After the “Summer Of Migration”: Right-Wing Populism, Media and Affects

After the “Summer Of Migration”: Right-Wing Populism, Media and Affects

You are cordially invited to participate in an international conference After the “Summer Of Migration”: Right-Wing Populism, Media and Affects organized by the Peace Institute (Slovenia) and University of Vienna (Austria), 16–17 September 2021, Ljubljana (online or hybrid).


The conference focuses on the nexus between political parties, media, and right-wing populism since the so-called 2015 summer of migration in Europe with an affect perspective. The historical background is the erosion of party democracy and the rise of populist democracy. Classical political leadership is declining, giving centrality to personalisation and mediatisation of politics, and above all, populist leaders who exploit social media as new opportunity structures that are becoming a substitute for political debate. On the upswing are right-wing populist actors who aim at mobilising against the elite and internal and external others. The growing number of refugees fleeing to European countries along the Balkan route from war-torn and economically devastated zones fuelled the populist upsurge across Europe, as refugees were increasingly regarded as dangerous, culturally deviant, and a threat to the national security and the welfare system. The COVID-19 period has appeared as yet another crisis that deepened social inequalities and accelerated the invisibility of minorities.

The conference intends to debate the populist production of politics of fear and securitisation, which addresses the emotions and affects of people and converts fear of economic and social decline into anger against migrants. The dynamic interplay between political strategies and media practices—the media-political parallelism—is of central concern, i.e. how the policy frames of the political field and the media are distributed and become common sense. The focus is also to understand how affective populist appeals shape public opinion on migration and how they mobilise people’s political and voting preferences.
This conference is the final event of the Slovenian-Austrian research project POP-MED.

We welcome papers addressing one or several of the issues mentioned above. We wish to attract a diverse range of participants from a variety of countries and backgrounds. There is no fee for attending and participating at the conference. The conference language is English.

Proposals for papers should include the author’s/authors’ name(s), institutional affiliation, email address, together with a paper title, abstract of 300–500 words and a short biographical information. Proposals should be sent by 7 June 2021 to Mojca Frelih:
Notification of acceptance by 25 June 2021.


  • prof. Zizi Papacharissi, University of Illinois Chicago, Department of Communication
  • prof. Lance Bennett, University of Washington, Center for Communication & Civic Engagement


  • Mojca Pajnik, Associate Professor of Media and Communications at the University of Ljubljana and Researcher at The Peace Institute, Ljubljana;
  • Birgit Sauer, Professor of Political Science at University of Vienna;
  • Iztok Šori, PhD in Sociology, Researcher and Director of the Peace Institute;
  • Otto Penz, Sociologist at the University of Vienna;
  • Mojca Frelih, MA in Sociology, researcher at the Peace Institute.