Roger Eatwell
emeritus professor of comparative politics, University of Bath; co-author, National Populism: the Revolt against Liberal Democracy

Professor Roger Eatwell is emeritus professor of comparative politics at the University of Bath. He studied PPE and completed his DPhil at Balliol College, Oxford. Since the late 1970s, his research at the University of Bath has mainly focused on fascism, populism, ‘strong’ leaders and the future of democracy.

His co-authored most recent book, National Populism: the Revolt against Liberal Democracy, seeks to understand the rise of national populists like Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen, placing emphasis on what he terms the ‘4Ds’: distrust of political elites; fears about the destruction of national and local communities; the impact of relative economic deprivation and fears about the future; and dealignment from major parties. Mainstream parties, especially on the right, have sought to defuse this wave by adopting ‘populism-lite’ policies, especially relating to immigration. However, this has tended to legitimize, rather than defuse, the populist quest for ‘voice’ more generally. Far from a passing protest, populism raises major issues around the need for new thinking about democracy in order to cope with more polarised societies.

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