Populism, social media, and religion

The Dutch PVV (Freedom Party) and the German Pegida (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident) do not easily fit into conceptual categories such as left/right or religious/secular and publish few programmatic texts. How, then, can we better understand these populist movements? In the project “Populism, social media and religion”, researchers attempt to generate better insight into the line of thinking of populist movements by analyzing messages on Twitter and Facebook. More specifically, this project focuses on the role references to Christian and Jewish religions play. How do concepts such as “Judeo-Christian” and “Christian values” play a role in the populist idea of one’s own people? To address these issues, the project has established a collaboration between scholars of religion and new media in the Netherlands and Germany. This project is funded by a KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) Startimpuls grant in relation to the Dutch National Research Agenda. The project is associated with the “Resilient and Meaningful Societies” route in the new research agenda.