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Reading List November 10, 2016

Technocrats, Populists, and Citizens

Donald Trump's victory raises the question—how did we get here?

Donald Trump has won the presidency of the United States. The following essays examine factors that have shaped this election, at home and abroad—from populism and technocratic rule to globalization, trade, and new virulent forms of racism, xenophobia, and misogyny.

  • Jan-Werner Müller, Real Citizens
    “The only important thing is the unification of the people, because the other people don’t mean anything.” This is Trump’s populism, plain and simple, and its defining feature is not anti-elitism but anti-pluralism.
  • Jo Guldi, Between Experts and Citizens
    Trump’s election and Brexit both belong to a centuries-old contest between expert rule and participatory democracy. We need a longer history that puts into perspective the notion of an underclass exacting revenge against an elite.
  • Andrea Mammone, “Go Home!”: Being Foreign in Post-Brexit Britain
    In the wake of Brexit, racism and xenophobia directed at perceived outsiders increased dramatically across the UK. Post-Brexit Britain provides some clues as to where the US may soon be headed.
  • Junot Díaz, The Shamelessness of Donald Trump
    “There is nothing about Donald Trump that is in any way new for any of us who have been dealing with the patriarchal regimes that saturate this society.” In this video, Junot Díaz dissects Donald Trump’s misogyny and what it says about the world we live in.
  • Suzanne Berger, How Finance Gutted Manufacturing
    The contribution of financial markets to the decline of American manufacturing has not been fully acknowledged. In this forum, Suzanne Berger, David Weil, Joel Rogers, Dean Baker, and others weigh the impact of financialization and trade on unemployment in America.
  • Marshall Steinbaum, Should the Middle Class Fear the World’s Poor?
    For decades, the establishment has claimed that the gains of globalization would outweigh the losses. It is hard to make that case now. The real issue at stake is the exploitation of the American public at the hands of globally mobile capital.
Jan-Werner Müller

Trump shows us that populism is not the same as legitimate protest—or democracy.

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