Roundtable on Global Dynamics of Authoritarian Populism

Global Dynamics of Authoritarian Populism

University of California, Santa Barbara

January 31, 2020 – 9:00 to 12:30

Location: SSMS 2135



Authoritarian nationalism seeks to mobilize a populist base by casting bearers of globalization and modernity as a threat to the body politic, with the ultimate goal of subverting fragile democratic institutions that could check the rising power of a reactionary elite.  As in previous eras, fascist ideology invoked by a wide swath of contemporary authoritarianism locates the threat to the imagined body politic from modernizing gender regimes, migration, and independent intellectual critique.  Repression, institutional attacks, and scapegoating are constructed in reference to historical models and transnational emulation—and in this sense, represent a form of anti-global globalization. Thus, we see gender violence and homophobia in Brazil, Russia, and the Philippines; demonization of migrants and minorities in the U.S., Hungary, India, Israel, and Turkey; and persecution of academics in Turkey and Hungary, among others.  In each case, the targeted group is depicted as a threat to national security and values which is connected with the destabilizing consequences of economic and political globalization: rising inequality, demographic change, and deflation of national political authority.  What are the common patterns and national distinctions of the worldwide wave of nationalist violence? How can we contest these patterns and reconfigure the international rights regime and democratic institutions to address them?


Alison Brysk, organizer



*Zehra Arat (University of Connecticut): “The New Authoritarianism and Democracy Façade in Turkey”

*Alison Brysk and Jesilyn Faust (UCSB): “Women’s Rights in the Philippines in an Era of Authoritarianism”

*Gershon Shafir (UC San Diego): “Biblical Authoritarianism in the Holy Land”

*Carol Wise (USC) and Oldrich Krpec (Masaryk University, Brno): “Transnational Lineages of Authoritarianism: The Case of Brazil and Hungary”


Refreshments will be served***


Questions may be addressed to Victor Faessel



Sponsored by the Mellichamp Initiative on 21st Century Global Dynamics