ABSTRACT This article critically reviews key interdisciplinary research on populism, focusing specifically on its various conceptualisations and the debates occurring within scholarship on its complex relationship with communication, democracy, and truth. These issues have been prone to haphazard analysis, with calls for a more nuanced treatment of the democratic implications of populism. The burgeoning interest in populism, inspired by recent populist success in Europe and North America, has increased focus on the communicative dimensions of populism. Despite this, the paradoxical fact remains that although central to the rise and success of populist actors, research on populist communication has been relatively scarce. It is argued here that populism must be studied from an interdisciplinary perspective and research must privilege its affective, communicative, and performative dimensions. Communication research as a result should not be treated as peripheral, but rather core to understanding populism.
Communication Research and Practice