Anti-System Politics: The Crisis of Market Liberalism in Rich Democracies
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A webinar with Professor Jonathan Hopkin (London School of Economics), run by the Global Language-based Area Studies research theme under the School-wide Crisis and Culture research theme.
Recent elections in the advanced western democracies have undermined the basic foundations of political systems that had previously beaten back all challenges -- from both the left and the right. The election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, only months after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, signalled a dramatic shift in the politics of the rich democracies.
In Anti-System Politics, Jonathan Hopkin traces the evolution of this shift and argues that it is a long-term result of abandoning the post-war model of egalitarian capitalism in the 1970s. That shift entailed weakening the democratic process in favour of an opaque, technocratic form of governance that allows voters little opportunity to influence policy. With the financial crisis of the late 2000s these arrangements became unsustainable, as incumbent politicians were unable to provide solutions to economic hardship. Electorates demanded change, and it had to come from outside the system. Using a comparative approach, Hopkin explains why different kinds of anti-system politics emerge in different countries and how political and economic factors impact the degree of electoral instability that emerges. Finally, he discusses the implications of these changes, arguing that the only way for mainstream political forces to survive is for them to embrace a more activist role for government in protecting societies from economic turbulence.
A historically grounded analysis of arguably the most important global political phenomenon at present, Anti-System Politics illuminates how and why the world seems upside down.
Jonathan Hopkin is Professor of Comparative Politics in the Department of Government at the London School of Economics. He is the author of Party Formation and Democratic Transition in Spain (1999, Macmillan) and Anti-System Politics: The Crisis of Market Liberalism in Rich Democracies (2020, Oxford University Press). He has published widely on the party politics and political economy of Europe in journals such as the British Journal of Sociology, European Journal of Political Research, Governance, Journal of European Public Policy, New Political Economy, the Review of International Political Economy, Party Politics, Politics and Society and West European Politics. Address: Department of Government, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton St, London WC2A 2AE (email: J.R.Hopkin@lse.ac.uk)
The event will be delivered in the medium of English. You are welcome to ask questions in the medium of Welsh during the Q&A session. If you intend to do this, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday 10 February to request simultaneous translation. Please note that 10% or more of those planning to attend will need to request this provision in order for it to be sourced and will be subject to resource availability.
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