125 Populist Parties As "Normal" Parties: Survey On Territorial Representation and Organization of Populist Parties.

European Populism in Times of Crisis
Wednesday, June 26, 2013: 11:00 AM-12:45 PM
5.60 (PC Hoofthuis)

The project involves a multi-national, inter-university collaboration that includes (in alphabetical order) Reinhard Heinisch, Anders Ravik Jupskås, Duncan McDonnell, Oscar Mazzoleni, Susi Meret, Teun Pauwels. The symposium intends to share and analyze the initial results of a comparative survey and research project examining party organization and elected representative roles, views, and activities in a selected number of populist parties. 


Several European populist parties have now moved beyond the stage of their founders and initial leaders. Yet, such parties are still frequently treated by scholarship as fundamentally ‘episodic’ and leader dominated with scant attention paid to the question of party organization. We have very little to no comparative knowledge – of (1) how these parties organize at different levels; (2) the intra-party dynamics and tensions that may exist within parties both at and between different levels; (3) how their representatives conceive of and practise their roles.

 Principally, this symposium and the underlying project aim (a) to focus on supply-side/agency factors by considering the question of how individual populist parties are organized territorially and how representation within these parties functions at all levels,(b) to eschew methodological approaches viewing populist parties as niche, transient and ‘abnormal’, (c) to treat them instead as long-standing Western European parties with complex multilevel organizations and extensive representative presence in elected institutions, (d) to ask how the parties studied differ from one another in terms of organization and representative roles, and (e) to construct a typology of populist forms of organization and representation.

Reinhard Heinisch and Susi Meret
Sarah de Lange