What is populism and why is it so popular? (Year 12 & 13)

University of Birmingham
Wednesday 16 March 2022 (13:00-15:00)

Class capacity: 30

Year group: 12 and 13

Subject(s): Politics, International Relations

Attendee requirements: None

About: This masterclass will discuss populism as a form of politics which has attracted a lot of support over the past two decades. Recent years have seen a wave of populist politics across Europe and in the United States. Right-wing populist movements, such as Trumpism in the US, Brexit in the UK and National Rally in France, have attracted a lot of enthusiasm amongst voters. Likewise, left-wing populism, such as Bernie Sanders in the US and Corbynism in the UK have also received a lot of support.

In this session we will ask the questions ‘What is populism and why is it so popular?’. In doing so, we will see that populist movements are often led by a charismatic leader, who claims to speak on behalf of ‘the people’. However, we will also see that many people view populism as a divisive form of politics which is a threat to democracy.

The session will include a talk followed by student activities. Students will be asked to discuss what populism is and how it differs from 'normal' politics. Groups will also be asked to invent their own 'populist' political party. They will be asked to give the party a name, an identity and its own political agenda.

Additional information: Schools will be limited to 5 places for this class. Individual bookings can be made by students in Year 12 or 13. 


To find out more about any of the masterclasses, please email masterclass@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

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