Over the course of these last few years, ‘populism’ suddenly seemed to be everywhere, causing a spike in academic and journalistic interest in the phenomenon. Glynos and Mondon (2016) described this as a ‘populist hype’ being constructed in mainstream media, hypothesizing that populism was often the label put on a new (right-wing) threat to democracy. Their theoretical intervention is largely supported by the few empirical analyses of how media use the term ‘populism’ (Bale et al., 2011; Brookes, 2018; Herkman, 2016, 2017), showing that ‘populism’ is generally used pejoratively and to signal a range of threats to democracy. On the other hand, these quantitative analyses also show that ‘populism’ was used less frequently than expected – contradictory to the concept of a ‘populist hype’.
To investigate how ‘hyped’ populism was, I will conduct a big data analysis of the uses of ‘populism’ in Belgian press between 2010 and 2019. Although journalistic uses of populism are the research object, the intricate connections between media, political and academic discourses will be included by looking at for example which parties are labelled populist, or which politicians use the label themselves, and how scholars working on populism are part of the discussion in mainstream media.
Period17 Sep 2020
Event titleThe ‘Populist Moment’: Temporality, Transformations, Crises
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionInternational