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The global spread of populism and growing challenges to the rule of law, even in established democracies, are increasingly blurring the analytical boundaries between democracy and autocracy in comparative politics. We need a new approach to the study of political institutions and behaviours that recognises the convergent trends of illiberalism, diminished trust in political institutions, and personalistic and identity-based contestation that are reshaping politics in democratic and authoritarian regimes alike.

Our research group is dedicated to increasing our understanding of the rise of populism and the deepening of authoritarianism around the world. It will create synergies across departments and institutes at King’s as well as partner with other academic centres working on these issues around the world.

The central task of this research group is to focus on the combinations of social, economic and institutional factors that give rise to authoritarian and populist trends and to do so using a variety of methods and concepts as well as a comparative perspective.

Our Partners

This research is undertaken in partnership with Oswaldo Amaral from Unicamp.