Quoted: Why Isn't Trump Riding High?

by Thomas Edsall, The New York TimesMay 6, 2020

One surprise with Covid-19 is not what happened but what didn’t happen. Although the pandemic might yet benefit President Trump — through heightened xenophobia, increased acceptance of authoritarian leadership, racial and ethnic schism — the political winds have not, to date, shifted in Trump’s direction. In fact, the opposite is the case. Read more...


Quoted: How the Coronavirus Could Create a New Working Class

by Olga Khazan, The AtlanticApril 15, 2020

ate last month, a photo circulated of delivery drivers crowding around Carbone, a Michelin-starred Greenwich Village restaurant, waiting to pick up $32 rigatoni and bring it to people who were safely ensconced in their apartment. A police officer, attempting to spread out the crowd, reportedly said, “I know you guys are just out here trying to make money. I personally don’t give a shit!” The poor got socially close, it seems, so that the rich could socially distance. Read more...


Op-ed: Mainstream Conservative Parties Paved the Way for Far-Right Nationalism

The Washington Post | Monkey Cage, December 2, 2019

Radical-right political parties such as Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) and Italy’s Lega have become enduring features of the political landscape in established democracies. This has received a lot of attention because these parties often promote anti-immigrant policies and assault the basic norms and rules of democracy. However, they present a real puzzle. Even where support for these parties has been growing, voters’ views have not become more extreme. There is little evidence in most Western countries that people, on average, are becoming more racist, xenophobic or Islamophobic over time. So what is happening? Read more...


Mentioned: The Rising Threat of Digital Nationalism

by Akash Kapur, The Wall Street JournalNovember 1, 2019

Fifty years ago this week, at 10:30 on a warm night at the University of California, Los Angeles, the first email was sent. It was a decidedly local affair. A man sat in front of a teleprinter connected to an early precursor of the internet known as Arpanet and transmitted the message “login” to a colleague in Palo Alto. The system crashed; all that arrived at the Stanford Research Institute, some 350 miles away, was a truncated “lo.” Read more...


Quoted: Will Trump Ever Leave the White House?

by Thomas Edsall, The New York TimesOctober 2, 2019

Since 2015, we have been worrying about how much danger Donald Trump posed to democracy. Now, with the impeachment inquiry moving forward, a new question is rapidly gaining relevance: How and when will President Trump leave the White House? Read more...


Mentioned: There Has Always Been an American Nationalism, No Matter What Chris Cuomo Thinks.

by Raheem Kassam, Human Events, June 19, 2019

CNN’s Chris Cuomo used his diminishing pulpit last night to demand his guest, Steve Cortes, explain “what movement defined itself as nationalism [sic] that was positive and not oppressive to another.”

Cortes – rarely ever on the back foot – responded immediately: “American nationalism”.

He’s correct.

America was founded with nationalism at its core. But it is a mature nationalism, and not one easily conflated with the horrors of blood-focused regimes of the past. Read more...


Quoted: A Woman Signed Alabama’s Abortion Ban into Law. We Need to Talk About That.

by Casey Quinlan, Think ProgressMay 17, 2019

After Georgia and Alabama both approved near-total abortion bans within a week of each other, a chorus of people on social media said the solution was clear: Elect more women.

Some people pointed out that there aren’t many female lawmakers in the states that have passed restrictive abortion bans this year. The Alabama Senate, for example, has just four women. None of them voted for the ban. One of these senators abstained, one senator was out sick, and two senators voted against it.  Read more...


Mentioned: What Do Modi, Trump, Ardern and Trudeau Have in Common? The Power of Populism.

by Richard Heydarian, South China Morning PostApril 30, 2019

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, according to Isaac Newton’s third law of motion. Something very similar is happening to the physics of power in contemporary societies.

What we are witnessing is the emergence of two radically different and equally attractive models of what the great German sociologist Max Weber described as “charismatic” leadership. Read more...


Interview: Bart Bonikowski on Nationalism

by Joseph Cohen, The Annex Sociology PodcastJanuary 31, 2019

This week, The Annex sits down with Bart Bonikowski of Harvard University. Bart discusses his work on nationalism. Also, the Shutdown, Howard Schultz, taxing the rich, Jordan Peterson meets Doug Ford, and the Duke letter to Chinese students. Special guest host Neda Magbouleh from the University of Toronto. Hear more...


