Populism, People and the Media

Organisers: Natalie Fenton, Des Freedman, Gholam Khiabany, funded by The Sociological Review Foundation.

Political life in the West has become increasingly volatile and polarised. Anger at elites, disillusion with established forms of representation and experience of economic uncertainty has led to a growth of support for populist parties. This resurgence of ‘populism’ – clearly articulated in the 2016 EU referendum and US presidential election – has been attributed, at least in part, both to sensationalist coverage of mainstream news providers and the ‘echo chambers’ of a militant social media. Yet there has been insufficient critical scrutiny and systematic assessment of the relationship between media and populism in the current period. Building on recent comparative and historical research on populism, this seminar aims to advance understanding of the political economy of ‘populism’, to examine the role of traditional media in promoting, investigating or resisting ‘populism’, and to explore the communicative strategies of ‘populisms’ in comparative contexts.

The speakers for this event will be Miriyam Aouragh, Michaela Benson, Joan Pedro Caranana, Liz Fekete, Natalie Fenton, Des Freedman, Laura Grattan, Tracey Jensen, Gholam Khiabany, Angela McRobbie, Aurelien Mondon, Abeyami Ortega, Victor Pickard, Srirupa Roy, Bev Skeggs, Dimitrios Theodossopoulos and Alberto Toscano.

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