Populism, Political Communication and Performative Leadership in International Politics


Book

— PROJECT NAME

Populism, Political Communication and Performative Leadership in International Politics


— ROLE

Co-editor, with Georg Lofflman

and Gustav Meibauer


— DATE

Under review

Who speaks for ‘the people’? Populists across the globe have mobilized this question to attack liberal institutions, political opponents, and the democratic process itself, communicating a political reality in which globalist elites have betrayed the sovereign will of the people.


Populism, Political Communication and Performative Leadership in International Politics edited book examines the intersections of populist ideas, political communication, and the international politics that lie at the centre of this populist revolt against the status quo in global affairs. The authors collected in this volume focus in particular on the use of strategic communication, political rhetoric and media performances by contemporary populist leaders to advance policy agendas that challenge a post-World War II international order defined by liberal internationalism, multilateralism, and institutionalised cooperation. This includes examining the political effects this contestation has on core concepts, mechanisms and dynamics of international politics, including diplomacy, security, great power competition, and international law.


Elections, Rhetoric and American Foreign Policy in the Age of Donald Trump


Special issue

— PROJECT NAME

Elections, Rhetoric and American Foreign Policy in the Age of Donald Trump


— ROLE

Co-editor, with Gustav Meibauer

AND

Author


— DATE

Jan 2021

Elections, Rhetoric and American Foreign Policy in the Age of Donald Trump is a special issue in the journal Politics. In addition to co-editing and co-authoring the introduction to special issue with Gustav Meibauer, I contributed one original article entitled Populism and President Trump’s approach to foreign policy: An analysis of tweets and rally speeches.


This special issue proposes a look at US presidential elections and electoral dynamics past and present to discern causal mechanisms and patterns in electoral behaviour, rhetoric, and administrative policies as they pertain to and influence foreign policy. Importantly, it investigates recent developments in US politics and foreign policy and, ultimately, seeks to situate the 2016 election historically and comparatively. After all, the return of the “Jacksonian spirit” into the mainstream of American politics, the language used in the presidential campaigns and debates, and the actual strategies and policies the Trump administration has so far enacted also evoke similarities to previous elections and policies.

What can be learned from instances of political contestation to inform our understanding of US politics and foreign policy today? What lessons can be drawn for how electoral dynamics, rhetoric, and positions of candidates interact in shaping future US foreign policy?

Crisis, Rhetoric, and Right-wing Populist Incumbency: An analysis of Donald Trump’s tweets and press briefings”


Journal Article

— PROJECT NAME

Crisis, Rhetoric, and Right-wing Populist Incumbency: An analysis of Donald Trump's tweets and press briefings


— ROLE

Co-author, with

Gustav Meibauer


— DATE

Online first

Crisis, Rhetoric, and Right-wing Populist Incumbency: An analysis of Donald Trump's tweets and press briefings is an original article forthcoming in the journal Government and Opposition.


How do right wing-populist incumbents navigate rhetorical strategic choices when they seek to manage external crises? Relevant literature has paid increasing

attention to the role of ‘crisis’ in boosting electoral success of right-wing populist candidates. We know a lot less about the rhetorical strategies used by right-wing populist incumbents seeking re-election. We draw on literatures on populism, incumbency and political rhetoric to conceptualize the rhetorical strategic choices of right-wing populist incumbents in times of crisis. We propose a framework for the choice of rhetorical strategy available to right-wing populist incumbents and illustrate it with a qualitative content analysis of Trump’s tweets and White House press briefings during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic. We find limited rhetorical adaptation to crisis and high degrees of continuity with previous rhetoric grounded in right-wing populism. This challenges prevalent assumptions regarding the likelihood of incumbent rhetorical flexibility in the face of crisis.


Populism and the 2016 American Election: Evidence from Official Press Releases and Twitter


Journal Article

— PROJECT NAME

Populism and the 2016 American Election: Evidence from Official Press Releases and Twitter


— ROLE

Author


— DATE

2018

Populism and the 2016 American Election: Evidence from Official Press Releases and Twitter is an original article published in the journal PS: Political Science & Politics.


In the past year, academics and mass media alike have spoken of populism as a necessary condition for Donald Trump’s success in the 2016 US presidential election. Despite the growing interest in populism for understanding the election, we have yet to provide a systematic analysis of the official campaign discourse and its use of populist rhetoric. To fill this gap, this article proposes an analysis of official campaign statements based on original text data from press releases published from January to June 2016 on campaign websites and tweets published on the official accounts of the three main presi-dential candidates: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump. Data show that the Sanders and Trump campaigns relied on populist discourse to promote two opposing electoral agendas on the left and the right of the political spectrum. Clinton made limited use of populist discourse, mostly in response to the other counter-candidates.