In recent years, many societies have seen growing populism that challenges established politics, political culture and democratic processes of deliberation. Democratic procedures have been hollowed out as a consequence of the bank crisis in 2008, establishing non-democratic and non-legitimized procedures of decision-making and thereby dis-enfranchising and disempowering citizens. Tax cuts for the wealthy have left behind an insecure middle class that is afraid of its social decline, and growing numbers of excluded and left behinds. De-industrialization has turned a working class into an angry underclass with growing resentments not only against migrants but no less established politics.
This year’s CCP conference aims at contributing to the important on-going debate on the different modalities of populism by connecting populism to the concept of citizenship. As citizenship draws social boundaries by assigning certain rights to certain people it is also about democracy and democratic processes and questions about inclusion and exclusion that lie at the heart of the populist threat to citizens’ civil, political and social rights.
Framing the debate on populism in this way allows to raise new questions about the role of populism in the contests over citizenship rights in a context of intensified migration, religious pluralism, and social inequality. Thus, the CCP’s Annual Conference “Populism and Citizenship” aims to offer a forum for assessing current developments in populism.
Keynote: John McCarthy (Penn State University): Specifying the Theoretical Factors Essential to Understanding Successful Contemporary Populist Mobilization