Happy to say that my article “Forget Populism!” has been published in Global Discourse. In it I challenge the highly misleading argument, widespread among the media, policymakers and (some) academics, that populism as such is a danger to democracy, Europe, the West, the liberal international order, or all of the above. Even a superficial reading of the actual academic research on populism reveals that anti-elitism and a demand to take the people’s will seriously (the most important distinguishing features of populism) can be an expression of both illegitimate demagoguery and legitimate criticism of an actual lack of democracy. As a consequence, populism as such is neither good nor bad, and pretending otherwise is a recipe for bad science and misguided political action. If journalists, policymakers and academics want to contribute instead of hamper efforts to counter dangerous actors like Donald J. Trump, Viktor Orbán or the German Alternative für Deutschland, they need to stop playing down the danger by calling them populist and instead use terms that make clear what they stand for, such as racist, corrupt and/or authoritarian.
I am happy to say that my co-edited volume (with Dirk Nabers and David B. MacDonald) on “Populism and World Politics: Exploring Inter- and Transnational Dimensions” has just been published by Palgrave Macmillan.
This volume is the first to analyze populism’s international dimension: its impact on, and interaction with, foreign policy and international politics. The contributions to this volume engage conceptual theoretical issues and overarching questions such as the still under-specified concept of populism or the importance of leadership and the mass media for populism’s global rise. They zoom in on populism’s effect on both different countries’ foreign policies and core international concerns, including the future of the liberal world order and the chances for international conflict and cooperation more generally.
The volume includes chapters by:
- Jan Zeemann on the possibility of an emancipatory global populist project
- María Esperanza Casullo on the importance of leadership for populist movements
- Precious Chatterje-Doody and Rhys Crilley on global media and populism
- Dirk Nabers and myself on sedimented practices in Donald J. Trump’s election campaign
- Brian Budd on Kellie Leitch’s failed campaign in Canada
- Grant Burrier on the impact of populist presidencies on trade and defense policies in Latin America
- Daniel Wajner on the impact of classical populism, neoliberal and progressive neopopulism on Latin American foreign policies
- David B. MacDonald on the foreign policy of Winston Peters’s New Zealand First party
- Thorsten Wojczewski on Modi’s populist project in India
- Robert Patman on populist challenges to liberal world order
- Shane Markowitz on populism as a socio-material phenomenon in the context of genetically modified organisms
- and Amy Skonieczny on the 2016 US presidential election’s effect on the Trans-Pacific Partnership
The book is available online here: https://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9783030046200 or here: https://rd.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-04621-7
If you do not have access, please feel free to send me an e-mail.