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The recent rise of populist parties and movements has attracted a lot of public and scholarly attention. At the University of Amsterdam a considerable body of research has been conducted regarding the nature of populism. This conference, organised by the Faculty of Social & Behavioural Sciences, brings together the rich and diverse expertise from different UvA disciplines and faculties.

Detail Summary
Date 21 October 2017
Time 09:30 - 18:30
Location Roeterseilandcampus - building A

Research has been conducted on the ideological orientation and emotional underpinnings of populism, its support among various sections of the population, its electoral performance and experience in government, as well as on developing forms of resistance against its growing political influence. Researchers will share and discuss scientific insights with colleagues, students, journalists, politicians and a broader public.


  • 09.30-10.00- Coffee and Registration
  • 10.00-10.20 - Welcome by the UvA Rector Magnificus Karen Maex and Dean of the FMG Faculty Hans Brug
  • 10.20-11.20 - Keynote by Katherine Cramer
  • 11.30-13.00 - Panel Round 1
  • 13.00-14.00 - Lunch
  • 14.00-15.20 - Panel Round 2
  • 15.30-16.30 - Keynote by Brigid Laffan 
  • 16.30-17.30 - Round Table with Luiza Bialasiewicz (FGW), Caroline de Gruyter (author and journalist), Joep Leerssen (FGW), Tamar de Waal (political philosopher/legal expert) and Brian Burgoon (AISSR) as chair.
  • 17.30-18.30 - Drinks at De Brug
Katherine Cramer
Katherine Cramer, University of Wisconsin

The Politics of Resentment in the Contemporary United States

Keynote by Katherine Cramer

What is the nature of current right-wing populism in the United States? In this talk, Cramer will draw on her extensive ethnography of rural voters in the Midwestern state of Wisconsin to help illuminate a politics of resentment she has observed in her fieldwork conducted over the past decade. She will explain the intensive and pervasive resentment toward cities and urban residents she has heard while inviting herself into the conversations of 39 groups of people across 27 communities, and explain how this perspective provided fertile ground for the victory of Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, and how it is serving as a lens through which his supporters continue to evaluate his performance. Her keynote is based on her latest book The Politics of Resentment.

About Katherine Cramer

Katherine Cramer is professor in the political science department at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and director of the Morgridge Center for Public Service. She is also an affiliate faculty member in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the LaFollette School of Public Affairs, the Elections Research Center, the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education, the Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies, the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems and the Institute for Research on Poverty. Her work focuses on the way people in the United States make sense of politics and their place in it. The keynote is organised in cooperation with SPUI25.

Brigid Laffan
Brigid Laffan, European University Institute

Populism in and of the European Union

Keynote by Brigid Laffan

Brigid Laffan will begin by taking the emphasis off populism to explore what will be defined as the EU’s ‘politics trap’. She will argue that multi-level governance in the EU has outstripped multi-level politics. Both, the nature of the Union’s policy mix and the dynamic of EU and domestic politics have implications for the interaction and intersection between the dynamic of European integration and populist politics. Turning to populism, Laffn will offer three lenses for addressing that interaction and intersection: 1) the EU as the other to populism and thus a target for populists; 2) the EU as an arena for populists by providing populist parties with ‘windows of opportunity’; and 3) the challenge to core EU values and norms from populist governments. Laffan will end her keynote with a reflection on the impact of populism on the future of the Union.

About Brigid Laffan

Brigid Laffan is director of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies and Director of the Global Governance Programme at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence. She has published widely on European Integration and studies the theme of Populism in relation to the future of the EU. Her latest publications include her co-edited book Core-periphery relations in the European Union: power and conflict in a dualist political economy (2016) and her edited special issue of West European Politics, Europe’s union in crisis: tested and contested (2016).  Also see her recent interview on the French elections. This keynote is organised in cooperation with SPUI25 and ACCESS Europe as part of the 'Visions of Europe' series.


All are invited to attend the conference. Registration for the conference is free, but places are limited. Register through the link below.


There is still place to register for the keynotes, but the panels are fully booked. Send a message to to register for (one of) the keynotes. You can indicate to be placed on a waiting list for the panels.

Organisers and support

The conference is organized by the FMG faculty professors Jan Willem Duyvendak, Reinout Wiers and Jonathan Zeitlin. This conference is organized because of the importance of the topic, but also to celebrate the fact that the Faculty of Social & Behavioural Sciences, the Faculty of Economics & Business and the Faculty of Law have all moved to the Roeterseiland Campus. 

The conference is made possible with the support of the FMG Faculty, the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)ACCESS Europe and the Amsterdam University Press (AUP). AUP will be present with a book stand with books on Populism and related themes.


The conference will take place at the Roeterseiland Campus, Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, University of Amsterdam. The registration desk will be located in the main entrance hall in the A-building (see map below). From there you will be directed to the plenary room in the C-building C 1.03. A print out of the programme, including the panel rooms, will be handed out at the registration desk.

Roeterseilandcampus - building A
Roeterseilandcampus - building A

Room Location: Roeterseiland Campus, A-building (main entrance), Amsterdam

Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
1018 WV Amsterdam