What Has Gone Wrong? Populist politics and the mobilization of fear and resentment

Professor Elizabeth Anderson - Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan, US
Event date
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15:00 - 17:00
Examination Schools
75-81 High Street
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East School

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Student Gateway
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Booking required

Professor Elizabeth Anderson diagnoses the deterioration of public discourse regarding basic facts to the rise of populist politics, which is powered by the activation of identity-based fear and resentment of other groups. Populist politics "hears" the factual claims of other groups as insults to the groups it mobilizes, and thereby replaces factual inquiry with modes of discourse, such as denial, derision, and slander, designed to defend populist groups against criticism and whip up hostility toward rival groups. Non-populist groups, in turn, add fuel to the fire by blaming and shaming those who seem stubbornly and ignorantly attached to false claims in defiance of evidence.