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A book discussion with the author Thorsten Wojczewski.

Book Description

Populism has lately experienced a meteoric rise to become one of the most widely used terms in academic and wider public discourses and a supposedly defining feature of both domestic and world politics. Situated at the intersection of International Relations (IR), Political Theory and Comparative Politics, this book makes a critical intervention into the burgeoning IR scholarship on populism. It problematises the often hyperbolic and sweeping usage of the term as a general descriptor for non-centrist politics of different persuasions. The book seeks to move into a different theoretical direction and broaden the empirical focus of existing IR research.

Theoretically, it bridges the gap between theories of populism and IR by bringing the Laclauian, discursive approach and IR poststructuralism together in a theoretical framework. The proposed framework moves away from the search for the policy preferences and impact of populism, and instead conceptualises foreign policy and world politics as potential sites for practicing populism, ranging from the articulation of societal grievances to the construction of populist identities such as ‘the people’.

Empirically, the book takes IR scholarship beyond the predominant focus on the populist radical right and single-country and -region studies. Building on discourse analysis of an original data set, it offers a comparative analysis of right-wing and left-wing populist discourses in different world regions as well as populist cross-border collaboration and identity construction.

About the author

Thorsten Wojczewski

Thorsten Wojczewski is a visiting research fellow with the King's India Institute and a lecturer in International Relations at Coventry University. Prior to that, he was a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the King’s India Institute, specialising in Indian foreign and security policy, international relations theory, populism, world order and critical security studies.

He is interested in supervising doctoral students working on themes relating to foreign policy and identity, populism and the far-right, critical security studies, global order and hegemony. His regional focus is on Europe, South Asia and the United States.


Event details

BH (SE) 6.04
Bush House
Strand campus, 30 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BG