Who We Are

The European Center for Populism Studies (ECPS) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, based in Brussels, for research on and analysis of challenges posed by increasing political populism. The international rise of populism can lead to democratic decay and authoritarianism around the world and endangers global peace, security, and stability. ECPS promotes open society by adhering to the principles of liberal democracy, including the rule of law, human rights, pluralism, freedom of speech, gender equality, social and environmental justice, transparency, and accountability.

The global rise of populism can be attributed to the failure of existing post-war multilateral organizations to accurately and fairly address emergent challenges ranging from climate change (and its attendant crisis) to financial shocks, and the expansion of terrorism to various forms of racism and harmful discrimination. These complex global challenges require the supply of usable knowledge for interested parties.

Populist politics and authoritarian tendencies have become increasingly more visible almost everywhere – from the most developed to developing countries. Populism paired with authoritarianism has the potential to undermine even the most established liberal Western democracies in Europe and the USA. Although populist movements, parties, and individuals do not initially self-identify as populist, their populist tendencies subtly pave the way for exclusionary authoritarianism under various ideological and political disguises, and thus, undermine democratic governance.

On the positive side, while the threat posed by populist actors and movements is worrying, institutional and intellectual collaborative actions have also intensified to alert the international community about their dangers. ECPS aims to translate these academic efforts into more accessible formats to a wider range of stakeholders, including intellectual, media, and policy communities. Moreover, as a member of that intellectual endeavor, ECPS also aims to supply a relevant pool of knowledge and discussion platforms to contribute to needed global public goods; to conduct evidence-based research in cooperation with the relevant stakeholders to provide timely alerts for the early diagnosis of populist tendencies challenging democratic governance; and to support open society, the market economy, multilateralism, the rule of law, and liberal democracy.

To these ends, ECPS observes and reports on different manifestations of populism across the world and disseminates research-based knowledge. ECPS sets its research priorities and maintains its impartiality by protecting the individual independence of experts working to address the challenges posed by rising populism.

What We Do

ECPS facilitates collaboration among networks of academic experts, practitioners, policymakers, media, and other stakeholders, ECPS offers a platform for the exchange of policy solutions on issues relating to rising populism and provides insights for policy-making and critical analysis to raise broader awareness and engagement through:

  • Research publications
  • Policy reports
  • White papers
  • Commentaries
  • Interviews with experts
  • Events, seminars, workshops, and conferences

ECPS Board

The ECPS Board is composed of independent experts and public leaders who set the strategic priorities of the Center and oversee the work of the executive team. The ECPS board members are also responsible for protecting the independence of the Center’s work and overseeing the financial performance of the organization. 

Advisory Board

The Advisory Board is a non-binding body composed of experts, practitioners, and academics who provide feedback, insights, and evaluation on ECPS’s research agenda, projects, and activities. The members of the Advisory Board contribute to the development and identification of key research guidelines and priorities. 

Executive Team

ECPS’s executive team is responsible for the operation of the Center and the execution of policies and decisions relating to the day-to-day management of the Center. The members of the managing team organize and implement ECPS’s research program and activities together with the directors of the various research units. 

Editorial Board

The ECPS Editorial Board is composed of academics and experts who oversee and manage content development and the acceptance process for publications. The Editorial Board provides feedback to authors on the quality of research and scholarly articles as well as analysis on a wide range of policy issues. The Editorial Board also makes decisions on ECPS publications. 

Research Programs

ECPS consists of 10 research programs, formed and managed by experts and academicians, and the ECPS Youth. Research programs cover extremism & radicalisation; authoritarianism; leadership & persona studies; foreign policy; economics; human rights; immigration; gender issues; digital populism; and the environment & climate change

Academic Network

ECPS works together with worldwide experts from diverse backgrounds who offer high quality research and analysis on a wide range of the issues mentioned above. 


ECPS offers different kinds of membership to facilitate stakeholder contributions and cultural exchange to the Center. 


ECPS is funded by a number of different sources including membership fees, private donations, and revenue from publications. More information on funding can be found in the Annual Reports and on our webpage.

Annual Reports

ECPS produces an annual report to highlight its activities, operations, financials, and accomplishments as part of its commitment to transparency and accountability.