Call for papers: The Contemporary Public Sphere – Protest Movements and Populist Actors

As part of the XIII Conference of the Spanish Political Science Association (Santiago de Compostela, 20-22 September 2017), we are organising a panel on

‘The Contemporary Public Sphere – Protest
Movements and Populist Actors’.

The panel welcomes papers from a number of disciplines, including Political Theory, Social Theory, Political Sociology, and Discourse Studies, among others. Below you will find a brief description of the panel’s topic. The deadline for paper proposals is 22 March. Proposals should be submitted online through the website of the Spanish Political Science Association at

The Contemporary Public Sphere – Protest Movements and Populist Actors The panel explores how recent protest movements and ‘populist’ actors are shaping contemporary public spheres. By ‘populist’ actors we are referring, more precisely, to actors publicly labelled as such or defined in this way by social scientists in the light of any given theoretical perspective. Possible questions to be addressed, although the panel is not limited to them, are: What is the politics of naming behind and around the term ‘populism’? What are the discourses and narratives of these actors and protest movements? Their rhetorical practices, performances, and symbolism, as well as their communicative strategies and channels? Under what conditions do they achieve more or less resonance? How are their narratives challenged by citizens and other political actors – or how should they be challenged? More importantly, what are the implications of these practices and discourses for democracy and the purported emancipatory character of the public sphere? Papers can concentrate on specific cases and issues, adopt a historical or comparative perspective, or provide more encompassing interpretations and assessments of where contemporary public spheres are heading. In this regard, both theoretical approaches, be they normative or descriptive, and empirically-informed papers are welcome. Papers in English or Spanish are welcome.

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