Populism and the Crisis of Democracy
From Donald Trump to Brexit to Jair Bolsonaro to Matteo Salvini to Narendra Modi to Viktor Orbán, right-wing populism seems to be advancing relentlessly around the world. Meanwhile, already-existing authoritarian leaders like Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are tightening their grip. Protest movements have emerged in Brazil, France, India and elsewhere, from left and right, united by their loss of faith in conventional (‘neoliberal’) democracy.
Have the things we have been taught to take for granted failed? Will all societies eventually become liberal democracies, are wars, domestic strife and authoritarian governments really things of the past, will capitalism endure indefinitely and is globalisation unstoppable? Why are so many societies buckling under pressure? What role do inequality, exploitation and environmental devastation play in this malaise? Why does immigration feature so prominently in populist campaigns? Why are so many young people cynical about democracy? What role does social media play in these social conflicts? Could conventional wars become a regular feature in the international system? What utopias move the world today? And – if democracies falter, what will replace them?
This course will address these and other burning questions of today’s world, in order to illuminate some of the most pressing economic, social and political issues of our age.
On successful completion of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate the ability to:
- Understand the key social, political and economic challenges facing neoliberalism after the Great Financial Crisis.
- Critically engage with the contemporary literatures on democracy, populism, neoliberalism and financialisation in the advanced countries as well as the Global South.
- Engage constructively with current debates on the rise of the far-right, including those concerning the electoral impact of nationalist programmes.
Students are usually able to obtain credits from their home institution and typically our courses receive 3 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. If you intend to claim credits from your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you enrol. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however please be aware that the decision to award credits rests with your home institution.
Assessment will be optional and will vary for each course. Participants will be provided with a certificate of attendance and a Record of Study will be available on request.
Week 1: The Rise of Neoliberalism
- 20th Century Politics and the Cold War
- Decolonisation and Development
- The Spread of Neoliberalism
Week 2: Maturity and Crisis in Neoliberalism
- The Great Financial Crisis and ‘Austerity’
- Inequality, Environmental Crisis, ISIS
- Cultural Anxiety and Identity Politics
Week 3: Case Studies
- Advanced economies
- Developing countries
- Democracy Fraying at the Edges
Teaching & Learning
46 hours (lectures, tutorials, activities). The course will be delivered Monday - Friday over the 3 weeks.
Monday - Friday, 10am-3pm. In addition to regular lectures and tutorials, each course will offer a range of activities relating to their academic content (e.g. museum visit, company visit etc).
A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £40 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment.
10% discount if you apply by 31 March 2019
20% discount for our partner institutions
Accommodation is available to Summer School students at the SOAS halls of residence, Dinwiddy House. For more details of how to book a room please visit the Dinwiddy House accommodation page.
We have a wide range of scholarships and awards to support students on our degree programmes. There is a competitive application process for these scholarships and awards – based on academic merit. And their focus can range from supporting students from specific countries or a group of countries, to particular degrees or areas of research. We also offer a number of bursaries based on financial need at undergraduate level.
In order to join our Summer School, you will need to meet the following entry requirements:
- A university student or a graduate at the time of attending the summer school, and 18+ years of age.
Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.
- A minimum English language requirement if English is not your first language:
- IELTS, 6.5 overall or higher, with at least 6 in all sub scores.
- TOEFL Paper based test we require a minimum of 583 with minimum 53 in all skills and for TOEFL Internet Based Test we require a minimum of 93 with minimum 20 in all skills.
- Pearson Test of English a score of 59-64
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Grade B
- If you have studied in an English speaking institution, or have courses taught at your university in English (excluding English language courses) you may meet our requirements without having to supply a certificate. Evidence of this will either need to be included on a transcript or letter from your university.
- Applicants with an alternative qualification should contact us for advice.
- Applicants whose English language level do not meet out requirements may be interested in our subject based courses with English language support.
Enrolment of Summer School applicants who don’t meet the entry requirements is at the discretion of SOAS – please get in touch to speak to us in detail about your application
Once you have paid the £40 application fee and submitted the online application form, you will be informed as to whether you have a place on the summer school within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.
31 May 2019
For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.
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