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ProtoSociology

Volume 37, 2020

Populism and Globalization

Roland Robertson
Pages 152-164

Populism and Worldwide Turbulence
A Glocal Perspective

This contribution consists in an attempt to make sense of one central aspect of the present worldwide turbulence, one which might well be called the contemporary, perfect, global storm. A pivotal problem that will be interrogated is the issue of the circumstances that have produced this phenomenon in most parts of the world, although it should be emphasized that the term populism is, more often than not, applied to the Western world rather than the East or, for the most part, the global South. However, this reservation does not amount to a severe caveat, since all the contemporary signs are that what is here called populism is sweeping across the entire world as a whole, even though it is not necessarily given this name in non-Western regions. To this generalization it should be added that there are, rather obviously, parallels to what has become known as populism in the West. Examples of this are anarchism in nineteenth century Russia and the movement known as the Long March under the leadership of Mao Zedong in the years 1934 and 1935 particularly, as well as al Qaeda and its various offshoots.

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