Starr Forum: The Rise of Populism

Starr Forum: The Rise of Populism


MICHELLE ENGLISH: Greetings. I’m Michelle English,
and, on behalf of the MIT Center for
International Studies, would like to welcome you
to today’s Starr Forum. We’re honored to
have with us today an all-star cast to discuss
the rise of populism. Before we get started, I wanted
to mention an upcoming Starr Forum on November 15th with
Steven Pinker on his latest book, Enlightenment Now– The Case for Reason, Science,
Humanism and Progress. Details for this talk and others
are available on our website, or you can pick up a
flyer at the entrance, and also sign up to get
our email announcements, if you haven’t already. In our typical
fashion, today’s talk will begin with our
speakers, followed by a Q&A with the audience. For those asking
questions, please line up behind the microphones. We ask that you be
considerate of time and others who want to ask a question. And a reminder that this
will be a question and answer session, not a personal
statement session. I’d like to begin by introducing
the moderator for today’s event, Elizabeth Leeds. Dr. Leeds is a senior fellow
at WOLA, a leading research and advocacy organization
advancing human rights in the Americas, where she
focuses on citizen security and human rights in Brazil. She is a leading
expert on police reform and other issues of
citizen security in Brazil, having conducted extensive
research and fieldwork on the topics over
the last four decades. She served as the executive
director of the Center for International Studies and
as a Ford Foundation program officer for governance and civil
society in the foundation’s Brazil office. She is the co-founder
and honorary president of the Brazilian Forum
for Public Safety, which is a leading independent voice
on public safety policies and law enforcement in Brazil. Currently, she serves
as a research affiliate at the Center for
International Studies. Please join me in
welcoming Elizabeth Leeds. [APPLAUSE] ELIZABETH LEEDS: Oops. I didn’t mean to do that. Sorry. Thank you very much
for this invitation to both speak about Brazil
and moderate this panel. Brazil, as you probably
know, had the final round of its presidential
elections on Sunday, and the winner was a man
named Jair Bolsonaro. Had been in the Congress
for almost 25 years. He is a former
military official, and considered something of a
far right-winger evangelical, and is probably best
known to the public by making some pretty
outrageous statements over the past few months
regarding women, blacks, and gays. And he tends to stand
by those statements. So everybody wants to
know, how did this happen? He won by 55% of the
vote in the second round. And I would say that
Brazil’s perfect storm of negative trends started in
the late 200s, which opened up the floodgates for the
ascension of the far right. Some analysts have
said that, in fact, he had won the election before
the election actually happened. His party, the– in Portuguese,
the [PORTUGUESE],, the PSL, is now the second largest
party in Congress, having increased its
seats from five to 52 in this most recent election. So how did all this happen? Brazil’s economic
potential in the 2000s earned it a member of the
group called the BRICS. Led the Economist magazine
in 2009 to have on its cover a now iconic photo claiming
that Brazil takes off. But the economic downturn
and the subsequent stagnation and recession, starting in
around 2013, due in part to the drop in worldwide
petroleum prices– petroleum is one of the engines
of the Brazilian economy– and China’s economic
retrenchment, which caused a drop in Brazilian
exports of soy and iron ore to China, resulting in
recession, unemployment, and a sense of
hopelessness, especially among youth who had
recently graduated. So second reason is
what the Workers Party, which had been in
power for 14 years, what had become famous
for and praised, especially in its first
eight years of governing– those first eight years were
the two administrations of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva,
popularly known as Lula– it became famous for its
redistributive policies, its poverty alleviation
programs through the now famous [PORTUGUESE],, which became
internationally well-known, its push for racial
justice and equality through affirmative action,
its focus on gender equality, attention to LBGT
rights, gay marriage. All of these policies
became fodder for those who were
not benefiting from economic redistribution and
were resentful at the attempts at racial justice. A third reason is the
massive corruption scandal, which was known as
the [PORTUGUESE],, or the car wash scandal,
also internationally known. This occurred on the
Workers Party’s watch, but affected politicians from
all parties and businessmen of 12 different Latin– well, businessmen
and politicians from 12 different Latin
American countries. And this gave it
a further pretext for attacking the Workers
Party, known as the PT, and its redistributive policies. And finally, but no less a
motivating force, the increase in violent crime. With over, in 2017, over 63,000
homicides in the country, multiple prison
rebellions in 2017, and the spread of organized
criminal activity all over the country, these factions
are now in every single state and dominate all the
prisons in the country. So this added to an insecurity
and led people to search for a savior. [INAUDIBLE] So what can we expect from
this new administration? Granted, the
election was Sunday. Bolsonaro does not take
office until January 1. But he’s been very busy
getting his cabinet, getting his ministries
set, and talking about what he wants to do. Now, some of the outrageous
statements he makes in part were to rile up his base. Once we see what the
actual policies were, maybe a different story all together. But the most acute
issues that people are aware of, or afraid of, are
reversals in economic regul– I’m sorry, environmental
regulations, especially in the Amazon. And this is largely to favor
agro-industrial interests. He is planning to join the
environmental and agricultural development ministries,
which clearly present conflicts of interest. And related to
this, he’s planning to reverse many of the
indigenous reserves in order to expand agricultural
activity in mining, thus reducing the amount of
land that indigenous populations have. Second, he’s
planning to, he says, criminalize social movements. So for example, the well-known
MST, or the landless workers– landless movement may
be prosecuted under the anti-terrorism laws
that were promulgated under the regime– excuse me, under
the administration of Dilma Rousseff. Third, he has attempted,
as already has happened, constraining academic
expression labeled as ideological or communist. He’s asked students to
tape lectures of teachers in high schools and
professors in universities to detect objectionable
or ideological speech. The protection of
minority rights, for example affirmative action,
LBGT rights, gay marriage, et cetera, gender
rights is in jeopardy. He has created greater leniency
regarding police violence, in effect giving carte
blanche to police to shoot whom they think is a
criminal without asking first. This is his solution
to violence. This policy of confrontation
is a guiding norm for public safety policy. This is already the
case in many states, but this will just up the ante
for this kind of politics, and is a major factor
in the escalating crime in the country. He’s planning to
backtrack on gun control, reversing a disarmament statute
which has been on the books for a number of years. This is related to
