Keynote (2020 Pippa Template)




Watch this space for the keynote lecture, titled Pandemics, Populists and Skeptical Trust, from Pippa Norris!



PIPPA NORRIS is a comparative political scientist who has taught at Harvard University for a quarter century.  Her research compares public opinion and elections, democratic institutions and cultures, gender politics, and political communications in many countries worldwide.   She is ranked the 6th most cited political scientist worldwide in  Google scholar . Major honors include APSA’s Charles Merriam award, fellowship of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the PSA’s Isaiah Berlin Lifetime Achievement Award, IPSA’s Karl Deutsch award, the 2011 Johan Skytte prize in political science, and the ARC’s 2011 Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellowship, amongst other accolades, book prizes, and honorary doctorates.  A well-known public speaker and prolific author, she has published around fifty books. The most recent include Cultural Backlash: Trump, Brexit and Authoritarian Populism (authored with Inglehart, CUP 2019) and Electoral Integrity in America (coedited, OUP 2019).

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Heather Alberro

I suspect one would see similar patterns in the slow policy response to COVID amongst (often right) populist parties in relation to environmental crises like climate and ecological breakdown! But the takeaway message here is an important one: that populism is a multifaceted phenomenon that doesn’t conform to simple ‘left vs. right’ binaries. Thank you, Pippa!

Nick Kirsop-Taylor

I agree, and wonder how right-wing populist narratives of land, heritage and place intersect with environmental big issues such as climate breakdown or pollution events?

Pippa Norris

This could be tested empirically by looking at populist parties in government and both policy outputs (like new regulations/laws) and policy outcomes.

Even easier, the GPS survey also contains an item placing parties on a 10-pt scale in their position towards environmental protection, so you could look at the interaction between the populist scale and the environmental scale.

Michelle Doyle Wildman

Absolutely fascinating lecture from Harvard University’s Pippa Norris. Thank you. Great to understand Populism being about words rather than deeds or policies and also that its not a purely right-wing phenomenon. Seeing how populist governments slowness to respond quantified was frankly chilling. So how will voters respond in the future?

Pippa Norris

Thanks, Michelle. That is the $64000 question. On the one hand, COVID + the economic recession will increase insecurity and thus may fuel demand for strongman leaders. On the other, the incompetence of several populist leaders, like Trump and Bolsonaro, may mean that they get the blame for all this. Framing responsibility in the media (blame China? Blame the ‘experts?’ Or blame the President?) may well be critical.

Saptadeepa Banerjee

Thank you very much for the presentation. In my country, India, we’ve been under a nation-wide lockdown since March 25. However, lockdown has had serous socio-economic implications in my country given the huge population in the unorganised sector, in particular the migrant labourers who’ve had to bear the brunt of the economic repercussions of lockdown. Sections of Indian society are still finding it hard to cope with the situation as so many are out of jobs. There has definitely been a lack of planning with regard to implementation of lockdown strategies that should’ve been the foremost priority of the government.

Pippa Norris

A comparison of the COVID response across Indian states controlled by different parties would be worthwhile.

Saptadeepa Banerjee

Yes, it indeed would be, as almost all of these parties have engaged in a sort of ‘blame game’ instead of trying to look for real solutions to problems. There are some crucial questions pertaining to the implications of the lockdown, which being extremely important at this juncture needs to be put into effect, but at the same time these implications cannot be overlooked. The issue of the migrant labourers has been a serious one in a densely populated country like India, where a large section of the population lives below poverty line and is engaged in the unorganised sector.… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Saptadeepa Banerjee
Rauf Tunde Sakariyau

Great presentation and I could see lack of protectiveness caused the United States and other Populist societies high level of casualties recorded so far on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pippa Norris


Javaria Sehar

I thoroughly enjoyed this knowledgeable presentation. My paper for this conference also deals with populism in Pakistan.It has definitely added more analytical points to my existing knowledge.

Pippa Norris

You could use the GPS survey for a South Asia party comparison.

David Jofre

Thank you Dr Norris, this has been quite of an interesting presentation. I extend the thanks note to your collaborators. A question that would be worth looking into is why populist party discourse is less frequent in the political area of ‘libertarianism’. It’s almost a commonplace to associate right-wing libertarians with some sort of ultra utilitarianism. I wonder if this is connected with a more efficiency-driven way of approaching political affairs, a mentality that perhaps gives less room to populist rhetoric. What is your take on this? Any line of assumptions where to start from?

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