Political extremism appears to be all around us. Populists, xenophobes and, some might argue, fascists seem to be on the rise. Many trace the current challenge to liberal representative democracy to the legacy of the post-2008 financial crisis and economic scarcity, recycling earlier interpretations of the rise of historic fascism. But what is really driving support for political extremism in the West today? What do we really know about those who vote for these parties, including their backgrounds and concerns? This lecture will examine the drivers of support for contemporary forms of political radicalism and extremism, from the election of Donald Trump to the vote for Brexit in the United Kingdom and to forthcoming elections in France, the Netherlands and Germany.
Matthew J. Goodwin is Professor of Politics at Rutherford College, University of Kent, and Senior Visiting Fellow at Chatham House. His books include Revolt on the Right: Explaining Public Support for the Radical Right in Britain (published by Routledge) and a forthcoming study of the Brexit vote with Cambridge University Press. He shares much of his research and thoughts on Twitter (@GoodwinMJ) and his website matthewjgoodwin.org