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Defining populism: concepts, contexts, genealogies

This workshop brings together national and international panels to discuss the concept of populism on a backdrop of recent political events.

  • 23 Mar 2018, 9.30am to 24 Mar 2018, 5.30pm GMT
  • 1 West North, 2.04, University of Bath
  • This event is free
Photo courtesy of Courtney Hedger on Unsplash
The victory of Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential elections is only the most recent event in a long chain that elevated ‘populism’ into one of the most hotly debated topics in contemporary politics, media and academia

Today populism seems to be, once more, firmly back in the agenda. An avalanche of recent events have shocked and scandalised our public spheres internationally, puzzling academics, journalists and citizens alike. Although populism is becoming politics' buzzword and its impact is being felt across the globe, beyond a widespread concern about its explosive appearance, there's little agreement about how the phenomenon should be defined, the context behind its surge and what factors in our past and current conjuncture facilitated it.

This second annual workshop is organised by the PSA Populism Specialist Group, with the support of the PoLIS Populism, Nationalism and Radicalism research cluster, bringing together national and international panels to discuss the concept of populism on a backdrop of recent political events.

Event programme


Panel 1: 9.30 - 11.00am

Speaker Institution Session
Clare Woodford University of Brighton Desiring the people
Evangelos Fanoulis and Simona Guerra Metropolitan University Prague and Leicester University On left-wing populism in Europe: 'home' and 'the people'
Cristóbal Sandoval and Cristóbal Rovira University of Essex and Diego Portales University Inclusionary populism in Spain: analysing the evolution of Podemos’ political discourse

Panel 2: 11.30am - 1pm

Speaker Institution Session
Anton Jäger Cambridge University The masses against the classes: populism, class and ‘exclusive representation’
Camila Vergara Columbia University Empowering the people-as-plebs: populism as plebeian ideology and politics
Giorgos Katsambekis Loughborough University Constructing the people of populism: a critique of mainstream approaches

Lunch: 1.00 - 2.00pm

Panel 3: 2.00 - 3.30pm

Speaker Institution Session
Tilman Klawier University of Erfurt A proposal for enhancing framing approaches to populism
Thomas Zicman de Barros Sciences Po Populism: instituting fantasy or traversing fantasy?
Noirin MacNamara Queen's University Belfast Populism and social transformation: taking an Ettingerian critique of Lacan into consideration
Adrian Calo SOAS The politics of language and Rodrigo Duterte’s populism

Keynote speech: Ben Moffitt, Uppsala University - 4.15 - 5.45pm


Panel 4: 9.30 - 11.00am

Speaker Institution Session
Marcel Lewandowsky University of Hamburg Populism as an attitude of political elites: concept, patterns and explanations
Aurelien Mondon and Aaron Winter University of Bath and University of East London Populism, free speech and the mainstreaming of racism
Jana Goyvaerts and Benjamin de Cleen Free University Brussels We need to talk about how we talk about populism
Jens Maesse University of Giessen The economist as populist: on the discursive construction of academic authorities

Panel 5: 11.30am - 1pm

Speaker Institution Session
Grigoris Markou Aristotle University Populism or civilisation?: Anti-populist discourse in Greece and Argentina in the 21st century
Gustavo Castagnola The ontic foundations of ontology: peronism, populism and hegemony in Ernesto Laclau´s early work
Marina Prentoulis University of East Anglia The contours of ‘transversality’: Labour’s discourse on Brexit

Lunch: 1.00 - 2.00pm

Panel 6: 2.00 - 3.30pm

Speaker Institution Session
Andras Toth and Hortenzia Hosszu MTA TK PTI and Közszolgálati Egyetem, Budapest Crisis of globalisation and economic nationalism: understanding the rise of populist nationalist right and moving away from the European model in the European periphery
Attila Antal Eotvos Lorand University Populism and nationalism from an Eastern European perspective
Vassilis Petsinis Tartu University Identity politics, the refugee crisis and the populist and radical right in Estonia and Latvia
Emilia Palonen University of Helsinki Nationalism entangled, Janus-faced populism in Hungary

Panel 7: 4.00 - 5.30pm

Speaker Institution Session
Emre Erdoğan and Pınar Uyan-Semerci Istanbul Bilgi University Populism/s: singular or plural?
Lazaros Karavasilis Loughborouh University From historiography to anarcho-populism: the theoretical evolution of populism
Théo Aiolfi University of Warwick Fleshing out the stylistic definition of populism: the overlooked legacy of performance studies


1 West North has level access with a lift available for access to other floors. Access from the Parade through 1 West via automatic, double width doors. Additional entrances on the eastern side of the building and from North Fire Road at the rear.

Booking details

Email to book a place


1 West North, 2.04 University of Bath Claverton Down Bath BA2 7AY United Kingdom


If you have any questions, please contact us.