Quoted: CASBS Panel Discusses the Rise of Populism in Democracies

by Daniel Yang, The Stanford DailyOctober 25, 2018

On Tuesday, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) hosted “Populist Challenges to Democracy,” its first of three public symposia. Panelists discussed reasons for the growth of populism around the world. In particular, they emphasized the importance of institutional accountability. Read more...


Quoted: Cruz Declines to Embrace Trump's 'Nationalist' Label, Cornyn Accepts it After Houston Rally

by Todd J. Gillman, The Dallas Morning NewsOctober 23, 2018

One of the more jarring comments President Donald Trump made Monday night in Houston came when he proclaimed himself a proud “nationalist.” It’s a term laden with bad connotations -- fascists and warmongers and white supremacists -- but for Trump, apparently, synonymous with an “America First” worldview.

On Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz declined to embrace the label his political benefactor celebrated at the Houston rally that Trump headlined for him, even as Trump critics raised alarms. Read more...


Quoted: Who's Afraid of a White Minority?

by Thomas Edsall, The New York TimesAugust 13, 2018

The question of whether America will become a majority-minority nation — and when that might happen — is intensely disputed, of enormous political import and extraordinarily complex. Two articles that appeared in the opinion section of The Times over the past few years made the case that misleading statistical artifacts used by the Census Bureau have increased the fear of a majority-minority America, a fear that played a crucial role in the 2016 election. Read more...


Research coverage: Professor Brings the Global Populism Lecture Series to a Close

by Justin Richards, The ReviewMay 7, 2018

Despite the sunshine and nice weather last Thursday, many would come not just for the air-conditioning, but to listen to a talk of high national and global importance. Harvard Professor Bart Bonikowski addressed growing concerns of populism, nationalism and authoritarianism in his lecture “Trump, Nationalism and Populism in the US.” Read more...


Research coverage: Nationalism vs. Patriotism

by Yasmeen Aftab Ali, Pakistan TodayFebruary 20, 2018

George Orwell’s famous statement, “nationalism is ‘the worst enemy of peace’ is reflected in many a nation’s policies bringing wars, interventions of direct and indirect nature, and related negative cascading effects globally. Orwell saw nationalism as a feeling of superiority by one nation over another or many others while patriotism for Orwell was admiration for one’s national culture or many ethnicities within making up the whole complimented by different lifestyles and values.” Read more...


Mentioned: The Left Shouldn’t Fear Nationalism. It Should Embrace It.

by Noam Gidron, VoxFebruary 8, 2018

“Forget the nostalgia for 21st-century social democracy,” announced the liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz, channeling the views of Harvard political scientist Yascha Mounk. “Nationalism is here to stay.”

Across the Western world, center-left parties are in trouble: In Germany, Austria, France, and the Netherlands, social democrats have suffered historic electoral defeats. Right-wing populists, meanwhile, have scored a series of victories, including Trump’s election, the vote for Brexit, and the continuing erosion of liberal democratic institutions in Hungary and Poland. Read more...


Research coverage: Strictly Speaking, Populists Do Not Exist

by Damir Marusic, The American InterestJanuary 3, 2018

Given how much has been written about populism during the past two years—and working at this magazine, I can anecdotally say that it’s been quite a lot given the number of submissions we have reviewed—it’s surprising how wooly and imperfectly defined the concept remains. Wooly thinking often leads to bad decisions. Well-meaning people, both in Europe and in the United States, shocked by electoral setbacks to their preferred agendas by upstart politicians and movements, have been struggling to make sense of the current political moment—and have let their panic get the better of them. Read more...


Mentioned: Steve Bannon’s Enemy Isn’t the Republican Party

by Reihan Salam, SlateOctober 12, 2017

Steve Bannon’s plot to remake the Republican Party is bold, ambitious, and doomed to fail. The problem is that he’s chosen the wrong culprit for the GOP’s woes.

Over the coming months, President Trump’s erstwhile chief strategist intends to back primary challengers to those incumbent GOP senators whom he finds to be insufficiently zealous in their commitment to the Trump agenda. According to Bloomberg Politics, Bannon has two main demands of candidates seeking his support: They must commit to booting Mitch McConnell out of his role as Senate majority leader, and they must support killing the filibuster, which has evolved into a de facto requirement that the party in power maintain a supermajority to enact its legislative agenda. Read more...


