PSCI 360
Right-Wing Populism Fall 2024
Division II

Class Details

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the political scientist Francis Fukuyama famously declared “the end of history”. From now on only liberal democracy, free market capitalism, and global integration had a future. Everything else — including political ideology, nationalism, conservative religion, and sovereignty — was consigned to the ash heap. Thirty years later the future looks seriously derailed. A right-wing populism marked by Brexit, Trump, Le Pen, and a host of ‘far-right’ political movements in the very heartland of democratic globalizing capitalism has shaken liberal certainties. This course is an investigation into contemporary right-wing populism in Europe and North America in its social, economic, and political context. We will discuss theories of right-wing populism’s appeal from both left and right perspectives. We will also investigate specific cases of right-wing populism including France’s National Rally and Eric Zemmour, the Netherlands’ Geert Wilders, Sweden’s Sweden Democrats, Hungary’s Fidesz, Poland’s Law and Justice Party, and America’s Trumpism and QAnon. We will also reflect on important electoral tests of right-wing populism in 2024, especially the US presidential election and (perhaps) the UK general election.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 18
Expected: 16
Class#: 1726
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: two short papers; one research proposal; every-class discussion questions; class participation.
Prerequisites: one course in comparative or American politics; or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: Political Science majors
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: PSCI Comparative Politics Courses
PSCI Research Courses

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