19 students

Featuring instructor Max Horder, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Anthropology, Princeton University, Princeton, US; this course examines the place of antisemitism in contemporary political ideologies across the world.

The course will focus on populism: What was once relatively peripheral to Western democracies has now become a mainstream issue, especially since 2016. But is it really, as many people claim, a new expression of ‘fascism’? The lectures will look at this problem through an in-depth analysis of what connections may exist between the two in order to answer this question.

An overview of the sessions can be found below:

Week 1: What is Populism?

In this first lecture, we will cover the meaning of the term ‘populism’. Despite the proliferation of the term across both scholarship and mainstream media, the contours of the phenomenon itself are somewhat fuzzy. We’ll try to unpack what different scholars have made of the concept before we get to grips with its current implications. Firstly, we’ll look at how to define populism in theoretical terms. Next, we’ll look at some of the socioeconomic drivers of populism across the world.

Week 2: Fascism and Populism: New Wine in Old Bottles?

In this session, we’ll take a look at whether populism and fascism are essentially the same phenomena. For many, especially on the Left, populism represents the newest iteration of a malignant and ominous tendency in Western civilization. For others, populism is a legitimate reaction to structural changes in the global economy, including the dominance of technocratic institutions, mass immigration, and culture wars. We’ll take a look at what different authors have to contribute to this debate.

Week 3: The Authoritarian Personality: One Link Between Populism and Fascism

One major theoretical connection between the two is the ‘authoritarian personality’: a cluster of psychosocial tendencies amongst parts of the population that are easily directed towards exclusion, hierarchy, and strong ingroup/outgroup boundaries. We’ll examine some major works which investigate whether this could be applicable to connections between fascism and populism today.

Week 4: Enemies and Others: Antisemitism in the New Populism

In this lecture, we’ll drill down into whether Jews have the same role (as an enemy other) in the broader contemporary populist worldview as they did during the fascist period. Notwithstanding the crucial difference between Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy in terms of antisemitism, this lecture will take a broad look at where Jews are today in relation to these new political phenomena, especially in Europe and the United States.

Recorded Lectures are available for purchase.

Limited student scholarships available upon request: [email protected]