Course description

This course is only offered in the Summer Session.

What do Matteo Salvini, Beppe Grillo, Victor Orban, Marine Le Pen, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have in common? The answer is - populism. Populism is a term used to describe parties, movements, and leaders from across the ideological spectrum that try to mobilize ?the people? against a power elite. The rise of populist politics across Europe in recent times has captured a great deal of attention, but the phenomenon has historical and philosophical roots as deep as democracy itself. This course will examine populism from a range of theoretical and historical perspectives. It will explore different definitions of populism, as well as the economic, cultural, and political conditions conducive to its rise. It will also analyze the debates between those who see populism as an authoritarian threat to political pluralism and individual rights, and those who see it as democracy in its highest form. We will study how populism challenges traditional parties and representative institutions, and why it often adopts an exclusionary, ethno-nationalist definition of the people that has destructive consequences for immigrant and minority groups, including Jewish populations in Italy and other part of Europe. Representations of populism in literature and film will be included in course materials, along with works in political theory and comparative politics, newspaper articles, and political communications or advertisements. (CP)

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Previously offered classes

The next offering of this course is undetermined at this time.