Mentioned: In an Age of Anger, Nationalism Re-Emerges

by Jamie Dettmer, Voice of America NewsOctober 6, 2017

One hundred years ago, the flamboyant, rabble-rousing Italian poet and playwright Gabriele D'Annunzio marched into the disputed city of Fiume on the Adriatic with 2,000 squadristi and set up a farcical Italian regency, appointing himself Duce.

For 15 months, D'Annunzio rehearsed rituals that later would be imitated to tragic effect by Benito Mussolini — the stiff-armed Roman salute, balcony speeches punctuated by Achilles' war cry from Homer's epic The Iliad, rhetorical dialogues with adoring crowds. The grandiose D'Annunzio electrified his supporters as he practiced politics in the grand style and promoted the idea of an expanded Mother Italy. Read more...


Interview: The Focal Point: White Supremacy

by Christina Pazzanese, The Harvard GazetteAugust 15, 2017

The weekend clashes between white nationalist demonstrators and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Va., that killed a 32-year-old woman and injured others has reignited long-simmering fears that racist hate groups are resurgent nationally and now may feel emboldened to push their goals publicly. Read more...


Mentioned: The 2020 GOP Primary Has Already Begun

by Reihan Salam, SlateJune 13, 2017

If you’re an ambitious Republican, it’s time to start thinking about challenging Donald Trump for the GOP presidential nomination in 2020. If you don’t get going now, you’re doomed to be too late. Unless you’re a celebrity with hundreds of millions of dollars at your disposal, you’ll need to lay the groundwork for your campaign very, very early. Raising the necessary funds will mean assembling the right team, and that will take a lot of wheedling. I say start wheedling now. If you fear embarrassment, by all means be discreet about your intentions. While one can imagine there being a 2020 primary challenger who’s been vociferously opposed to Trump from the get-go, there could also be a candidate who runs against Trump more in sorrow than in anger—say a former Trump loyalist who wants to do right by the president’s base or an earnest conservative who gave Trump the benefit of the doubt for as long as she could before reaching the breaking point. Read more...


Interview: How Populist Movements Emerge and Gather Strength

by Janice Stein, Disrupting the Global Order PodcastApril 24, 2017

The Trump administration, elected on a wave of populism, has moved at rapid fire pace to disrupt the global order. [...] Populism is not a new phenomenon. It has happened repeatedly in history, but what it is and when it happens is still widely debated. Hear more...


Mentioned: Precedents For The New Nationalism

by Kori Schake, Hoover Institution | StrategikaApril 3, 2017

Donald Trump has cultivated comparisons between himself and President Andrew Jackson by hanging the portrait of Jackson in the White House, making pilgrimage to Andrew Jackson’s grave, and pointedly emphasizing that he, like Jackson, "fought to defend forgotten men and women from the arrogant elite of his day." It is a choice distressing to those who associate Jackson with illiberal policies of slavery, Indian removal, and refusing to enforce Supreme Court verdicts. Read more...


Interview: Nationalism's Appeal on Both Sides of the Atlantic

by Warren Olney, To the Point, KCRW / Public Radio InternationalMarch 15, 2017

Nationalism, populism, concerns about immigration and outright racism are part of election campaigns from the US to Europe. We hear how today's election in Holland reflects the recent past and may forecast the future. Hear more...


Quoted: The Political Lexicon of a Billionaire Populist

by Marc Fisher, The Washington PostMarch 9, 2017

From the start of his presidential campaign, Donald Trump pledged “total change,” delivering his promises with a scorched-earth political vocabulary — “Lyin’ Ted,” “Crooked Hillary,” “drain the swamp,” “lock her up.” Some found his language appalling, but others found it refreshing enough to make him president.

Now, in the Oval Office, Trump and his chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, have moved beyond the campaign’s embrace of political incorrectness to shake official Washington with a new vocabulary that breaks from the usual liberal-conservative terms of ­debate. Read more...


