Date:  13 February 2024, 4 pm 
Location: Centre for Ethics, Politics and Society, University of Minho (Portugal), online

PDRHP is a research project dedicated to the study of populism, demagoguery, and rhetoric in historical perspective, under the coordination of Giuseppe Ballacci, member of the International Populism Research Network at Kiel University.

PDRHP hosts a regular seminar series, in an online or hybrid format.
The next session of the seminar will be held on:

David Ragazzoni (Columbia University): “From Fascism to Populism, between Liberalism and Socialism: Norberto Bobbio’s Democratic Theory (early 1940s-early 1990s)”

Samuel Zeitlin (University College London): “Carl Schmitt, Political Theology, and the History of Political Thought”

Those interested in attending the seminar are invited to follow the event on this Zoom link.
The seminars are open to everyone.

For inquiries, contact or




Date: 9 January 2024, 2:45 pm
Location: Kiel University

MA Lecture Series:
On the Topicality of Totalitarianism and Fascism
Prof Dr Paula Diehl

Giorgia Bulli is Senior Lecturer of Political Science at the Università degli Studi di Firenze. She is also member of the International Populism Research Network at Kiel University.

Recommended: Caterina Froio, Pietro Castelli Gattinara, Giorgia Bulli, Matteo Albanese (2020): CasaPound Italia. Contemporary Extreme-Right Politics. Routledge




Date: 19 December 2023, 2:45 pm
Location: Kiel University

MA Lecture Series:
Political Theory: On the Topicality of Totalitarianism and Fascism
Prof Dr Paula Diehl

The elections of Donald Trump in 2016 and Jair Bolsonaro in 2019 in Brazil, their belligerent use of the presidency to transform democratic rivals into enemies, their praise for right-wing para-military groups, Bolsonaro’s nostalgia for dictatorship, and Trump’s attempt to stay in power using nondemocratic means have brought back the question of fascism and its relationship with populism. What are the boundaries between fascism and populism? How to classify European right-wing parties like the French National Rally, the Italian League, and others? Are they populist, nativist, and xenophobic, or postfascist? Could right-wing xenophobic populism mute into postfascism?

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. He is also member of the International Populism Research Network at Kiel University.

Konferenz des Zentrums für interdisziplinäre Forschung (ZiF)

ZiF Cooperation Group „Normalizing the Far Right“

Challenging Democracy

Date: 16 - 17 October 2023

Location: Long Table, Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Forschung (ZiF), Universität Bielefeld

Convenors: Paula Diehl (Kiel University), Birgit Sauer (University of Vienna), Wilhelm Heitmeyer (Bielefeld University) and Mojca Pajnik (University of Ljubljana)

In the last few years, the rise of right-wing populist and right-wing extremist parties, politicians, movements, and groups has become a common phenomenon, contributing to the spread of far-right discourse, imagination, attitudes, and sentiments.
In Europe, USA, Brazil or India, far right-wing ideas – whether combined with populism or not – are penetrating democratic public spheres and deeply affecting politics and society. Far-right ideologies question and even contest key democratic principles such as plurality, equality, and human rights. They are usually located outside the realm of democracy and face strong resistance within the democratic public sphere. However, with the rise of right-wing populism in the new millennium, far-right thinking has become more and more normalized. This normalization of the far right is challenging for democracy. How do antidemocratic ideas, imagination, attitudes, social practices, and affective politics become socially acceptable and how do they affect identity formation? Are there common normalization mechanisms that traverse all these aspects of social life? The conference focuses on mechanisms that normalize the far right, their effects on political culture and institutions, and also analyze democratic resilience within politics and civil society.

Conference of the International Network for Populism Research

Politics, Populism, Culture
– The Politics of Populist Culture

Date: 20 – 22 September 2023

Location: Gerhard-Stoltenberg-Haus, Niemannsweg 78, 24105 Kiel

Organizers: Paula Diehl, Brigitte Bargetz, Sara Minelli, and Lena Weige

In cooperation with Hermann Ehlers Stiftung, the Standing Groups ‚Politics and Culture‘ and ‚Constructivist Theories of Politics‘, as well as the Working Group ‚Populism‘, German Political Science Association (DVPW) 

With Anna Schober (U Klagenfurt), John Street (U East Anglia), Carlos de la Torre (U Florida), Wolfram Schaffar (U Passau), Birgit Sauer (U Vienna), Thari Jungen (Kunsthochschule, Mainz), Jutta Hergenhan (U Gießen), Brigitte Bargetz (U Kiel/WU Vienna), Axel Heck (U Kiel), Emilia Palonen (U Helsinki), Giuseppe Ballacci (U Minho), Petra Meier (U Antwerp), Eline Severs (U Brussel), Lena Weige (U Kiel), Nina Elena Eggers (U Hamburg/Bremen), Paula Diehl (U Kiel), Christian Schwarzenegger (U Bremen), Giorgia Bulli (U Florence), and Sara Minelli (U Kiel).


Conference of the Populism Working Group (DVPW) in collaboration with the Politics and Culture Standing Group (DVPW)

Zeit des Populismus

Date: 10 - 12 November 2022

Location : Olshausenstraße 40 („Alte Mensa“)

Organizers: Brigitte Bargetz, Nina Elena Eggers, Sara Minelli, Paula Diehl

The conference "Die Zeit des Populismus" (In Times of Populism) took place at CAU Kiel from 10.11. to 12.11.2022 in cooperation with Heinrich Böll Foundation e.V. and the Institut Français Kiel.

