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School of Politics and International Relations

Dr Stijn van Kessel, BSc & MSc (VU Amsterdam), DPhil (Sussex)

Stijn

Reader in European Politics

Email: s.vankessel@qmul.ac.uk
Telephone: 020 7882 2164
Room Number: Arts One, Room 2.31
Twitter: @StijnTvanKessel
Office Hours: Tuesday 3-4pm (online); Thursday 10.00-11.00 (in person)

Profile

Dr Stijn van Kessel is Reader (Associate Professor) in European Politics. He joined Queen Mary in September 2017. Stijn’s main research interests are populism and the politics of European integration, and he has published on the ideology, voters, and electoral performance of populist parties in Europe, with a particular emphasis on the radical right and Euroscepticism. Recent ESRC-funded and collaborative research projects have focused on the membership and organisation of populist radical right parties and the mobilisation of pro-European social movements. More general interests include elections, party competition, party system change in Europe, and related questions of democratic legitimacy.

Previously, Stijn was Lecturer in Politics at Loughborough University (2012-2017). Between October 2013 and September 2015 he was based at the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany, to carry out a postdoctoral research project funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He also held visiting research positions at the University of Leuven in Belgium (2016) and the WZB Berlin Social Science Center in Germany (2019), as well as visiting teaching positions in the Netherlands at the Radboud University Nijmegen and the VU University Amsterdam (2011-2012).

Stijn completed a BSc (2005) and MSc (2006) in Political Science at the VU University Amsterdam, and defended his doctoral dissertation at the University of Sussex in 2011.

Stijn is joint editor of the Routledge Extremism & Democracy book series.

You can follow him on Twitter @StijnTvanKessel

To arrange an advice & feedback hour, please click here.

Teaching

POL312 – Populism: A Global Perspective (Convenor)

POL313 – Populism in 21st Century Europe (Convenor)

POL105 – Political Analysis

 

Research

Research Interests:

Stijn’s main research interests are populism and the politics of European integration. He has published on the ideology, voters, and electoral performance of populist parties in Europe, with a particular emphasis on the radical right and Euroscepticism. Recent ESRC-funded and collaborative research projects have focused on the membership and organisation of populist radical right parties and the mobilisation of pro-European social movements. More general interests include elections, party competition, party system change in Europe, and related questions of democratic legitimacy.

Examples of research funding:

Together with Prof. Daniele Albertazzi (Principal Investigator) and Prof. Scott Lucas, Stijn was awarded an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Research Grant (ES/R011540/1; £727,273) for the project ‘The survival of the mass party: Evaluating activism and participation among populist radical right parties in Europe’. This project commenced in July 2019 and ran until April 2022. Visit the project’s ‘Populism in Action’ website here.

He was also co-investigator in the project ‘28+ perspectives on Brexit: a guide to the multi-stakeholder negotiations’ with Prof. Helen Drake (Principal Investigator), Dr Elena Georgiadou, Dr Borja Garcia Garcia and Dr Nicola Chelotti. The project was funded through an ESRC Brexit Priority Grant (ES/R001847/1; £241,253) and ran from April 2017 until September 2019.

Stijn was previously awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers, supporting two years of research at the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany (between October 2013 and September 2015).

Publications

Stijn’s Google Scholar profile

Monographs

  • A. Fagan and S. van Kessel (2023) The Failure of Remain: anti-Brexit activism in the United Kingdom, Montreal: McGill–Queen's University Press.
  • S. van Kessel (2015) Populist Parties in Europe: Agents of Discontent?, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Special issues (guest-edited) including contributions

  • A Fagan and S. van Kessel (eds.) (2022) Mobilising around Europe: pro and anti-EU politics and activism in an era of populism and nationalism, Special Section, Social Movement Studies, 21 (1-2), 169-253.

