AlineBurni

Dr. Aline Burni: “Will the pandemic bring an end to populism? What are the lessons from the pandemic in a comparative perspective?”

Dr. Aline Burnie (Political Science, German Development Institute) made this presentation at the First Panel titled “Populism and governance in the time of pandemic” during the First Annual International Symposium on The Future Course of Populism in Post-pandemic Era: The State of Globalization, Multilateral Governance, and Democracy — Brussels, Belgium, February 18, 2022.

ManuelFunke

Dr. Manuel Funke: “Populist leaders, the economy, and the pandemic: What we can expect?”

Dr. Manuel Funke (International finance and macroeconomic, Kiel Institute for the World Economy) made this presentation at the First Panel titled “Populism and governance in the time of pandemic: What we can expect?” during the First Annual International Symposium on The Future Course of Populism in Post-pandemic Era: The State of Globalization, Multilateral Governance, and Democracy — Brussels, Belgium, February 18, 2022.

MarkFindlay

ECPS Symposium: Keynote Speech by Professor Mark Findlay

Professor Mark Findlay (Director, Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Governance, Singapore Management University. The author of Globalization, Populism, Pandemics and the Law: The Anarchy and the Ecstasy, Edward Elgar Publishing) made this presentation as a Keynote Speech at the Opening Session of The First Annual International Symposium on The Future Course of Populism in the Post-pandemic Era: The State of Globalization, Multilateral Governance, and Democracy — Brussels, Belgium, February 18, 2022.

SirGrahamWatson

ECPS Symposium: Opening Remarks by Sir Graham Watson

Sir Graham Watson (Honorary President – ECPS) made this speech at the Opening Session of The First Annual International Symposium on The Future Course of Populism in the Post-pandemic Era: The State of Globalization, Multilateral Governance, and Democracy — Brussels, Belgium, February 18, 2022.

A young African woman hugging a white northern woman after a protest. Photo: Sabrina Bracher.

Nice White Ladies: The Truth about White Supremacy, Our Role in It, and How We Can Help Dismantle It 

In her book, Jessie Daniels deconstructs whiteness and scrutinizes individuals’ contributions to and relationships with it, making “Nice White Ladies” an excellent work of literature for those who understand that the practice of anti-racism cannot be disentangled from self-work. However much one may already know about the subject matter, Daniels’ confronting, academic, and personal approach will surely provide her readers with fresh insights.    

Reviewed by Shirin Ananda Dias*

In her book “Nice White Ladies,” Jessie Daniels deconstructs white womanhood and details how it is historically and culturally linked to the inter-generational perpetuation of everyday, systemic, and institutional racism by white women in both the United Kingdom (UK) and, most notably, in the United States (US). Both by drawing on existent literature on race, gender, cultural and blackness studies and by giving detailed ethnographic and personal examples, Daniels details how white women – often with good intentions – contribute to the cycle of racism and demonstrates their complicity in the infliction of everyday micro-aggressions on communities of color. 

Although the book is largely a cultural critique, it also serves as a “self-help book” for those seeking to break free from the toxic chains of whiteness, which inflict pain and suffering not only upon BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color), but also upon white women and their families, through generational guilt and self-destructive defense mechanisms transmitted throughout decades. The book’s six chapters take the reader through Daniels’ personal and academic journeys, zeroing in on her experiences with white womanhood and racism throughout her life and academic career. She furthermore provides the reader with alternative constructive modes of ‘being white’ in a diverse and multicultural society.

In the first chapter of the book Daniels places white womanhood in historical context and lays bare, through a cultural and historical lens, how and why white women often feel threatened by and entitled to protection from the ‘other.’ Without vilifying the ‘Karens’ of today’s society, Daniels details how their (sometimes subconscious) feelings of white supremacy, entitlement to protection, and (lethal) power over the ‘other’, are surviving legacies of the colonial period. Within white supremacist society, black men were often lynched to protect white women –the underlying sentiment has survived through generations, resulting in instances of modern-day women weaponizing their white womanhood by using police and law enforcement against BIPOC. Daniels hereby demonstrates and emphasizes how white women’s actions perpetuate colonial cultural legacies to this day, and how they are consequently beneficiaries of colonialism and slavery.

In chapter two, Daniels illustrates how white feminists on both the left and right of the political spectrum tend to perpetrate and exacerbate racial inequalities through their supposedly universal and neutral feminist activism. From the pink pussy hats to the #metoo movement and other movements aiming for women’s liberation and “equal representation, compensation and power in the public sphere as men” (Daniels, 2021: 86), Daniels shows that these movements for women’s rights are far from universally inclusive. On the contrary, these feminist movements tend to engage in gender-only, (neoliberal) feminism that is oblivious to white privilege, race, and institutionalized racism (as well as other relevant intersections). Daniels therefore criticizes so-called liberal feminists on their lack of intersectionality and calls for the inclusion of critical race theory in feminist activism with the objective of the liberation of all women.

In chapter three, “The Shallow Promise of the Wellness Industry,” Daniels shows how women are targeted by all sorts of ‘self-care’ trends – clean eating, skincare products, yoga, mindfulness – which promise fulfillment and inner peace in a capitalist society.  In one sense, these trends are shallow in their failure to deliver true fulfillment; in fact, their intertwinement with the capitalist system ensures that fulfillment is ever out of reach. Daniels, however, focuses on a different source of shallowness: namely, that purveyors of the wellness industry create white-only spaces, and construct a specific normative identity, namely the white-hetero-lady who is in need of care. In creating and orienting itself around this identity, the wellness industry excludes communities of color and obscures the reasons for their struggles. Wellness is portrayed as a product for consumption, instead of something that is contingent upon larger structural issues like systemic racism and poverty.  Daniels also touches upon the wellness industry’s self-help books and criticizes renowned authors such as Brené Brown, for her work’s blindness to whiteness and white-shame, and Eat-Pray-Love author Elizabeth Gilbert, for romanticizing her soul-seeking journey to India without reflecting upon the white privilege that afforded her the means leave everything behind, travel, and ‘find herself.’ 

Chapters four and five discuss identity and kinship. In chapter four, “Love and Theft,” Daniels investigates the psychological and cultural reasons behind certain white women’s appropriation of BIPOC identities. Here Daniels discusses female academics such as Rachel Dolezal and Jessica Krug. She argues that it is the underlying emptiness that resides in whiteness, and, furthermore, white guilt, which drive white women to appropriate non-white identities, so that they can be seen and heard, or to deal with the psychological trauma of being white. Daniels furthermore details how white women, through ‘blackfishing’ or appropriating indigenous Cherokee identities, become the beneficiaries of policies like affirmative action, whereby their successes rest on the backs of those communities who need those policies most. 

Not all white women deal with whiteness and white guilt in the same way as the Rachel Dolezals of the world. Daniels shows how many white women engage in white saviorism in order to assuage their white guilt. An example she discusses is the adoption of BIPOC children by white families, where an undercurrent of white saviorism can perpetuate microaggressions towards communities of color, with the indirect message being that white mothers are more capable of motherhood. As is furthermore shown in the chapter “Protecting White Families,” white women often engage in practices that benefit white families and disadvantage communities of color, by raising their adopted children in a “color blind”, household, rather than a “color aware” one, thereby implicitly downplaying racism’s existence. One’s own contribution to and participation in cyclical institutionalized racism and racial segregation often goes unnoticed; well-meaning and protective mothers, who accumulate wealth within their white families and shield their children from education in multi-racial settings, which Daniels coins as the “new Jim Crow,” seem unaware of the implications of their actions. In all examples, from white women physically protecting their homes with guns from Black Lives Matter demonstrators to those well-meaning women who accumulate wealth and education for their white families, Daniels emphasizes and illustrates how white families are “one of the most powerful forces of reproducing white supremacy” (Daniels, 2021: 193). 

