments.