DAY 1 | Monday, September 14

09:30-10:00| Welcome by hosts/organisers

10:00-11:15 | Panel 1: Populism, institutions and power

Seongcheol Kim (WZB Berlin) – ‘A Typology of Populist Discourses in the Visegrád Four’

David Sánchez (Complutense University Madrid) – ‘Populism in times of institutionalism: the Spanish case’

Beatrice Carella (Scuola Normale Superiore) – ‘Anti-neoliberal populism in power: changing socioeconomic policies in Southern Europe?’

Chair: Emmy Eklundh

11:15-11:45 | COFFEE BREAK – Online breakout room

11:45-13:00 | Panel 2: Populism and Affect

Thomás Zicman de Barros (Sciences Po, Paris)– ‘Is there such a thing as “economic anxiety”? Desire and materiality in the Yellow Vests movement’

Sebastian Ronderos (University of Essex) – ‘On Hystérie and the end of History: Populism, the squares and the Master’s revenant’

Emmy Eklundh (Cardiff University)  – ‘Excluding emotions: The performative function of populism’
— Chair: Giorgos Katsambekis

DAY 2 | Tuesday, September 15

10:00-11:15 | Panel 3: Revisiting theories of populism

Jenna Higham (Lancaster University) – ‘Populism, governmentality and subjectivity’

Théo Aiolfi (University of Warwick) – The endless quest for authenticity: populism, political performances and transgression as a performative strategy

Chair: Giorgos Venizelos

11:15-11:45 | COFFEE BREAK – Online breakout room

11:45-13:15 | Panel 4: Populism and Elitism: Antitheses or brothers in arms?

Dumitru Malcoci (KU Leuven) – ‘How is populism understood by the political elites of the European Union? A critical analysis of national and supranational top’ 

Andreas Eder-Ramsauer (Freie Universität Berlin) – ‘Populism as anti-establishment elitism: The non-disruptive nature of Japan’s neo-liberal populism’

Lazaros Karavasilis (Loughborough University) – ‘The Right Stuff: re-examining right-wing populism in Europe through the cases of Greece and Germany 2012-2019’

Maren Schäfer (University of Heidelberg) – ‘Shifting Visual Framing of American Populist Leaders in the 2020 Presidential Campaign’— Chair: Andy Knott

DAY 3 | Wednesday, September 16

11:15-12:30 | Panel 5: Populism in movement(s)

Ziqian Wang (University of Sussex) – ´The shadow of democracy: the populist enigma in Taiwan´  

Anissa Yu (University of Warwick) – ´Populism and Hong Kong’s summer uprising in 2019´

Petra A. Honová (Charles University, Prague) – ´“Fighting Fire with Fire”: Progressive Populism of DiEM25 as a reaction to the crisis of liberal democracy´

— Chair: Alen Toplišek

12:30-13:00 | LUNCH/COFFEE BREAK

13:00-14:15 | KEYNOTE 1: Dr Maria Esperanza Casullo (Universidad Nacional de Río Negro, Argentina) 

DAY 4 | Thursday, 17 September

10:00-11:30 | Panel 6: Populism and Anti-populism

Katy Brown & Aurelien Mondon (University of Bath)– Populism, the media and the mainstreaming of the far right: The Guardian’s coverage of populism as a case study

Jana Goyvaerts (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) – Journalistic Discourses about Populism: Mapping ‘the populist moment’

Salomé Ietter (Queen Mary University of London) – The populism/anti-populism struggle: emancipation and repression in the context of the Gilets jaunes protests in France

Carola Schoor (Maastricht University) – Populism and anti-populism in the Netherlands

Chair: Marina Prentoulis

11:30-12:00 | COFFEE BREAK – Online breakout room
12:00-13:15 | KEYNOTE 2: Professor Simon Tormey (University of Bristol)

DAY 5 | Friday, 18 September

10:00-11:15 | Panel 7: From the streets to institutions

Moskvina Yuliya (Charles University, Prague) – ‘Populists movements from inside: conflicting terms’  

Alexandros Kioupkiolis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) – ‘Towards a ‘populism of the people’ for our times: Populist 2.0 movements and new municipalism’

Dersu Ekim Tanca (George Mason University)Populism Goes Global: “Anti-International Establishment” Politics in Turkey

Chair: Emmy Eklundh

11:15-11:45 | COFFEE BREAK – Online breakout room

11:45-13:00 | Panel 8

Arthur Borriello (Université Libre de Bruxelles) – ‘Beyond the wave, the sea: re-assessing the impact of the economic crisis on southern Europe’s populist upsurge’

Letícia Baron & Michele Diana da Luz (Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Brazil) – ‘A populist in the office: the Brazilian case’

Callum Tindall (University of Nottingham)– ‘Populism and Class: Examining cultural class appeals in contemporary British populist articulation’

— Chair: Giorgos Venizelos

Welcome to the digital version of the PSA Populism Specialist Group workshop 2020! Below are some pointers for how to navigate the digital format: 

  1. All panels will be held on Zoom. You will be sent a link to all panels prior to the conference, so watch out for this email. 
  2. We would advise you to download Zoom, but you don’t need an institutional account. A personal account is enough. 
  3. We are looking for 15 minutes of presentation per paper, and then 30 minutes of general question time per panel. You will be able to share your screen with the rest of the group if you want to do a PPT presentation. 
  4. When entering the chat room, we will admit you manually, and this will take just a minute. 
  5. When listening to presenters, please make sure that your microphone is on mute, or else we may have a lot of echoes in the call (or we may hear your pets/family). 
  6. For the coffee breaks, we will organise a digital breakout room, where you can chat with people! Hopefully, this will enable some networking in addition to the panels!
  7. We will record the keynote speaker sessions. Please be aware that if you make a contribution to these sessions, these will be uploaded to our website. 

Thanks for bearing with us in these unusual times! We look forward to seeing you!

Emmy, Giorgos K, Giorgos V, Marina, Andy and Alen.

This issue is dedicated to left-wing populism. It features interviews with Paula Biglieri and Luke March, timely commentary on the future and past of Left populism by Giorgos Venizelos and Yannis Stavrakakis, and reflections on the complex relationship between the pandemic and populism by Antonis Galanopoulos. It also includes four book reviews of recent publications on #LeftPopulism: Beatrice Carella reviews Giorgos Charalambous and Gregoris Ioannou’s ‘Left Radicalism and Populism in Europe’ (2019); Thomás Zicman de Barros reviews Giorgos Katsambekis and Alexandros Kioupkiolis’ ‘The Populist Radical Left in Europe’ (2019); Samuele Mazzolini reviews Óscar García Agustín ‘Left-wing Populism: The Politics of the People’ (2020); Lazaros Karavasilis reviews Marco Damiani’s ‘Populist Radical Left Parties in Western Europe’ (2020).

The issue is edited by Giorgos Venizelos.

A big thank you to all the participants by the convening team:
Emmy Eklundh, Giorgos Katsambekis, Andy Knott, Marina Prentoulis, Alen Toplišek, Giorgos Venizelos

Our first newsletter is out!

Keynote speakers

Simon Tormey (University of Bristol)

María Esperanza Casullo (Universidad Nacional de Río Negro)

Call for Papers

After the rise of Trump and Brexit, it has almost become a cliché among scholars and commentators to suggest that we are living through a ‘populist moment.’ As the argument goes, populism has always been a significant force in Europe and the Americas, but its rise had been characterised by episodic and context-specific surges. What is different, now, is that surges seem to manifest simultaneously, not only in Europe and the Americas, but also beyond, notably in India, Southeast Asia, Australia, but also Africa. In other words, the populist surge seems to have gone global for good. But is this really the case? If yes, how can we better explain it, taking into account the heterogeneity of populist actors as well as the multiplicity of institutional settings? If this is not really the case, how are we to critically assess discourses that seem to be ‘hyping’ populism, often to the extent of triggering moral panic? In this sense, we are interested both in contributions that aim to substantiate the claim that we live in a ‘populist moment,’ and others that would problematise and question this, focusing on the uses (and abuses) of ‘populism’ as a term or signifier. Could it be that part of what’s often discussed as an unprecedented rise of populist politics has also to do with the way that the media, politicians, think-tanks and scholars talk about the term? In a bid to tackle these questions, we suggest the following areas of enquiry and we welcome both theoretical and empirical contributions:

  • Global Mapping of the Populist Surge: The proliferation of populist actors around the globe urges us to produce a comprehensive mapping of the phenomenon. What are the preconditions for the rise of populism? What are the variations of populist phenomena?
  • Social Movements and Populism: From the Spanish Indignados to Occupy in the US, and from the ‘Yellow Vests’ in France to the current protests in Chile, a new wave of progressive, leaderless and movement-based populism seems to emerge. How do these bottom-up mobilisations help us understand the under-researched demand side of populism? How might these movements, their organisation and strategies inform our understanding of populist politics and its impact on democracy?
  • Populism in Government: Increasingly, populist actors hold regional or central positions of power, enter coalitions or lead governments. How different are these actors in office when compared to non-populist ones? And how do they compare to each other?
  • Populism as a signifier: how can we better assess the language games around the term ‘populism’? Could it be that its uses and abuses might serve certain purposes or generate political outcomes? How have the ways that we speak about ‘populism’ in the public sphere evolved in recent years?
  • Populism and anti-populism: along with the rise of populism, one can observe the rise of discourse consistently opposing or fighting it. Are there patterns and commonalities in ‘anti-populist’ discourses that characterise actors utilising them, or is this just a rhetorical tool used rather randomly?

Please send your paper title, abstract (200 words max) and short biographical note (70 words max) as one file to by 30th December 2019. The subject line of your email should read ‘Abstract PopulismSG 2020 Workshop – author name.’ Accepted participants will be notified by 20th January the latest.

The Populism Specialist Group (SG) is requesting paper and panel proposals for the PSA’s 70th annual conference in Edinburgh.

The phenomenon of populism appears alive and well and shows no signs of disappearing with multiple manifestations around the globe. Why is this? Are the extant analytical and conceptual frameworks sufficient, or are they in need of development? And what are the reactions that the global rise of populism triggers? These and other questions will frame the Populism SG’s fifth PSA conference, and the pervasiveness of populism indicates that we will provide and provoke engaging analyses of our current (and past) political conjuncture.

The Populism SG is issuing a Call for Papers for the 2020 Conference of the PSA and, for the first time, we are inviting panel proposals from our members. We are also interested in putting together panels that investigate the relationship between populism and: race; Brexit; ‘moderate’ or non-populist politics.

The PSA places limitations on the number of panels that each SG can put forward. Recently, the number of paper proposals that we received have comfortably exceeded those that we can propose to the PSA. As a consequence, we have set an early deadline, so that we can evaluate the proposals and inform you of our decision early, such that – if unsuccessful – you can send your proposal directly through the PSA.

Please send a paper title and brief abstract of no more than 200 words as well as your panel proposals to by 7th October 2019.

Populism, Liberalism, Democracy – 3rd Populism Specialist Group (PSA) Workshop, 12-13 April 2019, Loughborough University

*All the panels take place at Room K105, Manzoni building. The Keynotes take place at Room U.0.05 Brockington Extension building.



08:30-09:00 | Registration

09:00-09:15| Welcome by hosts/organisers

09:15-10:30 | Panel 1: Populism and Performativity

Angelos Kissas (University of Cambridge) ‘The digital performativity of populism: the case of the charismatic personae on Twitter’

Lone Sorensen (University of Huddersfield) ‘Performance and ideology in populist claims to democracy in transitional and established democracy’

Imogen Lambert (Loughborough University) ‘Crisis and representation of events within populist discourse

Chair: Yannis Stavrakakis

10:30-11:00 | COFFEE BREAK

11:00-12:30 | Panel 2: Populism, Metaphors, Representation

Máté Mátyás (Corvinus University of Budapest – University of Tartu) ‘Media-polity relations and populist electoral success: Comparing the Brexit referendum and the 2010 general elections in Hungary’

Massimiliano Demata (University of Turin) ‘Riding the populist wave. Metaphorical constructions of populism in news media’

Thomas Zicman De Barros (Sciences Po Paris) ‘Beyond the “Return of the Political”: ls “Symptom” an adequate Metaphor tο describe populism?’

Josefin Graef (Hertie School of Governance) ‘Representative Democracy and the Populist Politics of the Extraordinary’

Chair: Andy Knott

12:30-13:30 | LUNCH BREAK

13:30-15:00 | Panel 3: Non-Populist Populism?

