Populism in the era of soundbite politics



A Conversation with Journalists and Researchers from Southern and Eastern Africa as well as South and South-East Asia

Populism is a global phenomenon, yet it takes distinct local and regional shapes. Often conceptualized as a discursive style (cf. Laclau 2005), populism has increasingly been analysed through its socio-cultural performative elements (i.e. Ostiguy, Panizza and Moffit 2021). Whilst case studies on populism and socio-cultural performance of populist leaders have expanded over the last years to increasingly include the Global South, systematic comparative approaches of the highly diverse national and regional contexts are still rare. Against the backdrop of a (perceived) global rise of populism but its distinct and varied manifestation in different settings, key questions emerge around the respective roles of intermediaries in the communication flow between populist leaders and the general public. 

In this international workshop, we bring together the perspectives of journalists and researchers from various contexts in Eastern and Southern Africa as well as in South and South-East Asia to discuss the evolution of populist “performances” over the last years, the role of the media and how various actors in the Global South learn from each other. The aim of this event is to create a space for exchange between scholars and practitioners to share their empirical insights into the diverse interplay between populism and the “general public” and how the perceived populist rise has impacted on the media landscape in South Africa, Tanzania, Bangladesh and the Philippines. Moreover, we wish to foster intra- as well as cross-regional comparisons through this format. 

If you would like to participate in this event, kindly register under the following link: 

https://www.ugent.be/ps/conflict-ontwikkeling/crg/en/news-events/events/populism_webinar.html by Friday, 17 December 2021 at 6 p.m. CET.

Kindly note that registration is a precondition for participation and that the workshop takes place under Chatham House Rules.