Events Calendar

Monday 19 June 2017 12:00 - 13:30
  • EPS
  • EW

Populist misconceptions
Is anti-elitism an authoritarian reaction by the losers of globalization?


This lecture is given by professor Brian Rathbun of the University of Southern California and tackles an urgent and timely topic, namely support for authoritative leaders in the populist era.



Two common themes have emerged in the wake of “populist” successes, most notably Brexit and election of American President Donald Trump.

First, these successes owe to the mobilization of those whose economic fortunes have personally suffered as a function of increased global competition. Second, this right-wing populism, premised on a nativist sense of national identity, is dangerous for democracy.

Neither has been adequately examined with empirical data.  However, there is reason to doubt both propositions. Pocketbook voting has been consistently found to be weak in advanced industrialized societies. And populism, even of the right-wing variety, sits uneasily with true authoritarian attitudes.

About the speaker

Brian Rathbun is professor of International Relations at the University of Southern California. He has written three solo-authored books, on humanitarian intervention, multilateral institution building, and diplomacy. Currently, his research focuses more on populism, authoritarianism and its drivers. See ful bio on USC


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Main Building, room 2A 36