the attempt to reduce the age of criminal
responsibility from 16 to 18, adding to already
overcrowded prisoners, and providing more
effective training for young potential criminals. And finally– and
there are many others, but finally, there is
clearly a heightened presence of the military returning
to civilian life. He’s promised to appoint at
least five military officials as ministers in his cabinet. So this deconstruction of
and the backsliding of rights will probably be
gradual, as is the case in many populist
authoritarian states, but it will be constant. I mean, we’ve only to
see in this country the appointment of the two
most recent Supreme Court justices as an example
of this kind of trend. OK. I don’t have much time
left, but let me just say– and maybe we can talk about
this in the question and answer period– is where the potential
resistance can come for a Bolsonaro administration. It can potentially
come from the media, which has been under attack,
similar to this country. It can come from civil society. Bolsonaro has said
he will attack NGOs, which he sees as enemies. And it also potentially could
come from the judiciary. There is not a big tradition
of litigation in Brazil, but in the wake of
the last few weeks, 250 lawyers have gotten
together and said that they would be willing
to form an organization to defend those whose rights
will have been violated. I just wanted to
quote a sentence from the Levitsky and Ziblatt
book on the death of democracy. “The tragic paradox
of the electoral route to authoritarianism is
that democracy’s assassins use the very institutions
of democracy gradually, subtly, and even
legally to kill it.” So I hope we can talk more
about Brazil in the question and answer period. Now I would like to
introduce, through brief bio sketches, our other speakers. Sana Aiyar will be
speaking on India. Sana is associate professor
of the Class of 1948 Career Development Chair
of History at MIT. She received her PhD
from Harvard in 2009, and held an Andrew Mellon
postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins from 2009-2010. From 2010 to 2013, she was
assistant professor of history at the University of
Wisconsin Madison. And her broad research
and teaching interests lie in the regional and
transnational history of South Asia and
South Asian diasporas, with a particular focus on
colonial and post-colonial politics. Second, we have Aysen
Candas speaking on Turkey. She received her PhD
in 2005 from Columbia in political science, is
an associate professor of political science at Buzici– am I right– University in Istanbul. Her interests are
in democratization and de-democratization process,
constitutionalism, basic rights of women of ethnic, religious,
and sexual minorities in Turkey and Muslim-majority countries. And speaking on the
US, Pippa Norris is the Paul F. McGuire Lecturer
in comparative politics at the Kennedy
School at Harvard. She is an Australian Research
Council laureate fellow, and professor of government
and international relations at the University of Sydney. She is a– excuse
me– comparative political scientist. She focuses on democracy,
public opinion and elections, political communications,
and gender politics. And her topic for this talk
will be focused on work in a forthcoming book, Cultural
Backlash and the 2018 US Elections. Nothing more relevant. She holds a
doctorate in politics from the London
School of Economics. Hello. I would like to thank
the organizers, Professor Thurman in particular,
for this invitation. I’m honored to be here
with such a group. I’ll present what I take to
be the blueprint of populism derived from Turkey’s
experience with it. But similar patterns have been
replicated in Hungary, as well as in Poland, as far
as I’m following it. AYSEN CANDAS: I’ll
highlight four lessons that have significant import
for beginner populists, because I see Turkey as
an advanced populist case. First, desecularization, no
matter on which religion’s theology it is
based, is detrimental for the constitutional order. Second, when movements that rely
on a majority’s identitarian claims monopolize power,
they acquire the ability to reverse the accomplishments
of constitutional democracies, no matter how weak or strong
these accomplishments may be. Third, populism is a
misnomer, unfortunately. Since 2015, when AKP
lost the majority vote, elections are neither
free nor fair. So majoritarianism
is no longer there. Turkey’s experience with
unhinged advanced populism proves populism is
a temporary phase, I’ll argue, a snapshot
within the revolutionary transformation process
of constitutional states into right-leaning
totalitarianism. The only remedy against it
is forging a common front. And four, there are
obviously structural causes of the global wave we seem
to be experiencing today, such as rising inequality
and insecurities. But it’s a mistake to assume
populists are pragmatic. In fact, they are
revolutionaries who are responding to the
shrinking or uncertainty of the economic pie and the
associated crisis of solidarity in the most regressive manner. Populism’s political
proposal consists of a counter-revolution
against the egalitarian liberal democratic source of
political legitimacy to reinstall
statist hierarchies. The ideology of
populists, therefore, must be taken very seriously, as
they do fulfill their campaign promises and they are not
short-termists, but marathon runners. As [INAUDIBLE]
showed imminently, fascism did have an
ideology, no matter how incoherent it may appear
to the rational observers. To grant these
broader conclusions, I’ll try to ask the
following three questions in the case of Turkey. First, what was the
trajectory from populism to right-leaning
totalitarianism in Turkey? Second, what were the
mistakes of the opposition? And third, what are the
structural factors that prepared fertile ground for
recruitment of various groups into the populist movement? First, to give you a
background information about the ethnic composition,
ethnic and religious composition in Turkey,
Turks constitute 80%, Kurds constitute 20%
of the population. Both Turkish and
Kurdish populations are composed of 2/3
Sunni and 1/3 Alevi. All Alevis and 1/3 of
Sunnis are strictly secular. This amounts to half of the
population strictly secular, half of the population pious. Those who want to live under
Islamic theocratic state, according to Pew Research,
which is repeated every year, is always 12%. So 88% consistently demand
to live under secular law. If so, how was it possible
for political Islamists to monopolize power? The short answer
to that question is the fact that the majority
failed to forge a common front. Why couldn’t they do so? Since 1980s, there is
an ongoing kulturkampf, or politicized cultural
divide, on two major fault lines in Turkey. First one, the Kurdish
issue, major demands of which are recognition of
Kurdish identity, some form of regional autonomy,
equal representation, and, first and
foremost, the abolition of 10% national
threshold, national level electoral threshold that was
put into practice in 1983 to prevent Kurdish parties
from entering the parliament. 10% threshold grossly skewed
every election result, so much so that, in
2002, AKP came to power with 34% of the votes,
which translated into 66% of the seats
in the parliament. The electoral threshold that
was designed by the 1980 military coup to keep Kurds out
ironically let Islamists in. Second fault line is the
question of secular republic, or sharia-based monarchy. These two fault lines
also cross-cut one another in the sense that many
