CCCP Hosts Communication and Populism Symposium

The Civic Culture and Contention Politics Group, with support from the UW’s Center for European Studies, hosted an international symposium and workshop entitled “Communication, Populism, and the Crisis of Democracy.” The symposium explored how democracies across Europe and the Americas are in crisis due to the rise of populism, spurred by the perceived lack of legitimacy of existing processes and institutions in the eyes of vast numbers of their citizens. Speakers considered how growing polarization and fragmentation in the media ecology, as reflected in partisan media, broadcast content, political advertising and social media, has contributed to ideological and partisan political divides. Speakers included Julia Azari, Lance Bennett, Sheri Berman, Sven Engesser, Frank Esser, Karolina Koc Michalska, Daniel Kreiss, Jorg Matthes, Pippa Norris, Deb Roy, Talia Jomini Stroud, Silvio Waisbord, and of course, UW faculty Kathy Cramer, Lew Friedland, Dhavan Shah, Mike Wagner, and Chris Wells, along with our students Jiyoun Suk, Ceri Hughes, Jordan Foley, Aman Abhishek, and Meredith Metzler. The project work the Wisconsin team presented was recently awarded a UW 2020 research grant for $411,000 to study contentious politics in Wisconsin through the upcoming election cycles.