The Rise of Authoritarian-Populism


Pippa Norris

Monday/Wednesday 11.45-1.00pm

Fall 2018

  • Where: Belfer L1 Weil Town Hall, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government (map)
  • When: Shopping session: Wednesday 4 September 2018
  • First class: Friday 7 September 2018
  • Last class: Monday 3 Dec 2018

Aims and Objectives

The rise of Authoritarian-Populism in recent years has generated new challenges in many affluent societies and long-established democracies, such as the US, UK, Germany, Italy, Greece, and France, as well as destabilizing states worldwide, such as in Venezuela, Brazil, Hungary, Turkey, the Philippines, Thailand, and India.

  • What explains the rise of these forces?
  • What are the consequences?
  • And what can be done to mitigate the risks?

This course analyzes these issues from a comparative perspective, to understand American politics in a global context. The course covers:

(i) The core concepts and meanings of populism and the classification of authoritarian and libertarian forms of populist parties and leaders;

(ii) Explanations focused on the 'demand-side' role of cultural value change, economic grievances, and patterns of immigration, and the 'supply-side' role of electoral rules and party competition;

(iii) The impact on the civic culture, the policy agenda and liberal democracy; and

(iv) Alternative strategic policy responses.

The course is assessed through three papers. There are no prerequisites for taking the class. Materials will be added as the semester progresses via the Canvass course website.