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Populist cultures (12 June)

Keywords: Populism, collective memories, fascist history, re-elaboration, opportunity structures

Description: This workshop analyzes the impact of collective memories of a country’s past on right-wing, mainly, but also left-wing populism. The main focus is on who populism’s performance depends on the type of re-elaboration of countries’ national past and their collective memories. Going beyond socio-economic and political-institutional factors, the workshop analyzes cultural factors and they type of “opportunity structures” such cultures present for populism. In particular, given the link between fascist and populist visions of power, the workshop considers the impact that national collective memories and the re-elaboration of the fascist past and World War II may open up or close down the space for right-wing populist parties. This type of analysis combines insights from various disciplines, from political science to cultural studies and history, as well as various forms of mass socialization through communication systems. It considers a broad range of examples including Austria, Germany, Italy and Japan, France, US and Britain, Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. It aims to compare the memories of West and Eastern Europe as well as the Latin American experience of populism and its dealing with the past.

Target group: PhD students, post-doctoral researchers and advanced Master students working on the conditions for the emergence and success of populist movements in a comparative and historical perspective.

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