2023-09-14

The Emotional Life of Populism - German and Israeli Perspectives | a talk with Eva Illouz and Simon Koschut

Photo: Richard Reichel
Photo: Richard Reichel

The question of how the enormous rise of right-wing populists across Europe can be explained is currently on the minds of many people. Sociologist Eva Illouz and political scientist Simon Koschut have been researching the emotional grammar and emotional politics of contemporary societies for years. They deal with the development and promotion of resentment and anti-democratic attitudes from different perspectives.


Illouz's study The Emotional Life of Populism (Suhrkamp, in German Undemokratische Emotionen) published simultaneously in English and German, was praised in the press as an "impressively circumspect and conceptually instructive analysis" (Süddeutsche Zeitung). The sociologist and emotional theorist, who teaches in Paris and at ZU, has become known for her work on love in times of consumerism, capitalism and the internet (Warum Liebe weh tut, 2012; Warum Liebe endet, 2020). In her latest book, she uses the case study of Israel's Netanyahu government to elaborate how populism produces and abuses emotions to legitimise aggressive, authoritarian and nationalist policies through "flawed ideologies". She will talk about her findings and their applicability to other contemporary authoritarian regimes with the holder of the DFG Heisenberg Professorship for International Security Policy at ZU, Prof Dr Simon Koschut, who conducts research with qualitative data and case analyses on the theory and practice of international conflicts and on the role and function of international organisations and co-edits, among other things, the interdisciplinary publication series “Emotionen in Politik und Gesellschaft” (“Emotions in Politics and Society").

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Photos: Richard Reichel
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