In the last chapter, “The Lie that is Killing All of Us,” Daniels details, through myriad examples of mental health cases (including her own mother’s), how whiteness not only poses a lethal threat to communities of color, but, even more so, how it threatens white communities. She argues that although white people are the beneficiaries of white supremacy (in that they have, for example, greater access to healthcare than communities of color do), white communities are also plagued by higher rates of depression than communities of color, and increasing addiction, mortality, and suicide rates. Daniels illustrates how nice white ladies suffer under the burden of white guilt. Building on this, Daniels exemplifies the impact white guilt has on the individual and collective health of white people and communities. In this vein, Daniels demonstrates how feelings of emptiness – inherent to whiteness – are often the root cause for infliction of harm of others, and for self-destructive behavior. 

In the concluding section, Daniels refers back to previous chapters and provides the reader with detailed methods to develop an alternate, more constructive and justform of whiteness and white womanhood. Jessie Daniels herself strives to be “white without going white, to not take up all the space, to swerve away from the supremacy of whiteness” (Daniels, 2021: 234). The suggested liberators methods include, for example, rethinking social relationships with people who actively participate in the oppression of BIPOC, giving agency to women of color, and being their accomplice in dismantling white supremacy, amongst many other suggestions.

A potential critique of the book is that certain argumentations are rather reductionist, such as Daniels’ proclamations that the Kardashians’ cultural appropriation derives from their white guilt, or that the suicide of a white health worker during COVID-19 was motivated by the burden of white survival guilt. This is where Daniels draws hasty conclusions and appears to disregard the complexity of the human psyche despite her background in critical social psychology. Although I concur that there lays trauma in whiteness, not all behavior is necessarily attributable to whiteness and its discontents. 

Despite this criticism, the book does insightfully deconstruct whiteness and scrutinizes individuals’ contributions to and relationships with it, making “Nice White Ladies” an excellent work of literature for those who understand that the work of anti-racism cannot be disentangled from self-work. However much one may already know about the subject matter, Daniels’ confronting, academic, and personal approach will surely provide her readers with fresh insights.  It is a work that I would highly recommend to both academics and laymen seeking to understand the complexities of white womanhood and racism. I would especially recommend the book to white women, as no matter how “woke” one might be, there might be a “Nice White Lady, whether big or small, in all of us.


Jessie Daniels, Nice White Ladies: The Truth about White Supremacy, Our Role in It, and How We Can Help Dismantle It, Seal Press, 2021, 304 pp., $28, ISBN: 9781541675865


(*) Shirin Ananda Dias is an alumna of SOAS university London, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Social Anthropology. Her two main regions of academic interest are the Middle East and South Asia, where she indulges in political anthropology focusing on ethnic and religious nationalism and populism in the broader framework of globalization and contemporary international relations. She is currently enrolled in the MA program “Social and Cultural Anthropology” at the University of Amsterdam where she is finishing writing her master dissertation on the expression of Hindu nationalism in right wing Hindu nationalist Facebook groups during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


PTI Chairman, Imran Khan talking with parents of student who killed in Taliban attack on an Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan on December 22, 2014. Photo: Asianet-Pakistan.

Military and Populism: A Global Tour with a Special Emphasis on the Case of Pakistan

Yilmaz, Ihsan & Saleem, Raja M. Ali. (2022). “Military and Populism: A Global Tour with a Special Emphasis on the Case of Pakistan.” Populism & Politics. European Center for Populism Studies (ECPS). March 1, 2022. https://doi.org/10.55271/pp0010

 

Abstract

Although populism has become a focus of research in the last decade, there hasn’t been much academic work on how militaries around the world have reacted/acted to the rise of populist leaders. There is some timeworn research on the relationship of militaries in Latin America with various left-wing populist governments and leaders from the 1930s to 1970s. Given that populism was largely understood in the context of left-wing politics, with the rise of right-wing populism, the literature on the military and populism needs to be advanced by studying the relationship between right-wing populism and the military. This article aims to address this gap by looking at the right-wing populism case study of Pakistan, where the military has actively participated in the rise of a religious populist leader. To situate the case study within the larger literature of the military and populism, the dynamics and history of military associations with populism and populist leaders are revisited in the article’s first part.

 

By Ihsan Yilmaz & Raja M. Ali Saleem

Introduction

Even though a lot has been written about populism and its relationship with numerous institutions of the state, the link between current populism(s) and the military remains mostly unexplored (see for recent exceptions, Yilmaz and Saleem, 2021; Hunter and Vega, 2022). This article addresses that gap, giving a brief overview of the relationship between the military and populism. Populism and left- and right-wing populisms are explained in the first part of this article. In the second part, different relationships between the military and populism are explored. The final part gives a brief historical summary of how the Pakistani military helped Prime Minister Imran Khan’s populist party win elections against all odds in 2018 and has since helped govern the country.

What Is Populism?

Global politics is increasingly divided between “the people” who are galvanized against “the elite” and the “other.” As populist leaders and parties exploit these divisions based on religion, ethnicity, nationality, and other socio-political constructs, societies are becoming are fractured (Moffitt, 2016; Mudde, 2010; Albertazzi & McDonnell, 2008; Laclau, 2005). In the past, the concept was understood as something unique to Latin American politics, where left-wing populism predominated from the 1930s to the 1980s (Hawkins, 2010; Weyland, 2001). Even when there were populist leaders in other regions, they were rarely called or recognized as populists.

As populism rose in the twenty-first century, it has often been used as a right-wing narrative; some of the past explanations and theories were no longer useful. During the first two decades of this century, hundreds of articles have been written on how to define populism and attempting to understand what facilitates and maintains it.

The wave of Islamophobia post-September 11, increasing instability in the Middle East, and the resulting migration crises have led to populist ideas filtering into politics. In Europe, the Five Star Movement in Italy has vehemently opposed immigration and has repeatedly expressed its concerns with Islam (Fieschi, 2019; Mosca & Calderoni, 2012; Casertano, 2012). Its right-wing agenda has caught the increasing attention of many: the movement presents itself as the legitimate “volonté générale” of the true and pure Italian “people” against the “intruders.”

In a similar fashion, secular India—the world’s largest democracy—and its multicultural traditional is under increasing threat from the “saffron tide” of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) (Saleem et al, 2022). The BJP government has used the populist ideological approach to divide the country based on religious lines: “the people” are Hindus and “the others” are Muslims and Christians (Hameed, 2020; Hansen, 1999). 

As populism is a thin ideology, it can partake in both left-wing and right-wing ideas. Populist leaders attack the “corrupt elite” from both left and right. Their plans and policies can be a messy blend of left-wing and right-wing—and at times contradictory—ideas. The following section gives a brief overview of left-wing and right-wing populism.

Street posters in commemoration of the General Juan Domingo Peron death in Buenos Aires, Argentina on June 30, 2019. Photo: Alexandr Vorobev.

Left-wing Populism   

Left-wing populism casts the “elites” as “the others” who have illegitimately seized power from “the people.” Left-wing populists want to return power to “the people” and re-balance society (Moffitt, 2016: 12-3). In practice, their policies differ from classical Marxists or socialists. Left-wing populists are closer to the concept of “populist socialism,” a hybrid of five elements: radical nationalism; a radical mood; populism; anti-capitalism; and a moderate form of socialism (Martin, 2012).