Quoted: In Europe, Nationalism Rising

by Christina Pazzanese, The Harvard GazetteFebruary 27, 2017

Over the past 75 years, many Western nations moved steadily toward cooperation and interconnectedness, as their shared economic and political interests converged during this period called globalization. But the political winds are shifting, and there are signs of a new age of populism and nationalism emerging in Europe, a development that eventually could undermine post-war security and unity.

Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election in part by promising to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C., of political elites and to “Make America Great Again,” a broad-brush populist slogan that supported a more isolationist, protectionist, “America First” posture toward the wider world. His campaign rhetoric criticizing some Muslims and Mexicans and his recent efforts to limit immigration and trade have left many analysts wondering whether his presidency could effectively move the country toward a period of ethno-nationalism. Read more...


Quoted: The Rise of the Far Right

by Audrey Sheehy, Harvard Political ReviewFebruary 11, 2017

Over the past year, far right political parties have made major gains in divisive elections throughout the West. Although some of these movements enjoyed victories in previous elections in the 1990s and early 2000s, success of this magnitude across Europe has not occurred since before WWII. Grown from worldwide recessions and refugee crises, nationalism and populism are newly ascendant political forces to be reckoned with. While coverage of right-populist movements has mainly focused on Brexit and the rise of Donald Trump, the far right has been strengthening throughout the West. Read more...


Op-ed: What 4 Types of American Nationalism Can Tell Us about Trump Voters

The Washington Post | Monkey CageFebruary 6, 2017

With Donald Trump in the White House, observers are still asking what in his message resonated with enough voters to put him over the top in the electoral college. Theories include economic anxiety, racial resentment, authoritarianism and much more. As the nation debates the new president’s dramatic initiatives to restrict immigration, here is one more possible explanation: a clash of beliefs about what it means to be a real American. Read more...


Op-ed: The World That Awaits President-Elect Trump: Europe

Epicenter Blog, Harvard Weatherhead Center for International AffairsNovember 22, 2016

The Europe facing the next administration is as unstable as it has been since the end of the Cold War. It is threatened from the outside by increasingly expansionist Russian foreign policy and from within by a political legitimacy crisis and growing opposition to immigration. Both developments have implications for the United States and will present complex strategic challenges for a Trump administration.

The inward-looking Russia is aggressively projecting its power abroad in an effort to regain its status as a key geopolitical player and to distract its citizens from economic stagnation at home. Once he assumes the presidency, Donald Trump will contend with a Russia that has encroached on Ukrainian sovereignty, engaged in military provocations against NATO, and become deeply embroiled in the Syrian conflict. Read more...


Op-ed: For President Trump, the Road Ahead: A Surge in Ethno-Nationalism

The Harvard GazetteNovember 9, 2016

Donald Trump’s defeat of Hillary Clinton, fueled by a large turnout among white rural and exurban voters, marks a victory for the darkest forces in American politics. The United States as a society and a polity had the opportunity to stand against the politics of fear and resentment. It failed to do so.

It is difficult to know what a Trump presidency will bring. At the very least, we are likely to see the Supreme Court shift radically to the right — representing a major threat to the future of civil rights in the United States — and many of President Obama’s hallmark initiatives, including the Affordable Care Act and the Paris Agreement, will be rolled back. But those expectations would be similar for any generic Republican president working with a unified Republican Congress. Read more...


Research coverage: These Are the 3 Types of American Nationalism

by Jesse Singal, New York Magazine, October 18, 2016

Think about your relationship to your home country. It’s probably fairly complicated, right? In all likelihood, there are some things you like about it, some things you think could be better, and so on. Sometimes this complexity gets a bit submerged. In the United States, for example, we’re often presented with caricatures of mindless, flag-waving zealots on the one hand and “anti-American” protesters on the other, but in reality almost everyone is in a vast middle. In reality, there are shades of nationalism (a broad term defined, more or less, as “patriotic feelings”) that are about more than just how big a fan you are of your home country.

This is the subject of a new paper in the American Sociological Review co-authored by sociologists Bart Bonikowski of Harvard and Paul DiMaggio of New York University. And they come to an interesting conclusion: It turns out that — in the United States, at least — there are a few distinct kinds of nationalism, with important differences between them.

Sociologists Bart Bonikowski of Harvard University and Paul DiMaggio of New York University argue that, in terms of their attitudes toward nationalism, Americans are actually divided into four distinct camps, with varying levels of patriotic fervor and distrust of outsiders. Read more...