Turkish seculars who are, for example, gender
and LGBTQ egalitarian, turn illiberal authoritarians
on the Kurdish issue because they suspect
that granting Kurds cultural
rights and autonomy would lead to the
partition of the country. Similarly, intensely
religious portion of Kurds supported and still
support the Islamist party. Even with tremendously
repressive anti-Kurdish policies in
place, religious Kurds’ primary preference seems
to be Islamization. While the secular state
demanding Kurds and Turks together constitute a
majority, the disagreement over the Kurdish issue branded
Turkish and Kurdish Democrats incapable of
forging a solidarity on secularism-sharia
divide either. So why call the transformation
in Turkey revolutionary, especially given its
authoritarian history and its terrible record of human and
minority rights, and why– this is a very popular
topic nowadays– what is happening today cannot
be equated with the repetition of Kemalism The first reason, the
new regime is Islamist. Kemalist
authoritarianism was also ideologically driven and top
down, but it was secularist. This is an existential
difference, in particular for
[INAUDIBLE],, Alevis, secular Sunnis, secular portions
of non-Muslims, and LGBTQ. Second, the new regime
rejects the three constitutional legal level
norms that the republic institutionalized,
for better or worse. The first one was
equality of men and women. The second one was equality
of Muslim and non-Muslim. And the third one was equality
of the ruler and the ruled. Whether these norms
could get fully realized under the Republican– this
is a separate question, and clearly not. But these were the
permanent norms of the constitutions of the
republic since the 1920s. So from the Republican
perspective, what has taken place is a counter-revolution,
in that sense. The third norm, equality
of the ruler and the ruled, is completely
abolished last summer. From 2002 onwards,
AKP’s success depended on the following methods. It pursued a deliberate
polarization policy, [? rubbed ?] the secularism
issue against the Kurdish issue, gathered religious and
peace negotiation-oriented single-issue Kurd support in
attacking seculars and liberal democratic institutions, and
gathered the secular Turkish nationalist support
in attacking Kurds, [? thematically ?] embedded
its insiders everywhere, skillfully used doubletalk,
promising financial liberalization to financiers,
anti-capitalist economy to the core followers, as well
as to the fringe movements on the left, emphasizing
Turkishness while speaking to nationalist, and
Turkish-Kurdish brotherhood while addressing Kurds,
and mesmerizing in general international and
domestic media, which in turn marketed Erdogan
as a cosmopolitan-minded, moderate Muslim Democrat
deliberately emptied the center by criminalizing the
groups at the center who could communicate with both
sides on a variety of issues, while forging its own
very eclectic cross-class, cross-identity
coalition, and sustaining this coalition through an
eclectic economic policy of some sort of
corporatism that brought neoliberal policies
together with economically populist ones. This meant selective
distribution of incentive and
disincentive mechanisms in the form of rents, tax
immunities, tax liabilities, auditing, as well as immunity
from audits, services, benefits, means-tested cash
transfers, allocation of state contracts, fellowships,
et cetera, all of which involved allocation of a
non-transparent amount of funds based on non-transparent
criteria to various classes and various identities who
were turned into clients of the ruling party. Populist transition
from the expansion phase to the revolutionary
phase was deliberate. Two months before the democratic
Gezi uprising in 2013, AKP’s Istanbul deputy,
[? Aziz ?] [INAUDIBLE],, addressing the members of
a government-affiliated association stated,
quote, “Those who have become our partners
in one way or another will not be our partners
in the coming decade. The future is the period
of reconstruction. Reconstruction period
will not be as they wish. The new Turkey that will be
established, the future that will be created will not
be a future or a period that they would accept.” Unquote. So the blueprint’s
first stage involved building a large
cross-class, cross-identity, cross-ideologic
[INAUDIBLE] coalition. This included the organizers
and informal [? corporate ?] coalition of the very privileged
and the very underprivileged. The core populist movement,
almost all organized interests who had a stake in financial
liberalization on the one hand and democratization
on the other, and the group that
I’ll call the cynics. The coalition
brought ideologically and socioeconomic not
merely dissimilar, but also opposite trends together. Nativist, supremacist
core constituency was there, but also
those who thought AKP would implement EU
reforms and democratize to benefit all sorts of
minorities and women. The core moment was
[INAUDIBLE] emphasized the superiority
of majority sect, and was anti-egalitarian
against religious and political minorities, women, LGBTQ, and
was anti-Semitic, as well. But its mobilization tapped
into the feelings of inferiority and revenge, and emphasized
the loss of Muslims’ privileges through the establishment of
the [? egalitarian ?] republic. The fact that women
with headscarves were not taken into the
universities during 1990s was an evidence of Muslims’
repression under the republic. The group I call the
cynics provided support at critical junctures. It included major
figures of the left, liberal journalists
and academics, as well as leftist fringe movements,
some due to categorical cynicism, some due to
inverted Orientalism or lack of any democratic expectation,
or due to categorical anti-systemic preferences
supported the populace, while the cynics
constituted a tiny minority. Given their dominance
in mainstream media and academia and their
global connections, they had the power to shape
the domestic and global public opinion. So they placed representatives
of the core movement in state institutions, making
the agents of the movement enroll in civil society. AKP gradually captured the
civil society associations from within, criminalized
and closed down the civil society associations
that it could not control. Insiders circulated certain
ideas and disinformation, leading the civil society to
normalize certain omissions. Important sectors
of civil society adopted the movement’s
anti-egalitarian sensibilities that were marked as
cultural sensibilities, attributing ill intentions
to the ruling party and reading its intentions were
rendered politically incorrect. Politically regressive
messages began to be regarded as the
demands of the grassroots, capturing the most prominent
polling agencies that seemed closer to the opposition,
delegitimizing the institutions AKP did not yet control. And the process of
deinstitutionalization took off. The second stage was then– I’m going to go very quickly– was they completely sacked,
or packed the court, constitutional court
was packed in 2010. Third stage, remaining
everything was packed. Fourth stage, 2015 onwards,
creating absolutist unchecked power. What’s happening in that
blueprint, if you zoom out– I’ll leave with this
and one more point– there are four separations
that constitutional democracies accomplish, institutionalize– separation of
religion and state, separation of the spheres
of economy and politics, separation of civil
society and the state, and separation of domestic
policy from foreign policy. All four were reversed. They were [? disseparated ?]
