Self-Introduction

Hi everybody!

My name is Katya, I am currently a DPhil candidate in Politics. Since 2018 I have lived in London.

It’s great to have found this community. I’ve been dreaming about the opportunity to find the place where different people could freely share their ideas and knowledge.

Initially, I studied psychological aspects of new social movements, looking at motivational factors of the participation (attitudes and motives of activists). Today, my thesis applies the logic of populism to explain mass mobilisation in Russia and Western Europe. I consider the role of psychological factors in the spread of populism.

I also teach political communication, so I am very interested in persuasion strategies applied by populists.

I would be very happy to connect with people with similar interests.

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Hello again @Katia, I’m glad you finally made it here :slight_smile: Don’t hesitate to browse conversations on the platform and jump in here and there with a comment, that’s actually the spirit, and there no need to be invited into the discussions,

Did @Jan already introduce you to others here who are part of academia and are helping study populism?
@Maniamana is in Warsaw, @Jirka_Kocian @SZdenek and @jitka.kralova in Prague.
One of our colleagues @Djan helped is hosting this conversation where you might jump in with resources:

On a personal level, may I ask where are you from, how come you moved abroad? My own story is of leaving Romania to live in Belgium is here:

Which kinds of factors do you have in mind? Knowing more about your work will make it easier to connect you with others who are doing things or sharing views !

Hi Katia,
We are doing an ethnographic study, so a different kind of social sciences than psychology. Hi, nevertheless - glad you find ER interesting, there are many more topics here to explore other than our study!

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Thank you so much for the introduction @noemi !

I was born in Moscow. I was quite young when I first moved to another country for family reasons. I have dual citizenship (Russian and French). In some way, I do not feel myself attached to a specific place. I lived in many different societies (China, France, Portugal) before my family settled in the UK. I think it was a great experience for me. To adjust to a new country makes me see the world differently. I also suggest that it may have an impact on the personality. I realised the importance to be open minded and to accept the fact that people would have different perspectives. Perhaps, that is why I turned to the study of politics that is antagonistic, par excellence :slight_smile: .

A little more specific on my work. I try to apply the knowledge that exists in psychology to an actual political situation (which is populism). Specifically, I am interested in the way how people are attracted by this kind of ideas. My research is transdisciplinary because the core ideas were developed within social sciences. Among the underpinnings of populism, I would emphasise the logic of intergroup relationships which is differentiation (I refer here to the division ‘the people’ and ‘the elites’/ ’foreign others’). Now, I am looking for the understanding of the ‘Manichean’ feature of populism which might be expressed through bias of social perception. Speaking about the factors of the spread of populism, it is probably advantageous to consider emotional dimension. For example, I would mention the emotion of ressentiment that has probably amplifying function within mass discontent. I think this emotion reflects the the imbalance between individuals’ expectations and the reality (I refer to Davies’ J-curve hypothesis) and triggers negative perception of ‘others’. I suggest this emotionalization in politics (and populism is an example) should be uncovered and explained, thus, it is essential to maintain exchange and discussion on the topic avoiding exclusionary discourses. Again, I was pleased to discover this platform :slight_smile:

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:slight_smile: I never thought about it that way, but I guess you are right.

With respect to emotionalization in politics, do you consider also the risk of radicalisation?
There was a piece on NPR a while ago about digging deep in the minds of incels and realising that part of the societal disconnect is also the lack of empathy towards people holding such wildly different worldviews: https://www.npr.org/2019/04/11/712276022/the-end-of-empathy

Is there any specific kind of materials or resources you are looking in Edgeryders? Happy to share some more… in particular the POPREBEL Polish case might be more revealing to you - many participants explained how and why they are leaning towards the PiS populists in their country (the posts are in Polish, but running them through google translate might help).