Upcoming PhD Workshop “Populism, Discourse, Radical Democracy”, Loughborough University

Note: due to the restrictions caused by COVID-19, this workshop has been postponed. We will announce a new date for the next academic year as soon as the circumstances allow it.

Once at the theoretical margins of political science, the ‘Essex School’ of discourse analysis inspired by the pioneering work of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe has now been firmly established within the broader field of the social sciences as a distinct tradition. Significant contributions are spanning various fields ranging from political theory to comparative politics, and from international relations to sociology. At the cutting edge of the international scholarly production, one can find several clusters of dynamic postgraduate researchers based in UK universities, across Europe, but also at the other side of the Atlantic. This 1-day Workshop aims at bringing together PhD students working within this tradition, providing a vibrant space for the dissemination of ideas and findings, debate and networking. We are interested in the analysis of the populist phenomenon, the examination of different aspects of political discourse and critical reflection on the concept of radical democracy and its relevance for contemporary politics. Both theoretical and empirical contributions are welcome, while we particularly encourage interdisciplinary exchange and cross-regional comparisons. Suggested areas of inquiry include:

  • The role of populism in contemporary societies across the world and the importance of discourse in understanding populist politics: theoretical and empirical perspectives.
  • Political discourse analysis: how can the ‘Essex School’ shed light on different discourses, such as technocracy, elitism, Euroscepticism, the radical left and radical right as well as new environmentalism?
  • The relevance of radical democracy today: new social movements, radical political thought and the challenge of ‘radicalising’ democracy.

Prospective participants are asked to submit a 250-word abstract as well as a short biographical note (up to 80 words) as one file (word or pdf) to p.panagiotou@lboro.ac.uk by 10th February 2020. Accepted participants will be notified by 28th February 2020.

There is no registration fee. Loughborough University cannot cover for participants’ travel and accommodation expenses, but it offers choice for affordable accommodation on campus, while our team will provide further guidance regarding travel. Questions regarding the Workshop can be addressed to any member of the Organising Committee.

Keynote speaker: Oliver Marchart (University of Vienna)

Convener: Giorgos Katsambekis (Loughborough University)

Organising committee: Lazaros Karavasilis, Panos Panayotu, Maria Tsiko


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