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Helsinki Conference on Emotions, Populism and Polarisation (HEPP4)

Mon, 12/11/2023 - Wed, 12/13/2023
Registration deadline
Call for papers ending on



In recent years, HEPPsters have been engaging in themes of populist mobilisation in Central and Eastern Europe, particularly the relationship between time and space, and how this relationship informs the construction of ‘Us’. In the previous edition, HEPP3 paid special attention to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In 2023, this theme is expanded to reflect on the rise of ethno-nationalism. We are here also drawing on our Horizon2020 project on Deradicalisation in Europe and beyond, where the key thematic is social exclusion as the driver for violent radicalisation, emergence of grievance, alienation, and polarisation. We also want to investigate the emergence of religious populism, the formation of epistemic communities, and logic of datafied forms of communication that also deal with polarisation. We hope to incite theoretical and empirical discussions of these themes and more.

The Conference strives to assemble a wide range of international researchers at all career stages, with the aim of examining populism, particularly from a discursive and cultural approach. We welcome contributions from a wide range of fields. All submitted papers will be considered for our Working Papers series.

The Conference encourages papers that approach the following and related themes:  

  • Political (Mis)use of Time and Space  
  • (De)radicalisation, Radicalism and Violent Extremism 
  • (Ethnic) Nationalism and Populism 
  • Misogyny, Xenophobia and Racism 
  • Euroscepticism, Europhilia, and Eurocentrism 
  • (Post-)Pandemic Populisms 
  • Epistemic Populisms and Academic Knowledge 
  • Populist logics of Datafication and Populism 
  • Religion and Populism 
  • Populist Dynamics and the Global South  
  • North-South Relations and (Post)Colonialism 
  • Imperialism and Emotions 
  • Affects and Emotions in Politics and Policy 
  • Agonism, Antagonism, and the “Us” 
  • Gender in Populism and Polarisation  
  • Cultural Populism and Populist Challenges on Culture 
  • Political humour and populist rhetoric 
  • Political Communication and Media in Times of War and Crisis 
  • Populist Dynamics and the Logic of Populism


We received an unexpectedly large number of high-quality submissions from researchers and experts in various fields, and we would like to express our gratitude to everyone for their valuable contributions.

All willing to take part in the conference online and on-site can register HERE.

Registration is extended until 30 September 2023.

Reduced fees apply to doctoral researchers, non-employed researchers, and colleagues from the Global South and Central and Eastern Europe:

  • HEPP4 ONSITE: Normal fee – 250€ (early bird 200) 
  • HEPP4 ONSITE: Reduced fee – 150€ (early bird 120)
  • HEPP4 ONLINE: Normal fee – 150€ (early bird 120)
  • HEPP4 ONLINE: Reduced fee – 100€ (early bird 70)
  • HEPP4 ONSITE: Non-presenting normal fee – 100€
  • HEPP4 ONSITE: Non-presenting reduced fee – 70€
  • HEPP4 ONLINE: Non-presenting – 50€
  • HEPP4 ONLINE: Non-presenting from the University of Helsinki – 0€
  • HEPP research group member – 0€

Please note that if you cancel your registration by 30 September 2023, you will receive a refund of the conference registration fee, minus a 50 € administrative charge. Refunds are not available after 30 September 2023.

If you have any questions about participating in the conference, please write to us at hepp@helsinki.fi

The conference is organised by the HEPPsinki research group. The Organising Committee of HEPP4: Feeza Vasudeva (chair), Alexander Alekseev (co-chair), Dayei Oh, Emilia Palonen, Emilia Lounela, Gwenaëlle Bauvois, Laura Horsmanheimo, Ionut Chiruta, Katinka Linnamäki, Kleber Carrilho, Rūta Kazlauskaitė, Virpi Salojärvi.

The HEPP4 organising is supported by the following projects:

- D.Rad: Deradicalisation in Europe and Beyond: Detect, Resolve, Reintegrate (EC: Horizon 2020)
- Now-Time, Us-Space: Hegemonic Mobilisations in Central and Eastern Europe (Kone Foundation)
- Datafication of Society at the Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities (PROFI)
- ENDURE: Inequalities, Community Resilience and New Governance Modalities in a Post-Pandemic World (Trans-Atlantic Partnerships Academy of Finland)
University of Helsinki
Contact person
Laura Horsmanheimo (conference secretary)
Contact person email address