PSCI 360
Right-Wing Populism Spring 2022
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 several cases of right-wing populism including France’s National Front, Sweden’s Swedish Democrats, Hungary’s Fidesz and Jobbik, Poland’s Law and Justice Party, as well as Donald Trump and the American alt-right. Finally we will entertain right-wing populism as both a cause and a symptom of a crisis in liberal democracy.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 16
Expected: 16
Class#: 3623
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: two short papers; one long term paper; discussion questions; class participation
Prerequisites: one course in comparative politics or social theory; or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: Political Science majors
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: PSCI Comparative Politics Courses
PSCI International Relations Courses
PSCI Research Courses

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