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Michał Krzyżanowski, Ruth Wodak, Hannah Bradby, Mattias Gardell, Aristotle Kallis, Natalia Krzyżanowska, Cas Mudde, and Jens Rydgren. 2023. “Discourses and Practices of the ‘New Normal.’” Journal of Language and Politics 22 (4): 415–37.


This position paper argues for an interdisciplinary agenda relating crises to on-going processes of normalization of anti- and post-democratic action. We call for exploring theoretically and empirically the ‘new normal’ logic introduced into public imagination on the back of various crises, including the recent ‘Refugee Crisis’ in Europe, COVID-19 pandemic, or the still ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. Gathering researchers of populism, extremism, discrimination, and other formats of anti- and post-democratic action, we propose investigating how, why, and under which conditions, discourses and practices underlying normalization processes re-emerge to challenge the liberal democratic order. We argue exploring the multiple variants of ‘the new normal’ related to crises, historically and more recently. We are interested in how and why these open pathways for politics of exclusion, inequality, xenophobia and other patterns of anti- and post-democratic action while deepening polarization and radicalization of society as well as propelling far-right politics and ideologies.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.