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Upcoming events and news:

  • 08/05/2024: Workshop on Populism, Demagoguery and Rhetoric in Historical Perspective
    University of Princeton

    Populism stands as one of the most scrutinized subjects in political science scholarship today. However, much of this work makes little effort to historicize populism. At best, historical scholarship on the phenomenon may trace its roots as far back as the nineteenth century, to movements like narodnichestvo in Russia or the People’s Party in the United States. But to treat populism as a problem of contemporary politics is also to neglect the rich bodies of discourse throughout the history of political thought, ancient and modern, surrounding perennial issues like popular power and its forms of articulation, conflicts between oligarchic and popular factions, tensions between the technical expertise of ‘the few’ and the opinions of ‘the many,’ disputes over different models of political leadership and civic education, the problem of demagoguery the question of public rhetoric, or the role of myths and collective imaginaries in political mobilization. This workshop brings together political theorists to explore the connections between contemporary populism and relevant topics in the history of ideas.

    Giuseppe Ballacci (UMinho)
    Rob Goodman (Toronto Metropolitan)
    Tae-Yeoun Keum (UC Santa Barbara / UCHV LSR Fellow 2023-24)
    Alessandro Mulieri (UPenn / Ca’ Foscari University of Venice)
    David Ragazzoni (Columbia)
    Thomás Zicman de Barros (UMinho)

    Co-sponsored by the Forum for the History of Political Thought and the FCT (Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology).

  • 25-27/06/2024: 14th Braga Meetings

    The PDRHP project is organising two panels at the Braga Meetings:

    Demagoguery, democracy, and the politics of the people: Insights from the history of ideas
    Convenor: Giuseppe Ballacci

    Lefort centenary: The people, democracy and populism
    Special guests: Jean-Claude Monod (ENS) and Gilles Bataillon (EHESS)
    Convenors: Pedro Pinheiro and Thomás Zicman de Barros

    More information at:

​Past events and news:

  • 14/03/2024: Third PDRHP Seminar. This hybrid session features two presentations. Paula Diehl (Kiel University) will discuss "Rethinking the Relationship between Populism and Media in Complex Terms", and Thomás Zicman de Barros (CEPS, UMinho) will present "Bataille, Gramsci and Heidegger: Three Matrices for a Transgressive Aesthetics of Populism".

  • 21/02/2024: Second PDRHP Seminar. This online session features two speakers: Samuel Zeitlin  (University College London), presenting on “Carl Schmitt, Political Theology, and the History of Political Thought"; and David Ragazzoni (Columbia University), discussing “From Fascism to Populism, between Liberalism and Socialism: Norberto Bobbio's Democratic Theory”.

  • 05/12/2023: First PDRHP Seminar. This online session features two speakers: Daniel Kapust (UW-Madison), presenting on “Demagoguery, Populism, and Political Culture in Cooper’s The American Democrat", and Tae-Yeoun Keum (UC Santa Barbara), discussing “Between Epistemology and Politics: Voltaire's Democratic Socrates”.

  • 1 Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship will open within the Project. Starting date: September 2023. Application deadline: 30/06/2023. More information at: 

  • 16/06/2023: Kick-off Meeting and Seminar on Machiavelli and populism with Alessandro Mulieri (UPenn and Ca' Foscari) and Giovanni Damele & Inês Pinheiro (Nova University of Lisbon). The event is part of the 13th Braga Meeting on Ethics and Political Philosophy. More information at:

The project is funded by the FCT (Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology) and will have a duration of 18 months. It will be carried out by a team of experts in ancient, modern and contemporary political philosophy and theory, all of whom have experience with the themes of populism, demagoguery and rhetoric, including members of the research line on the art of living of the research group Forms of Life and Practices of Philosophy (IFILNOVA) and some of the main interlocutors in the current debate on the topic, in partnership with five consultants and several international networks and institutions currently working on topics related to this project.

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