Call for Papers
Political Norms and Normative Politics? Development, Stagnation, Erosion
Annual Meeting of the Political Science Section of the German Association for American Studies
Atlantische Akademie Rheinland-Pfalz e.V. and Political Science Department, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena
May 19-21, 2022
Senatssitzungssaal, Uni-Hauptgebäude, FSU Jena, Fürstengraben 1, 07743 Jena
Political norms shape the political system with a mixture of constitutional, statutory, and informal regulations. These formal and informal expectations have shaped the political system of the United States over time, with significant changes since the days of the Founding Fathers, but also more recently. The decades of bipartisanship and Atlanticism, which have shaped the era since the end of World War II are mostly gone. Instead, we face an era of ever-growing polarization in politics and society that affect even the basics of the political system, e.g., the rules of voting and political participation. At the same time normative expectations are currently in flux, as movements like Black Lives Matter and the outcries about a supposed “cancel culture” indicate.
These changes are noticeable in all subdivisions of American politics, policy, and polity. Consequently, we encourage and welcome submissions from all fields of political science research as well as contributions from cognate disciplines in the social sciences and humanities, with both long-term and short-term perspectives. Sample papers might deal with questions like:
- How have norms and normative expectations changed, and how does that affect constitutional interpretation, political culture, and political practice?
- Is there an erosion of norms, and if so, what are its impacts on American democracy?
- How do political actors respond to changing norms and normative expectations?
- What is the role of norm-setting institutions in shaping the norms of politics?
- Do political norms encourage increased participation or is there a backlash compared to the days of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (and subsequent changes)?
- How do these changes of norms affect specific policy fields like foreign policy, economic and social policy?
- What are the roles of political communication, the polarization of mass media, and social media in fostering normative changes?
- Are these changes different at the local, state, and federal level of politics?
The conference builds to some extent on the 2020 meeting in Berlin and its focus on illiberal challenges to democracy. We encourage a broad range of papers on normative change, norm settings, norm entrepreneurs and the like.