Populism has become a hot-button issue in recent times. The UK's Sunday heavy The Guardian published about 300 articles in 1998 that used the term "populism" or "populist" and by 2016 its use had skyrocketed to over 2,000. And growing. Probably the single greatest catalyst to date that injected populism into the world's Internet common discourse, that infused it into journalism right, left and center and awakened populist political activism was the Great Recession of 2007-08 and the subsequent global deprivations it engendered. In today's world populism promises to remain and renew its intensity due to the COVID-19 pandemic's deleterious effects on most nations' middle and low-income groups, especially minorities.
Like any long-lasting perennial organism, it is sturdy and comes in a variety of forms adaptable to environmental changes. In political or cultural terms its expression has been neither exclusively left, center, nor right. Populism contains multitudes, dates back centuries before it was identified with its modern name.
The 19th and 20th Century populism lost its charm in the post-war world, however, the changing ideologies, beliefs and human conditions in the world have catapulted populism once again into our lives. It is time for populism to be relocated, identified and given refreshed 21st understandings. It has a shifting nature among people, events and causes that constantly demand fresh studies. It is a social and cultural phenomenon both universal and particular. Populism has had an effect not only on politics but also on all other social sciences as its effects are felt across the fields. The current conference mainly seeks to define, debate and update the recurring forms of populism in the 21st century. The experts from the different disciplines will be discussing their reflections on the theme New populism.