as the result of those stages. And finally, I don’t
have time to go to that– perhaps during the question
session we will address that– but it’s a resurgence of a
sameness-based solidarity against a diversity-based
egalitarian solidarity that is happening. And it’s
redistribution-related, as well. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] PIPPA NORRIS: So thank you all
very much, and good afternoon, MIT. And nice to see you all. And thank you to our organizers. I’m going to give you a little
snippet, because we don’t have a lot of time, about the book
which is going to be coming out fairly shortly, which is
going to hopefully put some of these cases in context. They all have a lot
which is in common. Our book focuses
very much on Europe, it focuses on the United
States, but you can also see strong parallels
with all of the cases and others around the world. So first what I’ll
say is a little bit about how it’s going
to be structured. And let’s work out what we mean
by the concepts of populism and authoritarianism. And these words are
everywhere that you look, but obviously we need to unpack
them somewhat and work out the differences. A little bit of evidence
on Europe, a little bit of evidence on
the United States, and the core conclusions. And this is what
the book looks like. And so what we tried to
do– it’s an enormous book, 500 pages– I’ll give it to you all
in like five minutes, so it’s great value– is go through the theory. And we set out a strong theory
building on Engelhardt’s work for 30 years, but then
expanding it in various ways. And then we look at
the broader evidence across many different countries. 28 different European
countries, and then the cases of Brexit
and the United States. And then we look at how this
translates into parties, and then the consequences. So first, let’s just
get the concepts right. What is populism? And populism, we can see,
is in many different places around the world. We’ve talked about the rise
in many developing countries, but of course it’s
there not just in Trump. Trump, in some ways, was a
follower, rather than a cause. It’s been there in Europe
ever since the 1970s and ’80s. It’s there in many countries
in Eastern Europe, as well. Latin America, of course, has
a strong tradition of populism. And we also know that it’s
there in individual leaders, as well as in parties. And when we think
about what’s happening, we can look at the
changes over time. And this is the average share
of the vote for populist parties across Europe. And you can see that
there were always parties in the 40s, kind
of the leftovers of fascism and neo-Nazi parties, but
they were very much minority. They very rarely got seats. They were marginal,
at the fringe. What happened was,
in the 1980s, when they started to increase their
share of votes and, of course, seats, they gained platforms,
they gained respectability, and increasingly
we can see today they’ve really moved ahead. But again, it’s not a
brand-new phenomena. It’s been around for
many, many years. And therefore, we
need to understand these long-term trends,
as well as the patterns in particular countries. How does it vary across
different countries around the world, and
in Europe in particular? And this shows you the patterns. So before we all say, well,
for example, it’s unemployment, it’s recession, it’s the
impact of the housing crisis and the euro crisis in
Europe, well, yes, it’s there in the Mediterranean,
it’s there in Greece, but it’s also there in some of
the most affluent countries, such as Sweden and Norway,
such as the Netherlands. We can think about
patterns of inequality, and certainly in certain Central
and Eastern European countries, high levels of
inequality have grown, but it’s also there, again, in
some of the most egalitarian societies around the world. It’s there in Anglo,
American democracies, it’s there in
consociational democracies. So our theories and
simple solutions don’t explain it
very effectively. So what is populism? There’s two elements. There are only two. We strip it down to the core. And the first is clearly
anti-establishment. And that’s against anybody who’s
in Congress who’s been around for too long, or in
Parliament, anybody who’s part of the media, the
fake news, anybody who’s part of the establishment in
the judiciary, who is seen as partisan, anybody who’s part
of the old intellectual groups. I’m afraid many
of us in this room are ones who are
going to be attacked. As they said in Britain,
experts who need experts. Secondly, vox pop. If you can’t trust
the old institutions, you can’t trust the
liberal representatives, you can’t trust the established
parties, then who do you trust? And again, in all
the cases, we talked about the role of
corruption and the way in which we can’t
see the old, so we go to the vox pop, the people. Ordinary people. And the people on
the street who are seen to have the legitimate
power, so it’s not necessarily anti-democratic,
it’s anti-liberal democracy. That’s a really important
lesson to learn. And it can be
positive for democracy if the system is corrupt. Of course we should try and
have pop power going back to the people. Who could be against that? Trouble is that what
happens is that it’s often very few mechanisms
of direct democracy, and you allow, therefore,
the strong leader to come in and, again, as
we’ve said in the cases here, who says I’m the people. I can speak for the people,
I can defend the people. Trump, I am the one
who can speak for you. And what you have,
therefore, is often populism which is linked
into authoritarianism. And authoritarianism
is a very loaded word, so let’s be precise. We can talk about
authoritarian regimes, but here what we’re talking
about are authoritarian values. And again, I’ve heard echoes of
that in all the presentations so far. So authoritarian values
have three elements for us. One is security. You’re under threat. You’re at risk by the
other, whoever the other is. And there could be
Muslims, in some cases, there could be Kurds
in others, there could be African-Americans,
or they can be other groups. But whoever the other
is, that’s the threat. Secondly, we have to
have social conformism. Society is changing,
culture is changing. Outsiders are trying to
change my values, our values, society’s values, what
America stands for, what Britain stands for. And those threats,
therefore, are seen as ones which
are particularly problematic for conservatives. And lastly, loyalty. There has to be loyalty
towards the leader, who’s going to protect
the tribe, who’s going to protect the group. So it’s not loyalty necessarily
to everybody in authority, it’s loyalty to
the person who says I’m going to make sure
that we’re going to get rid of the risks and we’re going
to preserve traditional values and we’re going to represent
the ordinary people. So the two things together
are what’s dangerous. And again, you can have
populists who are libertarian. You can think of examples,
like Podemos in Spain, who are very much in favor
of gender equality, who are very much in
favor of LGBT rights and genuine forms
of participation. The danger comes when you
link that populist claim which delegitimizes the
liberal institutions with a strong leader with the
values which is going to run roughshod over basically
pluralism, freedom of speech, minority rights, and all the
other things which are at risk. So not all populists are
authoritarian, by any means, and not all authoritarians
are populists, by any means. Traditional authoritarians
have the barrel of the gun. They have clientelism,
they have corruption, they have a variety
of mechanisms. But the two things
together are very powerful. And that’s what we see,
I think, developing in many, many countries. That’s what we argue
has been taking over in many European countries– Germany, Sweden,
Britain with Brexit– and also in the United
States, and also with Erdogan and with Modi and with
Maduro in Venezuela and with other leaders around
the world who’ve seen this– Duterte in the Philippines– and
who say this is very powerful. So a comprehensive
explanation has to think about the
rules of the game. How do these parties and
leaders come to power? Simple example of
rules of the game, we didn’t have the electoral
college in America, then I wouldn’t be
giving you this talk. We’d have Madam President
in the White House. Demand side is about the
public, and their values and their norms. And you have to
say, why might it be that these
values have revived in some of the
affluent countries, in countries which are modern? And then lastly, you
also have supply. And so obviously,
that’s things like what the parties are doing,
what the leaders are doing. And you have to have
everything in interaction. So institutions
provide opportunities. The demand is where the public
says yes, even though we’ve had a long period,
perhaps, of democracy, we’re dissatisfied
with how it works. And you have to have
leaders and parties who say, I’m going to stand
for you, and really things have gone too far. Now, what is most important
is a matter of interpretation. But basically, there’s
two core explanations. And I’m going to give
you these two theories. And in fact, I won’t give you
too much evidence, because we don’t have any time whatever,
but the two theories are ones which you’ve heard. But let’s think them
through a little bit. On the demand side,
one explanation for why now is economics
and globalization. And we heard that being echoed
again in some of our talks. So it’s a classic explanation. It goes right back to the ’50s
to explain Poujadism in France or to explain
McCarthyism in America. And classics in sociology
use this theory– Seymour Martin Lipset,
for example, Daniel Bell. And it was thought of as
an authoritarian reaction against the forces of modernity. Well, speed up 20,
30, 40 years, and now you still find this
explanation very popular. For example, in my own
school, Dani Rodrik talks about the impact of
globalization on markets and on jobs, and the
unskilled, and those who’ve lost out economically by
the threat of migrants coming over with cheaper labor, by
the threats of manufacturing industry in many parts
of America declining, particularly in
semi-rural areas. Not the rural, but
the semi-rural areas. And therefore, if
this is true, we should find support for
all of these parties is strongest among
certain social groups. We can test this. We can look at some evidence. And particularly, it should
be that the least well-off are supporting these parties. The economically marginalized,
the unskilled workers have been kicked out of jobs. People with long-term
unemployment, people who are welfare
benefit-dependent, who are also feeling a sense
of economic insecurity. You’ve heard that argument. We say, in fact, the
evidence doesn’t really support it very well at all. Here and there, there is some
evidence, particularly feelings of economic insecurity. But if you look at the
objective indicators– for example, who voted for
Trump in the 2016 elections? Who voted GOP in 2018? And if you look
across the exit polls, you can clearly see
it wasn’t actually the poorest groups, the
least well-off, the people under 20,000 K in America. In Europe, it isn’t
the poorest who necessarily voted for
Brexit, despite the cliches. Education matters, but
other things of social class don’t really work
out very strongly. And most of them,
when we test them, the only one that
really survives is economic
insecurities, feelings of economic insecurity. But is that because people
are economically insecure or because they’re
told that they’re economically insecure
by the leaders who want to ramp up the threats? Whether it’s of caravans
about to attack America, or whether it’s about
migrants who are going to come in and take your job. So what’s the other explanation? This is the one which
our book is about. And it’s about to
come out, so you’re about to be able to buy it
very reasonably from Cambridge University Press at a very
good price for paperback. So what we do is we build
on Ron Inglehart’s work. And you’ll all
know, I’m sure, have heard of Ron Inglehart
as the master in terms of political culture. And he argues that,
in the 1960s and ’70s, there was the silent revolution. Remember, that was the idea that
the young people, the students, the educated, the affluent
were changing their values, moving away from material
values to post-material, moving away from
attitudes, for example, of patriotism and nationalism
towards cosmopolitanism, moving away from
ideas of marriage and the family in
the traditional sense towards ideas of flexible
and fluid gender identities, support for LGBT
rights, a wide range of different forms of sexuality,
towards gender equality, towards an idea that
women and men should have interchangeable roles. Well, that’s familiar. So what’s happened? What we’re arguing
in our book is that, essentially, social
liberalism in the ’60s and ’70s was always a minority, and
the younger generation, in particular, and educated were
the ones who were the largest adherents to those values. And that over time,
population change has really increased social
liberalism dramatically. It’s moved from a minority
increasingly towards a majority in the population as a whole. In American society, look,
for example, at the attitudes towards homosexuality. Look towards attitudes
on same-sex marriage. You couldn’t have talked
about that 20 years ago. Now, it’s mainstream. And there are many
other examples of social tolerance expanding. So if that’s true, why on
Earth have we got a Trump? Why do we have this
authoritarian populism? It’s a paradox, right? Not necessarily. So what we’re bringing
in is the idea that all of these
value changes have been coming in, particularly
in urban America, particularly in a Cambridge,
you know, San Francisco, but it has had a
cultural backlash. And by that, what we
mean is a tipping point. Now, a tipping point is
an interesting phenomena. It’s where a minority becomes
a larger group and a majority, and the old cultural majority
loses ground, losing status. The values which they
hold, which they grew up, which they feel are
important are no longer seen in the media,
they’re no longer seen as mainstream
political correctness. You can’t even talk
about racism in the way that you could have
done in the 1950s. Attitudes towards women
have radically changed. So much has changed
in our lives, but as well as the
people who have won, there are those who’ve lost. And for them, ideas of
patriotism, God, nationalism, a sense that America
was once great and now it isn’t, a sense
that around them they don’t understand what the
values are on the coasts or in urban America, for
them they’ve lost out. And it’s not a
myth of losing out, it’s a real loss, because again,
the things which they value– and it’s the older generation,
it’s the white generation, it’s those in semi-rural areas,
it’s the least diverse parts of America– and that’s also
true if we look in Europe, as well, it’s the least
diverse parts of Europe– those groups have tipped
from an old majority increasingly towards a
minority, a growing minority. But here’s the kicker. There are, in the
population, big, big changes, but even though that
group, we argue, has had a generational
tipping point and become a new minority, in
the electorate they still vote. Young people, by
and large, don’t. Now, there was a little bit of
sign yesterday– no, yesterday, when was it– I mean, it seemed
like yesterday– the young people were
being mobilized strongly. We saw, for example,
on gun control there was a really new young
movement, which is vibrant. And young people were turning
out who’d never voted before. But by and large, if you’re at
a tipping point and you’re just changing from a minority to
a majority, or the other way, and particularly when
you’re losing ground, but you can still be just the
majority of the electorate, then you can have
decisive impacts. And exactly the same
was true in Brexit. This was the future of Europe. This was young
people’s opportunities. They stayed home. They stayed in bed. They said, oh, well,
you know, we’re going to be part of the EU. We’ve been there 40 years. Why would we bother to vote? And older people who felt that
Britain was slipping away, who were talking about things
like empire, for goodness sake, in 2018, who have– the whole of BBC, by the way,
is nothing but 1940s Britain, you know, winning
the war, et cetera. I mean, this nostalgia
towards the past is in the grip of those who feel
that somehow Europe is foreign, that the continent
starts over there. The continent starts over there. But others are threatening
them, whether it’s foreigners– and remember, it’s
not pure racism. Britain is a
multicultural society. It has many groups. Bangladeshis, Indians,
