After the success of our first HEPP conference on "Emotions, Populism, and Polarised Politics, Media, and Culture" in August 2019, we decided to continue with conferences in May 2021 and August 2022. The aim of this series of conferences is to bring together a variety of international researchers at all career stages dealing with a broad range of topics that employ a post-structuralist and/or post-foundational approach to critical inquiry. The conferences seek to address different issues from both theoretical and empirical perspectives, especially those exploring the intersection of different positionalities and challenging bounded national contexts.

This year, our conference organised by the HEPPsinki research group and the Academy of Finland consortium Mainstreaming Populism in the Twenty First Century focuses on different cases that explore the link between emotions and populism, as well as discuss polarisation in politics, media, and culture, with the aim of examining populism particularly from a discursive and cultural approach. The conference encourages papers that approach the following and related themes:

  • Mainstreaming populism
  • Politics, populism, and social and political movements
  • Radical democracy
  • Subjectivity, affects, and gender
  • Cultural populism
  • Populism in a COVID-19 and post-pandemic world 
  • Political communication and media in times of crisis and polarisation
  • Hybrid media and the polarisation of information
  • The re-articulation and politicisation of Europe
  • Populism, common grounds and communities of knowledge
  • Empathy as a counter to polarisation and/or antagonism

We have received plenty of proposals and with over 170 participants we from early-career researchers to leading scholars on the field we invite you to join and attend our conference. The first version of the programme has already been published.


This series of conferences are organised by the Helsinki Hub on Emotions, Populism and Polarisation, which is composed of two projects funded by the Academy of Finland - Mainstreaming Populism in the 21st Century (MaPo) and Whirl of Knowledge: Cultural Populism in European Polarised Politics and Societies (WhiKnow), and one project funded by the Kone Foundation - Now-Time Us-Space: Hegemonic Mobilisations in Central Eastern Europe. The conferences are organized with the support of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki.

The HEPP2's organising committee

Academic team:

Juha Herkman, Emilia Palonen, Virpi Salojärvi and Marina Vulovic.

Technical and practical team:

Irina Grigor, Roosa-Maria Kylli, Laura Horsmanheimo, Hanna Catani and Saija Räsänen.

To contact: name.surname@helsinki.fi