Seminar with Duncan McCargo
The Higher Research Seminar is the main collective seminar at the Department of Political Science. Welcome!
Duncan McCargo (NIAS, Copenhagen) will give a talk about "Does the Digital Party Travel? Applying Gerbaudo to the Case of Thailand’s Future Forward".
About the seminar
In a recent book entitled The Digital Party (London: Pluto 2019), Paolo Gerbaudo argues that the electoral professional party – which he insists on calling the ‘television party’ – has been displaced over the past few years by what he terms the ‘digital party’. For him, the mass party belonged to the industrial era, while ‘the cynically professionalised “television party”’ thrived during the ‘post-Cold War era of high neoliberalism’. By contrast, the digital party reflects an open, democratic, authentic and transparent politics that epitomizes the more participatory ethos of the digital era. Gerbaudo bases his discussion of the digital party on a set of European examples.
Does Gerbaudo’s digital party model survive the long journey to Southeast Asia? This paper applies the model to the short-lived Future Forward Party, established in 2018, which became the third largest party in the Thai parliament following the March 2019 election. Future Forward deployed a trio of ‘hyper-leaders’ with a very strong appeal to Generation Z, and operated largely outside the usual Thai frameworks of both electioneering and party organization. Although Future Forward was arbitrarily dissolved by the Constitutional Court in February 2020, it had already succeeded in re-shaping earlier understandings of party politics in Thailand.
Is Future Forward the most successful non-European ‘digital party’ to have emerged so far? Or does the Thai party illustrate the limitations and shortcomings of Gerbaudo’s analysis?
About Duncan McCargo
Duncan McCargo is Professor of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen, where he serves as Director of the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies. His latest books are Fighting for Virtue: Politics and Justice in Thailand (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2019, and (with Anyarat Chattharakul) Future Forward: The Rise and Fall of a Thai Political Party (Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2020).
About the location of the seminar:
* Due to the Covid-19 situation, we plan to have the seminars in hybrid form. As for now, we can be no more than 20 people in the big conference room. Please sign up for the seminar by emailing Helen Fogelin (helen [dot] fogelin [at] svet [dot] lu [dot] se). You will get a place in the conference room based on a first come first served principle, although prioritizing doctoral students, and the rest will have to participate via Zoom. Given uncertainties about the pandemic, things may change. Revisions to the policy and program will be posted at the Department’s website and announced via email.
* Large Conference Room (ED367), Eden, Allhelgona kyrkogata 14, Lund or via Zoom: https://lu-se.zoom.us/j/63513126059
anders [dot] uhlin [at] svet [dot] lu [dot] se