Call for Papers

International Conference at Roskilde University: 

Populism and Democratic Defence in Europe

27–28 May 2024

The theme of the conference is how different actors have responded to populist parties in and out of government, and whether these responses have been effective and normatively justifiable. We invite empirical political scientists and political theorists or those who combine the two fields to exchange views on the conference theme.

We expect papers addressing (but not limited to) any of the following questions:

  • What are the different types of responses to populist parties? 
  • Do these responses violate the rights of populist parties, including their candidates, members and voters?
  • Can responses stay within the remits of constitutionally guaranteed rights and powers, and how? 
  • Are there any significant patterns in how different actors respond to populist parties? 
  • Who are the responding actors, e.g. public authorities, political parties, civil society group, and how do they differ in why and how they respond to populist parties? 
  • What is the role of supranational and/or transnational actors, including EU actors? 
  • Have responses been effective and why? 
  • Are responses normatively legitimate or justifiable? On which grounds?
  • Are populist parties (perceived to be) a threat to democracy? 
  • When, if ever, could it be justified for actors to employ non-democratic means to defend democracy? 

Alongside scholars responding to this call, the conference will feature panels that present the results of the research project ‘Populism and Democratic Defence. We are interested in exchanging views and knowledge with other scholars working with the same or related topics and strongly encourage both junior and senior scholars to submit abstracts to the conference.

About the project

The project ‘Populism and Democratic Defence’ is funded by the Carlsberg Foundation. It was selected among 262 projects submitted to a call on ‘Challenges for Europe’. 

The project’s partner institutions are University of Warsaw, University of Wroclaw, Lund University, Roskilde University and Aarhus University and the group furthermore includes scholars currently working at Uppsala University, Versailles University and Durham University. 

It has four PIs and sponsored three post doc projects and three PhD dissertations.

Among its results are two special issues in Comparative European Politics (published) and European Political Science (in process) and an edited book to be published by Palgrave.

About the conference

The conference will take place on 27–28 May 2024 in Roskilde. Roskilde is located conveniently 30 minutes by train from Copenhagen Central Station.

We plan for a mix of presentations by conference participants and by current and former project members. We also plan to invite a few non-academic stakeholders (activists or politicians) for a roundtable discussion.

Funding for this event is generously provided by the Carlsberg Foundation and logistical support by Roskilde University. Participants are expected to cover their own travel and accommodation. Light lunches will be provided by the conference organizers.

Paper proposals

Paper proposals should contain the following:

  • Paper title
  • Abstract (max. 400 words)
  • Author name, academic position, institutional affiliation



Please submit your proposal before 20 March 2024, by e-mail to, with copies to Angela Bourne, Anthoula Malkopoulou and Aleksandra Moroska-Bonkiewicz


  • Tore V. Olsen  Aarhus University
  • Angela Bourne  Roskilde University
  • Anthoula Malkopoulou – Uppsala & Lund University
  • Aleksandra Moroska-Bonkiewicz – University of Wroclaw

Confirmed keynote speakers

  • Nadia Urbinati – Columbia University
  • Petra Guasti – Charles University


If you have any questions, please e-mail Tore V. Olsen:


Submission deadline for paper proposals: 
20 March 2024


Funding for this event is generously provided by the Carlsberg Foundation and logistical support by Roskilde University.