Photo by Louie Palu

The Politics and the Arts

The Politics and the Arts Group is committed to the interdisciplinary study of art as a form of political discourse. The conjuction 'politics and the arts' has increasingly attracted interest within political theory and international politics, cultural studies, cultural policy and art research. Politics and the Arts is an established field of research within the social sciences, and it has been Standing Group of The European Concertium for Political research since 1996. The Group regularly organises conferences and panels at major international events as well as in national level. We keep on creating discussions among scholars, researchers, artists and cultural practitioners. Our research projects have focused around the issues of terror and art, violence and non-violence, visual and other artistic representations of international conflicts, questions of politicising the literature and poetic form and narrative practices, and critique of media representations. Recently, we have discussed the issues of Art as political and historical witness.

News & Events

The ECPR General Conference in Oslo, September 2017

Forthcoming 2018:

Section Number

Section Chair 
Roberto Farneti Free University of Bozen-Bolzano 
Section Co-Chairs 
Frank Möller University of Tampere 
Serena Giusti Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna

Endorsed by the ECPR Standing Group on Politics and the Arts
Abstract: Contemporary art has been addressing human rights, ethnicity and indigenousness in somewhat spectacular ways, engaging larger publics, always raising the political stakes and the public salience of its action. The artwork is now a medium for people to gather knowledge and insight into politics, and earlier artistic experiments in social critique (from Guernica, to the situationist pranks of the 1950s, to Beuys’s 7000 Oaks project) have developed into diffused, large-scale performances in which sculpture, installation, architecture, curating, photography, and film serve a political purpose. Contemporary art is becoming a critical tool in processes of critique, contestation, and negotiation over memories, beliefs and routines. Memories crystallize in sites, symbols, narratives, and “heritage communities” (this definition is from the Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society), and resist attempts to gain perspective and release new discourses. Artworks have challenged this rearguard, their liberating effects is obvious, and their force is reflected in the new status that Museums have gained in our social landscapes. Artists like Ai Weiwei make political statements through simple actions and performances, and these actions resonate on a global scale, affecting our perception of human rights in situations like the current refugee crisis. 

The ECPR General Conference in Montreal, August 2015
  • the Standing Group has put together a section titled Art, Politics and Experience of Peace and War, chaired by Susanna Hast and Frank Möller.
In Pisa Joint Session 2016 Polarts Group is co-operating with  the Workshop Imagining Violence: The Politics of Narrative and Representation
  • Workshop Director: Mathias Thaler, University of Edinburgh
  • Workshop Co-Director: Mihaela Mihai, University of York


  • the Standing Group has put together a section titled Politics and Arts of Peace, chaired by Kia Lindroos and Frank Möller.



Kia Lindroos is Senior Lecturer and Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.  She has a long-time teaching and researching experience, and she has also worked as researcher for the Finnish Academy, for instance at the Goldsmiths College and at the Middlesex University  in London and at the Universität zu Köln.

Frank Möller is a Senior Research Fellow at the Tampere Peace Research Institute, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tampere, Finland, and the co-convenor of the ECPR Standing Group on Politics and the Arts. Möller served as section chair Politics and the Arts at the ECPR General Conferences in Potsdam, Bordeaux, Reykjavik and Glasgow.



Past events

  • ECPR Seventh General Conference in Montreal, Canada 2015, August.
  • ECPR Sixth General Conference Glasgow, Scotland. Section ”Artist as Political Witness”. 4.-6.9.2014.
  • ECPR Fifth General Conference Bordeaux, France. Section. Panel chair Artist as a Political Witness. 4.-6.9.2013.
  • ECPR Fourth General Conference Reykjavik, Island 2011. “Politics and the Arts in the age of Crisis and Anxiety”.
  • VIth Politics and Arts Group Conference “Politics and Aesthetic of Non-Violence at the University of Verona, 1.6.-5.6.2011.
  • Politics and Arts Group Conference: Senses of the Political. International Symposium and doctoral course. University of Jyväskylä, Finland 2010.
  • Vth Politics and Arts Group conference at the Finnish Institute in London. 23.-25.10.2009: "Arts, Violence, and Imagination".
  • IPSA world Conference in July, Santiago de Chile, July 2009 Politics and the Arts Group Panel “Politics as Resistance”.
  • ECPR General Conference, Pisa 6-8 September, 2007 ; Politics and the Arts Group Section Chair.
  • IV Politics and Arts Group Conference: Arts and Terror. International Symposium and doctoral course. University of Jyväskylä, Finland 29.5.-1.6.2006.
  • ECPR Third General Conference Budapest, Hungary 2005. Politics and the Arts Section.
  • IAPL, The International Association for Philosophy and Literature 29th Annual Conference June, 2005. University of Helsinki, Finland. Politics and Arts Panel on Literature and Politics.
  • ECPR Second General Conference in Marburg, Germany 2003. Two Politics and The Arts Panels (in General section): Modern Culture and Totalitarian Regimes and Aspects of Orwell.
  • The Second Tampere Conference on Narrative: Narrative, Ideology and Myth. June 26-28 2003 in Tampere, Finland. Politics and the Arts Panels: Political Theory and Narrative I and II.
  • Sixth International English Culture Conference in Evora, Portugal 2002. Politics and the Arts Section.
  • III Politics and the Arts Group Conference: “Politics and the Arts: Making Connections in Theory and Praxis” at the Finnish Institute, Berlin 23-25 May 2002.
  • Fifth International English Culture Conference 'Culture and Freedom' November 28-30 2001, Lisbon, Portugal. Politics and the Arts Panels: 'Narrative, ideology and freedom'.
  • II Politics and the Arts Group Conference: 'Identity, Narrative and Order' 13-15 September 2001 Tampere, Finland.
  • European Consortium for Political Research, General Conference. University of Kent at Canterbury 6-8. September 2001.
  • Fourth International English Culture Conference 2000 Lisbon 'Culture and Nation'. Panel: 'The Nation: Cultural governance and cultural resistance'.
  • 'Political autobiography'; International Political Science Association (IPSA) 18th World Congress, 1-6 August 2000 Quebec, Canada Section 'Politics and the Arts'.
  • Third International English Culture Conference 'Culture and Citizenship' 2-3 December 1999, Lisbon, Portugal. 2 panels 'Genre and Nationhood: philosophy, literature and film'.
  • European Consortium for Political Research Annual Joint Sessions of Workshops, 29-31 March, 1999 Mannheim, Germany Workshop 22, 'The Political Uses of Narrative'.
  • 6th International Society for the Study of European Ideas Conference (ISSEI) '20th Century European Narratives: Tradition and Innovation' 16-21. August 1998, Haifa, Israel Workshop 'Telling Political Stories: Imaginative Constructions of Twentieth Century Politics'.
  • Ist Politics and the Arts Group Conference 'Art as Alternative Political Expression' 29-31 October 1997, London UK.



Kia Lindroos & Frank Möller (eds.)