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The project “Imagining the people in the new politics: debates on the will of the people in public discourse across Europe” aims to explore how the discourses of the new political parties and movements in Europe both project and articulate the concept of “the people” (“demos”). Our investigation will center on the period of instability in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008.

Our main research questions are:

  1. How do the new political groups across Europe define themselves, and how do they construct their claim to represent “the people”?

  2. What do the different political groups, parties and movements have in common, across traditional dividing lines like right-left and north-south? What distinguishes them from each other?

  3. How is “the people” represented in their discourses? Which people do they claim to represent?

  4. How do these political groups understand their own identity in relation to other concepts like citizenship, solidarity, the nation, the welfare state, European integration, democracy or neo-liberalism? How do they understand their relationship to other actors in the public sphere? Who are their “friends” / “allies” and “enemies” / “adversaries”?

  5. How are the activities and practices of “the people” imagined and represented in these groups? How do they configure their identity in terms of multimodality and performance?

Carried out by

Supported by

Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
FFI2015-65252-R (MINECO/FEDER, UE)


'Public Discourse' Research
Institute for Culture and Society
Main Library
University of Navarra 
31009 Pamplona

+34 948 425 600