The Centre’s joint project, Images, Emotions, and Narratives: Understanding the Populist Lure and New Forms of Symbolic Politics, has been a dedicated space for the study of narratives and symbolic politics, especially in context of the rapid spread of populist movements in most Western liberal democracies. The project, in which members from both the research groups at the Centre collaborate, has been actively contributing with its research outputs in recent academic events, including our own 1st Annual Conference and at the 14th Käte Hamburger Dialogue on Populism and Global Cooperation. The streak continues in the first quarter of 2020, with Katja Freistein and Frank Gadinger’s ‘Populist stories of honest men and proud mothers: A visual narrative analysis’ being published in the Review of International Studies’ new April issue.
The article proposes a methodological framework of visual narrative analysis to study the appeal of political storytelling, drawing on material from the strategies employed by right-wing populist parties in Germany and the United Kingdom. The article identifies two exemplary narratives (honest men under threat; proud mothers) that entrench traditional gender roles in accordance with patriarchy and nationalism.
The good news does not end there, for besides Freistein and Gadinger, the Centre also finds representation in this issue of the Review of International Studies through Pol Bargués’ article on peacebuilding and pragmatism. Bargués, our alumni Research Fellow, conducted his research on ‘Pragmatic Peacebuilding: Engaging with the Micro-politics of the Everyday to Cultivate Inter-Ethnic Cooperation’ over his fellowship at our Centre.
Freistein and Gadinger’s new publication marks an exciting beginning to the project’s success in 2020, and the Centre looks forward to further positive contributions of their work on a theme that is topical, relevant, and worthy of urgent academic attention in the study of global politics.