Earlier agrarian movements organically faded away in the early twentieth century. It was not until the rise of the left wing in the twentieth century that the term populism was extensively explored. Latin America, in particular, underwent a rapid political transformation and saw the rise of populist governments and dictatorships. A blend of style, ideology, strategy, and discourse was used by populist leaders, such as Júan Peron in Argentina, Velasco Ibarra in Ecuador, and Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre in Peru, to gain popularity. With the help of personal charisma combined with the rhetoric of anti-elitism, these leaders amassed a huge amount of public support. Latin American politics was thus known as “populist”—gaining the support of “the people” by harbouring feelings of “popular resentment against the order imposed on society by a…ruling class which is believed to have a monopoly on power, property, breeding, and culture” (Shils, 1956: 100-101).

Left-wing populists gained prominence in twentieth-century Latin America, but they were not limited to the Western hemisphere, and many leaders in Asia and Africa adopted populist rhetoric and policies (Young, 1982). Many populist leaders of that era, such as Kwame Nkrumah, are still revered in their countries today. With the help of personal charisma and anti-elite rhetoric, which was directed at not only local elites but also international elites (Western governments and international companies primarily controlled by the West), these leaders became very popular. Neo-colonialism was regularly arranged by these leaders, and anti-globalization was part of the African and Asian left-wing populist repertoire.

With the fall of the communist bloc in the 1990s, both Marxism and left-wing populism saw a decline in popularity. There was the gradual, widespread acceptance of liberal democracy and neo-liberal economics.

Populism—on the left but especially the right—would return in the first decade of the 21st century. March and Mudde (2005) term this new surge in populism as “social populism,” a doctrine rooted in principles of “correct” and “fair” class politics and that seeks to establish an egalitarian society that is for the “proletarian” and has elements of “anti-elitism.” The “social populist” movement found support following the global financial crisis of 2008 when it emerged along with various other political movements that sought to “fix” the “broken” system (Augustin, 2020: 5-6; Gandesha, 2018). The new wave of left-wing populists is democratic, unlike its twentieth-century predecessors, yet it uses similar ideological strategies, discourses, and style.

Right-wing Populism

At the opposite end of the spectrum, global politics is undergoing a surge in right-wing populism. As opposed to its left-wing form, right-wing populism is rooted in ideas of “the pure,” religious “righteousness,” “nativism,” and a “sacred” right to “native” land (Haynes, 2020; Lobban et al. 2020; Röth, Afonso & Spies, 2017). “The people” increasingly feel it is their right to protect their culture and values from the “others.” These “others” are a wide variety of groups, based on ethnicity, language, race, religion, etc. For instance, in Central Europe, people who believe European civilization is a “Christian civilization” view Muslims as a threat, “outsiders” who are unable and/or unwilling to integrate. Haynes (2020:1) points out, “As Muslims are not capable, so the argument goes, of assimilating to European or American norms, values, and behaviour, then they must be excluded or strongly controlled for the benefit of nativist communities. Right-wing populists in both the USA and Europe pursue this strategy because they see it as chiming well with public opinion at a time of great uncertainty, instability, and insecurity.”

Along with this “Christian” civilizational, right-wing populist ideology—with Muslims as the outsiders—right-wing populists also sometimes engage in anti-Semitism and misogyny, are staunchly anti-immigrant, homophobic, and anti-EU and anti-globalization (Haynes, 2020; Lobban et al. 2020; Röth, Afonso & Spies, 2017). Thus, the discourse is built on a distrust of “outsiders” who are not part of the “true” culture.

Former US President Donald Trump entered the White House with the help of this right-wing populism. Trump’s brand of populism heavily relies on notions of Judeo-Christian—although unlike his running mate, Mike Pence, he did not clearly identify with the dominant and deep-seated emotions in the Bible Belt and beyond. He has constantly supported the idea of a Judeo-Christian civilization and has shown an aversion to “others”—even, paradoxically, including Mexican immigrants who are mostly Christians (Hosey, 2021; Mudde, 2021; Espenshade, 2020). The January 6th attack on the US Capitol has shown Trump’s encouragement of and tolerance for domestic far-right terrorist groups that are part of a radical right in America (Mudde, 2021).              

Beyond Europe and the Western world, right-wing populists have also prospered and even gained power in Asia and Africa. Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, has used a right-wing ensemble of Hindu nationalism and populism for over two decades and has essentially altered the social fabric of India (Human Rights Watch, 2020; Rogenhofer & Panievsky, 2020; Jaffrelot & Tillin, 2017: 184; Saleem et al, 2022). During Modi’s first and second tenure as Prime Minister, the Hindutva ideology—and Modi’s populism—engulfed not only the politics, but also the psyche, of Indian society. From revoking the autonomy of Indian-held Kashmir to instigating security forces’ violence against student protestors across India to the Citizenship Amendment Act, the Modi-led BJP has used Hindutva and populism to engulf the brains and bodies of ordinary Hindus (Human Rights Watch, 2020; Rogenhofer & Panievsky, 2020; Saleem et al, 2022). Next door in South Asia, Imran Khan has also used Islamist populism (Shakil and Yilmaz, 2021) —and the power of the military (to be discussed in detail later)—to gain power in Pakistan. He invites people to a new Pakistan that is a modern version of Prophet Muhammad’s state, called the Riyasat-e-Madina.

Beyond ideology and discourse, right-wing populism has also been used in a performative sense as a style and as a strategy. Modi’s use of the sacred saffron colour, Khan’s habit of carrying around prayer beads, Trump holding the Bible before ordering peaceful protesters to be shelled with tear gas, and Erdogan’s habit of crying while reciting the Qur’an are various strategy- and style-based right-wing populist tactics to evoke propitious, favourable emotions in “the people.” 

The divisional lines between right- and left-wing populism are not always clear cut. For instance, the idea of anti-elitism can also be espoused by any populist. Leaders such as Modi and Erdogan have been using their humble beginnings to position themselves as a voice or of the common, working-class people. Thus, Erdogan calling himself a Black Turk (as opposed to an elite White Turk) and Modi referring himself as a chaye wala (tea seller) are symbolic gestures to highlight their working-class roots and deep relationship with an average Turkish or Indian citizen (Sen, 2019).

On the other hand, Mette Frederiksen and her party, the Social Democrats, in Denmark are proponents of left-wing values such as strong welfarism. Yet, in recent years, even when in power, the party has taken an anti-immigration stance which is traditionally a right-wing policy (Al Jazeera, 2019; Nedergaard, 2017). The party justifies its move by rationalizing, “As Social Democrats, we believe that we must help refugees, but we also need to be able to deliver results in Denmark via local authorities and for the citizens. […] We have therefore been tightening asylum rules and increased requirements for immigrants and refugees. And we will continue to pursue a tight and consistent asylum policy, which makes Denmark geared to handling refugee and migratory pressures” (Nedergaard, 2017). 

The Military and Populism

While populism is largely a political ideology, when institutional boundaries are weak, the military can fall prey to populism, too. Some characteristics of populism endear the military to it while others make the military oppose it. Military men and women, being part of a bureaucracy and an institution working under strict rules and regulations, often dislike political manoeuvring and manipulation; they may be drawn to populists who commonly talk in simple, straight language and are not ready to spare those who they think are enemies of the nation. Although populist leaders do make deals and change their opinions based on what is politically feasible (such as Trump’s change of opinion about abortion), they project themselves as straight shooters, not politicians. This apparent dislike for political expediency is also appealing.

However, there are also many points of disagreement between the military and populists. Populists generally oppose wars and foreign interventions, as they take money away from domestic welfare programs. Many populists propose cutting defence budgets to increase domestic welfare spending. Most populist leaders are also anti-science or lack basic scientific knowledge. Trump, Modi, and Khan have said many things that would make a 10th-grader laugh. This makes populist leaders difficult partners for the military, home to the most sophisticated technologies available.

