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Populism: between the context and the form?

Emilia Palonen

Cristiano Gianolla

Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences of University of Coimbra

January, 25 2024, 16h30 (GMT Lisbon/London)

The affective dimension of populism is at stake when we consider the populist moments as foundational or constitutive of a new movement and political identity: from this immanent reading of Ernesto Laclau, populism is the temporary, affective occupation of the idea of “us” in the field crisscrossed with antagonisms. Considering populism not a regime or system of governance, but a logic, the democratic ethos of populism can be seen as connected to the ideas of contingency and temporality. We can recognize here how the flow of different significations can be arrested and even turn their direction. Through examples, the talk offers heuristics for analysis of populism, and even its praxis. In asking what is in the form of populism, we do not ignore the contents, but are able to better perceive what gets affectively loaded as us-building or othering material and pay attention to the processes and mechanisms at stake.

Bio notes

Senior Researcher in Political Science at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki, is the leader of the HEPPsinki research group. and she is PI of the Academy of Finland project WhiKnow (2019-2022), the Kone Foundation project Now-Time Us Space (2020-24), the European Commission-funded DRad project (2020-2023), and the Academy of Finland and other Trans-Atlantic Partnership project funders ENDURE exploring resilience in crisis (2022-2024).