The third round of the ACRPS Winter School, on the theme of “Variations in Populism” concluded on 13 January 2022. This year’s Winter School, which ran from 4-13 January 2022, followed a hybrid model with participants, lecturers, and discussants attending both remotely and in-person.
During the ten days of the Winter School, Arab and international scholars participated in a series of public lectures on the theme of populism. In addition, eighteen researchers presented their research projects on different variations and models of populism around the world, and received feedback and comments from Winter School participants, as well as from researchers and specialists from the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies and the Arab Center, which enabled the Winter School participants to exchange knowledge, develop their research project and collectively advance the study of populism.
The seventh day of the Winter School, January 12, 2022, began with a lecture by Angelos Chryssogelos, a Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the School of Social Sciences at the London Metropolitan University, titled “Between People Power and State Power: The Ambivalence of Populism in International Relations”. Chryssogelos noted the increasing interest among international relations and foreign policy scholars in the study of populism and provided an overview of this literature, exploring new avenues of research. He referred to the debate over the impact of populism on international relations and how this debate has been influenced too much and for too long by the importation of IR and FPA approaches on populism from comparative politics, and by an overtly Western-centric perspective. Chryssogelos presented a strategic-discursive conceptualization of populism that paints a more critical picture of populism’s promises of popular emancipation and its relationship with state power and the international order, relying on a cross-regional comparative probe and placing regional iterations of populism in a global context.
The last session of the Winter School program, on 13 January, hosted a lecture by Nina Wiesehomeier, Assistant Professor of Comparative Politics at the School of Global and Public Affairs at the IE University in Spain titled “Measuring Populism with Expert Surveys”. She noted that in addition to that Expert surveys have become an indispensable tool for gathering data in party research, they have been increasingly accustomed to measuring party characteristics such as organizational features as well as parties’ attitudes toward issues pertaining to democracy and representation, and populism. Wiesehomeier discussed the methodological challenges expert surveys face, such as problems concerning expert bias, cross-country comparability, and expert burden and fatigue.
Concluding the Winter School Program, Mohammad Almasri, ACRPS Executive Director, thanked the Winter School participants, lecturers, discussants, steering committee, and organizers. He highlighted that the third round of the Winter School achieved its goals by providing a forum for participants and discussants from many disciplines to engage in rigorous discussions on the study of populism and its variations, and examples from around the world. Almasri emphasized the scholarly community built by the Winter School, which will maintain ties between the Center and Participants and continue to pursue research in populism
Built on the noteworthy success of the First and Second round of the Winter School, the ACRPS is keen to continue with this academic tradition in the Arab world and provide an opportunity for researchers around the world to benefit and network with scholars and researchers in the Arab region.