MAPD 2020


Multidisciplinary Approaches to Political Discourse

As we are sure you are aware, all social and academic activities are being affected by the Coronavirus. Like other UK institutions, the University of Liverpool has cancelled all public events for the coming months. As a result we have decided to postpone MAPD to a future date in the summer of 2021. We are still negotiating the details of these new dates and we will of course notify everyone as soon as we have firmer information.

If your abstract has been accepted, in due course we will ask you to confirm your participation in the postponed event. We have asked our finance team to process a refund for those of you who registered and paid for attending the conference. Refunds will apply to conference fees and accommodation if the on-campus accommodation option was chosen.

While we regret having to make the decision to postpone this event, we are sure you understand it’s beyond our control and we look forward to seeing in Liverpool in 2021.

The MAPD organisers

#3: Responding to new challenges

25-26 June 2020

University of Liverpool

Following on from previous “Political Discourse - Multidisciplinary Approaches” conferences in London (2016) and Edinburgh (2018), we are pleased to announce MAPD 2020 (Multidisciplinary Approaches to Political Discourse) will take place in the Department of Communication and Media at the University of Liverpool on 25-26 June 2020.

The global political arena is changing at an unprecedented pace. We see the resurgence of authoritarianism, nativism/nationalism, sovereignism, populism and far-right movements driving major changes across societies against the backdrop of increasing global inequalities, left/right fragmentation, migration. In addition, we witness power plays between well-established and emerging global players resulting in re-militarization and ‘trade wars’. Obvious manifestations of these turbulent times include phenomena such as Brexit; the rise of political actors like Trump, Putin, Bolsonaro, Erdogan, Salvini  and discursive articulations around hate speech, incivility, Islamophobia and Euroscepticism.

At the same time, we see an increase in the mediatisation and (re)articulation of political discourses (both top-down and bottom-up) through the use of technology and digital platforms.  Along with traditional broadcasting and reporting of politicians’ speeches, party political broadcasts, campaign advertisements and government statements, we increasingly experience the political daily in new popular media forms such as Facebook feeds, promotional videos, tweets and online mash ups. These transformations require us to think critically about issues of saturation, manipulation, relations of power, political correctness, interference, influence, counter-discourses, subversion, information bubbles and fake news, to name a few.

The theme for this year’s conference reflects our aim to bring together scholars from a variety of discursive and political approaches to critically examine the challenges we face in such a volatile landscape and the theoretical and analytical responses we can provide. We encourage contributions which explore any aspect of the conference theme of “responding to new challenges”. These may include (but are not limited to):

  • The role of social media and/or popular culture in the production, distribution and consumption of political discourses
  • New theoretical and analytical challenges to the analysis of legitimation processes in discourse
  • The (dis)advantages of present approaches to political discourse (e.g. cognitive, historical, corpus-driven, interpretive policy analysis, cultural political economy, argumentation-based approaches, etc.)
  • Mediatization of discourses of authoritarianism, nativism/nationalism, sovereignism, populism and far-right movements
  • The politics of the environment, the body, etc.
  • (Multimodal) counter-discourses; including the use of social media platforms and new formats such as memes as sites and means of protest, resistance and subversion of hegemonic discourse
  • Metadiscourse about the state of public/political discourse and issues surrounding access/voice
  • Theoretical challenges: How to address issues of saturation, manipulation, relations of power, interference, influence, information bubbles, fake news, and incivility of political discourse
  • Case studies of new social/ political phenomena, top-down/bottom-up political actors and their discursive articulations

Keynote speakers

Prof Kay O’Halloran (University of Liverpool)

Prof Michał Krzyżanowski (Örebro University, Sweden)

  • The conference language is English.
  • We encourage single papers and theme specific panels
  • Papers will be allocated 20 minutes with 10 minutes for questions and discussion
  • Abstracts of 250-300 words (excluding bibliography) of single papers should be sent by email as a Word document attachment to
  • Please include name, affiliation, email address and paper title in the body of the email.
  • Abstracts of panels (500 word maximum) must be submitted by the panel organiser(s) and should include a maximum of six contributions. Each panel paper must follow the criteria of the single papers outlined above.
  • Abstracts will be subject to review by an international scientific committee. 


  • Deadline extended to 11th January 2020: Deadline for submission of panel proposals and individual abstracts
  • 31st January 2020: Notification of panels/papers acceptance. Please note that if a panel is not accepted panel papers will be considered individually

Queries about the conference and abstracts should be sent to the conference organisers, Franco Zappettini and Lyndon Way at

Conference Fees (including lunches and refreshments, but excluding conference dinner):

Full fee: £ 200   - early bird (before 15 April 2020): £ 160

Post graduates: £ 100 – early bird (before 15 April 2020): £80

Single day fee: £ 150 – Post graduate Single Day fee: £60

Conference Dinner: £ 40 

There will be reasonably priced accommodation available on campus

Organising Committee

Ekaterina Balabanova, University of Liverpool, UK

Sam Bennett, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland

Massimiliano Demata, University of Turin, Italy

John Richardson, Sunshine Coast University, Australia

Laura Filardo Llamas, University of Valladolid, Spain

Simona Guerra, University of Leicester, UK

Christopher Hart, University of Lancaster, UK

Darren Kelsey, University of Newcastle, UK

Veronika Koller, University of Lancaster, UK

Michael Kranert, University of Southampton, UK

Marzia Maccaferri, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

Douglas Ponton, University of Catania, Italy

Melani Schroeter, University of Reading, UK

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