Current Populism in Europe:

What has changed since the start of the pandemic?

Conference programme

Monday, 17 May

18:00 – 19:30             Opening of the Conference

                                        Angelika Ridder (Director, Goethe-Institut Czech Republic)

             Adéla Jurečková (Head of the Prague Office, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung)

                                       Martin Mejstřík (Charles University)


                                    Public discussion: Populism and the pandemic in Central Europe

Chair: Katarzyna Wielga-Skolimowska (Goethe-Institut Saudi Arabia)

Paula Diehl (Christian-Albrecht University of Kiel)

Ondřej Císař (Charles University)

Viera Žúborová (Bratislava Policy Institute)


Tuesday, 18 May

9:15 – 9:30                 Check-in 

9:30 – 10:30               Keynote Paper

                                   Nonna Mayer (Sciences Po)

                                   Why the pandemic does not necessarily boost support for populist radical rights: The French case


10:45 – 12:30             Morning Session: Political response to populism

                                   Chair + discussant: TBC

                                   Milada Vachudová (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

                                   Populism, democracy and party system change in Europe  

                                   Florian Hartleb (Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt)

                                   Searching for the philosopher´s stone. Counter-strategies against populism  

                                   Camille Bedock (Sciences Po Bordeaux), Volker Best (RWTH Aachen), Simon Otjes (Leiden University), and Manès                                                 Weisskircher, University of Oslo

                                   A policy like no other? Mainstream parties’ response to the radical right populist challenge in the field of democratic reform

                                   Andrej Zaslove and Maurits Meijers (Radboud University Nijmegen)

                                   The sovereignty of the people: Do populist citizens oppose liberal democracy?


14:00 – 15:45             Afternoon Session I: Populist discourse during the pandemic

Chair + discussant: TBC

Daniele Albertazzi, Donatella Bonansinga, and Mattia Zulianello (University of Birmingham)

The right-wing alliance in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic: all change?

José Javier Olivas (London School of Economics) and José Rama (Autonomous University Madrid)

COVID-19: a political virus? VOX’s populist discourse in times of crisis

Federico Vegetti, Arturo Bertero, Giuliano Bobba, Moreno Mancosu, and Antonella Seddone (University of Turin)

Populist language, issues, and the success of party communication on Facebook

Emre Erdoğan, Pinar Uyan Semerci, and Tuğçe Erçetin (Istanbul Bilgi University)

Belief in conspiracy theories: Populist attitudes and COVID-19


16:00 – 17:45                 Afternoon Session II: Populist policies during the pandemic

Chair + discussant: TBC

             Zoltán Ádám (University of Salzburg)

             Comparing populist and non-populist policies amidst the Covid crisis. Conceptual framework and empirical observations

Marta Lorimer (University of Exeter) and Ethan van der Wilden (University of Wisconsin-Medison)

Populism and the pandemic: France and the Rassemblement National

Elie Michel (Sciences Po)

Pandemic politics and the populist voter

Jülide Karakoç, Duygu Ersoy (Altinbaş University), and Tuba Turan (University of Essex)

Turkish politics under the impact of the pandemic


Wednesday, 19 May

9:05 – 9:20                 Check-in 

9:20 – 9:30                 DEMOS Project presentation

                                       Zsolt Boda (Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

9:30 – 10:30               Keynote Paper

Daniele Albertazzi (University of Birmingham)

Participation without power: Activism, community and centralisation among the populist radical right


10:45 – 12:30             Morning Session: Populism in Poland and Hungary

Chair + discussant: TBC

Attila Bartha (Hungarian Academy of Sciences) and Artur Lipinski (Adam Mickiewicz University)

Majoritarianism with Polarising Narratives. Policy Making Patterns in Hungary and Poland under Populist Governance

Roman Bäcker (Nicolaus Copernicus University) and Joanna Rak (Adam Mickiewicz University)

From Neo- to Quasi-militant Democracy: Populist Modes of Legitimating Covid-19-induced Restrictions in Poland?

Michał Rauszer (University of Warsaw) and Mihnea Stoica (Babes-Bolyai University)

Eastern European Populist Narratives in the Pandemic. Poland and Romania compared.

István Hegedűs (Hungarian Europe Society)

Never Say Never – The Break-up Between Fidesz and the European People’s Party and Its Impact on the European Party System


14:00 – 15:45             Afternoon Session: Populism and society

Chair + discussant: TBC

Eliška Drápalová (University of Gothenburg)

Revenge of leftovers? Sources of the Success of Populist Parties in Czech Cities

Marie Heřmanová (Loughborough University)

Politicization of the domestic: The proliferation of populist narratives among Czech influencers

Zsolt Boda, Béla Janky, and Tamás Keller (Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

School bullying, empathy and populist attitudes: Exploring the micro-macro link

Paulina Fröhlich and Paul Jürgensen (Das Progressive Zentrum)

Artists and Cultural Practitioners in the Struggle Between Populist Attacks and the COVID-19 Pandemic       


18:00 – 19:30             Presentation of the book “Current Populism: Gender-Backlash and Counter-strategies”

                                        Martin Mejstřík (Charles University)

                                   Public debate: Populism and Gender-Backlash

             Chair: Adéla Jurečková (Head of the Prague Office, HBS)

Andrea Petö (Central European University)

Robert Sata (Central European University)

Anna Grudzinska (Lazarski University)