Giving Simple Answers to Growing Complexities: The Attraction of Populism (in English)


Dozent/inProf. Dr. Klaus Segbers
SemesterWintersemester 16/17
RaumGarystr. 55 Hörsaal A

Di 16:00-18:00

Populism can be read as a good thing - what can be bad about movements and parties and individuals that listen carefully to what people want, and magnify it? But populism also can be decoded as a problem - as a strategy to disguise the complexities of problems, and as a suggestion that the intricacies of global structures and policies can be overcome by easy and quick solutions.

The latter interpretation seems to be gaining currency. In the last two or so years, populist movements, no matter if dressed in 'right' or 'left' frames, have gained momentum. Populists are co-running a couple of EU countries. Two out of three of the last standing candidates for the U.S. presidency were unapologetic populists. A referendum in the Netherlands and presidential elections in Austria, both in June 2016, were valuable case studies for analyzing populism.

This seminar will a) try to find a workable definition of populism; b) compare different brands of populism; and c) ask if (and how) we can navigate complexities without taking refuge to populism (or maybe not).

This lecture uses the E-learning platform Blackboard. Please register under: The password will be given during the first lecture. Additionally, please also register under http://www.oei.fu-

Zur Website des Otto-Suhr-Instituts für Politikwissenschaft