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Regular version of the site

UPDATE: Digital Workshop "Varieties of Populism in East and West"

*recommended age
Event ended

Varieties of Populism in East and West

27 May 2021            9-16h (BER) | 10-17h (MSK)


D I G I T A L   W O R K S H O P


organized by the

Alexander von Humboldt Institutional Partnership Project between Freie Universität Berlin and

Higher School of Economics Moscow

for the program scroll down


Modern populism hardly knows any geographical boundaries, with its representatives found in such varied settings as the authoritarian states in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as well as established Western democracies. While populism has seemingly few ideological restrictions — being used by left-wing, right-wing and centrist movements — it has more recently and most successfully become associated with right-wing parties and movements challenging the prospects for democracy and liberalism more broadly around the globe.

Initiating a newly established institutional partnership between the Freie Universität Berlin (FUB) and the Higher School of Economics in Moscow (HSE), the workshop aims at bringing together scholars interested in studying different aspects of populism and developing and institutionalizing co-operations between the two universities. We particularly invite PhD and post-doc scholars from German and other European and Russian universities to discuss populism and adjacent concepts against the following set of topics:

1. The state, elites, and authoritarian survival | What is the nexus between state strategies, e.g. towards development or geopolitics, elites, and the (in)stability of authoritarian regimes? How does populism as a concept perform in contrast to or in combination with other approaches such as conservatism or statism? How do current local and global challenges to regime stability, such as the COVID-19 pandemic or social inequality, impact on the development of populism?

2. Development, entrepreneurship, and populism | To what degree is business activity and entrepreneurship in different political contexts affected by populist strategies and ways of governing?

3. Modern populism and the media | How can we conceptualize and analyze the nexus between 21st century media and populism as well as the different patterns resulting from this nexus in democratic and authoritarian regimes?

4. Migration, social movements and populism | What role does populism play in conflicts over migration and the articulation of social movements? How does populism relate to scholarship on mobilization and counter-mobilization?

To discuss these and related issues, we invite scholars from the fields of political science, sociology, history, cultural studies, economics and adjacent fields to participate in an interdisciplinary dialogue aimed at fostering joint publication and research activities. We welcome a strong empirical focus on post-socialist societies yet also encourage scholars to think comparatively by taking into account the experiences of Western industrial countries (incl. the former GDR) as well as Eurasian trajectories (e.g. Central Asia, Turkey, Iran) more broadly.

The workshop will use an innovative and interactive format that aims to facilitate close and intensive exchanges among participants by working in smaller groups.

The event is explicitly aimed at providing a platform for dialogue and open exchange concerning future long-term cooperation. All colleagues wishing to engage in this open end partnership project will be included into the project data base to receive progress reports, invitations, calls etc. related to its activities.

If you have further questions, please contact the organizers of the event at mihai.varga@fu-berlin.de and visit https://iims.hse.ru/populism/.



Workshop Opening at 9 a.m. CET: Prof. Dr. Katharina Bluhm, Prof. Dr. Andrei Yakovlev

Keynote Lecture – 9:15 a.m.

Populism - from hype to polarization

Dr. Emilia Palonen

Senior Lecturer in Political Science, University of Helsinki


Group Work – part 1, 10-12 a.m. 2 working groups: The state, elites, and authoritarian survival & Modern populism and the media

This part takes place in group meetings in separate virtual Rooms. Participants should join one of the following groups (please check the online-overview available from Mihai Varga):

1. The state, elites, and authoritarian survival (Chairs: Prof. Dr. Alexander Libman FUBProf. Dr. Andrei Yakovlev HSE)

2. Modern populism and the media (Chairs: Prof. Dr. Michael Rochlitz Uni BremenProf. Dr. Wolfgang Muehl-Benninghaus HSE)

Tasks: Short presentations (up to 3 minutes) of one-pagers by the participants. Questions and discussion. Search for less researched topics. Finding intersections between ideas and individual projects. Discussion of the prospects and willingness of participants to enter collaboration in the preparation of articles, applications for joint grants, joint workshops, and conferences. Formation of prospective task teams.

Lunch Break 12 a.m.-1 p.m.

Group Work – part 2, 1-3 p.m. Participants should join one of the following groups (please check the online-overview available from Mihai Varga):

3. Development, entrepreneurship, and populism (Chairs: Prof. Dr. Katharina Bluhm FUBProf. Dr.  Alexander Chepurenko HSE)
4. Migration, social movements, and populism (Chairs: Dr. Mihai Varga FUBAssistant Prof. Dr. Lili di Puppo HSE)


Final discussion 3:15-4:15 p.m. Statements by chairs for all participants and discussion of possible next steps with the implementation of the proposed projects.

Please, find the information about the workshop and our call for contributions here