course

Recently populist movements have gained prominence in both Europe and the USA, having inflected the political landscapes of these two regions in arguably irreversible ways. There are important differences between so-called right wing and left wing populism; the similarities, however, are equally salient: they both, 1/ appeal to a seamless 'people' as the undivided source of sovereignty; 2/ draw on a friend/enemy political logic; 3/ reject all forms of mediation in favor of the direct communication between authoritarian leaders and their followers. This course explores this emergent populism both empirically and theoretically. Theoretically, the main social theories addressing populism will be reviewed. Empirically, the second part of the course will examine comparatively case studies from Europe, the US, and Latin America. In line with Anthropology, attention will be given to the social practices, subjectivities, political interpellations and cultural forms that characterize authoritarian populism as an inflexion of the democratic imaginary. All along, the question of whether recent populisms are assimilable to classical populism or whether they are a relatively emergent phenomenon corresponding to our highly globalized predicament will be kept in mind.