Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Politics, History and International Relations

Department Staff

Stijn Van-Kessel

Stijn van Kessel

Lecturer in Politics
BSc MSc DPhil

Tel: +44(0)1509 222994

Location: Herbert Manzoni Building


Stijn van Kessel joined Loughborough in October 2012. Between October 2013 and September 2015 he carried out a research project at the Institut für Deutsches und Internationales Parteienrecht und Parteienforschung (PRuF) at the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf.  This project was funded through a postdoctoral fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

After having completed a BSc (2005) and MSc (2006, ‘cum laude’) in Political Science at the VU University Amsterdam, Stijn defended his doctoral dissertation at the University of Sussex in November 2011. Subsequently, he has been visiting lecturer at the Radboud University Nijmegen and the VU University Amsterdam.

Since January 2014, Stijn has been one of the convenors of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) Standing Group on Extremism & Democracy (together with Sarah de Lange, Andrea Pirro and Matthijs Rooduijn).


Stijn’s doctoral research focused on the concept of populism and the electoral performance of populist political parties in Europe. These are also the themes of his monograph Populist Parties in Europe: Agents of Discontent? (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). 

Populist Parties in Europe: Agents of Discontent? 150x

‌The book presents the results of a mixed-methods research project, combining a fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) of 31 European countries with three in-depth case studies of the Netherlands, Poland and the United Kingdom. The study includes populist parties of various ideological kinds – thus moving beyond examples of the 'right' – and covers long-established Western European countries as well as post-communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

Stijn’s wider research interests include populist radical right party discourse, party competition and elections, developments in European party systems, and related questions of democratic legitimacy


At Loughborough, Stijn teaches on the module Introduction to Academic Studies, and he convenes the modules Introduction to Democratic Government and Comparative European Politics.   

In Düsseldorf, he convened and taught the MA course Populism in 21st century Europe. Before coming to Loughborough, Stijn supervised BA theses at the VU University Amsterdam and taught at the Radboud University Nijmegen. As an Associate Tutor at Sussex, Stijn has taught on several courses across the fields of comparative politics, research methods and political theory.

Recent publications


Peer-reviewed journal articles

Book chapters

A complete list of publications, as well as Stijn’s CV, can be found on http://lboro.academia.edu/StijnvanKessel

Alternatively view all publications on the central database >>



Contact us

Department of Politics, History and International Relations
Herbert Manzoni Building
Loughborough University
LE11 3TU, UK‌‌

Tel: +44 (0)1509 222983