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OPUS Newsletter #1 - Populist studies in 2022

OPUS Initiative
OPUS Initiative
The Steering Committee’s editorial
Last decade has seen the resurgence of Populist politics across all parts of the world–Trump in the United States, Victor Orban in Hungary, Boris Johnson in the UK, Narendra Modi in India, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil etc. Consequently, the academic interest and research in the phenomenon have gained traction. It is with that aim that we created OPUS, to create a young scholars initiative and an international research network for scholars working on Populism. We aim to transcend boundaries and establish peer-to-peer bonds amongst early-career researchers and graduate students working on different facets of Populism in different regions. The diversity in representation, interdisciplinarity, and bridging inequalities in access to resources are few of the aims and strengths of the OPUS network.

Upcoming Events
21st February at 5PM (CEST) : “The parts do have their unique effects: The bifactor model of populist attitudes and its applications in voting behaviour within the Czech context” (Veronika Dostálová - PhD candidate at the Department of Political Science, Masaryk University, Czech Republic) => Google Calendar
To never miss an event from OPUS Initiative : add our Google Calendar right now.
2022 - Publication Team & Edited Volume
More infos on publication requirements on our Medium @Opusinitiative
More infos on publication requirements on our Medium @Opusinitiative
Recently, OPUS grew successfully with the creation of the OPUS Publication team, which is now in charge of leading our bi-monthly Newsletter, our Medium blog, and the OPUS Edited Volume. We perceive this new team as the spearhead in bringing stronger academic outputs for our members.
1. The Newsletter will aim to reach out to our OPUS Members and keep ourselves informed about the latest Events, Medium blog post, OPUS Members’ career updates, New Books on Populism, and progress of the organisation. Subscribe here.
2. The Medium Blog will provide a platform for young scholars to expose and explore their ideas on populism. Opinion pieces or short academic articles of 800-1200 words. We thus rely on all of you, OPUS Members, to help us grow and make this platform lively !
3. With our Edited Volume, we hope to create a “Young Scholars Journal of Populism” which would first be composed of essays written by our members and published in a compiled volume. Then, later if this succeeds, we hope to make this Edited Volume into a more properly peer-reviewed journal once OPUS will be consolidated enough.
4. The Discord Channel is our main communication tool to discuss, collaborate and exchange on the latest trends of Populism. Which is completed with our Zotero Library - a collaborative resource database for articles and books to pursue and develop research on populism.
If you want to participate in OPUS in any way, you can always contact us and tell us what are your skills, what you would like to bring to the organisation and how.
To submit to the publication team, please write to
Please find guidelines regarding submission on our Medium blog :
Team Populism - LEADER'S PROFILE
It is with great excitement that Team Populism formally announce the launch of the Leader Profile Series. The series features short descriptions of the populism of individual leaders, both contemporary and historical, that combine quantitative and qualitative data. Their hope is to provide precise, reliable data to scholars and the public while promoting the ideational approach to populism. You can see the first published profiles by going to our website or clicking here.
They are now accepting new profiles, and publication is open to both senior colleagues and students seeking to publish high quality, descriptive work. Note that, while they expect a faster turnaround than with traditional journal articles, each profile is fully peer-reviewed (double-blind). Attached to this email you’ll see the series overview document that contains a brief description of the series, the research and submission guidelines, and the form used by the reviewers of each profile. (Special thanks to the reviewers who have already helped with our first publications!)
Team Populism is happy to receive any of your questions and feedback about this initiative at
OPUS Medium Publications
Read these articles on our Medium Blog !
Read these articles on our Medium Blog !
1. “EU, NATO, and Russia - partners or adversaries for the Nordic right-wing populists?” - Read Here - Aleksa Filipović presents the results of his nearly completed PhD thesis focusing on the foreign policies positions of four Nordic right-wing populist parties, with specific examples on their positions and rhetoric regarding Russia.
2. “Constitutional courts and populists in power: between complicity and resistance” – Read Here - Yomna Elrouby explores how constitutional courts are affected and challenged by populist parties coming to power. Her work looks at the cases of Hungary and Turkey and demonstrates the “push&pull” between populist and constitutional courts.
Book Review : The Palgrave Handbook of Populism
Chetan Rana — PhD Student at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
One of the latest volumes on Populism, The Palgrave Handbook of Populism (2022) edited by Michael Oswald, is a comprehensive work that compiles 40 chapters integrating several themes related to the phenomenon. Michael Oswald is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Passau and a lecturer at the John F. Kennedy Institute of the Free University of Berlin.
The book engages with key theoretical debates on populism and its consequences for liberal democracies, the economy, rights and equality. A section of the book also delves into populist discourse and rhetoric and its intersection with post-truth and collective memory. However, the distinguishing trait is the book’s focus on relatively overlooked or emerging discussions like ‘populism and gender’, ‘political psychology of populism’, ‘medical populism’, ‘environmental populism’ and ‘anti-populist discourse’. The volume also succeeds in bringing out diverse regional narratives through chapters on the US, Europe, South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
The fast diminishing lines between populism, authoritarianism, and fascism have also been addressed. Through the chapters in the final section, ‘Consequences of Populism & Anti-Populist Discourse’, the contributors seek to unpack critical issues of ‘democratic dilemma’ and ‘polarization’ in modern democracies and the possible counterstrategies against populism.
The Palgrave Handbook of Populism is a great work for young scholars to navigate the vast and complex landscape of populism scholarship. The inclusion of relatively under-discussed themes like gender and political psychology will also help academics to push the boundaries of traditional debates and venture afresh. This handbook has the potential to become an essential reading for scholars of populism.
Michael Oswald (ed.) (2022), The Palgrave Handbook of Populism (doi: 10.1007/978–3–030–80803–7)
Members' Activities & Publications
Théo Aiolfi (left) & Didem Seyis (right)
Théo Aiolfi (left) & Didem Seyis (right)
Théo Aiolfi
We would like to congratulate Théo Aiolfi for completing his PhD on the 9th of December 2021. His jury of examiners included Professor Michael Saward (internal examiner from University of Warwick) and Doctor Benjamin Moffitt (external examiner from Australian Catholic University). His thesis’ title is “Charting the Populist Style: Trump, Le Pen and the Populist Repertoire of Exclusionary Nationalism”. He will soon be publishing an article for our Medium.
He is now an Early Career Teaching Fellow at both the Institute of Advanced Study (IAS) and Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL), since the 1st of October 2021. More infos on him here :
You can contact him at : or on Twitter at @TheoAiolfi
Didem Seyis
Didem Seyis is a Ph.D. Candidate at the State University of New York at Binghamton. She started working as an Editorial Assistant at the “Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties” in August 2021.
She published the following articles :
You can contact her at : or on Twitter at @DidemSeyis
If you have some new updates about your academic careers, and want to announce them to OPUS members, fill this form and let us publish your success in our next newsletter !
Next Newsletter : French Presidential Elections
For the next newsletter, we aim to have an issue specifically focusing on the French Presidential elections. All Blog and Essays are welcome. Write to us about your analysis of the populist style in this election that could change the face of Europe !
If you have not joined OPUS Initiative yet, fill this form and join us !
We hope you enjoyed reading the first issue of the OPUS Newsletter, please let us know what you thought about it.
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OpusInitiative is now present on more platforms to bring you more tools to research on populism.
OpusInitiative is now present on more platforms to bring you more tools to research on populism.
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