The Power of Populism and People

Resistance and Protest in the Modern World

The Power of Populism and People
Nathan Stoltzfus, Christopher Osmar
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Recent years have seen a disturbing advance in populist and authoritarian styles of rule and, in response, a rise in popular activism. Strongmen, especially since the advent of fascism, have formed their base of power in popular acclaim. But what power do the people have in checking the rise of tyranny? In this book an international team of experts representing several academic disciplines examines the power relationship between peoples and their rulers. It is among the first to study this globally as a problem of nation states. From populism in 19th-century Latin America to eastern Europe since the collapse of communism, to the Arab Spring and contemporary Russia and China, the cases in this book span five continents and twelve nations. Taken together, they reveal how different forms of popular opposition have succeeded or failed in unseating authoritarian regimes and expose the tactics and strategies used by regimes to repress people power and create an image of popular support. Analysing the causes and consequence of the global advance of authoritarianism, The Power of Populism and the People offers a historical comparison of popular protest, opposition and crises over the last century to the recent rise of populist leaders.
This collection is essential reading for our turbulent times. Unique in their global scope, the essays in this volume address the multivalent role of the crowd and mass public mobilization in both enabling and contesting the authoritarian movements. Profoundly relevant, this volume contributes greatly to our understanding of the relationship among modern populism, collective action, and the contemporary crises of democracy. * Marla Stone, Professor of History, Occidental College, USA * This masterful volume reminds us that mass mobilization does not always lead to democracy, nor are the outcomes of pro-democratic mobilization always assured. It treats the current wave of autocratization in historical context and offers important insights about some of the oft-overlooked downsides of an engaged civil society. An important contribution. * Erica Chenoweth, Frank Stanton Professor of the First Amendment, Harvard University, USA * The crises of liberal democracy, of unbridled globalization and digital mob rule, have shoved humanity toward a morass where the most vicious tendencies of the modern world flourish. These far-ranging, intelligent essays in scholarly vigilance will help elevate the conversation about the prospects for viable self-government as dictatorial movements threaten to poison the future. * Todd Gitlin, Professor of Journalism and Sociology, and Chair, Ph. D. Program in Communications, Columbia University, USA *
Nathan Stoltzfus is Dorothy and Jonathan Rintels Professor of Holocaust Studies and Professor of History at Florida State University. An expert in political violence and resistance, Modern Europe and the Holocaust, his published books include Hitler' s Compromises: Coercion and Consensus in Nazi Germany (2016) and Courageous Resistance: The Power of Ordinary People (2007). Christopher Osmar, PhD, is preparing his dissertation on forced labor in the end phase of Nazi Germany for a book.