Populism: In History and Theory

New School for Social Research: Politics

Liberal Arts

Graduate Course

Degree Students (with Restrictions)

Populism: In History & Theory

Spring 2021

Taught By: Andrew Arato

Section: A

CRN: 8885

Credits: 3

In the most general sense populism, critical claim-making on behalf of the norm of popular sovereignty, is as old as liberal or representative democracy. It is fueled by what has been rightly called the democracy deficits of existing political regimes. Yet the consequences of populist politics have been not only anti liberal, but repeatedly, if not invariably, authoritarian and anti-democratic. Populism has existed in the form of intellectual critique, movements, governments and, more controversially, regimes. Each phase has had a different relationship to democratic norms, representative as well as participatory. The course will first attempt to define populism, using the method of the “immanent critique” of its best theoretical representatives, e.g. Ernesto Laclau. We will examine the relationship of each component of the definition to democratic norms. Next, we will go on to compare the earliest historical cases, notably the Russian Narodnichestvo, American populisms, East European agrarian populisms, and Argentine Peronism. We will consider the types of “host ideologies” that could serve populist protest and government, specifically nationalism, socialism and participatory democracy, and examine the differences between left and right populisms. Concurrently with the 14 sessions of regular classes, we will have several outside lectures by scholars expert in the subject, who will help reconstruct either contemporary country cases, or examine and critique recent important theoretical and comparative assessments. Each student in the course will be responsible for a developed paper either on a case, or on a scholarly reconstruction.

College: New School for Social Research (GF)

Department: Politics (GPOL)

Campus: Online (DL)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 9

Add/Drop Deadline: February 8, 2021 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 13, 2021 (Tuesday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 12:56am 7/1/2021 EDT

Meeting Info:

Days: Wednesday

Times: 12:00pm - 1:50pm

Building: Online Course

Date Range: 1/20/2021 - 5/5/2021