Populist Generals

There are many types of relationships between the military and populism. The most direct would be a coup leader himself becoming a populist. It is uncommon today, but in the 20th century, generals did transform themselves into populists after successful coups to gain legitimization and support. Perhaps the most famous left-wing populist general was the Argentinian Júan Peron, who became the face of socialist populism (Calvo, 2021; Gillespie, 2019). During his two terms in office, Peron was able to amass popular support through welfare and pro-labour policies combined with nationalization (Gillespie, 2019). While in the short term these benefited the Argentinian people, the government was unable to support such measures in the long run when combined with the growing military oligarchy in the country. “Peron used the presidency to maintain support for the military through modernization and promotion projects. […] Perón removed generals when he saw them as troublesome and promoted the generals who supported him instead” (Calvo, 2021). This clientelism between the military elite was used by Peron to prolong his “iron first” populist rule over Argentina (he ruled from 1946-55 and again from 1973-74).

Similarly, in Mexico too, General Lázaro Cárdenas (in power from 1934-40) adopted socialist populist policies that led to major improvements in the economy and also general welfare, as he touted issues such as affirmative action for indigenous groups and women’s rights (Philip, 2000). By mobilizing the rural poor and urban middle class, Cárdenas dominated Mexican politics with socialist ideas, but his military background led his government to assume the posture and course of populist authoritarianism (Philip, 2000).

Nasserist party supporters hold signs and pictures of Gamal Abdel Nasser during first anniversary of Egypt’s uprising in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt on January 25, 2012. Photo: Tom Bert.

Left-wing populism was also adopted by many military coup leaders in Africa, such as Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt (ruled 1956-70), Ben Bella (ruled 1962-65) in Algeria, and Thomas Sankara (ruled 1983-87) in Burkina Faso. Some of these generals “thickened” their populism with nationalism and transnationalism. Nasser was traditionally a left-wing populist leader, yet he used the ideas of pan-Arabism to create not only a national identity for Egypt but for Arabs around the Middle East.

Right-wing populist generals are not uncommon. These populist generals have promoted nativism, militant nationalism, an aggressive stance against immigrants, minorities, and outsiders, and a “my country first” policy. The Greek “regime of the colonels” in the late 1960s and early 1970s was an example of right-wing military leaders employing populism. The regime coined the slogan, “Greece for Christian Greeks,” and its leaders frequently talked about one Greek people and nation. They also talked about a “national renaissance” to resurrect Greece, which was compared to a patient on her deathbed (Couloumbis, 1974; Xydis, 1974).

Military Support for / Opposition to Populists

Most of the time, the military supports or opposes populists but does not directly intervene in a country’s governance. Populists—who want to change the decades-old way of doing politics—usually need or feel the need to have this indirect support. Supporting populists indirectly allows the military to protect its interests, such as regular increases in military expenditures, as well as increase its political power.

The military’s support for left-wing populist leaders primarily comes from the mid-century period in Latin America. During the twentieth century, militaries in numerous countries supported left-wing populists. Brazilian President and dictator Getulio Vargas (1930-45 and 1951-54) came into power supported by the Brazilian military. He adopted a wide array of social and political policies that benefited labour, workers, and women, and the Brazilian military continued to support him even when he disbanded Congress and suspended the constitution (Green, Langland, & Schwarcz, 2019: 321-4).

Some left-wing populists have been opposed by the military. Paz Estenssoro, a left-wing Bolivian leader, who came to power with the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement, stayed in power from the 1950s to 1980s. His rhetoric was anti-elitism and targeted the ruling military elite. “In the revolution of April 1952, the worker and peasant masses defeated the oligarchy’s military,” and he established a rule which led to the rapid nationalization of resources (Funke, Schularick & Trebesch, 2020: 85).

Militaries supporting right-wing populism have become more common. One of the reasons might be the changing nature of the military vis-à-vis society in the decolonized world. Earlier, the military in most developing countries was a modernizing force as it had education, scientific knowledge, and regular interaction with other militaries. Numerous military coups led to land reforms and less power for the religious right. By the end of the 20th century, most militaries in these countries had become status-quo-supporting organizations.

In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte, a right-wing “strongman” populist, has been able to garner support through his “tough” actions against “druggies,” “militants,” “radicals,” etc. (Dizon, 2020). Duterte’s “action” oriented strategy to “crush” the bad guys has led him to use penal populism. His aggressive policies are supported by the military, on whom he has relied heavily for cracking down “undesirables” (Dizon, 2020).

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during 74th Anniversary of Parachutist Infantry Battalion held at Military Village in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on November 23, 2019. Photo: Celso Pupo

Another instance of a right-wing populist leader being supported by the military comes from Latin America. In Brazil, conservative, populist President Jair Bolsonaro has appointed military officers to key technocratic, political, and bureaucratic positions. One figure suggests that “individuals with military experience have occupied almost half of all cabinet seats since 2019, including President Jair Bolsonaro himself as well as retired army general and current vice president Hamilton Mourão” (Scharpf, 2020).

Finally, right-wing populists have been opposed by the military in some countries. For nearly eight decades, the modern Turkish Republican was dominated by the Kemalist military elite that advanced a reformist agenda to modernize and secularize the country. After the right-wing Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power, the Kemalist military launched a series of attacks on the AKP. This led to what the AKP called a “digital coup” against them when the Kemalist military questioned the AKP’s nationalism and loyalty as being counter to the constitutional spirit of the country (Elver, 2014). Between 2010 and 2020, the AKP became increasingly populist and used its increasing power to constitutionally limit the Kemalist military elite from interfering.

From this brief survey, it is evident that in developing countries where mass mobilization takes place on populist grounds, the military is likely to get involved directly or indirectly in state affairs due to the power vacuum left by politicians. The armed forces are either part of “the elite” that the populist wave rises against, or they are direct agents of “the people” or supporters of those who claim to represent “the people.”

Case Study of Pakistan

Pakistan is no stranger to military involvement in civilian matters (Amin, Qurban & Siddiqa, 2020; Taj, Shah & Ahmad, 2016; Hussain, 2012). The country witnessed its first military coup in 1958, hardly a decade after its formation in 1947. From the late 1950s to the late 2000s, the country experienced four successful military coups and numerous unsuccessful ones. Pakistanis lived nearly half of those seven decades under military dictatorships (1958-1971, 1977-1988, and 1999-2008). Over the years the military has not only deposed democratically elected leaders but forced them into exile—and in the case of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, organized his execution (Amin, Qurban & Siddiqa, 2020; Taj, Shah & Ahmad, 2016).

Since the last dictatorship, the military has adopted a covert approach regarding its involvement in politics. They have tried to manage Pakistani politics from backstage. The fame, power, and charisma of Imran Khan, a famous sportsman and philanthropist, has allowed the military to browbeat the two most popular parties in the country. With the rise of populism, Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party (see in detail, Yilmaz and Shakil, 2021a; Yilmaz and Shakil, 2021b; Yilmaz and Shakil 2021c) and the military have cooperated repeatedly and projected themselves as the “defenders” or “the voice” of “the people” against the malicious “others.” Imran Khan’s journey to the country’s power corridors is closely tied to his relationship with the military. Khan’s PTI, however, has gone through various stages before becoming fully immersed with the military. Due to the changing dynamics of the relationship, we have divided Khan’s journey into various chronological periods. 

