Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Two Faces of Authoritarian Populism: Evidence from China

APIR seminar with Sarah Eaton (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) and Armin Müller (Jacobs University Bremen)

We cordially invite you to the next session of our workshop series on Authoritarian Politics and International Relations at WZB!

Sarah Eaton and Armin Müller will present a paper on the ‘Two Faces of Authoritarian Populism: Evidence from China’.  

Their research starts from the observation that authoritarian systems have been largely excluded from the recent upsurge in academic writings on populism. While scholars’ focus on populism in liberal democracies is understandable given the conceptual affinities between populism and democracy, this paper shows that insights and measures developed in the comparative study of populism can be usefully applied in authoritarian contexts. Based on original survey data collected in China in the year 2018, the authors argue that authoritarian populism has two faces at the level of individual attitudes. One face is pro-establishment and mimics autocrats’ populist propaganda. The other face is anti-establishment and closely resembles variants of populism found previously in democracies. Institutional and material factors account for the bifurcated nature of authoritarian populism. More generally, populist attitudes in mainland China correlate with politically liberal and socialist attitudes, thus constituting a counterpoint to anti-liberal state capitalism. 

The paper is available upon request.

The seminar series aims at bringing together scholars from Comparative Politics and International Relations. We invite papers combining comparative authoritarianism and IR, as well as contributions that help clarify important theoretical concepts and empirical patterns in either discipline. Colleagues interested in presenting in the workshop series should email Alex Tokhi (alexandros.tokhi [at] wzb.eu) or Alex Schmotz (alexander.schmotz [at] wzb.eu).

When: Once a month on a Tuesday afternoon (see dates below)

Where: WZB Berlin Social Science Center, Reichpietschufer 50, 10785 Berlin

What: A classic format: 90 minute research seminar with one paper presentation (15 min), one discussant (10), and plenty of time for Q&A

Who: All scholars from WZB and the Berlin area and anyone interested in authoritarian politics and/or international relations

You can find the next sessions here.

Organized by Alexandros Tokhi (Department of Global Governance) and Alexander Schmotz (Department of Democracy & Democratisation)