CALL FOR workshop PAPERS: Populism in Asia: Contours, Causes, Consequences

Call for workshop papers : Populism in Asia: Contours, Causes, Consequences, 15-16 November 2017, Monash University Malaysia

During the last few years, populism has gained widespread attention in the Western world. Populist tendencies in Asia, however, have been largely ignored. Apart from the volume by Mizuno/Pasuk (2009), the phenomenon has slipped academic attention so far. Yet in recent years, the success of a new “Islamic populism” in Indonesia and Turkey, the rise of populist-authoritarian strongmen such as Duterte in the Philippines and Prabowo in Indonesia illustrate the salience of the phenomenon in Asia. A two-day-workshop organized by Monash Malaysia’s School of Arts and Social Science and the German Institute of Global and Area Studies in Hamburg (GIGA) is exploring the issue of populist mobilization in Asia, its causes and consequences.

Altough the concept itself is fuzzy, recent scholarship has made some significant contributions to the understanding of populism. We follow a narrow definition of the concept and understand it as a mobilization strategy, which uses ideas that divide society into two homogenous and antagonistic camps : the “pure people” and the “corrupt elite” (Mudde 2004 ; Müller 2016). We can distinguish between classical, right-wing (ethno-nationalist), neoliberal and left-wing populism. Often, populism as a “thin ideology” is combined with elements of nationalism or socialism. The causes and effects of the rise of populist movements and parties are subject to intense debate : structuralist explanation such as economic insecurity, delayed modernization or uneven globalization stand next to culturalist assumptions, e. g. the cultural backlash thesis that is the “retro reaction by once-predominant sectors of the population to progressive value change (Inglehart/Norris  2016).

The workshop explores the following questions :

  1. How can we caracterize Asia’s emerging populism ?
  2. What are the root causes for the rise (or failure) of populists leaders/movements/parties ?
  3. How do populists mobilize their followers ?
  4. What are the effects of the rise of populists on foreign policy and domestic politics ?

Organizers :

Marco Bünte, Monash University Malaysia :

Andreas Ufen, GIGA, Hamburg : andreas.ufen@giga-hamburg.d

Voir :