Theo Aiolfi (University of Warwick) ‘Leaderless populism and the limits of representative democracy: the French case of the yellow vests’

Panos Panayotu (Loughborough University) ‘The Transnational Aspects of Populism: A Way Forward? The Case of DiEM25’

Salome Ietter (Queen Mary University of London) ‘Anti-populism, populism and ‘Gilets jaunes’: democracy in question’

Petra A. Honová (Charles University-Prague) ‘“Fighting Fire with Fire”: Progressive Populism of DiEM25 as a reaction to the crisis of liberal democracy’

Chair: Giorgos Katsambekis

15:00-15:30 | COFFEE BREAK

15:30-17:00 | Panel 4: Populism in Power

Grigoris Markou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) ‘Radicals in government: The populist experiment of the SYRIZA-ANEL alliance’

Seongcheol Kim (WZB Berlin Social Science Center) ‘Because the Homeland Cannot Be in Opposition: A Discourse and Hegemony Analysis of Fidesz and Law and Justice (PiS) from Opposition to Power’

Giorgos Venizelos (Scuola Normale Superiore) ‘Conceptual and methodological propositions in the study of populism in power’

Syed Tahseen Raza (Aligarh Muslim University) ‘The Rise of Populism in India: A Geneological Account’

Chair: Emmy Eklundh

17:15-18:15 | KEYNOTE 1: Ruth Wodak (Lancaster University/University of Vienna) ‘“Revisiting Orwell’: The Shameless Normalization of Exclusion’




09:00-10:30 | Panel 5: Populism and Global Orders

Jenna Higham (Lancaster University) ‘Leave or Remain? Populism as a political tool in the battle for Brexit’

İlke Civelekoğlu, Lerna Yanık, Umut Korkut (Ιstanbul Ticaret University, Has University, Glasgow Caledonian University) ‘Matrushka Populism(s): Conceptualizing the Link Between Populism and Foreign Policy in Turkey and Hungary’

Ying Miao (Aston University) ‘If Populism is the Answer, What is the Question? Identity Politics and Populist Discourses in China’

Francesco Melito (Jagiellonian University in Krakow – Institute of European Studies) ‘Finding the Roots of Neo-traditional Populism in Poland. “Cultural Displacement” and European Integration’

Chair: Andy Knott

10:30-11:00 | COFFEE BREAK

11:00-12:30 | Panel 6: Challenges to the Liberal Order

Alen Toplišek (SOAS University) ‘Liberal Democracy in Crisis and the Populist Quest for the State’

Carola Schoor (Maastricht University) ‘The Clashing Freedoms of Populism and Liberalism’

Emmy Eklundh (King’s College London) ‘Populism, sovereignty, masculinity: A decolonial critique’

Aman Gaur (LSE) ‘Beyond economics and culture: explaining populism in Australia as a loss of trust in government’

Chair: Yannis Stavrakakis

12:30-13:30 | LUNCH BREAK

13:30-14:30 | KEYNOTE 2: Michael Freeden (University of Oxford/SOAS University of London) ‘Where is the debate on populism taking us? Academic hurdles and conceptual conundrums’

14:45-16:15 | Panel 7: Defining the people

Rajat Roy (Presidency University, Kolkata, India) ‘The Crisis of the Category of People in India: Towards an idea of the Dalit as new Universal’

Maria Ivana Lorenzetti (University of Verona) ‘Discursive Representations of ‘the People’ in Populist Discourse and the Representation of Democracy: The case of Italy’

Yuliya Moskvina (Charles University, Prague) ‘Who are the people in left-wing populist movements? The relationship between populism and democracy’

François Debras (Université de Liège) ‘The singing of sirens: when right-wing populist talks about democracy’

Chair: Emmy Eklundh

16:15-16:45 | COFFEE BREAK

16:45-18:15 | Panel 8: Populism, Anti-populism and Authority

Maren A. Schäfer (University of Heidelberg) ‘The Impact of Populist Anti-Authority Rhetoric on American Democracy’

Anton Jäger (University of Cambridge) ‘Mediation and the Corporate Question in Late Nineteenth-Century Populism’

Halil Gürhanlı (University of Helsinki) ‘Anti-Populism in Turkey: The Centre-Periphery Model and Its Modernist Roots’

Thomas Swann (Loughborough University) ‘Deliberative Democratic Polling as Anti-Populism. An Intersectional Anarchist Response’

Chair: Giorgos Katsambekis