skip to primary navigation skip to content

Isabel Airas, BA MSc

Isabel Airas, BA MSc

PhD student at the Department of Geography and Christ's College

Political Geography: Populism and affect theory



  • 2017 - Present: PhD in Geography, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 2019 - 2020: Business Development Intern (6 months full-time), PolyAI, London, UK
  • 2016 - 2017: MSc in Global Politics (Distinction), University of Durham, UK
  • 2013 - 2016: BA in Geography (First Class, Robin Mills Award), University of Durham, UK


  • ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership Award (2017-2021)
  • Honorary Vice-Chancellor's Award, Cambridge Trust, University of Cambridge (2017-2021)
  • Global Politics Scholarship (2016-2017)
  • Pemberton Scholarship, University College, University of Durham (2016-2016)
  • Robin Mills Award (2016)
  • Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship of Academic Excellence (2015)


My research focuses on the role of affects and emotions in populist politics. My thesis explores support for the Sweden Democrats (SD) during the 2018 General Election and 2019 European Parliamentary Elections. I explore the ways in which we can understand populism through the lens of affect. Specifically, I address the structures of feelings that fuelled support for this movement in the run-up to the 2018 GE, the political technologies that were deployed by the party in order to construct their campaign, and explore how individuals are territorialised into the populist public through their participation in physical and virtual 'infrastructures of resonance'.

In the past I have looked at the 'Corbyn phenomenon' in the UK and Donald Trump's Twitter campaign during the 2016 US Presidential elections.



  • Airas, I. and Truedsson, C. (2020, online first) 'Contesting and envisioning "trygghet": The Sweden Democrats, Social Democrats, and the 2018 Swedish General Election', Area, DOI: 10.1111/area.12689
  • Airas, I. (2019) 'Hotspots: The affective politics of hope and the "Corbyn phenomenon"', Area, 51, pp. 443-450. DOI: 10.1111/area.12476
  • Airas, I. (2017) 'A Neo-Gramscian Analysis of Brexit,' E-International Relations. 30 May. Available from:
  • Airas, I. (2015) 'Den sociala och kulturella integrationen av invandrare. Fem kvinnors erfarenheter av att integreras i den svenskspråkiga Helsingforsregionen,' in: Helander, M. Kan vi stå till tjänst? Integration på svenska i Finland. Svenska Kulturfonden: Helsinki. 106-110.

Conference presentations

  • Airas, I. (2017) 'Populism, Twitter, and Donald Trump's 2016 Presidential Campaign'. Paper presented at the Annual RGS-IBG International Geographers' Conference, London.
  • Airas, I. (2017) 'Donald Trump: The Affective Life of Populist Anti-Establishment and Anti-Globalisation Politics'. Paper presented at the annual Nordic Geographers Meeting, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Airas, I (2017) 'Affective Politics and the "Corbyn Phenomenon"'. 8th April. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Boston, MA.
  • Airas, I (2017) 'Politics of Hope: Affective Politics and the Corbyn Phenomenon'. 4th April. Paper presented at the Political Geography Specialty Group Pre-Conference, Harvard, MA.

External activities

  • Member of the Infrastructural Geographies Research Group
  • Member of SMARK Rowing Club in Helsinki, Finland.