Paradoxes of Populism

Paradoxes of Populism

Troubles of the West and Nationalism's Second Coming

By Ulf Hedetoft

Anthem Series in Citizenship and National Identities

“Paradoxes of Populism” discusses the fantasies, promises and contradictions of populism as also its backgrounds and causes. While demonstrating the many varieties of populism, the book explains its rising popularity and steers the reader through the many myths and misconceptions surrounding it.

Hardback, 216 Pages

ISBN:9781785272141

February 2020

£80.00, $125.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Links

About This Book

“Paradoxes of Populism” argues that populism, far-from-random similarities with ordinary manifestations of nationalism, should be approached not as a venture into the classical structures of nation-states and identities, but as a disruptive and destabilizing consequence of some of the constituent elements of sovereign nation-states becoming eroded and prised apart by contextual global processes and their agents. The book demonstrates that populism, in its many varieties, is riddled with even more paradoxes and inconsistencies than mainstream nationalism itself––confusing causes and appearances, realities and fantasies and turning the world inside out. This book definitively engages with real-world challenges that the age of populism, the Second Coming of Nationalism, poses in liberal democracies states as well as their political and cultural interpretations in the populist fantasia.

The book argues that contrary to its self-image, populism does not represent a return to a peaceful, well-ordered and secure place of identity, progress and belonging, but, first, the introduction of irreconcilable division into the domestic arena; second, the breakdown of trust and civilized communication between governors and governed elites and people; and third, the exposure of the increasing powerlessness of the international order.

“Paradoxes of Populism” is a book about the fantasies, promises and contradictions of populism, as also about its backgrounds and causes in liberal democracies. While demonstrating its many varieties, the book explains populism’s rising popularity and steers the reader through the many myths and misconceptions surrounding it.

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Author Information

Ulf Hedetoft is Professor of international studies, Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen, and Director, Center for the Study of Nationalism.

Series

Anthem Series in Citizenship and National Identities

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. What Is the Problem?; 3. The People and Popular Sovereignty: Back to Basics, and Onward…; 4. The Nationalization of the People; 5. Fantasies and Paradoxes of Populism; 6. Myths and Misconceptions; 7. Sweden––Intransigent Moralities at War in the People’s Home; 8. Catalonia––toward a State Truly Our Own!; 9. Hungary––Righteous Revenge for Historic Humiliations; 10. Brexit––between Despair and Delusion; 11. USA––Normalizing a Superpower by Abnormal Means; 12. Extractions and Perspectives; References; Index.

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