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Are Populists Changing World Politics? A Workshop on Populism and Foreign Policy
April 9, 2021 @ 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Join us for “Are Populists Changing World Politics? A Workshop on Populism and Foreign Policy”, co-hosted by the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia and the NYU Center for European and Mediterranean Studies (CEMS), and organized by Jordan Center Visiting Scholar Dr. Emily Holland and CEMS Faculty Fellow Dr. Hadas Aron.
Populists mobilize against elites, protest against globalism, and employ belligerent rhetoric. As a result, academic and popular media associate populist leaders with international belligerence, a shift in networks towards other populist states, and protectionist economic measures. This workshop aims to bring together leading scholars of populism and foreign policy to discuss the impact the rise of populism has had on international relations, the role of individual populist leaders, and the role of Russia as an ideological model of leadership for populists. Click here to access the workshop agenda.
Watch the event recording on YouTube here.
Hadas Aron, Workshop Organizer, Faculty Fellow at the NYU Center for European and Mediterranean Studies
Emily Holland, Workshop Organizer, Assistant Professor at the Russia Maritime Studies Institute at the United States Naval War College
Allison Carnegie, Associate Professor of Political Science at Columbia University
Jean Christophe Boucher, Assistant Professor of Political Science at University of Calgary
Angelos Chryssogelos, Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies, and Assistant Professor of Politics and International Relations atLondon Metropolitan University
Richard Clark, PhD Candidate in Political Science at Columbia University
Alexander Cooley, Claire Tow Professor of Political Science at Barnard College and Director of Columbia University’s Harriman Institute
Erin Jenne, Professor of International Relations at Central European University
Maria Snegovaya, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Kellogg Center for Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Virginia Tech and Visiting Scholar at the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University
Cameron Thies, Professor of International Relations, Arizona State University School of Politics and Global Studies
“All Bark, No Bite? Systematic Analysis of Populism and Foreign Policy”
Authors: Hadas Aron and Emily Holland
Populists mobilize against elites, protest against globalism, and employ belligerent rhetoric. As a result, academic and popular media associate populist leaders with international belligerence, a shift in networks towards other populist states, and protectionist economic measures. We argue that European radical right populists (RRP) in government do not change a state’s perception of the best policies to promote core interests of security and prosperity, and thus European states will not significantly change their foreign policy behavior under populist governance. Two mechanisms are responsible for this outcome. First, security and prosperity are achieved through interdependence, making changes to states’ international policies costly. Second, populism is an inward-focused thin ideology that does not have prescribed foreign policies. We test our theory on paired cases of populist and non-populist led states; and on a pair of similar populist-led states that differ in their strategic interests. We find that populist and non-populist states that share socio-economic and geo-political characteristics have remarkably similar security and economic foreign policy outcomes. Moreover, in similar populist governments, foreign policy outcomes differ dramatically where strategic goals differ.
“How Populism Shapes Foreign Policy”
Authors: Jean Christophe Boucher and Cameron Thies
This paper seeks to rectify theoretical and empirical gaps in the emerging literature on populism and foreign policy by develop a theoretical approach that identifies when populist governments express and adopt foreign policy positions as challenges to key values of the liberal international order. We then analyze the determinants of such foreign policy positions using logistic and linear regressions on a sample of 64 populist governments. We find that variables such as left/right-wing parties, presidential or parliamentary system, and unified government help to predict when populist leaders are able to adopt foreign policy positions related to sovereignty promotion, immigration, and trade.
“What Does Populism Mean for Foreign Policy?”
Author: Angelos Chryssogelos
This contribution will take stock of the growing literature on populism and foreign policy and of real-world developments – positions and actions of populists in power and opposition – over recent years. Based on this, it will enquire about what conditions the effect of populism on foreign policy and discuss possibilities about the impact of populism on world politics in the coming years.
“Mapping Populist and Nationalist Rhetoric in Leaders’ Speeches Across Europe and North America”
Author: Erin Jenne
This paper, co-authored by Kirk Hawkins (Brigham Young University) and Bruno Castanho Silva (University of Cologne), presents the results of a holistically coded database of speeches from 127 leader terms across Europe and North America from 1998 to present to assess whether populism and nationalism have, as commonly believed, increased over the past twenty years. We find that any secular increase is concentrated in Eastern Europe and only in particular countries, suggesting that western leaders have not used markedly more populist or nationalist rhetoric today than in the past.
“Fellow Travelers or Trojan Horses? Similarities Across Pro-Russian Parties’ Electorates in Europe”
Author: Maria Snegovaya
In this paper I compile a dataset of pro-Russian parties in the European Union and show that Russia-sympathizers are found across different (left and right) party families. I also demonstrate that supporters of these parties across different party families show stronger Eurosceptic attitudes than the electorates of mainstream parties. This finding explains the endorsement of narratives and policies indirectly favorable to the Kremlin by political actors whose electorates harbor Eurosceptic sympathies. It also sheds some light on the opportunistic rather than ideological nature of Russia’s influence operations in the European Union, which exploit opportunities presented in respective regions. In other words, these parties are the Kremlin’s fellow travelers.
“Global Governance Under Populism: The Challenge of Information Suppression”
Authors: Allison Carnegie and Richard Clark
In this paper, we argue that member states are often reticent to share scientific information — which is necessary for global responses to many health and environmental challenges — with international organizations when they are led by a populist. We suggest that these leaders possess both the motivation and the means to withhold this information due to its “elitist” characterization.