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Back from the future? Populism between nostalgia and anxiety

Paolo Cossarini (Universidade de Aalborg)

16 may de 2022, 19h00-20h30
Salão Brazil (Coimbra)

Moderator: Luciana Sotero, FPCEUC


This seminar focuses on the temporalities of populism and explores their connection with various narratives of emotions in the present day. To do so, it provides examples of uses of the past and the future in different political discourses. The event will be in Spanish with the possibility of interacting in Portuguese and other languages.

In order to invite all interested people to talk about the themes of populism and emotions, the project's research team UNpacking POPulism: Comparing the formation of emotion narratives and their effects on political behaviour, coordinated at the Centre for Social Studies at the University of Coimbra, organises this seminar with researcher Paolo Cossarini which will be moderated by Luciana Sotero (Faculdade de Psicologia e Ciências da Educação da Universidade de Coimbra)

This conversation open to the public is part of the 'UNPOP event cycle - Populism and emotions', whose purpose is to create a platform for multidisciplinary discussion on the formation of narratives of emotion and their effects on political behaviour, with a focus on populism. While the success of populist phenomena is reportedly largely attributed to their ability to mobilise the emotions of 'ordinary' people, there is little debate as to how legitimate these emotions are and how they contribute to shaping political representation. This debate turns to the vibrant topic of the relationship between reason and emotion and the limits of both in society. The mobilising potential of emotions in populist discourses is often seen as alien to democratic practices, or a distorted and irrational version of political discourse. The 'UNPOP' cycle of events will promote several discussions involving - and challenging - this premise.

In turn, this cycle of events is part of the UNPOP project, which has as its main objective to explore how narratives of emotion allow a deeper analysis of the way populist phenomena constitute and influence political behaviour. Thus, the cycle of events developed throughout the project will address several issues involving the recent rise of populism, with a focus on the role of emotions - both those taken as negative such as anger and fear, and those taken as positive such as hope and love - in political behaviour.

Coordinated by Cristiano Gianolla e Lisete Mónico and institutionally hosted by the Centre for Social Studies and CINEICC - Research Centre in Neuropsychology and Cognitive-Behavioural Intervention - of the University of Coimbra, the UNPOP project is funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P. (PTDC/CPO-CPO/3850/2020).

Bio note

Paolo Cossarini is a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Culture and Learning at Aalborg University (Denmark). He co-edited the book 'Populism and Passions. Democratic Legitimacy after Austerity' ('Populism and Passions. Democratic Legitimacy after Austerity', Routledge 2019) and 'The Impact of Populism on European Institutions and Civil Society. Discourses, Practices, and Policies' ('The Impact of Populism on the European Institutions and Civil Society. Discourses, Practices, and Policies', Palgrave Macmillan 2021).

Location: Salão Brasil