In November 2023, CAPPE welcomed Doctor Cristiano Gianolla from the University of Coimbra, Portugal presented his recent work about emotions and populism. 

PAPER TITLE: Populism and the Politics of Emotion

The social sciences and humanities have generated copious but fragmented evidence about the relationship that exists between emotions, intergroup identity formation and political behaviour. Why do people support or engage with (populist) political parties? What dynamics exist between provide and demand side of politics that stimulate commitment? It is unclear what processes underlie the entanglement of multiple emotions and social identity, meaning and values in generating political behaviour. In order to propose a theoretical construct able to tackle this issue, this article critically reviews and systematises three theoretical approaches; the Temporal Typology of Feelings (sociology of emotions), Intergroup Emotion Theory (social psychology) and, Affective Intelligence Theory (political psychology), proposing a new theoretical framework defined as ‘Emotion Narrative’ Theory. This interdisciplinary construct is further outlined by a dialogue with the literature on political mythology (political philosophy), in order to dig into the rational-emotional socio-cultural complexity. This article envisages Emotion Narratives theoretical foundation with a focus on populism because it proves to master emotion management, polarising the intergroup identity formation and impacting on political behaviour. This theoretical contribution promises to facilitate the conceptualisation of research hypotheses and methodologies to design and implement empirical studies and draw theoretical reflections.

SPEAKER DETAILS: Cristiano Gianolla is a researcher at the Centre for Social Studies (CES) of the University of Coimbra (UC), where he integrates research thematic line on Democracy, Justice and Human Rights. Cristiano is the Principal Investigator of the UNPOP project (FCT, 2021-2024) WP leader of PROTEMO (HEU, 2024-2026) and CO3 (HEU, 2024-2027) projects. He is a co-founding and co-coordinating member of the “Inter-Thematic group on Migrations” and co-coordinates the research programme “Epistemologies of the South” at CES. He is coordinating editor of Alice News, editor of e-cadernos scientific journal. Cristiano co-coordinates the PhD course “Democratic Theories and Institutions” and the MA course “Critical Intercultural Dialogue” at the Faculty of Economics of the UC, where he also teaches on the PhD course “State, Democracy and Legal Pluralism”. His main research interests are: democratic theory, populism, post-colonialism and intercultural dialogue. Currently he focuses on emotions and narratives in democratic processes.

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