Current Members

of the International
Populism Research Network


Paula Diehl

Paula Diehl (PhD Humboldt University) is a political scientist whose work is dedicated to the theory, history, and culture of the political. She is co-editor of “Populism, Concepts and Methods” (Symposium Polity, 54, 2022, together with Till Weber) and “The Complexity of Populism: New Approaches and Methods” (Routledge 2023, together with Brigitte Bargetz).

Brigitte Bargetz is senior researcher in Political Theory, History of Ideas and Political Culture and coordinator of the International Populism Research Network at Kiel University. She is also principal investigator of the research project „New Charity Economy Through the Lens of Affective Statehood: Volunteering for Food Banks and Social Supermarkets in Austria“ at Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien and co-editor of the feminist political science journal “Femina Politica”. Her current research focuses on theories of democracy and (authoritarian) populism, politics and gender, politics and affect from critical, queer-feminist and postcolonial perspectives, critique and affirmation, transformations of the welfare state as well as critical theories of the everyday.

Théo Aiolfi is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie EUTOPIA-SIF Postdoctoral Fellow at CY Cergy Paris University and one of the convenors of the Populism Specialist Group of the Political Studies Association (PSA). His main research areas are the performative and stylistic dimensions of populism, the links between political ecology and the populist repertoire as well as political communication of far-right and green political actors.

Manuel Anselmi is currently a Senior Assistant Professor in Political Sociology at the University of Bergamo.
Currently he is working on the relationship between new ideologies, populism and political imagination.

Giuseppe Ballacci is a Research Associate at the Center for Ethics, Politics and Society at the University of Minho. His research areas are contemporary political theory, history of political theory, democratic theory, political representation, populism and rhetoric.

Giorgia Bulli is Senior Lecturer of Political Science at the Università degli Studi di Firenze. Her research focuses on populism, right-wing extremism, political communication and political culture.

Paulo Henrique Cassimiro is professor of Political Theory at the Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ) and member of the International Populism Research Network. His main research areas are history of conservative and reactionary political thought, brazilian and latin-american political thought, theory of democracy and populism in brazilian contemporary politics.

Carlos de la Torre is professor and director of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida. His research focuses on populism, democratization and authoritarianism, and racism and citizenship in the Americas.

Nina Elena Eggers is academic coordinator in the Liberal Arts & Sciences Program at the University of Hamburg and a PhD candidate at the University of Bremen. Her main research interests are in Contemporary Political Theory, Theories of (Right-wing) Populism, Ideologies of the Radical New Right and Gender Politics.

Merve Genç is PhD candidate at the Department of International Political Sociology at the Institute of Social Sciences at Kiel University. Her main research areas include poststructuralist theory, particularly hegemony and social movements, and discourse theoretical views of populism.

Reinhard Heinisch is Professor of Comparative Austrian Political Science and Head of the Department of Political Science at the University of Salzburg. His research focuses on the rise of the radical right, populism, democracy, elections, and survey research.

Christoffer Kølvraa is an Associate Professor at the Section of European Studies at Aarhus University, Denmark. His current research focuses on populist performativity, affect theory, extreme right fictional literature and its appropriation of pop-cultural objects and narratives (e.g. mainstream cinama).

Oscar Mazzoleni is professor of political science and political sociology at the University of Lausanne. His research focuses on transnational, right-wing populist discourses in Europe and populism and conspiracy narratives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sara Minelli is a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Political Theory, History of Ideas and Political Culture at Kiel University. She is also an associate researcher at the Centre Marc Bloch in Berlin. Her research focuses on critical theory, political myth, and fascism.

Benjamin Moffitt is Associate Professor of Politics at the Australian Catholic University, Melbourne. His research is located at the intersection of comparative politics, contemporary political theory and political communications, and focuses on contemporary populism across the globe.

Dirk Nabers is Professor at the Department of International Political Sociology at Kiel University. His research focuses on poststructuralism, crisis theories, and discourse theory.

Mojca Pajnik is Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Media and Communication, University of Ljubljana and a senior research advisor at the Peace Institute (PI) in Ljubljana. Her scholarship resides at the intersection of political theory, media and communication, populism, gender and social movements research.

Kenneth M. Roberts holds the Richard J. Schwartz Professorship in Government at Cornell University. A specialist in comparative and Latin American political science, his research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of the study of populism, political parties, and social movements. Currently, he is investigating the origins of populism in crises of democratic representation in Latin America and beyond.

Birgit Sauer is Professor of Political Science at the University of Vienna. Her research focuses on right-wing populism and gender, right-wing populism and the media, comparative gender politics, democracy, the state, and emotions.

Frank A. Stengel is a research associate at Kiel University. In his current research he is focusing on International Relations theory, populism (in particular Trumpism), knowledge production in German peace and security policy, discourse theory and analysis.

The Thematic Group on Populism within the German Political Science Association (GPSA) offers a discussion and networking space for populism research in German-speaking countries. The group has a special focus on populism theories and the development of populism concepts in connection with empirical analyses on the topic of populism. The thematic group aims to take into account the broad diversity of approaches within national and international populism research and is open to all social science disciplines as well as conceptual and methodological approaches to populism research.

UNpacking POPulist emotion narratives enables a deeper analysis of how populist phenomena constitute themselves and how they impact on political behaviour. The literature increasingly shows that in order to UNderstand the POPping of populism in European politics (and beyond), a much deeper engagement with emotions is needed. The project UNpacking POPulism: Comparing the formation of emotion narratives and their effects on political behaviour (Coimbra) seeks to unravel the conditions enabling and favouring right-wing populist politics, engaging with the consensual and yet understudied assumption that the mobilisation of emotions is a fundamental cause.

Lena Weige is research assistant at Kiel University and PhD candidate of the International Populism Research Network. Her current research interests are performativity and performance studies, populism and democracy, democracy theory as well as symbolic and political representation.

Ruth Wodak is Professor of Discourse Studies at Lancaster University and the University of Vienna. Her research interests include critical discourse studies, language and politics (populism studies), identity and past politics, gender studies, migration studies, and linguistic bias research on racism and anti-Semitism.

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