The presentations explored the phenomenon of time and temporality in populism from a number of empirical and theoretical angles. They not only asked what it means to live in a ‘time of populism’, but also discussed how the various populist movements and parties make use of temporality, which narratives they rely on, and what alternative politics of time might look like. The presentations provided fascinating insights into the complex relationship between populism, time and temporality. 

Panel discussion on "In Times of Right-Wing Populism" as part of the conference with Ole Meinefeld, Johannes Kiess, Lea Liese and Carolin Wiedemann

Center for Interdisciplinary Research 

Normalization of the Far Right and its Mechanisms

Date: 17 - 19 February 2022
Location : ZiF Bielefeld
Convenors: Paula Diehl (KIEL, GER), Christina Morina (BIELEFELD, GER), Birgit Sauer (VIENNA, AUS)


Members Core Group
Paula Diehl (Kiel, GER), Wilhelm Heitmeyer (Bielefeld, GER), Christina Morina (Bielefeld, GER), Mojca Pajnik (Ljubljana, SLO), Birgit Sauer (Vienna, AUS)

Brigitte Bargetz (Kiel, GER), Mabel Berezin (Cornell, USA), Oliver Decker (Leipzig, GER), Gabriele Dietze (Humboldt, GER), Nina Eggers (Kiel, GER), Thomas Ernst (Antwerp, BEL), Ute Frevert (Berlin, GER), Virág Molnár (New York, USA), Julia Roth (Bielefeld, GER), Daniel Thiele (Vienna, AUT), Volker Weiß (Hamburg, GER), Ruth Wodak (Lancester, USA)


DVPWCongress 2021

Panel: From Neoliberalism to Authoritarian Populism. Gender Policy Challenges

Location: online
Organizers: Brigitte Bargetz (CAU Kiel), Nina Elena Eggers (CAU Kiel), Karsten Schubert (ZiF Bielefeld/ALU Freiburg)

Supporting subdivisions: Section „Politische Theorie und Ideengeschichte“, section „Politik und Geschlecht“, working group „Politik und Kultur“, topic group „Populismus“

The panel explores the relationship between neoliberalism, authoritarian populism, and "anti-genderism" from the perspectives of capitalism and right-wing populism critique, feminist, and queer. Where and how does the governance of sexual freedom and sexual security intertwine in relation to authoritarianism and neoliberalism? How do right-wing populist LGBTI*Q hostility and pushes for the retraditionalization of families and carework contribute to the development of neoliberal authoritarianism? And what analyses and recommendations for action does queer and feminist theory contribute to the democratization of democracy in authoritarian times?

Speakers: Gundula Ludwig (University Innsbruck), Paula Diehl (CAU Kiel) and Mike Laufenberg (UniversityJena) 

Kiel University

Workshop: The Complexity of Populism

Date: 19. – 21. July 2021
Location : online
Organizers: Brigitte Bargetz and Paula Diehl

Kiel University

Affective Narratives of Right-Wing Populism

Date: 15. June 2021 and 2. – 3. July 2021
Location: online
Organizers: Brigitte Bargetz and Nina Elena Eggers

Storytelling is a crucial aspect of politics. Narratives recall memories, organize political experiences, and (re-)imagine and legitimize social relations. Yet, storytelling is also affective. It helps sorting one’s feelings, it makes emotional reactions recognizable, and evokes political affects. Similarly, the past and the future are affectively inscribed in political narratives. The interplay of the political, affective, and narrative is also evident in the current rise of right-wing populism: for example, when Björn Höcke affects crowds with a narrative of reawakening masculinity or when Donald Trump tells a story of the former American president and slaveholder Andrew Jackson as a generous peacemaker who became angry in the face of civil war. In our symposium we will examine these connections together with inter/national experts on affect, narratives, right-wing populism, gender relations, racism and nationalism.

Centre Marc Bloch, BERLIN

JUNGES FORUM: Mass and Individual in Capitalist Modernity,

Date: 9. – 11. Juni 2021
Location : online
Organizers: Yasmin Afshar (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin/Centre Marc Bloch), Nicolas Lema (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne), Sara Minelli (CAU Kiel/Centre Marc Bloch), Ernesto Ruiz-Eldredge (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt/Université de Poitiers)

The notion of the “mass” is back on the agenda. Recent large-scale popular protests, the extraordinary importance acquired by social networks, the current appeal of conspiracy theories, as well as so-called “populist” phenomena, have triggered a renewed discussion around this concept. Since its emergence at the beginning of capitalist modernity, the idea of the 'mass' has implied a certain reactionary conception of collective action, according to which the individual's judgment capacity is eclipsed by irrational behavior. The First World War and the rise of fascism apparently brought to reality this representation: the individual, weakened by social atomization, succumbed to a tyrannized mass. In contrast, during the last two hundred years, the participation of the individual in collective bodies—be it the “mass,” “multitude” or “people”—has inspired revolutionary hopes for emancipation. It is therefore relevant to ask: is it possible to speak of the "mass" without falling into either an unqualified condemnation of collective action or a pure exaltation of the multitude? From factory workers to "petty bourgeois” masses, do we find specific organizational regimes in the constitution of their political subjectivity? What are the material and intellectual means whereby artworks represent and transform the links between the mass and the individual? Have the social sciences successfully theorized the mass? Is the moral and psychic autonomy of individuals affected by the capitalist organization of society? What can be said about the recurrent phenomenon of the mass adhering to conspiracy theories? In this sense, are the masses simply prey of ideological domination? Or, on the contrary, do they exhibit a will-to-know, unnoticed by the “elites”?


Kiel University 

Workshop: Theory and Methods of Populism Research

Date: 24. – 26. September 2020
Location: online
Organizers: Brigitte Bargetz and Paula Diehl

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