Years of Warm Non-engagement (1996-2001)

The PTI was founded as an anti-elite and anti-corruption party that sought to bring social justice to the disenfranchised people of Pakistan. In its early stages, the party was welfarist and reformist in its ideas. It wanted to make politics “for the people,” as a break from conventional politics which was increasingly dynastic and self-centred. The party’s non-political background meant it had to work from the grassroots to ensure its political presence in a country where family and baradari (tribe or caste) ties play a key role in politics (Shah, 2020; Mushtaq, Ibrahim & Qaleem, 2013; Lancaster, 2003). During its initial years, the PTI was not a fixture on the political landscape other than Khan, its chairman, making headlines for issuing pro-people statements due to this social status as a former Pakistani cricketer. Abbas (2019) correctly notes that in its early years, the PTI was not seen as a political party but rather viewed as an Imran Khan fan club or a social justice movement; its membership was confined to the upper middle class and affluent members of society who wanted to play a proactive role in politics.

The PTI’s pro-establishment stance positioned it close to the military when General Musharraf deposed the sitting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. In Khan’s view, elite’s corrupt and incompetent leadership had come to an end, and Musharraf’s progressive ideals would benefit the country. During this period, the relationship between the PTI and the military was cordial. Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, a charity founded by Khan, even was donated $500,000 by Musharraf in 2002 (Arab News, 2019).

Pervez Musharraf.

Antagonistic Relationship (2002-10)

The distant yet pleasant relationship between the regime and the PTI took a turn in 2002. Musharraf offered Khan a significant role in politics and a large number of seats in the 2002 national elections but, in turn, Khan had to support a large group of corrupt politicians. To his credit, Khan refused, and the PTI only won one seat in the 2002 military-rigged elections. Musharraf’s embrace of the corrupt and religious parties—including the KP, PTI’s political rival—turned Khan into a bitter rival. Khan also became a fierce critic of the Pakistani military’s role in the “war on terror” in Afghanistan. For nearly a decade, Khan increasingly became the face of resistance towards US-led or promoted operations in Pakistan’s rural tribal areas.

Khan’s opposition to the army’s activities and the Musharraf regime led to him being put on house arrest several times (Indurthy, 2004). In 2007, Khan and his party also publicly opposed the regime’s efforts to evacuate a hub of extremists from the Red Mosque in Islamabad (Samiuddin, 2018). Crucially, the PTI chose to remain silent on the issue of extremism being spread by the militants and radicals at the mosque and instead chose to criticize the draconian measures taken by the Musharraf-led government to dislocate the militants from the mosque complex. Later on, Khan was one of the leaders of the movement for the restoration of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, who was unconstitutionally sacked by Musharraf. It was this movement and the murder of Benazir Bhutto that resulted in the fall of Musharraf in 2008-9.

Close Alignment (2011-17)

With Musharraf in exile and The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leading governments at the federal and provincial level, there was little hope for the PTI. Khan’s original supporters were long gone, and the PTI was unable to make a dent in the political arena. Similarly, the military was looking for partners to increase its clout after the undignified ouster of Musharraf. So, it seems that the two most probably decided to strike a deal. There aren’t signed papers but there is enough circumstantial evidence of the PTI’s support for the military and vice versa. The prime piece of evidence is the shift in the PTI’s “other.” While Khan was still passionately leading rallies and pointing out policy issues regarding the war on terror, the overall target of the party’s criticism was not the military but the “Western nations” which, according to Khan, had engulfed the Muslim nations into war (Dawn, 2013). Khan’s support of the Afghan mujahideen and his increasing focus on the “good” Taliban drew international criticism (Boone, 2014).

Gradually, the calls for accountability were targeted at the political elite, leaving the military out of the PTI’s retributive politics. While it’s true that civilian politicians such as the Sharifs and Bhutto-Zardaries had amassed fortunes by misusing their offices, so, too, had the military elite; generals became multi-millionaires (Siddiqa 2017). Yet PTI’s accountability was partisan: it sought a return of the looted wealth only from the civilian governments. The military supported Khan by providing him allies and ensuring favourable media coverage. Because of political deals and Khan’s alliance with the military, the PTI’s position became hypocritical. Khan spoke about those who were killed by the Western militaries in Afghanistan and refused to condemn the Taliban, who were also involved in killing innocent Afghans. While he drew excessive focus to the police brutality of the PML-N government against various protestors, such as at the Model Town incident in 2014, there was no mention the lives lost due to various military operations in the country’s western regions.

The PTI had always prided itself as a pro-democracy party, yet it did not object to the constitutional amendments that went against the democratic spirit of the country. For example, Khan did not raise an objection to the controversial 21stConstitutional Amendment, which was passed in 2015 (Amin, Qurban & Siddiqa, 2020; The News; 2014). Because of this amendment, the military could set up its own courts that could try civilians if they were deemed “terrorists.”

Muslim League-N President, Nawaz Sharif addresses PML-N workers during meeting in Peshawar, Pakistan on September 16, 2011. Photo: Asianet-Pakistan.

As the 2018 elections grew closer, Pakistan went through major political developments when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified from office after a prolonged court case. It was very difficult to believe that this verdict did not have the military’s support, as Military Intelligence (MI) and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) were major witnesses against the sitting PM. This sent into motion an openly bitter relationship between the military and the PML-N. The latter blamed the military for interfering with politics, as the exiled Sharif made speeches blaming the “aliens” or “deep state” that targeted him and his family through their “proxy,” the PTI (Dawn, 2018). Sharif went on the offensive and called out the military leadership for their constant interference in matters of the state while simultaneously labelling the PTI as the military’s “puppet” government (Dawn, 2020).  

 Support During the Election Campaign and On Election Day (2017-18)

By the end of the PML-N tenure, the party had suffered major setbacks. The PTI was the talk of the town and sought vengeance for the country’s “wronged” people. The PTI attacked the political elite, and its populist rhetoric resonated with the population, which felt failed by successive corrupt governments. The PTI emerged victorious in the National Assembly and in three provincial assemblies.   

The PML-N, after its defeat, accused the PTI of using military support to rig elections to secure its victory.  While the PML-N was a bitter loser, there was some truth in the allegations. For instance, in the July 2018 elections, the Pakistani Army had deployed over 371,000 troops to “secure” polling stations, and the counting of votes was delayed for several hours (Khan, 2018; Panda, 2018). While the presence of the military at voting stations was not new in a country where security has been a prolonged issue, there were worrying reports about the integrity of the election (Abi-Habib & Masood, 2018; Khan, 2018). Even before the election, various PML-N candidates issued statements claiming that they were being harassed by security forces and that their campaign headquarters were targeted (Abi-Habib & Masood, 2018). The allegations were profound enough that the spokesperson for the military, Major General Asif Ghafoor, had to address them during a press conference, where he brushed the allegations aside (Abi-Habib & Masood, 2018; Panda, 2018). 

Following its electoral victory, the PTI revealed a plan to address the nation’s issues in 100 days. While most of the PTI’s campaign promises remain unfulfilled—and the party even reversed some of its positions—it is worth noting that a large number of former Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-i-Azam (PML-Q) or pro-Musharraf/military political members have become part of Khan’s core team (Abbasi, 2018). At least 13 core ministries were handed out to former PML-Q members, or those who had served in an advisory capacity to Musharraf (Abbasi, 2018). 

