Théo Aiolfi is a PhD candidate in the Department of Politics and International Studies working in conjunction with the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies of the University of Warwick. He holds an MSc in Global Governance & Ethics from University College London (UCL) as well as a BA in International Relations from the University of Geneva (UNIGE).
Thesis Working Title
“Charting the populist style: Trump, Le Pen and the populist repertoire of nativism”
Théo’s interdisciplinary research is located at the intersection of politics and performance studies. Exploring the concept of political style, how politics is being performatively produced by political actors, his research focuses on the concept of populism. Challenging mainstream understandings of populism that define it as a (thin) ideology or a set of political beliefs, his thesis builds on the work of Laclau and Moffitt to develop an interdisciplinary definition of populism as a political style, an open-ended repertoire of political performances that articulate various conception of ‘the people’. In complement to the specialist literature on populism, Théo borrows the theoretical and methodological tools of performance studies to conduct a performance analysis inspired by Pavis, Taylor and Schechner. Focusing on right-wing populism, his thesis is a comparative case study of the cases of Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen during their presidential campaigns of 2016 and 2017, which examines the complex intersection between populism and nativism.
In addition to populism, performativity and politics as performance, his research interests also include discourse and visual analysis, semiotics, popular culture and theories of International Relations.
Théo’s project is supervised by Shirin Rai (PAIS) and Silvija Jestrovic (Theatre and Performance Studies), and it is funded by a Departmental Scholarship offered by the department of Politics and International Studies.
- 2019-20: Seminar Tutor and Guest Lecturer for Performance Analysis (TH116 – 1st year UG module), Department of Theatre and Performance, University of Warwick.
- 2018-20: Seminar Tutor for World Politics (PO131 – 1st year UG module), Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick
- 2019: Guest Lecturer for Inter-Performance (TH248 - 2nd year UG module), Department of Theatre and Performance, University of Warwick
- 2018-19: Seminar Tutor for Politics, Governance and Corporate Accountability (IB2480), Warwick Business School, University of Warwick
- 2018: Seminar Tutor for Foundations of Political Economy (PO133 – 1st year UG module), Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick