After populism

Professor Jan Nederveen Pieterse
Friday 11 Oct 2019, 16:00 - 17:30
Spoken Language
International Institute of Social Studies
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Jan Nederveen Pieterse
Jan Nederveen Pieterse
Aaron Salcido

On 11 October 2019, Professor Jan Nederveen Pieterse will give a lecture at the International Institute of Social Studies discussing the underlying enabling factors of populism and authritarianism.

Most discussions of populism and authoritarianism focus on their outward manifestations. But let us take a step back and consider underlying enabling factors.

A key factor in authoritarianism is the weakness of institutions; a key factor in rightwing populism is the weakening of institutions. This is the point of convergence of rightwing populism and authoritarianism.

A key factor of neoliberalism or permissive capitalism is the weakening of institutions via deregulation. Weak institutions enable the concentration of wealth and power. Forty years of neoliberalism have paved the way for rightwing populism.

Political authoritarianism prepares the way for market authoritarianism; alternatively, market authoritarianism prepares the way for political authoritarianism.

The Sustainable Development Goals are for inclusive and sustainable development; but weak institutions enable the opposite - exclusive growth and transactional and unsustainable policies.

About the speaker

Jan Nederveen Pieterse is Duncan and Suzanne Mellichamp Distinguished Professor of Global Studies and Sociology at University of California Santa Barbara. He specializes in globalization, development studies and cultural studies with a current focus on 21st century trends.

He has been visiting professor in Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand and United States, and held the Pok Rafeah Distinguished Chair at Malaysia National University, 2014-15.

He worked at the Institute of Social Studies through the 1990s, and is the author or editor of 25 books. Recent publications include:

  • Multipolar Globalization: Emerging Economies and Development (2018), Globalization and Culture: Global Mélange (fourth edition, 2019; including a chapter on globalization and populism)
  • Capitalisms in Asia (co-edited 2019), Changing constellations of Southeast Asia (co-edited 2018)
  • China’s Contingencies and Globalization (co-edited 2017)
  • Development Theory: Deconstructions/ Reconstructions (second edition, 2010). In preparation is Connectivity and Global studies. He edits book series with Palgrave MacMillan (Frontiers of Globalization) and Routledge (Emerging Societies)
  • ‘What do people want? Unscrambling populism’, Soundings, 102, 2-3, 2019: 112-127  

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