Dr Ken Hughes

This course will examine the phenomenon of populism, a term now widely used to describe recent popular movements in the United States, the United Kingdom, Eastern Europe and Latin America. It will examine recent writing on the subject by Jan-Werner Mueller, before turning to classic studies of older populist movements, such as Franco Venturi on the nineteenth century Russian populists and the inimitable Richard Hofstadter on populism in American history. The course will also look at anti-populist backlash and try to distinguish genuinely democratic and left-wing movements from their populist counterfeits. It will also show that Hofstadter gives insights which remain vital in today’s world.



1. The populist wave in the developed world: understanding Trump and Brexit

2. Populism in history: Russia and the green international

3. Populism in American history: status politics and its enemies

4. Post-industrialism and the failure of neo-liberalism

5. The curse of identity politics and the widespread call for the return of the Left



Date:  7 – 11 January 
Time: 3.00 pm
COURSE FEES Full: R550,00  Staff and Students R275,00
Venue: LT2 Kramer Law Building UCT