Support For PM Imran Khan (2018-21)

In office, Imran Khan has been an enthusiastic supporter of the military. A huge change in his previous stance was visible when a court announced a public hanging sentence for Musharraf for disrespecting and violating the constitution between 1999 to 2008 (Geo News 2019). In 2014, Khan himself urged the judiciary to do justice by not allowing Musharraf to escape trial (Ilyas, 2014). Once the 2019 verdict came down, Khan explicitly called the judge “mentally ill” for using such a “harsh” verdict as the Prime Minister felt it insulted the institution of the military (Shahzad, 2019). Khan gave a full three-year extension to the current Army Chief, after his normal three-year tenure ended in 2019, although previously Khan himself (and others) had publicly declared that giving Army Chiefs extensions undermines democracy (Philip 2019; Afzal, 2019). In, 2021 the PTI government passed another bill aimed at supporting the military. Under this new bill, anyone who criticizes the military will be tried under section 500A of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC); the accused could face two years of jail time and/or a fine of up to 500,000PKR, or roughly 3,270USD (The News, 2021). 

In addition to supporting legislative changes that bolster the military, Khan has openly talked about a “5th generation warfare” and the opposition’s “seditious” attempts. The government, with the help of the military, has registered numerous cases on major opposition figures and has used an anti-corruption agency to keep opposition leaders terrified and/or in jail. Khan and the military’s top brass have used the populist rhetoric of threats from “within” and “outside” the country to browbeat the political opposition (Butt, 2021; Sareen 2020). Both have synchronized efforts to portray the opposition as friends of India and the “enemy” of Pakistan, ensuring they’re viewed with suspicion while the PTI and military are viewed as the “protectors of the nation.”

Conclusion

This case study demonstrates the partnership between a populist leader and a country’s military leadership that allows the latter to play a covert role in politics. In Pakistan, the military has always been closely tied with politics. It has been deemed a necessary evil that is there to protect the people from the “incompetent political elite” or to defend the country against its many “enemies.” These notions have helped construct an image of the military as a “reliable” political actor who is normally incorruptible. However, with growing concerns in civil society over repeated military regimes, the military apparatus changed its form of involvement in politics. Rather than imposing martial law and becoming a pariah on the international stage, it decided to co-opt a populist party and “help” it form a government. The PTI government now provides the generals with the necessary leverage and cover through its verbal, legal, and legislative power while the military provides Khan and his PTI with political space to run the country even when its performance is pitiful and the opposition is numerically strong. Both get what they want while also maligning the opposition as “traitors” and “enemies of the people.”  

The Pakistani case study is informative. It tells a story that can easily happen elsewhere in the developing world. A military, having staged many successful coups and accustomed to unconstitutional powers, looks to keep or increase its illegal powers against the onslaught of political parties, without imposing martial law. Thus, it decides to back a populist party, which is unable to challenge the control of the established parties on its own. Separately, both the military and the populist party may not succeed, but, using each other, they manage to take control of the government.

References

 — (2013). “Thousands protest against drone strikes in Peshawar.” Dawn. November 23, 2013. https://www.dawn.com/news/1058051 (accessed on February 25, 2022).

— (2014). “Two bills tabled in NA for changes to Constitution, Army Act.” The News. 4 January 4, 2014. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/10118-two-bills-tabled-in-na-for-changes-to-constitution-army-act (accessed on February 28, 2022).

— (2018). “Nawaz asked to clarify ‘aliens’ statement.” Dawn. May 6, 2018. https://www.dawn.com/news/1405930(accessed on February 25, 2022).

— (2019). ‘‘Anti-immigrant left’ wins election as Danes reject far-right.’ Al Jazeera. June 6, 2019. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/6/6/anti-immigrant-left-wins-election-as-danes-reject-far-right (accessed on February 28, 2022).

— (2019). ‘Gen Musharraf’s life in photos.’ Arab News. December 17, 2019. https://www.arabnews.pk/node/1600231/pakistan (accessed on February 25, 2022).

— (2019). “Who played a key role in the conviction of former president Pervez Musharraf?” GeoNews. December 18, 2019.  https://www.geo.tv/latest/262463-who-played-a-key-role-in-the-conviction-of-former-president-musharraf-for-high-treason (accessed on February 28, 2022).

— (2020). “Shoot the Traitors” Discrimination Against Muslims under India’s New Citizenship Policy.” Human Rights Watch. April 9, 2020. https://www.hrw.org/report/2020/04/09/shoot-traitors/discrimination-against-muslims-under-indias-new-citizenship-policy (accessed on February 28, 2022).

— (2020). ‘‘Puppet rule’ must come to an end, says PDM.’ Dawn. November 23, 2020. https://www.dawn.com/news/1591893 (accessed on February 25, 2022).

— (2021). “Critics of Pakistan’s armed forces to face jail time, Rs500,000 fine under new bill.” The News. April 7, 2021. https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/816293-critics-of-pakistan-armed-forces-to-face-jail-time-rs500000-fine-under-new-bill (accessed on February 28, 2022).

Abbas, Mazhar. (2019). ‘Secret behind Imran’s success.’ The News. July 27, 2019. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/504047-secret-behind-imran-s-success (accessed on February 25, 2022).

Abbasi, Waseem. (2018). ‘New Cabinet, old faces: Majority of ministers, advisers served under Musharraf.’ The News.August 19, 2018. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/357105-new-cabinet-old-faces-majority-of-ministers-advisers-served-under-musharraf (accessed on February 25, 2022).

Abi-Habib, Maria and Masood, Salman. (2018). ‘Military’s Influence Casts a Shadow Over Pakistan’s Election.’ The New York Times. July 21, 2018.

Afzal, Madiha. (2019). “The curious case of the Pakistani army chief’s extension.” Brookings. December 4, 2019.https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2019/12/04/the-curious-case-of-the-pakistani-army-chiefs-extension/ (accessed on February 25, 2022).

Albertazzi, Daniele, and Duncan McDonnell. (2008). Twenty-First Century Populism: The Spectre         of Western European Democracy. Cham: Palgrave.

Amin, Husnul, Qurban, Shafiq and Siddiqa, Maryam. (2020). “The Impact of Abusive Constitutionalism on Democracy in Pakistan.” Global Political Review. V(I), 46-54. doi:10.31703/gpr.2020(V-I).06

Augustin, G. Oscar. (2020). Left-Wing Populism: The Politics of the People. Emerald Publishing Limited: Bingley.

Boone, Jon. (2014). “Imran Khan says Taliban’s ‘holy war’ in Afghanistan is justified by Islamic law.” The Guardian.October 14, 2014. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/oct/14/imran-khan-taliban-afghanistan-islam (accessed on February 25, 2022).

Butt, I. Ahsan. (2021). “Has a ‘fifth generation war’ started between India and Pakistan?” Al-Jazeera. January 4, 2021. https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2021/1/4/are-india-and-pakistan-in-a-fifth-generation-war (accessed on February 25, 2022).

Calvo, Giancarli (2021). “Unmasking Peronismo: Juan Perón’s Legacy on Argentina.” North Eastern University Political Review. November 13, 2021. https://www.nupoliticalreview.com/2019/11/13/unmasking-peronismo-juan-perons-legacy-on-argentina/ (accessed on February 25, 2022).

Casertano, Stefano. (2012). “Entitled to Fall: Inside Italy’s Downward Spiral.” World Affairs 175(2): 66-73. Accessed April 16, 2021. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41639007.

Couloumbis, Theodore A. (1974). “The Greek Junta Phenomenon.” Polity. 6(3), Spring, 1974, pp. 345-374

Dizon, Nikko. (2020). “Duterte and his generals: A shock and awe response to the pandemic.” Rappler. July 21, 2020.https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/in-depth/duterte-shock-and-awe-coronavirus-pandemic-response-generals (accessed on February 25, 2022).

Elver, Hilal. (2014). ‘Turkey’s first ladies and the headscarf controversy.’ Al Jazeera. September 20, 2014. https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/9/20/turkeys-first-ladies-and-the-headscarf-controversy (accessed on February 28, 2022).

