Political Psychology is currently planning a special issue of the journal to appear early in 2022.  We are therefore seeking expressions of interest from an editorial team interested in managing a special issue related to Populism, beginning early 2021.  Though populism can be difficult to define, and the label can now be said to be conventional, we hope that by using this term this call will interest a wide variety of scholars and potential contributors. We are encouraging a wide range of submissions from scholars interested in forming an editorial team to manage a special issue on this topic, from which we will select one proposal to go forward.

Special issues topics might include for example what this label says about those using it and what it concedes to those now surging in popularity. Contributions might include the awkward relationship between populism and democracy, populist success and marginalisation by race and gender, the role of inequality, sociopolitical trust and misinformation in driving populism.  Contributions might also usefully draw on historical analysis that previously emphasized supremacy as well as look to the future to inform how best to counter the worst excesses of populism as a political force. These are only informal examples of the kinds of questions that the special issue editorial team might ask.

We are now seeking expressions of interest from teams that are interested in editing this issue.  All special issues submissions are subject to the peer review process overseen by the Editors in Chief. Full papers are normally invited after an open call for abstracts reviewed by the special issue editors with the support of the Editors in Chief, who will offer support for this process (SI Editors may also include one or two paper submissions of their own as part of the SI proposal; these would then be managed by the Editors in Chief). Submissions are managed within the ScholarOne system.

Those interested in collating this issue should submit a short expression of interest to politicalpsychology@ul.ie on or before Jan 20 2021.  Submissions may be from single individuals (though we believe that task may involve too much work for just one person, but an exceptional scholar could still fit the bill) or groups and may related to one area of the study of populism or segmented to include many.

All submissions will be ranked according to the following criteria:

  1. Track record of team and evidence of ability to bring the special issue to completion within the timeframe outlined. For example, we might expect the call for papers early in the new year, a call for abstracts in the March/April and full paper submission by June-August.
  2. A framing that allows inclusion of an understanding of populism that emerges in the Global North and the Global South (i.e. developed and developing countries).
  3. Evidence that the special issue would go beyond existing understanding of populism including the most recent contributions to the field.
  4. Offer evidence that it will connect learnings from political scientists, psychologists, historians, economists so that ecologically valuable lessons can be derived from the issue.
  5. Special issues that are able to point towards practical implications and applications of their scholarship.


Interested editors and editorial team should submit a letter of intent to politicalpsychology@ul.ie  by Jan 20 2021. The letter should include: (1) a tentative title, (2) a description (500 words or less) of the proposed submission, including anticipated authors and researchers that will be targeted for the SI call (theoretical and/or empirical); (3) names and affiliations of all anticipated editors including any previous editorial work; and (4) contact information of the corresponding author, 5) an appendix with brief CVs totalling 5 pages for the editorial team, highlighting their editorial experience. We will notify the outcome of this process in Jan 2021.

You can also find the call online here, and on the Political Psychology home page here.