Informed consent form (last version 28/11/2020)

[Researcher contact details]: MSCA-IF at University of Sussex [Purpose of Study]: Analysis of  intra-party decision-making related to populist issues

This agreement is made in regard to the web survey/internal debate forum which took place on (date):



I, the interviewee, confirm that

  • I have read and understood the Participant Information Sheet.
  • I have had the opportunity to ask any questions about the study and have received satisfactory answers or the additional information I requested.
  • I understand that I may withdraw from the study at any time, and will not be asked for reasons of withdrawal.
  • I understand that this study has been reviewed and approved by the University of Sussex’s Central University Research Ethics Committee.
  • I understand how my interview will be stored, who will have access to my interview, and what will happen to my interview at the end of this study.
  • I understand that the research will be written up as scientific outputs and how personal data from this research will be published and archived.
  • I understand how to raise any concerns or complaints about this study.
  • I understand that sensitive personal data may be collected during this interview. This may include information relating to race or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, physical/mental health, trade union membership, sexual life or criminal activities.
  • I understand that, in this project and all future works using this interview, all personal and sensitive data will be anonymised.
  • I consent to participate in this study and recording, and hereby assign to the researcher all copyright in my contribution for use in all work stemming from this project and future projects.

Please note that you may only participate in this web survey internal debate forum if you are 18 years of age and above.

  • I certify that I am over 18 years of age.

If you agree to participate and have read the terms above, please check the relevant box below to get started.

  • Yes, I agree to take part in the first web survey analysis (WS1)
  • Yes, I agree to take part in the second web survey analysis (WS2)
  • Yes, I agree to take part in the internal debate forum analysis
  • No, I do not wish to take part

Information sheets (last version 28/11/2020)

Please take some time to read this information and ask any further questions if anything is unclear. Contact details can be found at the end of this document.

What is the purpose of the study?

The aim of this research is to investigate the phenomenon of political populism after the Brexit referendum and how intra-party democracy processes can influence the populism impact.

Who is organising and funding this research?

The research for this study is being undertaken by a MSCA-IF fellow at the University of Sussex. This research is funded by the European Commission and has been reviewed and approved by the University of Sussex Research Ethics Committee.

Why have I been asked to participate?

This project aims to interview 500+ members/supporters of political parties.

Do I have to take part?

It is not compulsory to take part in this study and you may ask the researcher questions or ask for more information before deciding whether or not to participate. However, I believe that you have something important to contribute to this study and to further researchers who want to study populism effect, and, as such, I hope that you will contribute. If you agree to take part in this study, you will be asked to sign a consent form. Please note, however, that you are free to withdraw from the study at any time and will not be asked to give any reasons if you do choose to withdraw.

What will taking part in the study involve?

If you agree to take part in this study, you will complete two web surveys (named WS1 and WS2) roughly four months apart  from each other.

Each web survey will likely last between 15 and 20 minutes. You will be able to take breaks throughout the web survey and complete it on multiple occasions. You may also be asked to participate in a follow-up web survey, although participation in this is optional.

After the first web survey, you could be asked to participate also in a debate on a party forum in order to better analyse some issues and understand the general approach to a collective discussion.

All of this is, of course, optional and you may choose which one/s you want to participate in.

Please note that you are free to withdraw from both web surveys and forum debate at any time and will not be asked to give any reasons.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

The aim of this project is to create a database of answers of people whose political experiences reflect the everyday lives related to the populist issues. The everyday lives and experiences of ordinary members are very important in allowing researchers to understand the populism effect, which is the aim of this project. I hope that you will find it rewarding to have your contributions publically recognised and that you will be pleased to be able to add to a significant collection of archived web surveys that will enable researchers to understand more about populism.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

I hope that the experience of taking part in this study will be enjoyable for you. However, there is the possibility that, as with all research, some opinions may be requested. You will at no point be obliged to answer about any topic that makes you uncomfortable.

How will my web survey be used?

The web survey collected in this study will be used alongside other surveys to uncover more about populism. Publications which arise from this project may use quotations from your answer, but in an aggregated way. Once the answers have been deposited at the end of the project, future researchers may also wish to use and quote aggregated answers in their work. In all works produced using your answers, your name and other personal information will be anonymised.

What happens to the web surveys collected during the study?

Answers will be collected in a database by the researcher for the duration of the project. Only the researcher will have access to the answers and personal information.

What happens at the end of the project?

All participants are able to request a summary of the research findings should they wish to by contacting the researcher. The digital online copy of the papers, reports and articles will be published with open access, meaning that it will be available to all internet users.

What should I do if I have any concerns or complaints?

If you have a concern about any aspect of this project, please speak to the researcher who will do her best to answer your query. The researcher should acknowledge your concern within seven  working days and give you an indication of how she intends to deal with it. If you remain unhappy or wish to make a formal complaint, please contact the chair of the Research Ethics Committee at the University of Sussex who will seek to resolve the matter in a reasonably expeditious manner.

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The Call for Papers Document can be found here.


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Selecting the political elites. Causes, challenges and consequences
University of Cagliari, 28-29 November, 2019

Deadline: 15 October 2019

The Call for Papers Document can be found here.


PSA Annual Conference 2020
Edinburgh International Convention Centre, 6-8 April 2020
Deadline: 13 October 2019

The Call for Papers Document can be found here

The European elections and the Italian’s electoral earthquakes

Article from SEI Reports on the European Parliament Elections 2019:

In the early 1990s, Italian democracy underwent a series of important changes in terms of its political system and party system. A number of scandals caused by corruption, as well as judicial investigations, contributed to the decline of the major political parties and to the de-legitimisation of party leaders.

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The proposal includes a creative and rich communication plan for different target groups. There is a very convincing strategy on how to reach wider audiences and how research outputs can be understood by non-specialists. The proposal defines precisely the goals of the communication strategy.

EU Evaluation Summary Report


Populism is currently at its highest ever level in Europe. The big questions now are how and why as there is no one factor to which the spread of populism can be attributed. The EU-funded POSTBREXIT project aims to understand the adaptation of populism in the European context and determine how to counter it. To do this, a pilot study will be conducted in the United Kingdom. Researchers will investigate the phenomenon of populism after the Brexit referendum and analyse how the journalists and politicians addressed these issues. The findings of the UK case study may be expanded into cross-country research. Results will also be used in the analysis of the European Parliament election results. Populism is currently at its highest ever level in Europe.