Espenshade, Duncan. (2020). “Populism in American Elections: Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.” Foreign Policy Research Institute. June 10, 2020. https://www.fpri.org/article/2020/06/populism-in-american-elections-bernie-sanders-and-donald-trump/ (accessed on February 28, 2022).

Fieschi, Catherine. (2019). Populocracy: The Tyranny of Authenticity and the Rise of Populism. Newcastle upon Tyne: Agenda Publishing, 2019. doi:10.2307/j.ctvnjbf2s

Funke, Manuel, Schularick, Moritz and Trebesch, Christoph. (2020). Populist leaders and the economy. Reinhard Selten Institute (RSI), University of Bonn and University of Cologne.  ECONtribute Discussion Paper, No. 036.            

Gandesha, S. (2018). “Understanding Right and Left Populism.” In: Morelock, J. (ed.) Critical Theory and Authoritarian Populism. Pp. 49–70. London: University of Westminster Press.

Gillespie, Patrick. (2019). “In Argentina, Peron’s Legacy Is Whatever You Need It to Be.” Bloomberg. August 9, 2019.https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-08-09/argentina-s -politics-are-still-dominated-by-peron (accessed on February 28, 2022).

Green, James N., Victoria Langland, and Lilia Moritz Schwarcz. (2019). The Brazil Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Duke University Press.

Hameed, Usman. (2020). “Footprints of Fascism in India: Implications for Local Muslims.” Pluto Journals. 17(2), 27-46.

Hansen, T. (1999). The Saffron Wave: Democracy and Hindu Nationalism in Modern India. PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY: Princeton University Press. Retrieved April 16, 2021 from http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7s2fq

Hawkins, A, Karik. (2010). Venezuela’s Chavismo and Populism in Comparative Perspective. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Haynes, Jeffrey. (2020). “Right-Wing Populism and Religion in Europe and the USA.” Religions. 11 490. doi:10.3390/rel11100490

Hosey, Alex. (2021). “After calling to ‘take down names and kick ass,’ Mo Brooks condemns violence at U.S. Capitol.” OANOW. January 6, 2020. https://oanow.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/after-calling-to-take-down-names-and-kick-ass-mo-brooks-condemns-violence-at-u/article_84a43412-5071-11eb-a4b4-6f8e9014b766.html (accessed on February 28, 2022).

Hunter, Wendy and Diego Vega. (2022). Populism and the military: symbiosis and tension in Bolsonaro’s Brazil, Democratization, 29:2, 337-359, DOI: 10.1080/13510347.2021.1956466

Hussain, Ejaz. (2012). “Pakistan: Civil-Military Relations in a Post-Colonial State.” PCD Journal. 4(1) https://media.neliti.com/media/publications/385-EN-pakistan-civil-military-relations-in-a-post-colonial-state.pdf

Ilyas, Ferya. (2014). “Imran says Musharraf should not be allowed to escape trial.” The Express Tribune. January 7, 2014. https://tribune.com.pk/story/655972/imran-says-musharraf-should-not-be-allowed-to-escape-trial (accessed on February 28, 2022).

Indurthy, Rathnam. (2004). “Musharraf’s Regime in Pakistan: The Praetorianism Faces an Uncertain Future.” The Indian Journal of Political Science. 65 (2) 259–282.

Jaffrelot, Christopher and Tillin, Louise. (2017). “Populism in India.” In: The Oxford Handbook of Populism. Edited by Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser, Paul Taggart, Paulina Ochoa Espejo, and Pierre Ostiguy.

Khan, A. I. (2018). “Quality of 2018 elections declined compared to 2013: Pildat.” Dawn. August 10, 2018. https://www.dawn.com/news/1426016 (accessed on February 28, 2022).

Laclau, Ernesto. (2005). On Populist Reason. London and New York: Verso.

Lancaster, John. (2003). “Pakistan’s Modern Feudal Lords.” The Washington Post.https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2003/04/08/pakistans-modern-feudal-lords/45b45d57-d74a-4b73-8098-1bdc9490c255/ (accessed on February 28, 2022).

Lobban, Rosemary, Luyt, Russell, Martin, Sam, Brooks, Ashley, McDermottv Daragh and Zawisza-Riley, Magdalena (2020). “Right-wing populism and safe identities.” NORMA.15:1, 76-93, DOI: 10.1080/18902138.2019.1701795

March, L., Mudde, C. (2005). “What’s Left of the Radical Left? The European Radical Left After 1989: Decline and Mutation.” Comp Eur Polit. 3, 23–49. https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.cep.6110052

Martin, Guy. (2012). “The Socialist-Populist Ideology I.” African Political Thought. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Pp. 71-84.

Moffitt, Benjamin. (2016). The Global Rise of Populism: Performance, Political Style, and Representation. Palo Alto: Stanford UP.

Mosca, Lorenzo, and Valeria Calderoni. (2012). “A Year of Social Movements in Italy: From the ‘No TAVs’ to the Five Star Movement.” Italian Politics. 28: 267-85. http://www.jstor.org/stable/24433801 (accessed on April 16, 2021).

Mudde, Cas. (2010). “The populist radical right: A pathological normalcy.” West European Politics. 33: 1167–86.

Mudde, Cas. (2021). “What happened in Washington DC is happening around the world.” The Guardian. January 7, 2021. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/07/what-happened-in-washington-dc-is-happening-around-the-world (accessed on February 28, 2022).

Mushtaq, Q. A., Ibrahim, M. and Qaleem, M.  (2013). “Dynastic Politics in Pakistan.” International Journal of History and Research (IJHR). 3(4). http://www.tjprc.org/publishpapers/2-42-1375764356-1.Dynastic%20Politics.full.pdf

Nedergaard, Peter. (2017). “The Immigration Policy Turn: The Danish Social Democratic Case.”  Det Samfundsvidenskabelige Fakulte. Maj 25, 2017. https://samf.ku.dk/presse/kronikker-og-debat/the-danish-social-democratic-case/ (accessed on February 28, 2022).

Panda, Ankit. (2018). “Pakistani Military to Deploy Some 370,000 Troops During July 2018 Elections.” The Diplomat.July 12, 2018. https://thediplomat.com/2018/07/pakistani-military-to-deploy-some-370000-troops-during-july-2018-elections/ (accessed on February 28, 2022).

Philip, George. (2000). “Populist Possibilities and Political Constraints in Mexico.” Bulletin of Latin American Research.19(2), 207–221. www.jstor.org/stable/3339429

Philip, Snehesh Alex (2019). “Imran Khan had once opposed extension for army chief. Today, he’s given one.” The Print. August 19, 2019. https://theprint.in/world/three-years-ago-imran-khan-opposed-extension-for-army-chief-today-hes-given-one/279245/ (accessed on February 28, 2022).

Pieper, Oliver. (2020). “Cuba and the US: A love-hate relationship.” DW. July 19, 2020. https://www.dw.com/en/cuba-and-the-us-a-love-hate-relationship/a-54230832 (accessed on February 28, 2022).

Rogenhofer, M. Julius and Panievsky, Ayala (2020). “Antidemocratic populism in power: comparing Erdoğan’s Turkey with Modi’s India and Netanyahu’s Israel.” Democratization. 27:8, 1394-1412, DOI: 10.1080/13510347.2020.1795135

Röth, L., Afonso, A., & Spies, D. (2018). “The impact of Populist Radical Right Parties on socio-economic policies.” European Political Science Review. 10(3), 325-350. doi:10.1017/S1755773917000133

Saleem, Raja Ali, Ihsan Yilmaz, and P. Chacko. Civilizationist Populism in South Asia: Turning India Saffron. Populism & Politics. https://www.populismstudies.org/civilizationist-populism-in-south-asia-turning-india-saffron/ (accessed on March 1, 2022).

