The populist insurgency

Ian Dunt Afua Hirsch Denisa Kostovicova Harriet Sergeant Paul Mason

Great Hall

May 12th, 2017, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Nationalist anti-globalist movements have battered establishment parties across the West. Is this the future, or have we reached 'peak' populism?

The populist uprising seemed to come out of nowhere last year, but a closer look tells us that for a long time vast numbers of people across the US and Europe have felt ignored by political elites and left behind by globalisation. Accompanying these valid grievances are darker undercurrents of chauvinism and xenophobia, with personal prejudice trumping hard facts and empirical evidence: one characteristic of populist insurgencies the world over is that people tend to believe what they want, not what they are told. Is the lack of economic growth and equality to blame for all this, or has there been a historic shift in values? Does nationalism have to mean protectionism and new walls? What chance do peace and democracy have if a dark new order prevails?

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