CoursesThe Global Rise of the Populist Right
PSCI 4992-303

The Global Rise of the Populist Right

Mondays, 10:15 am-1:14 pm

Beginning roughly a decade ago, parties of the liberal center-left and center-right began to be challenged electorally in liberal democracies around the world. In most cases, this challenge has come from the populist right. In “The Global Rise of the Populist Right,” we will examine this trend in detail, combining collective reading on the phenomenon with individual student projects that delve into detail on the career of the populist right in a specific country (options include the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Hungary, Poland, Turkey, and India).

This is an SNF Paideia-designated course, meaning that students will be encouraged to engage critically but empathetically with the ideas, policy agendas, rhetorical appeals, and electoral strategies of right-populists, with an eye to fostering dialogue across the chasm that often separates the populist right from more mainstream political formations of the liberal center. In some cases, this will be a challenge, since dialogue across difference is a liberal value many of the more strident populists explicitly reject. Yet we will proceed from the assumption that empathetic understanding of and dialogic engagement with the populist right is both possible and important, serving as a necessary (though not sufficient) condition of advancing our politics beyond impasse and mutual suspicion.

The course will be taught as a seminar. Students will be evaluated on their contribution to class discussion, their performance on in-class midterm and final exams, and the quality of a research project and class presentation on the rise of populism in a specific country.

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