Samiuddin, Osman. (2018). ‘The Imran Khans I’ve known.’ Cricket Monthly. August 10, 2018.https://www.thecricketmonthly.com/story/1154531/osman-samiuddin–the-imran-khans-i-ve-known (accessed on February 28, 2022).

Sareen, S. (2020). “In Pakistan, it’s mian and maulana vs Imran Khan and military.” The Print. October 6, 2020. https://theprint.in/opinion/in-pakistan-its-mian-and-maulana-vs-imran-khan-and-military/517891/ (accessed on February 28, 2022).

Scharpf, Adam. (2020). “Dangerous Alliances: Populists and the Military.” GIGA – Focus Latin America. Number 1. ISSN: 1862-3573 https://www.giga-hamburg.de/en/publications/12996623-dangerous-alliances-populists-military/(accessed on February 28, 2022).

Sen, Ronojoy. (2019). “From Chaiwala to Chowkidar: Modi’s Election Campaigns Online and Offline.’ EPW Engage E. December 28, 2019. https://www.epw.in/engage/article/chaiwala- chowkidar-modis-election-campaigns-online (accessed on February 28, 2022).

Shah, Maryam. (2020). “Dynastic Politics in Pakistan.” The Daily Times. October 21, 2020. https://dailytimes.com.pk/680344/dynastic-politics-in-pakistan-2/ (accessed on February 28, 2022).

Shahzad, Asif. (2019). “Pakistan court’s ‘hang him in streets’ rider to Musharraf death sentence sparks fury.” Reuters. December 19, 2019. https://www.reuters.com/article/pakistan-law-musharraf-idINKBN1YN0H8 (accessed on February 28, 2022).

Shakil, Kainat and Ihsan Yilmaz (2021). “Religion and Populism in the Global South: Islamist Populism of Pakistan’s Imran Khan,” Religions. DOI: 10.3390/rel12090777.

Shils, Edward. (1956). The Torment of Secrecy: The Background and Consequences of American Security Policies.Glencoe: Free Press.

Siddiqa, A. (2017). Military Inc.: Inside Pakistan’s military economy. Penguin Random House    India.

Taj, Shaista, Shah, Zahir, and Ahmad, Manzoor. (2016). “Civil-Military Relations in Pakistan (1998-2015).” Global Political Review (GPR). DOI: 10.31703/gpr.2016(I-I).08 https://www.gprjournal.com/jadmin/Auther/31rvIolA2LALJouq9hkR/eaxCgcbNmh.pdf

Tomz, Michael, Weeks, Jessica and Yarhi-Milo, Keren. (2018). “Public Opinion and Decisions about Military Force in Democracies.” January 4, 2018. https://www.cambridge.org/core/product/identifier/S0020818319000341/type/journal_article (accessed on February 28, 2022).

Weyland, Kurt, (2001). “Clarifying a Contested Concept: Populism in the Study of Latin American Politics.” Comparative Politics. 34(1), 1–22, 14.

Yilmaz, Ihsan and Raja M. Ali Saleem (2021). “Military and Populism: An Introduction,” European Center for Populism Studies, https://www.populismstudies.org/military-and-populism-an-introduction/ (accessed on February 28, 2022).

Yilmaz, Ihsan and and Kainat Shakil (2021a). “Imran Khan: From Cricket Batsman to Populist Captain Tabdeli of Pakistan,” European Center for Populism Studies, https://populismstudies.org/imran-khan-from-cricket-batsman-to-populist-captain-tabdeli-of-pakistan/ (accessed on February 28, 2022).

Yilmaz, Ihsan and and Kainat Shakil (2021b). “Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf: Pakistan’s Iconic Populist Movement,” European Center for Populism Studies, https://populismstudies.org/pakistan-tehreek-e-insaf-pakistans-iconic-populist-movement/ (accessed on February 28, 2022).

Yilmaz, Ihsan and and Shakil, Kainat (2021c). “Transnational Islamist Populism between Pakistan and Turkey: The Case of Dirilis – Ertugrul,” European Center for Populism Studies, https://www.populismstudies.org/transnational-islamist-populism-between-pakistan-and-turkey-the-case-of-dirilis-ertugrul/ (accessed on February 28, 2022).

Young, Crawford. (1982). Ideology and Development in Africa. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Nested dolls depicting populist politicians Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump and Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the counter of souvenirs in Moscow.

ECPS Youth Seminars — Populism and personality: How voters perceive the dark personality of populist leaders (Mar.10, 2022)

Date/Time: Thursday, March 10, 2022 / 18:00-19:00 (CET) 

Click here to register!

Moderator

Celia Miray Yesil

Speaker

Alessandro Nai

At this ECPS Youth Seminar, Professor Alessandro Nai, will present results from his recent research on how voters perceive the (dark) personality of political candidates. Who likes dark politicians? His research article investigates whether voters showcasing populist attitudes are more likely to appreciate candidates that score high on dark personality traits (narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism) and low on agreeableness. 

Professor Nai’s investigation leverages evidence from an international survey that includes expert-ratings for personality profile of 49 top candidates having competed in 22 national elections, matched with standardized survey data gathered in the aftermath of those same elections that include self-ratings of populist attitudes and candidate likeability (CSES data, N = 70,690). Even controlling for important covariates that drive candidate likeability (e.g., the ideological distance between the voter and the candidate), the results strongly confirm the expectations: populist voters are significantly more likely to appreciate candidates high on the Dark triad and low on agreeableness. The effects, especially for (low) agreeableness, are quite substantial.

Alessandro Nai is Assistant Professor of Political Communication at the Department of Communication Science, University of Amsterdam. Prior to this he was Senior Research Associate at the Electoral Integrity Project (University of Sydney) and Assistant Professor / Lecturer at the University of Geneva, where he obtained his Ph.D. in political science. His research focuses on the drivers and consequences of election campaigning, political communication, and the psychology of voting behaviour.

His recent work deals more specifically with the dark sides of politics, the use of negativity and incivility in election campaigns in a comparative perspective, and the (dark) personality traits of political figures. He is currently directing a research project that maps the use of negative campaigning in elections across the world. His recent work has been published in journals such as Political Psychology, European Journal of Political Research, West European Politics, International Journal of Press/Politics, American Politics Research, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Personality and Individual Differences, Electoral Studies, Journal of Political Marketing, and more. He recently co-edited the volumes New Perspectives on Negative Campaigning: Why Attack Politics Matters (ECPR Press, 2015, with Annemarie S. Walter) and Election Watchdogs (Oxford University Press, 2017, with Pippa Norris). He is currently Associate Editor of the Journal of Social and Political Psychology.

Celia Miray Yesil is a ECPS Youth Group member, co-director of Voice of Youth (VoY) and master’s student of International Political Economy at the Warwick University. She gained her undergraduate degree in European Politics at King’s College London, studying the historical background of European nations and its relationships with the rest of the world.  In her undergraduate dissertation, Miray looked at the populist ‘language’ of the far-right leaders Marine Le Pen and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. She carried out a comparative discourse analysis of the political speeches of the leaders, focusing on how they have combined nationalist ideology into their populist discourse, emphasising on three main features: historical nostalgia of the nation, the loss of identity and a hostility and hatred towards EU institutions. As for her master’s dissertation, Miray is considering focussing more on the impact of far-right populism in foreign policy, particularly looking at the political language and communication of populist leaders in the international political economy. 

Click here to register!