Research coverage: Donald Trump's Appeal to American Nationalism

by Tom Jacobs, Pacific Standard, October 17, 2016

American nationalism has always been an integral part of Donald Trump’s message. But as the election inches nearer, the Republican presidential candidate has taken to expressing that nationalism in increasingly overt terms. “Hillary Clinton is the vessel for a corrupt global establishment that is raiding our country and surrendering our sovereignty,” he declared last week.

As patriotic appeals go, Trump’s is disturbingly dark and angry — quite far from Clinton’s notion of American exceptionalism, which is based on assimilation and inclusivity. Newly published research offers a compelling analysis of why it resonates with certain segments of society — and strongly turns off others.

Sociologists Bart Bonikowski of Harvard University and Paul DiMaggio of New York University argue that, in terms of their attitudes toward nationalism, Americans are actually divided into four distinct camps, with varying levels of patriotic fervor and distrust of outsiders. Read more...


Op-ed: Background to Brexit: Populism, Nationalism, and the Politics of Resentment

Epicenter Blog, Harvard Weatherhead Center for International AffairsJuly 21, 2016

In the weeks following the UK’s historic referendum on EU membership, pundits have been weighing the implications of the vote for the U.S. presidential election. The more alarmist analyses have claimed that if the unthinkable happened in the United Kingdom, it could also happen in the United States: Donald Trump could ride the wave of populism to the presidency.

These conclusions are largely unfounded. Trump may win, but Brexit tells us little about the probability of that event. The demographic composition of the two countries is vastly different, as are the mechanisms that shape the outcomes of popular referenda and presidential elections. Barring a major economic crisis that originates in Europe and spreads to the US—an unlikely event in the next four months—the two votes should be treated as independent events. Read more...


Op-ed: Un pur produit Américain. (English version)

Le 1 HebdoMay 3, 2016

Donald Trump’s initial successes in the U.S. presidential primary came as a shock to American media commentators, but for those who follow European politics, Trump’s boisterous political style has seemed all too familiar. Like other nationalist populists, from Geert Wilders to Marine Le Pen, Trump combines anti-immigrant rhetoric and foreign policy isolationism with extreme distrust of elites and political institutions; he is also less interested in dismantling the welfare state than his more doctrinaire fellow Republicans. The parallels extend to his supporters: as in Europe, those who favor Trump tend to be white, native-born, working-class men with low levels of education, who feel that their lives have been worsened by globalization, multiculturalism, and the neo-liberal consensus.

So is Trump simply a poorly coiffed version of Le Pen? No, for all the striking similarities, there is something uniquely American about the Trump phenomenon. The vulgarity, the self-professed political ignorance, the reality TV career, the irony of a billionaire railing against the establishment—these features of Trump and Trumpism have attracted the attention of curious and puzzled spectators worldwide. By considering the American particularities of Trump’s campaign, we can learn as much about the current election as about American political culture more broadly. Read more...


Op-ed: Trump and Sanders aren’t blazing new trails. Populism has run through U.S. politics for a very long time.

Washington Post | Monkey CageApril 28, 2016

Populism is hard to ignore in the current primary elections. Donald Trump, the self-described political outsider, is promising to “make America great again” by defending the people against Washington insiders, whom he portrays as self-interested, corrupt and incompetent. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont touts his track record as a longtime advocate of working people, ready to take on Wall Street and a corrupt campaign finance system.

As a result, many pundits proclaim that this election is ushering in a new era of populist politics.

But is populism really uncommon in U.S. presidential discourse? Our analysis of the past 12 presidential elections, presented in a forthcoming Social Forces article, suggests otherwise. Populism appears frequently in presidential campaigns, and it does so in a patterned and predictable way. Read more...


Mentioned: Racial Bias, Even When We Have Good Intentions

by Sendhil Mullainathan, The New York TimesJanuary 3, 2015

The deaths of African-Americans at the hands of the police in Ferguson, Mo., in Cleveland and on Staten Island have reignited a debate about race. Some argue that these events are isolated and that racism is a thing of the past. Others contend that they are merely the tip of the iceberg, highlighting that skin color still has a huge effect on how people are treated. Read more...