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Publications and Projects

By clicking on the links below, you'll find a complete list of the respective staff members' publications.





"Populism and Foreign Policy" (funded by: DFG)

What are the international implications of the rise of populist governments all over the world? Prominent recent episodes – from U.S. President Trump’s retreat from the Iran nuclear deal to Brexit – suggest that populists, once they get elected and form governments, overthrow existing commitments to multilateralism and global governance and pursue more aggressive policies than their non-populist predecessors. Further Information

Twitter account: @Populism_IR


"Populist Discourses on COVID-19 in the Global South" (funded by: DFG)

The way in which governments frame the pandemic and communicate about it with the public plays a fundamental role in the implementation of policies aimed at limiting the spread of the virus. Framing state responses to COVID-19 as a common battle of the ‘people’ against the virus might help the implementation of such policies, while discrediting science would undermine efforts at containing the spread of the virus. At the same time, populist discourses about the pandemic, for example entailing the stigmatization of minorities excluded from the ‘true people’, can exacerbate societal divisions and underscore policies aimed at weakening democratic institutions. If we want to understand the impact of populism in the context of COVID-19, we need to study populist discourses on the pandemic in the first place. The project explores to what extent the constitutive elements of populism (anti-elitism and people-centrism, involving an often-exclusionary definition of the ‘people’) are reflected in discourses on the pandemic. The empirical analysis will focus on  Brazil, India, Israel, Mexico and Turkey. It takes into account official government narratives on the pandemic as well as the reception, reproduction or contestation of such narratives among the larger public. Further Information.

Twitter account: @Populism_IR


"Global autocratic collaboration in times of COVID-19" (funded by: VW-foundation)

While democratic backlash and a resurgence of autocracies have been identified by scholars since the 2000s, empirical evidence grows that the COVID-19 pandemic facilitates autocratization trends. Expanding executive power at the expense of legislative/judicial branches for the sake of handling COVID-19, constitutes a window of opportunity for political leaders to foster authoritarian structures. This trend is visible across the globe – regardless of whether the respective regimes are autocratic (e.g. Arab region), hybrid (e.g. Latin America) or democratic (e.g. Europe). Further Information.

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