and Afro-Caribbeans. And that wasn’t the problem. That was the ’50s and ’60s. The problem is often
white Polish Catholics who’ve come in to work,
or the French who’ve come into London
for financial jobs, or a variety of
different groups who are seen to threaten
traditional British culture. Now, if this is true,
what we’re seeing, what we’re also arguing–
and I’ll sit down then, because I’m afraid
I have to run– is that the old cleavages
in politics were left/right. They were things we
could accommodate. They were things about do
you want more taxes or more spending, do you
want more benefits or do you want a smaller
sector of government. And we can compromise on that. We can talk about
it, we can bargain, we can come out to a solution. Infrastructure, we can
come out to a solution. On these cultural
issues, we can’t. It’s a new cleavage, which is
dividing authoritarians who believe that socially
conservative values have to be reasserted because they’re
under threat and liberals– or libertarians, to be precise– who believe that
these values are ones that need to be moved forward. And because the
authoritarians have mobilized, so now the liberals
are mobilizing equally, and polarizing the
progressive movement in the Democratic
Party, for example. So big, big changes. And those cultural issues
are ones which often it’s very difficult to give ground. And therefore, intolerance
is increasing on both sides. Can you, for example, be
just a little bit sexist? Maybe. Can you be a little bit racist? Maybe. But again, as
certain groups have become emboldened
by the leadership and able to say things that
they wouldn’t have said 20 years ago, perhaps, or
wouldn’t have said in public, or wouldn’t have said in a
broader public sphere, the hate groups, for example, which
have come out the woodwork, and the groups who are now
in Germany who are protesting against migrants, or
the groups who are using hate speech in other
countries, those groups are really expanding. And as a result, the left
and those who are liberal is also becoming
more intolerant, because the center
ground gives way. It’s the kind of TS
Eliot classic thing. So if this is true, we
should be able to find that these votes are strongest
amongst the college-educated, absolutely. Amongst the young, absolutely. Again, look at the New York
Times exit poll for 2018, and the gap between
those who are under 30 and those who are
over 60 in America is the largest it’s ever been. And it’s an enormous gap. There’s always been
something there, but it’s really expanded. And that’s also true,
again, in Europe, and that’s also
true over Brexit. Age and generation
really matters. Class and income no longer
demarcates nearly as clearly as we might have expected. So culture matters. Cultural insecurities
matter, and the ways in which some groups
feel they’ve lost out from these long-term
secular trends of education, urbanization, and growing
patterns of generational change through just demography. So I’m afraid all the older
white men in the audience, I’m sorry, but you know,
changes are coming, but the backlash is
also becoming very, very strong in America, and
in Europe, as well. Now, I really have to
apologize, I just have to rush. I’m going to disappear, so I
can’t answer any questions. My excuse is I’ve got a
meeting in Sydney which I’ve got to go to right– electronic meeting in
Sydney, not [INAUDIBLE].. So– [LAUGHTER] AUDIENCE: You had
us all wondering. PIPPA NORRIS: I know. And I’m organizing the meeting,
so I really have to rush. But really, thank you very
much for the invitation. And I hope that pulls
some of the [INAUDIBLE].. [APPLAUSE] ELIZABETH LEEDS: As
Michelle mentioned earlier, we’re going to have
questions on both aisles. So if you do have a
question, or a brief comment, please line up at
the microphones. And since time is short,
we will start over here with this questioner. AUDIENCE: Hi. So– ELIZABETH LEEDS: Also,
could you identify yourself. AUDIENCE: Oh, I’m Una Hajdari. I’m a fellow at the Center for
International Studies at MIT. I have a question that I
wanted Pippa to stay for, but– so two questions. The first thing is all
of you refer to all this as populism and not
as nationalism, which is kind of the term that– I’m from the Balkans. We call it nationalism
more than populism, rather. But would you want
to talk about that? I mean, the President
of the United States has identified himself
as a nationalist, not a populist necessarily. Others have called him populist. Which one– ELIZABETH LEEDS: Is the mic on? AUDIENCE: It is on. Should I be louder? Hi. What’s the difference between
populism and nationalism is my question. And the second
question would be why do you think nationalism–
or populism, sorry– is different in post-colonial
societies versus sort of Western, developed countries
that haven’t been colonized? Thank you. ELIZABETH LEEDS: Anybody
want to grab that? SANA SANA AIYAR: Or shall we
take some questions perhaps? ELIZABETH LEEDS: We could– all right, we could
take one more question and then combine them. Yeah. AUDIENCE: Hi, I’m [INAUDIBLE]. So I really want to ask how
in the developing world, or say, immature
democracies, how does the military
collaboration help populism, because the recent election
in Pakistan of Imran Khan or recent election in
Brazil of Paul Bolsonaro. I see a very strong
correlation with the military. So what my observation is,
that the military sort of finds a populist puppet government
in weak democracies. So how do you see
the two playing out? How is the military
establishment supporting populism
in these countries? SANA AIYAR: Should
we take [INAUDIBLE]?? AYSEN CANDAS: OK. About nationalism
versus populism, nationalism does not have
to be virulent, I guess, as populism is. Populism is based
on authorization of a particular type of group
within the society, which are in the minority, and it’s
mobilization in a very hostile, virulent manner. Nationalism could be
likened to patriotism. It doesn’t have to be– AUDIENCE: No. Most would disagree,
ma’am, but please go ahead. AYSEN CANDAS: Yeah,
but what I mean is, of course it’s a
virulent type of nationalism. Populism is a particular
type of nationalism that takes authorization
to another level, to an extermination
level, if you will. That’s how I see it. About the post-colonial context
perhaps, I would say something. The military cooperation
question, perhaps in 1950s, 1960s nationalism in Turkey,
1960s populism in Turkey, could have some similarity
to Pakistan’s recent issues. But right now it is a
completely different type of thing in Turkey, what’s
taken place in Turkey. It’s a very
particular situation. The identity of the Army is
also changing from secular to Islamist, so it’s a
civilian populist movement, the one in Turkey. SANA AIYAR: Thank you
for that question. You know, the reason
why I quoted [INAUDIBLE] at length in my opening
and closing remarks is because he really was
a critic of nationalism. And I think in his writing,
and also Gandhi’s writing, there was a sense
looking at Europe that nationalism
does lend itself to this kind of populist
authoritarianism. But nationalism can
both be [? immense. ?] But I think those thinkers
recognize also that nationalism can be emancipatory. After all the rights, freedom,
equality, ultimately seemed– there seemed to be a consensus
from the late 19th century onwards that it’s a nation
state that ultimately is able to give that
individual through citizenship all these things that other
political formations weren’t able to give. But in that, I think there’s
that struggle of defining the nation and that’s where
this definition of nationhood is not something that’s
given, but that’s constructed, that’s historically contingent,
and is always contested, I think is really
important, the ideas, the values that the last
speaker spoke about. Because the other side is
the tyranny of that singular definition of nationalism,
the exclusiveness of it, and I think that really
is the struggle. And so what populist leaders
and movements are able to do is to really deploy these
sentiments, the affective and the effectiveness of
nationhood and nationalism and belonging to these populist
kinds of policies and politics. On the sort of post-colonial
question, which I think speaks to the question
you raised about Pakistan as well. So actually, in Pakistan,