Peer-reviewed journal articles

Book chapters

  • S. van Kessel (forthcoming) ‘Populism and Parties’ in Carter, N., D. Keith, G. Sindre and S. Vasilopoulou (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Political Parties, Oxon: Routledge.
  • S. van Kessel (2021) ‘The centre-right in the Netherlands: Normalising the Silent Counter-Revolution’, in T. Bale and C. Rovira Kaltwasser (eds.) Riding the Populist Wave. Europe's Mainstream Right in Crisis, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • S. van Kessel (2021) ‘Right-wing populism in contemporary Dutch politics’, in: F. Decker, B. Henningsen, M. Lewandowsky, P. Adorf (eds.) Aufstand der Außenseiter Die Herausforderung der europäischen Politik durch den neuen Populismus, Baden-Baden: Nomos.
  • S. van Kessel (2020) ‘Character Attacks by Dutch Populist Radical Right Leader Geert Wilders’, in: S. Samoilenko, M. Icks, J. Keohane, and E. Shiraev (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Character Assassination and Reputation Management, Oxon: Routledge.
  • K. Abts, T. Kochuyt and S. van Kessel (2019) ‘Populism in Belgium: the mobilization of the body anti-politic’, in: K. Hawkins et al. (eds.) The Ideational Approach to Populism. Concept, Theory, and Analysis, Oxon: Routledge.
  • S. van Kessel (2016) ‘Using faith to exclude: The role of religion in Dutch populism’, in: N. Marzouki, D. McDonnell and O. Roy (eds.) Saving the People: How Populists Hijack Religion, Oxford University Press (USA) / Hurst (UK), 61-77.
  • S. van Kessel (2016) ‘Like a Hurricane? The ‘winds of populism’ in contemporary Europe’, in: M. Morlok, T. Poguntke and G. Zons (eds.) Etablierungschancen neuer Parteien, Schriften zum Parteienrecht und zur Parteienforschung, Band 51, Baden-Baden: Nomos,145-162.
  • S. van Kessel (2016) ‘No one-trick ponies: the multifaceted appeal of the populist radical right’, in: M. Fielitz and L. Laloire (eds.) Trouble on the Far Right. Contemporary Right-Wing Strategies and Practices in Europe, Bielefeld: Transcript, 37-42.
  • S. van Kessel (2015) ‘Dutch Populism during the Crisis’, in: H. Kriesi and T. Pappas (eds.) Populism in the Shadow of the Great Recession, Colchester: ECPR Press, 109-124.
  • Abts, K. and S. van Kessel (2015) ‘Populism’, in: J. Wright (ed.) International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, Vol 18. Oxford: Elsevier, 609–612.
  • S. van Kessel (2015) ‘Right-wing populism in contemporary Dutch politics’, in: F. Decker, B. Henningsen and K. Jakobsen (eds.) Rechtspopulismus und Rechtsextremismus in Europa. Die Herausforderung der Zivilgesellschaft durch alte Ideologien und neue Medien, Baden-Baden: Nomos, 205-216.
  • T. Bale, D. Hough and S. van Kessel (2012) ‘In or out of proportion? Labour and social democratic parties’ responses to the radical right’, in: J. Rydgren (ed.) Class Politics and the Radical Right, Oxon: Routledge, 91-106.
  • S. van Kessel (2011) ‘Two of a kind or kind of incompatible? Populist parties in the Dutch and Polish party systems’, in: J. Gijsenbergh, S. Hollander, T. Houwen and W. de Jong (eds.) Creative Crises of Democracy, Brussels: P.I.E. Peter Lang, 381-400.
  • S. van Kessel and A. Krouwel (2011) ‘Van vergankelijke radicale dissidenten tot kwelgeesten van de gevestigde orde. Nieuwe politieke partijen in Nederland en de toekomst van de representative democratie’, in: R. Andeweg and J. Thomassen (eds.) Democratie Doorgelicht, het functioneren van de Nederlandse democratie, Leiden: Leiden University Press, 301-317.

Database

  • M. Rooduijn, S. van Kessel, C. Froio, A. Pirro, S. De Lange, S. Halikiopoulou, P. Lewis, C. Mudde and P. Taggart (2019) ‘The PopuList: An Overview of Populist, Far Right, Far Left and Eurosceptic Parties in Europe’, http://www.popu-list.org.

 

 

Supervision

Stijn currently supervises three PhD students:

Salomé Ietter (with Prof. Lasse Thomassen). ‘Populist versus liberal democracy? Anti-populist discourses in the UK and France and their implications for democratic dialogue’.

Ziyi Huang (with Prof. Maria Grasso). ‘Friends or Foes? Understanding European far right party-movement relations during the anti-Islamic turn’.

Freddie Larden (with Prof. Lasse Thomassen) ‘Constructing identity through humour in left-wing populism’.

Previously, Stijn supervised until successful completion:

Patricia Rodi (with Prof. Adam Fagan). ‘Populist political communication going mainstream? Populism in the discursive and communicative strategies of mainstream political parties in Western Europe’.

Stijn welcomes further applications in the fields of populism, radical right parties and movements, the politics of European integration, and party competition in Europe. 

Public Engagement

Stijn has published commentaries and analyses for outlets including The Conversation, UK in a Changing Europe, LSE EUROPP Blog, Policy Network Observatory, European Policy Institutes Network, Newsweek, Tagesspiegel, and the European Parties Elections and Referendums Network (EPERN). Stijn also contributed to the joint ESRC project’s website ‘Populism in Action’.

He has given interviews for media including BBC radio and television, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Financial Times, and various other European dailies and online platforms. He is also member of Team Populism, contributed to the group’s YouTube channel, and acted as advisor for ‘The new populism’ project of the Guardian.

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