Category Archives: populism

Trump at the confluence of populism, chauvinism, and celebrity

Donald Trump says many things. Some are innocuous and banal. Quite a few are inconsistent. And some provide evidence that he belongs in these three categories: A “populist” in the particular sense proposed by Jan-Werner Müller. (I also like to … Continue reading

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Jan-Werner Müller and Rick Valelly at Tisch College

Join Princeton’s Jan-Werner Müller (author, most recently, of What is Populism? which has been translated into more than 20 languages in two years) and Swarthmore’s Rick Valelly (author of The Two Reconstructions: The Struggle for Black Enfranchisement and many other books) for a discussion … Continue reading

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Building Civic Capacity in an Era of Democratic Crisis by Hollie Russon-Gilman and K. Sabeel Rahman

About $3 billion was contributed to influence 2016 federal campaigns. In a new paper entitled “Building Civic Capacity in an Era of Democratic Crisis,” Hollie Russon-Gilman and K. Sabeel Rahman suggest a much better way to spend some of that money. I realize, … Continue reading

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Democrats as technocrats

This web search takes you to a whole stack of good recent writing about the Democratic Party as the technocratic party, with headlines ranging from Twilight of the Technocrats? to The Triumph of the Technocrats. In lieu of a critical review, I’d pose … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 election, populism, revitalizing the left, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

the New Social Movements of the seventies, eighties, and today

(Oxford, OH) By the 1980s, a large literature distinguished the “New Social Movements” from older strands of politics. Jürgen Habermas chose to list the following New Social Movements then active in Germany: “the anti-nuclear and environmental movements,” “the peace movement”; “the … Continue reading

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three views of the Democratic Party when democracy is at risk

View #1: The same two parties have alternated power since 1854 and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Today, the most serious threat to small-d democratic norms and institutions comes from the Trump Administration, and the Democratic opposition is an essential … Continue reading

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hearing the faint music of democracy

Democracy has many inherent flaws. This is just the start of a comprehensive list: Majority tyranny: the many may oppress the few. Free-riding: it doesn’t pay to be informed or active when you can let others engage instead. Propaganda: it works. … Continue reading

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fighting Trump’s populism with pluralist populism

In lieu of a substantive new post here today, I’ll link to an essay of mine on the Oxford University Press blog, “Fighting Trump’s populism with pluralist populism.” It concludes, “We need a dose of populism that neither delivers power to a … Continue reading

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Saturday’s democratic vistas

The ideal of democracy gets weak support today. Republican presidents from T.R. to George W. Bush presented the United States as a champion of democracy. But a current conservative talking point holds that the US is meant to be a republic, not … Continue reading

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responding to the deep story of Trump voters

(Washington, DC) This is Arlie Russell Hochschild’s now-famous “deep story” of Louisiana Tea Party supporters, their “account of life as it feels to them.” It’s become famous because it’s also the “deep story” of at least some Trump voters: You … Continue reading

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