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Me the People: How Populism Transforms Democracy

General Programming

dateOctober 14, 2019 timeMonday, 6:00pm EDT location Buell Hall, Maison Française, Columbia University
  • Registration required. See details.
  • Free and open to the public
  • First come, first seated
Cover of Me the People: How Populism Transforms Democracy by Nadia Urbinati

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What distinguishes populism from run-of-the-mill democratic politics? And why should we be concerned by its rise? In Me the People, Nadia Urbinati argues that populism should be regarded as a new form of representative government, one based on a direct relationship between the leader and those the leader defines as the “good” or “right” people. Urbinati shows that, while populist governments remain importantly distinct from dictatorial or fascist regimes, their dependence on the will of the leader, along with their willingness to exclude the interests of those deemed outside the bounds of the “good” or “right” people, stretches constitutional democracy to its limits and opens a pathway to authoritarianism.


Nadia Urbinati, Kyriakos Tsakopoulos Professor of Political Theory and Hellenic Studies, Columbia University
Sheri Berman, Professor of Political Science, Barnard College, Columbia University
Federico Finchelstein, Professor of History, The New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College
Adam Tooze, Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of History & Director of the European Institute, Columbia University

This event is sponsored by the Columbia University Maison Française, The European Institute, The Alliance, The Department of Political Science, The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities.