The study of populism has recently branched out into new approaches that treat it as embedded in cultural environments of everyday life. Such research pushes beyond the traditional focus in populism studies on the institutions, structures, and procedures of politics, encompassing questions around the particular everyday strategies and cultural repertoires employed by populists in an effort to appeal to a broader public. This might for instance include questions about what kind of (pop-)cultural repertoires they regularly tap into to create resonance with their target audience, or which narrative and visual strategies they use in order to make their own nationalist or imperialist visions of world order appealing. Our workshop explores the conceptual promises as well as potential limitations of culturally oriented work on populism. As a result, the frames that locate, describe, and explain contemporary populism have been redrawn. To this end, the workshop brings together scholars from various disciplines – political science, sociology, and cultural studies – and several continents for an exchange based on the participants' work in progress around various conceptual approaches and empirical cases. By drawing on their current work, participants address whether and how they locate populism in everyday life, how they address matters of performance, narrative, and/or visuality, and what they hope to gain from their methodology. The aim of this workshop is to foster an interdisciplinary conversation on populism as an ambiguous and omnipresent phenomenon in political life that represents a major challenge for established practices and orders of global cooperation.
Rather than presenting a formal paper, participants are invited to give a short input of approximately ten minutes on a current research project that will then lead into a collective discussion on populism and everyday life. Participants are encouraged to talk about conceptual and methodological challenges and problems in their work and to discuss these issues in an open conversation and informal working atmosphere.