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The project

What is TrUMPo?

TrUMPo, acronym which stands for "Tracking the uses of populism in media and political discourse", is a research project at UCLouvain. Funded by an ARC (Action de Recherche Concertée) grant from Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles for the period 2020-2025, TrUMPo is  based on three key concepts: democracy, populism, discourse.

The objective of this project is to grasp the polysemous notion of populism, and in particular its use in political and media discourse, because the way in which it is defined, how it is used, and how it circulates, refers to different visions of democracy. In order to understand how the notion of populism is constructed and contributes to democratic imaginaries, this project aims to understand in which contexts and situations this notion is used, the meaning it conveys in discursive practices, and how it circulates in public debate, in three countries: Belgium, Spain, and France. Therefore, we are studying this subject from a triple perspective: political science, communication and linguistics.

Genesis of the project

The history of the TrUMPo project begins long before its official start in October 2020.


The starting point probably dates back to September 2012 with the academic commitments, at the same time but in three different disciplines, of Barbara De Cock, Sandrine Roginsky, and Min Reuchamps. The first two joined the Institute for Language and Communication (ILC) and quickly combined their expertise to develop a series of research studies on the analysis of political discourse, in particular on Twitter. Within the ILC, they meet Philippe Hambye, whose work in sociolinguistics and sociology of language focuses on the discourse and interactions of political actors.


Taking into account their common interests, the three colleagues of the ICL and the political scientist Min Reuchamps multiply their exchanges, as well as being regularly found in a train compartment which serves as their office. In addition to the same mode of locomotion, these four researchers share the desire to participate in an interdisciplinary approach to political discourses and their circulation.


Various collaborations will gradually pave the way for the development of the TrUMPo project and these certainly explain the original approach that this project intends to implement and to test.

Chaîne de mains

Do you want to know more about the creators of this website? We introduce you our team.

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