Lone Sorensen



School of Media and Communication, University of Leeds


Lone is Associate Professor of Political Communication at the University of Leeds. She obtained her Ph.D. from the same university in 2018, focusing on a communication approach to populism. Prior to her academic career, Lone worked in publishing and online communication, and managed an eco-hotel and related development projects in the Malawian rainforest.
Her research centers around the complexities of liberal representative democracy, with a focus on populism, political truth-telling, and digital controversies. Lately, she has been focusing on the contemporary tension between liberalism and democracy, specifically exploring how facts about climate change are contested as they travel across online platforms and how such contestation reveals rifts in the relationship between public representatives and citizens. Emphasizing the pivotal role of social media, Lone's work also investigates how politicians utilize these platforms to shape their public image, communicate authenticity, and cultivate legitimacy in novel ways. Presently, Lone leads an AHRC-funded Research, Development, and Engagement Fellowship titled "Mediated Climate Change Politics in the Post-Truth Era", investigating the epistemology and performance of contested digital truth claims in the context of the Net Zero debate in the UK. Lone is the author of the award-winning book "Populist Communication: Ideology, Performance, Mediation" published in 2021.

At THE NEW INSTITUTE, Lone is involved the program Depolarizing Public Debates.


Populist Communication: Ideology, Performance, Mediation, 2021

Handbook of Digital Politics" (edited with Coleman, S.), 2023

"Populist disruption and the fourth age of political communication", in:
European Journal of Communication, 2023

"Disrupting democracy: Democratization conflicts as performative struggles", in: Media, War & Conflict, 2020

"Populist communication in the new media environment: a cross-regional comparative perspective", in: Palgrave Communications, 2018

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