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the first populist, much
like Indira Gandhi, in fact, stands as a sort of
non-military person. And I think, again, there is
that sort of sense of democracy and a certain kind of
democratic nationalism lending itself to populism. Not all populists
are bad, right? It’s that combination,
that trifecta, in some ways of the
majoritarianism, the authoritarianism,
and the populist sort of sentiments that
ultimately can create a pretty explosive situation. But as far as post-colonial
countries were concerned– at least for the British empire
that I can speak to, there are certain cleavages that were
introduced right from the early 20th century onwards– in
fact from the mid 19th century onwards– where for much of South
Asia, there’s a division. Like political
society is defined along these religious lines– you’re given the right to
vote based on whether you are Muslim, [INAUDIBLE], or Hindu. And in much of Africa,
it’s divided not so much along religious
lines but ethnicity– or what we call tribes,
but it’s ethnicity. And ultimately, the
moment of decolonization– and this is where I
think populist leaders, in most post-colonial
countries in South Asia as well as Africa, ultimately they are
able to get rid very quickly and most countries–
not so much in India– of the liberal democratic,
secular, state sort of leader, on the basis of
saying, well, they were just set up by the
post-colonial government. And that process
of decolonization, where there’s a sense that the
post-colonial leader was set up by the exiting state, allows
for a certain kind of populism, whether we think about Uganda,
where the Idi Amin [INAUDIBLE],, and here there are military
coups that take place. The struggle in
Pakistan over being able to establish a constitution
with [INAUDIBLE] death quite soon after, I think
really plays into that. And I think in that sense,
it’s a very distinctive story, in much of post-colonial
world from what we heard about in America and Europe. ELIZABETH LEEDS:
Let me just talk briefly about the military
presence now in Brazil. The military was in power for
20 years, from ’64 to ’85, essentially. But the transition to democracy
is a very soft transition, compared to other Latin
American countries. The military was never
blamed for their 20 years of military regime. Brazil did not have a Truth
Commission until very recently. And that was instituted
by the workers’ party, especially under Dilma Rousseff,
who had, herself, been tortured by the military. So there was a kind
of a tacit agreement between the elites
and the military, that nothing too radical would
happen in terms of punishment. Some argued that the PT creating
a Truth Commission broke that tacit agreement, and
that the military– now that they had
one of their own, Bolsenaro was a captain in
the military before he joined congress– one of their own
gaining power, it creates an opening for
a military presence. We don’t know yet how much that
presence will be manifested. As I mentioned,
Bolsonaro has said he’s going to put military
in charge of five ministries. So the moment has created
an opportunity which they didn’t really want before. Yes? AUDIENCE: Hi, my name is Latif. This question is more
for Dr. Aiyar, I think. So could you speak to maybe
the resilience of Indian, and maybe the South Asian
countries in general, in terms of their
judiciary, and being able to deal with these
forms of populism? And what, if any, are
irreversible changes that these forms of
populisms may have impacted those specific countries? SANA AIYAR: Do we want
to take a few questions? ELIZABETH LEEDS: We
can take one more, yes. AUDIENCE: Hi, this is a
question to Miss Candas. I’m Morat, an undergraduate
student of physics. I’m from Kyrgyzstan. So my question is twofold. So where do you think
Kyrgyzstan has had it? You know, it’s surrounded
with authoritarian strongmen players, and it is
Kyrgyzstan has been known as the oasis democracy. The second question
is, how can it use– Kyrgyzstan, how can it
use tribalism to survive? How can it use tribalism
to basically sublimate all of these things, and be seen
as the true democratic state? AYSEN CANDAS: Did I understand
the question correctly? May I repeat,
rephrase the question? You’re asking about Kurdistan– AUDIENCE: Kyrgyzstan AYSEN CANDAS: Kyrgyzstan,
OK, Kyrgyzstan, and about tribalism. I heard it as Kurdistan,
so I, you know, OK. And the first question was– AUDIENCE: Where do you
think Kyrgyzstan is headed? You know, it’s surrounded with
like authoritarian countries like– AYSEN CANDAS: I mean,
Russia’s influence seems particularly
strong, and it looks like some of the
phenomena that we are now defining is
populism, which seems to have different
strands, perhaps, the one particular to minority
political parties in Europe, as opposed to
countries like Turkey. But some of these
models are also similar to Russia’s
neo-patrimonialism, it’s also defined as
neo-patrimonial model. And it seems to me that area,
which was ex-Soviet republics, these are creating
one-man rules that are really patrimonial, crony
capitalism, very corrupt, in general. AUDIENCE: I’m sorry, you
said chronic capitalism? AYSEN CANDAS: Crony–
crony capitalism. So patrimonialism,
neo-patrimonialism is defined that way in general. So I don’t know too
much about Kyrgyzstan to say more about it. But in general, the Central
Asian countries are– they seem to be replicating
the same model in the area. I don’t know whether
that helps at all. AUDIENCE: How about
second question? AYSEN CANDAS: The
second question? I mean, the tribal thing is
included in the definition of patrimonialism. Patrimonialism is a kind
of [? majoritarianism ?] that defines a homogeneous,
identitarian identity for the nation,
the genuine nation. And it dis-separates
the distinction that’s institutionalized in
constitutional democracies about distinction between
economy and politics. And instead, it’s
completely politicizes also the economy, the market
is not really free, the government
contracts are a way of making people
richer or poorer. So that’s called
crony capitalism. So tribalism is part
of that, I guess. Depending on the
type of population. AUDIENCE: It’s
funny you say it’s– ELIZABETH LEEDS:
Excuse me, let’s give somebody else a chance. AUDIENCE: Yeah,
the last comment– you know in the
national myth, you know Kyrgys are
born from a mother, so it’s supposed to be
matriarchal, but [INAUDIBLE].. SANA AIYAR: On the
question of the resilience of the judiciary,
and certainly I can speak with a little
more knowledge to India. It goes back to a very
strong constitution that was put into place very
quickly after independence, and a clear separation of the
judiciary from the executive. And it also goes to the
people who occupy positions. But I think that that
resilience is going to continue. And certainly the judiciary
has been a balancing act on much of the kinds
of political policies that are being put into
place, and there has been– certainly more recently– with
LGBT rights, and other rights, that the judiciary
certainly has upheld what we would call liberal values. But on the other
hand, the judiciary– now here I’m thinking
also of legal cases, you know, the law as process– corruption cases,
whether they are against congress politicians
or other politicians, they take ages to be cleared,
and ultimately every politician is acquitted. So the process is
not as efficient, even if the values might be
being upheld in certain spaces. And I think that if the
Hindutva agenda of changing and rewriting history in
textbooks, and institutions, educational institutions, really
changes– and this, actually, for me is the much
more long-term threat, it’s the marathon that I
think you mentioned– then ultimately, as this generation
of judges and lawyers pass, the next generation,
who might be inculcated in a different sense of
nationhood and national identity at the school and
higher education level, for them, the values that are
changing that are in parliament are going to be upheld. And the citizenship
bill, for example, can very quickly
be taken to court, and make Muslim
minorities– especially in the borderland
areas of India, where there has been a long
history of migration, given the neighbors that
we have– it will really create a certain
sense of insecurity for a lot of citizens. ELIZABETH LEEDS: Two more,
one from either side. Over here. AUDIENCE: Thank you. My name is Tom,
