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Populist Fantasyland

Populist Fantasyland

How Dystopian Security Images Mobilise Voter Support

Key contacts: Dr Alexandra Homolar

Funding: Leverhulme Trust

Start date: 01.02.22

End date: 30.09.23

Project website:

Project overview

Populist politicians have become well-known for their ability to create chilling images of insecurity and crisis. From countries "overrun by migrants" to "economic collapse", populist narratives often tie existential anxieties to concerns about immigration, globalisation, integration, and political correctness. As Dr Homolar’s Leverhulme-funded project will show, a cornerstone of populist security narratives is their conjuring of distorted images of the past, present, and future to manipulate fears and grievances. To understand how such populist dystopian security images motivate political support, it will develop a new account of how populist security rhetoric works at the level of everyday emotional experiences.