Cut the Bullshit! Communication, Populism and Electoral choice in the new media environment, 20-22 June 2018

The last decade was a remarkable, yet challenging time for established Western democracies. Ten years after a profound and unprecedented global economic crisis we experienced a number of political earthquakes. In recent years, several events—the 2014 Scottish separatist referendum, the 2016 referendum in the United Kingdom on exiting the European Union, the 2016 US Presidential election, a strong populist voice during the French Presidential Election (2017), Geert Wilders’ success in the Netherlands, the close race for presidency in Austria, the rise of the AfD political party in Germany,  the unexpected ballot in the United Kingdom (2017) that left the country without a majority, and the recent populist Catalonian separatist movement in Spain (2017)—have reshaped the political landscape in Western societies, both at the elite and citizen level. These controversial political movements elicit several discussions relevant to scholars of political communication: the importance of responsible and truthful campaigning (‘Brexit’ and ‘Catalexit’), the role of civility and populist rhetoric in elections, the role that traditional media may (or may not) play in creating electoral positions, and returned attention to the potential of the direct communication tools. Yet, it is the social media that stay in the center of the public discussion. It is crucial to understand how the hybrid media environment may possibly alter the traditional and new campaign communication tools employed by the politicians, and how they may potentially influence voters’ choice. The short and long term consequences for democratic societies are also at stake.

This conference aims to bring together researchers and practitioners interested in those three approaches: political communication proposed by the candidates and parties in the recent electoral contests, the reception and possible reaction from the citizens and voters, and third, the consequences that such communication and responses may have on the future of the democratic societies.


Bruce Bimber (University California Santa Barbara)

Call for papers

We encourage Authors to submit papers based on the proposed topics regardless of the geographical area. We are looking for either theoretical papers or papers based on sound methodological work. We welcome quantitative approaches from both traditional approaches (surveys, experiments, content analysis etc.) and more innovative methodologies (social media networks analysis, social scientific computational methods and/or trace data based research).

Authors should submit a short abstract (around 500 words without bibliography), providing information on the theoretical approach, methods used and possible preliminary results.

Download call for papers

Location & organizers

Conference will take place in
Via Rome 11 I-22011 Cadenabbia (Co.) Italy


  • Andrea Römmele (Hertie School of Governance, Germany)
  • Karolina Koc-Michalska (Audencia Business School; CEVIPOF Sciences-Po, France)
  • Homero Gil de Zuniga (University of Vienna, Austria)
  • Daniel Feldhaus (Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Germany)

Important Dates

Conference: 20-22 June 2018


  • 30 November 2017 submission of the abstracts
  • ~20 December 2017 information on acceptance

Send the submission to

Download call for papers

Travel grant sponsored by Political Communication ICA