Are we living in a populist moment, or a larger national-populist restructuring of liberal Western democratic order? This session offers a survey of national-populist elements on both sides of the Atlantic in recent years, from the 2016 election of President Trump and the UK’s Brexit debate, to the recent run of elections in Hungary, Poland, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, France, and Austria. How do we properly weigh the influence of racism, concern about self-preservation, and anti-Muslim immigration attitudes among voters, on the one hand, from the effects of increasing de-alignment from existing political parties, shifts in cultural-ethnic demography, perceived economic deprivation, and a growing disconnect from political elites? As these dynamics upend the status quo in Europe and the US, this session invites us to examine the causes and effects directly.
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