I have just returned home from a week spent in Zürich as a participant in the New Perspectives on Populist Political Communication workshop and launch event of the COST Early Stage Researchers Think Tank, neatly organized by Sven Engesser and Nayla Fawzi. This was a chance for me to relate more clearly to a topic I’ve been approaching over the last couple of years. In my more general studies of political actors online, the results almost always indicated a stand-out role in some regard for actors that could, by the rationale of your choice, be singled out as populist. Consider, for example, the role of the Norwegian Progress Party during the 2013 elections, or the enormous online popularity enjoyed by the Sweden Democrats. As such, the Zürich meeting gave me a chance to re-focus some of my empirical material to focus more specifically on these types of actors – an enjoyable exercise indeed. These were productive and enjoyable days, and I hope that the group convened in Zürich will have the opportunity to meet again.
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