I’m on staff here. And I’m Brazilian– that
is, I’m a Brazilian citizen. And one thing that I
noticed about Brazil was just the kind of mass
hysteria, almost, of this– a good friend of my
mother’s opposes Trump, her daughter is gay,
voted for Bolsonaro. The daughter who’s gay
also voted for Bolsonaro. I mean, this is just phenomenal. And I think that it was
caused by all of these crises. Can you speak to– when I say crises, that
of economic crisis, crisis of personal security,
and political crisis of legitimacy of the parties– can you speak to
how global crises of the capitalist
system, following the financial crash
of 2008, and crises of things like immigration– not just immigration,
but refugee crises– and climate change
crises are fomenting this rise of the
right internationally, if you believe that it is? And secondly, I wanted
to ask about something that Martin Luther King
Jr. raised in his letter from a Birmingham jail,
which is the danger not just of the worst
reactionaries, like the KKK and the people in hoods, but
the moderates who enable them. In fact, Emmanuel Macron today,
wrote a piece in Le Monde– folks may have seen it– but
praising Philippe Petain. And of course, once this
election just happened, the first thing that
Nancy Pelosi said was, I want to reach
across the aisle and collaborate with
Trump, and so on. So I think that we have to call
out the liberals and centrists who may enable and
allow and collaborate with this rise of the far
right as an enabling factor. And I want to hear your
comments about that, as well. ELIZABETH LEEDS: We’ll
take one more over here. AUDIENCE: Yeah, my question
is to Professor Aiyar. I mean, you spoke of
India’s tolerance, right? So let me begin by saying that
India’s tolerance is a myth– we saw that in ’84, we
saw that in the ’90s, we saw that in 2002. So while the congress was
opportunistically communal, can you argue that the nature of
communalism under Narendra Modi has changed post 2002? Because it began to mask itself
as a nationalistic force, which was never done before. That’s the question. AYSEN CANDAS: About
the Brazil question– ELIZABETH LEEDS: Well, I can– do you want to– SANA AIYAR: Certainly,
so I completely agree that the tolerance
is not perfect in any way. And you mentioned 1984, 2002. But I think– and this is why I
go back to the sense of ideas, even as there was violence
committed against many different communities, and
some of it state-sponsored, in ’84, certainly,
with the congress– there wasn’t an
underlying ideology, and a political vision that
wanted to be seen through. So in any society– so I don’t at all contest, I
think you’re absolutely right, that it isn’t a
perfect tolerance. But I think at least the
aspiration, or the definition– and that’s where the
constitution gets written, and you have certain laws in
place, and a culture, a value system, a milieu of nationhood,
an idea of nationhood, that will at least aspire to
that tolerance and diversity. And so I think that the
Modi and the Hindutva vision of nationhood– and it is
a vision of nationhood– is quite different, because it
has these deep historical roots and ideas and ideologies that
are going to be seen through. So it’s not about just
the moment of 1984, where a certain
set of conjunctions lead to riots against
the Sikh community. But this is a much more
long-term sustained program, which I think is quite different
from what you would call– I wouldn’t call the
congress’s communalism, but the congress’s imperfections
in being able to uphold that unity and diversity. AUDIENCE: Just one more. What role has
congress’s distortion of the concept of
secularism played in the rise of Narendra Modi? SANA AIYAR: Of the
rise of Narendra Modi? Well, to be quite
honest, I think they haven’t been strong
enough in condemning it. I think that there is
a certain courage that is needed in clearly
condemning both the violence and the ideas,
and they haven’t quite been able to do that. AUDIENCE: I said congress’s
distortion of the practice of Indian secularism. You had Rajiv Gandhi who opened
the doors of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. And simultaneously,
the parliament, in order to cater to the
whims of Muslim sentiments, rather the conservative
faction of the Muslims, they outed the
Shah Bano judgment. So that was a distortion of
Indian secularism, which has been practiced over the years. And this is something, obviously
Narendra Modi and the Hindu right, time and again,
they have critiqued that. So would you say that that
has played a role in the rise of Hindu fascism in India? SANA AIYAR: Well, it’s
certainly part of the process. But I wouldn’t say that
there’s such a clear– we can chat a little
bit later, but I wouldn’t say that the
one leads to the other. ELIZABETH LEEDS: I just– were the one who
asked about the– yes. So I think the
examples you’ve given of seemingly contradictions
of who would have been– who was a Bolsonaro
voter, I think it shows that there
is a tremendous– there are contradictions
within society. But the economic and
the security issues were overriding,
I think, the fear that people have for those. Especially the security issues. It’s a tremendous
fear that people are looking for a savior,
Salvador da Patria, despite potential
discrimination for themselves. I think that the world– well, Brazil is part of this
certainly the world economic situation. The economic downturn,
as you pointed out, was very much a part of that. And created the
economic insecurity that so many of that
generation are feeling. So I think that’s– AUDIENCE: Does anyone want
to take my second question about the role of moderates
in enabling the rise of right-wing populism? AYSEN CANDAS: Perhaps
I can say a few things about that, because in Turkey,
that was an issue, as well. Of course, populism deliberately
polarizes into two camps. And then in the social
democratic, or center left parties, there is
generally this debate– and I see it getting repeated
in so many contexts right now. Should we go to left, to
the more socialistic policy, that kind of route? Or should we go right, in order
to address the population that is voting for the populist? Should we tried to
get their votes? And that discussion
also fragments the social democratic
parties into two. And in Turkey, for
example, it really fragmented the social
democratic center left party. One part began to
address Islamism, as it became more mainstream
as the result of that, Islamism became more mainstream. And the people who wanted to
politicize economic issues more, they can not
do much, because as I tried to explain
during my presentation, there’s an economic
populist policy context that a populist
government, Erdogan’s people are doing all the time. So there are those
economically populist policies that they are conducted. For that you need to have
public funds under your hand. So when they are
already doing those things on the basis
of [? clientelism, ?] the Social Democratic Party
can not really promise, I’m going to come
to power, plus I’m going to give you
this, give you that. So in a way, they become
more and more defensive and reactive, as a result,
instead of becoming proactive. Because the populist
governments are economically populist, as well as
neoliberal at the same time. There’s that basic
contradiction built into it. So as a result of that,
I think the voters have become single-issue voters. I think that explains the
contradiction you have. There is a precise reason
why a gay person may choose to vote for this guy, if there
is a single issue that she or he favors. ELIZABETH LEEDS: How
are we doing on time? Do we need to– OK. Sorry, I think we’re
past our closing time. But if you want to ask questions
of people on the panel, please help yourself. [APPLAUSE]

Danny Hutson

2 thoughts on “Starr Forum: The Rise of Populism

  1. When men who think that their a female can compete in women's only sports that's a bridge to far, You lefties have brought this crap sandwich on yourselves by over reaching.
    Why on earth do you think it's fair for our mothers & daughters compete against men?

  2. I could never vote for any US party that would give AMNESTY to millions of illegal aliens since we already tried Amnesty in 1986 and it only encouraged millions more illegal aliens to come here illegally.

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