The course studies populism from a conceptual and comparative perspective. Given the highly contested nature of populism, the first weeks will look in depth to different theories of populism, including ideational, strategic and performative understandings of populism. It will then move to explore the cultural and socio-economic conditions of emergence of populism, the relation between populism and democracy and the relations between populism, political systems and popular movements. The last three lectures will seek to apply the conceptual tools presented in the first part of the course to regional and country case studies.