Populist nationalism fuses beliefs that citizens are being exploited by a privileged elite with claims that the national culture and interests are under threat from enemies within or without. Ideologically fluid, populist nationalists decry "out-of-touch" institutions such as political parties and the mainstream press while extolling the virtues of the "people." They claim that only populists can truly represent the nation and solve its problems, and often call for unorthodox solutions that appeal to the common people.
The recent spread of populist nationalism throughout the world has triggered a growing interest in the subject, led mainly by journalists. The Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump in the US have provoked a flurry of media coverage in Europe and the Americas, along with parliamentary debates. Some social scientists have sought to explain the resurgence of nationalism and the spread of populism in recent decades, but important questions remain and most of the scholarship has not adequately addressed the fusion of nationalism and populism. It fails to examine the combination of populism and nationalism comparatively, especially the contrast between the more progressive and leftist versions such as those in Latin America, and the more traditional conservative varieties that are gaining strength in Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
This interdisciplinary collection by experts on Europe and the Americas fills this void. The volume examines various experiences with populist nationalism, and offers theoretical tools to assess its future. Some chapters are in-depth country case studies and others take a broader perspective, but all open the door for meaningful comparison.
Fernando López-Alves is Professor of Sociology, and Global and International Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara. He has been a researcher and a visiting faculty in several universities in the United States, Europe, and Latin America. He is the author of seven academic books published by prestigious presses in the United States, England, and Latin America as well as four monographs, and more than fifty academic articles in peer-reviewed journals. He has also published dozens of articles in printed media and worked as a foreign correspondent for several prestigious media outlets. López-Alves has been the recipient of three Fulbright awards, an Endowment for the Humanities Grant, two US Institute of Peace Fellowships, an OAS Grant, two UCLA Distinguished Scholar Awards, a University of London Fellowship, and two University of Salamanca Distinguished Fellow Awards. He also serves as an adviser and researcher for several international organizations and on the boards of several non-profits.
Diane E. Johnson is Professor of Politics at Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania. She has authored a number of book chapters and articles on the mass media and media-state relations, and on interest group politics, mainly in Argentina and Uruguay. She is co-editor with Fernando López-Alves of Globalization and Uncertainty in Latin America (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). Johnson is the social sciences editor for the Middle Atlantic Review of Latin American Studies, and a past president of the Middle Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies. She teaches classes in comparative and US politics.
For many years, populism and nationalism were consigned to the proverbial dustbin of history or taken as idiosyncratic exceptions to an irreversible pattern. The last few years have shown us the error of that judgement. This excellent volume provides not only an analytical framework for understanding these contemporary movements, but also contains a broad comparative and empirical study of how they manifest themselves. Many might wish the book had been published a few years earlier!
Miguel A. Centeno, Musgrave Professor of Sociology, Princeton University
With insightful analysis and impressive geographic breadth - combining case studies from Europe, Eastern Europe, North America and Latin America - Lopez-Alves and Johnson's book offers an original, compelling take on one of the most pressing geopolitical developments of our time.
Cynthia Miller-Idriss, Professor of Education and Sociology, American University
Despite widespread agreement on the "elective affinities" between populism and nationalism, very few works so far have addressed the nature of this relationship. This void is particularly striking considering the contemporary importance of populist nationalisms. This volume constitutes an ambitious attempt to fill this gap by advancing an innovating theoretical framework on the relationships between populism and nationalism and by including a rich collection of studies of populist nationalisms in Europe and the Americas.
Ivan Llamazares, Professor of Political Science, Universidad de Salamanca