In both developed and developing states, populists have taken control of the levers of power with a winning message that taps into frustrations with modern economic, social, and cultural issues. With increasing authoritarianism expressed behind the veneer of democratic institutions, norms are now disrupted and democratic spaces have now shrunk. Together with examples from all over the world, this course will look at the political history of the United Kingdom and the all-consuming Brexit phenomenon to explore authoritarianism, populism, and democratic backsliding, as well as consider the economic and cultural anxieties that resonate within populist political messaging.
Senior International Officer at University of Law
Annita Sophocleous has a BA in European Studies from Royal Holloway and an MA in European Union Studies from Leiden University. She formerly worked for a Member of the European Parliament in Brussels.
How can democracy survive the threat of populism?
I believe the only way for democracy to survive is to effectively and efficiently deal with the issues that have pushed people towards populism- issues such as globalisation, economic recession, mass migration and inequality. Otherwise people will inevitably seek out alternatives that promise solutions, often in the form of populism.