Department of Government

The Territorial Cleavage: Unique or Overlapping with other Economic and Cultural Divides?

This Territorial Cleavage-workshop will be held at the University of Bergen 31 May - 1 June. The workshop is jointly organized by the Universities of Bergen and Zurich, and will bring scholars together to explore how the places where people live and interact with one another affect democratic attitudes, voting, and polarization. We are particularly interested in the relationship between place-based identities and other social identities like class, ethnicity, and gender. On the supply side, we seek to understand the strategies that parties use to mobilize geographic divisions and bundle them with other issue areas. More broadly, what are the consequences for party system change and democratic stability?

Main content

Recent political upheavals—from the Brexit referendum in the U.K., Donald Trump’s presidency in the U.S., to the Yellow Vest protests in France—reflect cultural and economic backlash that is geographically concentrated. Globalization has exacerbated economic disparities as cities reap the benefits from trade, booming high-tech and service industries, and an ethnically diverse and highly educated labor force. On the rural side, de-industrialization, declining and aging populations complicate public service delivery, as well as limiting education and employment opportunities. How do these subnational territorial inequalities, as well as subjective perceptions of deprivation and disrespect for rural and peripheral communities, map on to economic and cultural cleavages in the U.S. and Western Europe? 

Workshop Organizers:
Kiran Auerbach (Dept. of Political Science, University of Zurich)
Anne Lise Fimreite (Dept. of Government, University of Bergen)
Elisabeth Ivarsflaten (Dept. of Government, University of Bergen)


Preliminary Program

Tuesday 30 May 2023
Arrival of workshop participants in Bergen

Wednesday 31 May 2023
8:45-9:00         Welcome Coffee
9:00-9:15         Introduction
9:15-14:00       Paper Panels-Lunch-Paper Panel (with coffee breaks)
14:15-16:00     Keynote Speech by Katherine Cramer (University of Wisconsin-Madison), followed by Q&A
18:00-19:00     Roundtable Discussion
19:00-19:30     Reception
19:30               Dinner at Hotel Terminus

Thursday 1 June 2023
9:00-12:15       Paper Panels (with coffee break)
12:30-13:30     Lunch
14:00-15:30     Paper Panel
15:45-17:00     Plenary Discussion and Closing of Workshop 

Dinner to be self-organized.

The Bergen International Festival will take place between 24 May – 7 June for those interested: https://www.fib.no/en/

Friday 2 June 2023
Departure of workshop participants