Theorizing the Rise of Right Wing Populism in the Post-Globalist Era: Toward an Integrative Approach

Theorizing the Rise of Right Wing Populism in the Post-Globalist Era: Toward an Integrative Approach

Events, Lawrence J. Saha, S A Hamed Hosseini
Seyed A. HOSSEINI FARADONBEH, The University of Newcastle, Australia and Lawrence SAHA, Australian National University, Australia

 

Abstract Text (Abstract ID: 101047):

Populism, as a concept, generally implies a mobilized support for the political, cultural and economic preferences of the populace as opposed to those of the elite, foreigners, intellectuals, media, government, corporations, scientific bodies, ethnic minorities, immigrants/refugees, or any other social group or community whose identity or interest differs from the widely-idealized image of a typical countryperson. However, populism does not always appear in society as a well-articulated doctrine or a coherent group attitude with a number of detectable rigid principles. It normally emerges in the form of popular rhetoric that taps into the populations’ emotions, and advocates quick solutions without a proper understanding of the root causes of the problems and the complexities of social institutions.In this process, on the one hand, macro socioeconomic status appears to be a primary factor but only in association with other primary determinants (e.g. age, regional/rural residential status, ethnicity, gender, education, religion, and occupation), and this association occurs only in a relative sense (e.g. a relative decline in the middle-class status compared to lower/under class status). On the other hand, social psychological factors such as social anxiety, sense of insecurity, resentment, uncertainty, humility, and ressentiment (e.g. waning white privileges recently accelerated by economic liberalization and austerity regimes), mediate the macro factors. In addition, the social historical residues of centuries of colonialist-patriarchal culture, such as class-racial discrimination, patriotism, misogyny, and racism, plus personality factors like dogmatism, closed-mindedness and authoritarianism play a role in the translation of macro-structural changes and political discourses into personal and group actions and attitudes. In this paper, we develop a more macro and micro integrative approach to theoretically explain the emergence of right wing populist movements in the post-globalist era.

Presentation at ISA World Congress in Sociology, Toronto, July 2018

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Student school elections and political engagement: A cradle of democracy?

Student school elections and political engagement: A cradle of democracy?

Journal Articles, Lawrence J. Saha

Lawrence J. Saha, Murray Print

Studies have found that prior involvement in student politics while in school seems to be a good predictor of adult political engagement. While most studies of adults have obtained retrospective data on participation in school elections, there have been few studies of students about this activity. We contribute to this latter relatively unexplored area by reporting the results from a national survey of Australian secondary school students about the relationship between participation in school elections and future intended political engagement activities. We found that voting in school elections is positively related to feeling prepared to vote as an adult, to being committed to vote when 18, to political knowledge, and to engagement in forms of peaceful activism. Running for student government office is related to political knowledge and participation in peaceful activism. These results reinforce the findings of adult retrospective studies, and show that participation in school elections serves as a beneficial experience in the preparation of students for life as an active adult citizen. (read more)