Populism took center stage with the election of Donald Trump in 2016, but its arrival came with a host of questions. Some of the answers will be provided in the last of a yearlong series of lectures on Thursday (May 3).
Bart Bonikowski, associate professor of sociology at Harvard, will offer a redefinition of populism that questions whether it should be placed at the core of radical-right politics. His talk, "Trump, Populism and the Politics of Resentment," is set for 4 p.m. in Trabant Theater.
has been interpreted as an unexpected victory for populism in the
United States. But Bonikowski, who researches the intersection of sociology
and politics, argues that a narrower definition of populism is more analytically useful.
His definition reveals a more fundamental feature of contemporary democracies:
an escalating tension between alternative conceptions of nationhood,
which increasingly is shaping political decision-making. These
nationalist cleavages have been politically mobilized amid structural
changes that have generated fears within the white majority of a loss in
status — with potentially pernicious consequences for group relations
and democratic stability.