For many scholars, populism is a crucial term for defining the political crisis of our time. However, despite the fact that populism has become one of the most actively discussed phenomena in the social sciences and public discourse, at least two main issues still remain subjects of discussion: the conceptualization of right-wing populism and its impact on democracy. The nationalist politics of right-wing populists such as Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen, Alexander Gauland, Victor Orban et al. has received increasing attention, not only from scholars, but also from wider parts of the liberal democratic global community. Norris and Inglehart argue that like-minded political leaders use populist rhetoric to legitimize their authoritarian style and delegitimize liberal democratic practices. Against this background, this seminar is focused on studying the phenomenon of the populist Right and its relation to democracy. Within the framework of this seminar, students will learn various theoretical explanations of populism, consider in detail the relationship of right-wing populism and democracy, including the contradictory relationship of the populist Right and liberal democracy. Towards the end of the course, students will be introduced to the empirical country-specific research on right-wing populism and democracy.

Semester: WT 2022/23